When Did Jason Start Wearing The Hockey Mask? [Ultimate Guide!]

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The idea that a Halloween costume could conceal a superhero’s identity is as old as the costume itself. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that Halloween costumes started becoming commonplace as a disguise for superheroes.

Back then, it was all about the look. People would wear hockey masks to portray professional hockey players, or Halloween outfits featuring pitchfork wielding scarecrow caricatures. But it wasn’t until the early 1990s that the idea of wearing a costume to hide your identity as a superhero really took off. The Batman Returns (also known as Batman №2) trailer was released in December 1992, and the idea of a superhero costume made of cat fur and having a beak-like mask was so iconic that it became the defining look of the next generation of superheroes.

Of course, there were other looks before and after that. From the original Batman to Ironman, the 1980s and 1990s were a golden era of superhero costume designs, with hundreds of different looks to choose from. But it was Batman’s design that stuck around for the longest. And while the idea of the hockey mask conceals the identity of a superhero, it also hides the identity of the person inside. Because the mask is so facial-concealing, the character’s true identity was rarely, if ever, revealed. Which is pretty handy if you’re a superhero who doesn’t want your identity revealed.

Why Does Batman Still Wear The Hockey Mask?

To find out when Bruce Wayne (Batman’s real name) started wearing the hockey mask as his signature look, we first have to go back in time. And it starts with a comic book that was first published in 1939.

That year, a talented young graphic designer named Bob Kane created Batman, a character who would go on to have a massive impact on pop culture. For those who don’t know, Kane was the mastermind behind the character, writing the stories and drawing the comics. He also designed the look of the character, which was revolutionary at the time. It was easier for people to identify with a visual identity.

Kane’s superheroic ensemble was memorable for its sleek looks and high waist trousers, but most importantly, it was designed to conceal his identity. The high-waisted trousers allowed him to display a shape-shifting goggles, while the flat cap hid his hair, the flat collar disguised his neck, and a plain white shirt and white briefs covered everything else. Even the pencils were wrapped in cellophane to protect the graphite against damage.

It was a far cry from the traditional superhero costume at the time, which usually involved a colorful, flowing, and/or patterned outfit. Although Bob Kane preferred to remain anonymous, he eventually revealed that he designed Batman’s outfit with the help of two assistants, both named Charles.

Where Do The Styles Come From?

The styles for Batman’s outfit were influenced by American football coach Jess Harnes, who coached Kane in high school. Harnes is said to have introduced the practice of wearing white clothing during football games, and because of this, Kane adopted the style for his superheroic costume.

It wasn’t just Jess Harnes though. In fact, there were a few elements that made up the uniform. First, there were the trousers, which were designed to look like the high-waisted style popularized by Harnes. Then, there was the shirt, which was modeled after the ones that Harnes wore. And finally, there was the cap, which was based on the football helmets that Harnes wore during his time coaching Kane’s squad.

Who Else Wears The Hockey Mask?

Even after Kane’s original design, the tradition of wearing the hockey mask as a superhero persisted. But it mostly remained a costume choice for comic book artists and graphic designers, since it was easier for them to draw Batman’s iconic outfit than to try to replicate it. Over the years, a number of alternative versions of the hockey mask have appeared, usually worn by horror movie villains, or stylish superheroes. Here are some of the most memorable ones.

Scarecrow

When Batman Returns was first released, it was widely considered as a modern masterpiece. And one of the films’ most memorable scenes is when Bruce Wayne (Batman) goes undercover as a scarecrow. Remembering his days as Robin (his sidekick), which gave him the nickname “The Batman,” he puts on the hat and begins his transformation. The movie captures this scene perfectly, with Batman pulling off the costume effortlessly and believably. This is partly thanks to the help of Greg Webber, the make-up artist who designed the scarecrow mask. Not only does it closely resemble the comic book character, Bob Kane’s original design, but it even comes with a pitchfork.

Harley Quinn

The Harley Quinn look was named after Harley Quinn, one of Batman’s most prominent adversaries, and she is arguably the most stylish and fashionable of the bunch. This is especially apparent in the animated series, where she often wears outfits that would make a Victoria Beckham jealous. This is the Harley Quinn costume that won her the respect of her crazy, criminal brethren. Even though she is often portrayed as a homicidal maniac, Harley Quinn’s outfits are always stylish and feminine. And it doesn’t hurt that she sometimes wears her outfits backwards, like a skull with a dress on it (which happens to be one of her most iconic looks).

Zombies Never Go Out Of Fashion

The zombie trend has never really gone out of style. And it probably won’t, since the flesh-eating villain archetype has been popularized by the walking dead films and franchises. When it comes to Halloween outfits, zombies are always a safe choice. Their favorite outfit is undoubtedly the classic white ghoul mask with a red nose. But it’s not just about the nose. It’s all about the whole ensemble. A red nose is just the beginning.

In the beginning, most zombies’ outfits were very simple. The undead are often stereotyped as walking corpses. And it’s true, many of them lack any sort of fashion sense. But that doesn’t mean that zombies haven’t evolved over the years. When it comes to Halloween costumes, it’s usually the little changes that make a big difference. For instance, the Marvel Zombies mask isn’t just a mask anymore. It features a full beard, a leather jacket, and even a baseball cap.

Ironman

Another stylish superhero is Ironman, Mark II (or Tony Stark in the comics). Just like Batman, Ironman was also designed by Bob Kane, and similar to his predecessor, Tony Stark’s outfit was also inspired by a coach from his youth. But it’s not just the suits that Stark wears that are stylish, it’s everything about him, from the way he wears his hair to the watches he collects.

Deadpool

Deadpool is a character that has become so popular that he even has his own film series. And, like many other stylish characters, Deadpool’s appeal comes from his unique and stylish blend of superhero and comedy. The popular black costume with yellow stripes on the sleeves/pants or any of his many colourful and extravagant outfits, are certain to make anyone look stylish.

Many More To Come

As you can see, there are dozens of different styles for the original Batman to choose from. But it wasn’t until the early 90s that the style really took off, and it wasn’t just because of the mask. It wasn’t until then that characters started becoming fashionable, including some of the most iconic heroes in comics. If you ask us, there is so much more to the story. From the high-waisted trousers all the way down. In fact, it’s always going to be about the outfit, since that’s where the style really comes from. It’s about breaking out of the mold and being yourself.

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