Unmasking an Unsung Comic-Book Movie Hero: New Clip Showcases What Helmet/Costume Artists Do

Anyone who sits through the credits for a superhero movie—which is all of us, because we all wait for stingers—knows there are thousands of people who play a part to help bring all those comic book legends to life. One such behind-the-scenes pro is Jose Fernandez, founder of Ironhead Studio, which has worked on armor and costumes for many high-profile films, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Captain America: Civil War.

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Artists like Fernandez are unsung heroes, but Reddit users this morning are taking notice of a video (watch it above) from Tested, the YouTube channel launched by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters, along with Norman Chan and Will Smith. In the clip, Chan spends a good 10 minutes chatting with Fernandez about his work at this year’s Monsterpalooza, a make-up, costume, and special effects conference held in April in Pasadena. Fernandez tells Chan he hadn’t been displaying at these sorts of shows, but says he changed his mind because Ironhead did a lot of work on Batman v Superman—but you wouldn’t know it. “I’m almost used to it, but I didn’t get screen credit,” he says, “so it kind of pissed me off a little bit—upset me. So I thought, if they’re not going to give me credit, I need to take my own, so I decided to take a booth and start promoting my own company.”

The Batman armor helmet in ‘Batman v Superman’ (Warner Bros.)

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At his booth we see helmets made for Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman as well as Daredevil, neon headgear from Tron: Legacy, and helmets/masks worn by several Marvel characters, including Loki, Captain America, and a guy who makes his debut in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther. Fernandez, who’s worked on three previous Batman movies, also talks about how much the mask-making process has changed. “The first ones we did the old-fashioned way, we did plaster molds of their bodies, plaster head casts,” he says. “Now it’s all digital.”

Fernandez explains the process behind developing a lot of these pieces in the clip, which is worth a look—especially if you’re just biding time until you can finally see Civil War in theaters.

Under the Black Panther mask: Chadwick Boseman talks about his character: