Super-Playsuits Ad (Superman #101, Nov 1955)

One of the most popular items of Superman merchandise was, as you might expect, the playsuit that let youngsters impersonate the Man of Steel in their own backyard adventures. But while costumes aimed at boys were a mainstay of comic book ad pages for years, I was surprised to find this version, from Superman #101 (Nov 1955), which adds a second design to let the hero's female fans in on the fun.

Keep in mind when this image appeared we were still four years out from Kara Zor-El's debut (in Action Comics #252), and three years away from the "Super-Girl" Jimmy Olsen creates with a magic totem in what would seem to have been a dry run for the character (in Superman #123). Kara's outfit featured a blue skirt while her precursor had a red one. (In Action Comics #156, temporary Superwoman Lois Lane had it both ways; red on the cover, blue inside the book).

This costume splits the difference, offering a blue skirt with red highlights. Personally, I like it. The problem of how to simulate boots is easily solved with the female suit; just skip' em. Not being a child of the 50s, however, I have no idea what's going on with those shoes. Sneakers? Patent leather? And are those tassles? Pom-poms? Hunks of horse tail?