- Sep 3, 2000Title: No More Spandex
Fandom: X-Men the Movie
Disclaimers: All characters belong to the Marvel Entertainment Group
and Twentieth Century Fox and are used without permission, for
entertainment purposes only. No infringement upon the rights of
Marvel and Fox should be inferred; nor is any intended.
Lycra Spandex is a wonderful fabric with amazing technical properties
that has received a bum rap in many ways. The attitudes of certain
characters towards this fiber do NOT reflect my own views.
Archiving: OK, but don't include my e-mail address, I get too much
Characters: Most main film characters, two Mary Janes.
Rating: PG. Humor. Mention of anatomical parts as they relate to
Summary: How Magneto and the X-Men got new non-Spandex superhero
Author notes: Dedicated to Louise Mingenbach and Bob Ringwood, costume
designers of the "X Men" film, who did a splendid job.
No More Spandex
"I'm not kidding, I saw the screen!" Bobby insisted.
"No way! Don't all the school lab computers have "Net Nanny"
installed on them?" Kitty objected.
"You can get around that easy! I do it all the time." Remy countered.
"I'll bet you do, pervert." Jubilee replied.
"Besides, Mr. Summers has the password anyhow."
"I still don't believe you two saw Mr. Summers surfing a Bondage
site." Kitty maintained.
"Those two are full of sh-t. Let's go to the lab and see." Jubilee
grabbed Kitty's arm and dragged her down the hall to the lab, where
they poked their heads in the door. They tried to crane their necks
around it well enough to see the image Mr. Summers had up on the
monitor; before they could, they were startled by Dr. Gray, coming up
from behind them.
"Do you need something?" She asked, nearly making the girls jump out
of their skins.
"No!" Jubilee stammered. "That is, yes, we were just going to check
"How about you girls check it in the morning? It is past lights out,
you should go to bed." she said, but didn't bother to see if they
complied. She sailed into the lab towards Scott, and leaned over him
affectionately, blocking their view of the monitor, and plunking
Professor X's school credit card down beside the keyboard.
"Are you sure you want to do this Scott? I don't know if I really
like the idea of Black leather "
The girls made a b-line to the dorm so fast that Kitty slid right
through the closed door.
"What was that?" Scott asked Jean.
"Just a couple of the girls." she sighed. "Stop trying to change the
subject. I still don't see why we need new uniforms."
"Because I feel like a dork in blue Spandex, that's why!"
"Superman wears blue Spandex. Besides, Spandex shows off your best
feature," Jean kidded him, patting him on that area.
"Yeah, great, just the image we're trying to project. What about
protection? I want something solid, that won't melt to my skin if
somebody throws flames at us. These new style suits are padded, flame
proofed, and lightly armored. They are the latest technology in
super-hero gear. "
"This is really about 'The Matrix' isn't it?" Jean asked.
"How are we going to wash them? Have you thought of that?"
"We'll send them to the cleaners."
"Great, and while they're at the cleaners what do we do? Hold off
saving humanity till they get back?"
"We'll get TWO sets, Jean. O.K."
"Won't that cost a lot? I mean "
"The Professor says it's OK, I cleared it with him already."
"He thinks it's a great idea."
"Fine," she sighed "I'm glad YOU TWO worked it all out. Consulting me
or Ororo wouldn't occur to you, of course."
"Ororo's fine with it, Jean." He answered, "As long as she still gets
to wear a cape like before."
If Mystique were here, Magneto thought, the disaster would never have
His old uniform had been getting on his nerves for a while now, but
getting a new one just now was not the sort of thing he wanted to have
to deal with while planning world domination.
He had looked at it in his closet this morning, dangling on a hanger
looking rather limp and sad. It had once seemed so dashing (and even,
he preened, sexy) but now when he put it on, it sagged in spots, and
was beginning to pill in sections best left unmentioned. He tried
putting it on, and decided it looked like
. the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank
The red color (his favorite) was looking less like the Master of
Magnetism, he decided, and more like the Commedia del' Arte's most
notable old lecher. The effect was emphasized by the tendency of any
garment he worked in to electro magnetically attract lint, which stood
out sharply against the bright red and purple of the body suit.
Maybe, if he washed it, it would perk up a bit.
He went to the utility room where the washer and dryer were kept.
Mystique, otherwise the most compliant of lovers and assistants had
absolutely insisted on getting them. While she happily embraced some
of the most menial of traditional female tasks in an effort to please
Magneto, she absolutely had drawn the line at hand washing clothes.
Probably, he mused, because she didn't wear any.
So Magneto had ordered the most high tech washer-dryer set sent in,
complete with a special order brushed-steel surface, to match the rest
of the building's "Bauhaus Dungeon" décor (as Toad called it).
He was now regretting it. The controls were so complex, he decided,
they would take an engineering degree to figure out. He couldn't find
the manual, and somehow, phoning Senator Kelly's office to ask Kelly's
trusted aide how to run the washer, he felt could possibly blow
So he fiddled, and pushed buttons, and tried to get the water as hot
as it could go. Maybe if it shrunk a little it wouldn't show how much
weight he'd lost since he'd bought it. After it finished he threw it
in the dryer for an hour for good measure.
"You're miffed with Scott, aren't you?" The Professor asked Jean.
"It just annoys me how he railroaded us over this uniform thing." She
sighed. "I liked my 'Marvel Girl' uniform. And he even lied to me
"He did?" that surprised him.
"He said that she thought it was a good idea too."
"But she does."
"She does?" Jean looked incredulous. "With leather costumes? Our
vegetarian, tree hugging, nature mother likes the idea of LEATHER
"Yes actually. In fact she suggested it."
"You are kidding, right?" Jean smiled.
"No." Xavier smiled back. "You see, when she calls down lightning
storms, it gives her a terrible problem with lint."
"Lipchitz Tailoring. How can I help you?" chimed a young female voice
on the phone.
That threw him for a moment. "Hello. I was calling for Rolf, is he
"Yeah." She replied, then shouted loudly off the phone "Grandpa!
Somebody wants you!"
In the room beyond, Magneto heard "Wait a minute, Sylvie, I'm coming.
Who is it?"
"Whom shall I say is calling?" Sylvie asked.
"He says he's Erik Lender" he heard in the background.
"That's Lenscherr, Sylvie, not Lender." Rolf's voice grumbled, "He's
my best customer" then, on the phone: "Hiya, Erik. What can I do for
"Who was that?" Magneto asked.
"My granddaughter Sylvia. She's a freshman at FIT, so she's having me
teach her tailoring." Lipchitz replied. "So what can I do for you?"
Now that he was on the phone, he felt awkward broaching the subject.
"Um. Well. I was wondering if you knew where I could get a . sort
"A costume? Well, I'd say Eaves is probably the best in New York. I
can look up their phone "
"No, no, I don't mean THAT sort of costume ." He paused, unsure how
to go on. "I shrunk my old one in the dryer and now the Spandex is
tight enough to make my..."
"Ahh! THAT kind of costume! Well, I'd say your best bet would be
ordering on the Internet...I had no idea you were into that too...."
He then whispered into the handset: "There is a site called "Lycra
Lust Spandex Sissies" that has everything you could ever want on it.
I never order from anyplace else."
There was a long pause before Magneto replied.
"Mmm. Well, actually, that isn't quite it either." This was getting
more awkward by the minute. "Can you keep a secret?" he almost hissed
into the phone.
"Like, you think my wife and four kids know about my Lycra?" Rolf,
hissed back, anxious not to alert his granddaughter in the next room.
"Like I don't know dirt on you already since '45? Who are you
kidding Erik? After what we both went through in our lives, now when
we're in our 70s, you think I'm going to flip out because some kinky
costume floats your boat, and start getting righteous on you?"
"You have a point."
"Just spit it out. What do you need?"
"A new super-hero uniform."
"You mean you like to dress like Captain Marvel or something?"
"Actually, I'm Magneto." There was a pause. "In real life."
"MAGNETO?" Rolf choked. "Are you shitting me?"
"No, actually." Magneto purred. He loved it when he got this kind of
"As my Granddaughter Sylvia would say, 'Far out'. So, you want a
Spandex super hero uniform."
"As a matter of fact, I was calling you because I don't want one. I
went online and checked the usual catalog, you know, supersuits dot
com, and the new one that's popular now with all the black leather
super hero gear, and I decided I'm getting too old to enjoy cavorting
about in public looking like I'm in painted-on fetish wear. Besides,
the Lycra gets lint all over it. They aren't comfortable, they look
absurd, and I'd rather wear a suit, or a sweater as usual."
"You can't do that!" Lipchitz expostulated.
"Well I absolutely will NOT wear Spandex again! It looks so dated "
"Well, if you don't want leather, and you don't want Spandex, what do
"I was thinking, maybe, you could make me some sort of special wool
suit. I love your suits Rolf, Armani has nothing, in my opinion, half
as classic as a custom Lipchitz."
"But a super hero can't wear a regular suit!"
"Then design me some sort of special suit. How hard would that be?"
"For me, plenty. I think in terms of the classics: double breasted,
single breasted, three button, Norfolk, tux, tails, you name it, I do
it, but I'm not exactly a fashion designer, so if "
"Well, I suppose the leather would " Magneto interrupted.
"Now wait, Erik, don't give up. As I said, I, can't do it, but
Sylvie, she can I bet." Rolf insisted, "She has a good eye. And she
is up on all the latest fashions, and is getting pretty good at
"Oh." Magneto paused, surprised to have the problem solved so neatly.
"That sounds like it might work."
"How about this: I give you Sylvia to talk to. You tell her EXACTLY
what you do and don't want. I've got your measurements, and in two
weeks you come to New York and we do a fitting."
"That sounds wonderful."
"O.K. I'll get you Sylvia." He said, then shouted off "SYLVIE! I
NEED YOU TO TALK TO MR.LENSCHERR!" Sylvia apparently came closer, and
he briefed her quickly in a more normal tone that Magneto couldn't
"Hello, Mr. Lenscherr? This is Sylvia Lipchitz. I'm studying fashion
design at FIT. Grandpa says you want me to design you a super hero
"Yes, Sylvie. I'm looking for something that will look good while I'm
flying, maybe with a cape, not wrinkle too much, and won't show lint."
"My super-power is electro-magnetism, and whenever I use it I get
covered in LINT. It's really beginning to annoy me."
Sylvie giggled for some time, and said: "Have you tried Static
"I buy it by the case. It barely helps though."
"Well leather tends to shed lint, how about we make you a suit out of
"No. Leather boots, maybe, but a leather suit would just make me look
like an old KGB officer. What I want is something dignified, and
simple, out of cashmere or vicuna. Is there some color that won't show
lint too badly?"
"Gray works pretty well."
Magneto sighed. "How about red or purple?"
"The lint would really show up with that. We could do a liner on the
cape in red though."
"Purple would be better. I've never liked red and gray together."
"Gray and purple it is. Summer or winter weight wool?"
"Winter. It's for an outdoor event next month. But if it works out
I'll probably order a summer set as well."
"Buttons? Zippers? Pockets?" she asked.
"Velcro. No metal parts, and keep it simple as possible. I have a
utility belt for storing tools."
"Overall look? Sexy? Comic? Futuristic? Retro? Scary? What concept
are you shooting for?" Sylvia said. "As a designer, it really helps
if you have a concept."
"Dignified, yet attractive." Magnus explained: "I'm the leader of the
Brotherhood of Mutants."
"Is that like the Knights of Columbus or something?"
"More or less," he conceded. "Is that all?"
"I think so," she replied. "So, we'll see you in two weeks?"
"Hey! Remy! Kitty! Come here!"
"What is it Bobby?" Kitty asked. "What's so exciting?"
Bobby motioned them to the front hall of the X Mansion, and brought
them up to a large stack made of six big cardboard boxes.
"So the UPS man brought more science equipment." Remy sneered, "Big
"Does that look to you like the back address of a science equipment
company?" Bobby asked. The other two leaned over one of the stacks of
boxes. The label said "SUPER LEATHERMAN". Kitty gasped. Remy
"What do you suppose they could do with six boxes full of that kinda
"Maybe, the basement they are always sneaking off to is a B&D
dungeon!" Remy volunteered.
"Do you suppose he ties her up, or she ties him up?" Bobby asked.
"Maybe the Professor ties them both up!"
"You two are GROSS." Kitty said, and ran off.
"What's her problem?" Remy demanded.
