In several 'dress changing' scenes in the original Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve, we can see that the movie director opted to show the audience that Clark Kent's ordinary clothing gets visually morphed or faded into his Superman uniform right before our eyes.

Superman: The movie (1978) | Superamn II (1980) | Superman III [1983]

example 1;- In the first Superman film, when Clark Kent jumps out of the office window he is then shown preparing for flight in a diving position while falling and then his ordinary clothing just immediately FADES into his Superman outfit clothing.....So would this be manipulating of Atoms if it was reality for this to happen?

example 1;- In the third Superman movie (the one with Richard Pryor) Clark kent has to save the unconscious boy Ricky before a faming harvester machine makes mince meat of him. Clark Kent then 'transforms' into Superman by running behind some tall wood-fencing and while running his Clark Kent attire (clothing) quickly FADES into his Superman attire. It's looks like a 3D hologram or a teleportation morph of an object.

NOTE: yes this subject matter involves a comic book hero who is entirely fictional, so serious 'scientific' answers only please.

Could someone give me the most closest scientific answer to explain how this would work in real life or in a futuristic real-life implementation.

3 Answers 3


His clothing is not meant to be actually fading, it's just that he is changing so quickly that an optical illusion is created, making it appear as if they fade in and out.


No. Superman's costume in the Superman movies does not include molecular manipulation of his clothing. See: What is the secret of Superman's suit?

Superman has never had the ability to manipulate atoms, nor had technology that would allow him to do so until the most recent DCnU representations of his costume.

The transformation of his street clothes into his costume (when these movies were being filmed) is meant to replicate the comic representation of his super-speed transition from Clark Kent to Superman.

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  • 1
    This is less than 22 pages long. Please edit accordingly.
    – John O
    Jan 1, 2014 at 5:36
  • I used the referral to save people from me writing a longer post. I thought the topic had been sufficiently covered. Jan 1, 2014 at 5:47

This question ventures dangerously close to criteria that make it against the rules and deserving of being closed.

However, there are several plausible concepts that could account for the visual depiction in those movies.

His costume was, for instance, included within the spaceship that brought him to Earth, and could be compose of any number of metamaterials (Krypton being highly technologically advanced). Nanobots come to mind, but probably don't match well with the canon. Something crystalic might be better. When we think of crystals as rigidly solid this isn't necessarily the only condition they can exhibit. The screen you're reading this answer on is probably an LCD, which stands for "liquid crystal display". Incidentally, that device can rapidly change color (and internally) shape. Then there are some other concepts like virtual matter that I just don't even feel qualified to describe. Things that behave like atomic matter in that they can appear solid, but for which there aren't even any hadrons at all within them.

Or the human clothes might be an illusion of some sort projected by them (also fitting with the crystals which in these movies are able to project holographic images of his father, in the Fortress of Solitude or Santa's Workshop or whatever it's supposed to be).

Finally, I might point out that while all of these are plausible, @jmoreno 's answer intuitively feels correct to me. I would prefer that you accept his over mine.

  • All of your answers are just what I wanted thank you so much guys.
    – gary m
    Jan 1, 2014 at 6:40

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