"No problem." Bobby smiled. "She's just running to tell the rest of
The bell rang when Magneto crossed the threshold of Lipchitz
Tailoring. It was one of those small old shops in Manhattan that have
an unwashed front window, are scattered with weird vintage sewing
equipment, and strike the uninitiated as probably being cheap and near
bankruptcy. On the contrary, going to Bergdorf's and getting a
designer suit off the rack would be cheaper. Lipchitz was semi
retired, and didn't take new clients of late, and pretty much could
name his price when he made a suit like the perfect black one Erik was
Lipschitz always made one wait, as well.
Magneto actually liked the wait. He always got a little thrill of
anticipation before his fittings, and liked to savor them. Just as
the wait began to turn to tedium, Rolf always appeared.
"Mr. Lenscherr?" chirped the female voice from the phone.
He turned to see a pretty young girl with electric purple hair, with
matching eyes and vinyl mini dress. Surprise was writ large on his
features. "You must be Sylvia."
She led him to Rolf, who was steaming a garment in back, and left them
together. "I'll go get the trousers."
"I had no idea you had a granddaughter who was a mutant!" he smiled at
"I don't." Rolf, replied as Sylvie returned.
"He says you look like a mutant in that getup." Rolf said to her
"It's 'in' at school, grandpa." She returned. To Erik she said,
"It's just colored contacts and Manic Panic dye, Mr. Lenscherr. Don't
you think it looks fun?" she inquired as she posed in a position that
showed off much more of her vinyl-clad form than he would have wanted
showing on his own granddaughter.
"Most original." He offered, ambiguously. He was suddenly glad he
would not be getting a fitting in Spandex with this girl doing the
Beyond that, the fitting went well. The garments were better than
he'd even hoped, and required typically few alterations. When it was
over, and he was back in his regular clothes, Sylvie came up and began
Rolf was busy hemming the pants, and Magneto thought it couldn't hurt
to flirt a bit with the infant.
"I've never heard of a super hero who was a Yid before." Sylvie
"Well whether you would call me a super-hero or super villain depends
pretty much on whether you agree or disagree with my political views."
"That is SO right on, Mr. Lenscherr." Sylvie enthused. "My boyfriend
is a mutant, and HE says that Senator Kelley wants to round up mutants
and lock them up or even kill them."
"You have a mutant boyfriend?"
"Yea, but don't tell Granddad."
"He wouldn't approve of you dating a mutant?" Eric asked.
"Oh, he's ok with that, it's just that David isn't Jewish, and his dad
is some WASP headmaster of a private school in Westchester, and
Granddad doesn't like him."
Eric smiled. Such a small weird world.
"So, like, how does your super-power work?"
"I can generate and control fields of electro-magnetic energy."
"Oh. Is that useful?" she asked.
He supposed that the scientific curriculum at FIT was probably not
very taxing. Sylvie was a great little designer, but seemed to have
the scientific understanding of a philodendron.
"With magnetic fields I can move, bend and otherwise control metals.
I can disrupt or enable power systems at will, and can cause myself,
and other objects, to fly." He explained.
"COOL!" Sylvie said. "Can you, like, demonstrate or something?"
"It usually isn't advisable indoors, except in an emergency."
"Oh, come on!" She begged. She leaned forward enthusiastically, giving
an amazing view of what Erik imagined were some of her chief charms.
"It will be fun ..please."
"Oh why not." He said. After all, if he fried the nearby electric
iron, he could afford to get Rolf a new one. It would be fun to amuse
So he sent out waves of energy and levitated Sylvie's chair, and
floated it about a foot off the floor. He zipped it about the room,
while Sylvie giggled like the kid she was, then set it down, drawing
the energy back to him with a snap-crackle-pop that sounded very
impressive, but was harmless.
Or, nearly. Magneto coughed, suddenly embarrassed. He half-heartedly
brushed at his clothes, which were suddenly extremely fuzzy and gray.
"I suppose it's to be expected that a tailor's workroom would have a
LOT of textile fibers floating around in it." He opined with resigned
"Oh, Mr. Lenscherr, I'm SO SORRY." Sylvia cried.
"It's no great harm" he sighed, "really."
There was an awkward pause.
"I see what you mean about the lint though."