Cloth Diaper Dropout
Noah For President

The Adventures of Superblogger & the Underpants of Mystery

Little boys (and some girls) and superheroes. I've heard it can be quite a thing. 

Noah never got "into" superheroes — we've burned through Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter and Ninjago pretty bright and hard, but the traditional comic book heroes have never interested him all that much. He liked The Avengers. He liked it pretty okay. 

(Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, on the other hand... Which: OMG. I already had to live through years of every boy in my elementary school talking non-stop about those stupid turtles, and now you're telling me I have to relive it all over again with my own child? Haaaa, yeah, Michaelangelo sure does love pizza. It's crazy! Great to see so much character development has occurred over the past two decades.)

Ezra has never seen The Avengers. Or any movie or TV show involving Superman, Batman, Spiderman or any of the other major or minor mans. And yet an full-blown superhero obsession has emerged, either through peer pressure or osmosis or electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere.

It started with a Superman shirt, hastily plucked from a clearance pile at Old Navy because it was blue and Ezra was going through a fairly stubborn "I ONLY WEAR BLUE SHIRTS" phase at the time. Little did I know that I was simply ushering in the "I ONLY WEAR SUPERMAN SHIRTS" phase, which is a extra-difficult, migraine-inducing phase when THERE IS ONLY ONE SUPERMAN SHIRT. 


(The best is when he insists on wearing it under his karate jacket so he can pull it open to reveal the logo, like Superman does in the movies. Though I still don't understand how he knows to do that in the first place.)

Because I know absolutely nothing about children (but like to think that I do), I recently purchased a couple packages of superhero underpants for him, in hopes that he'd let me wash the stupid shirt more often if he could wear something else superhero-related. Because, you know, that won't backfire at all. Because the child who only owns one acceptable shirt is never going to suddenly be the child who only owns one acceptable pair of underpants. 

Except: Duh. Of course he will. 

I won't go into specifics as to how many days in a row Ezra may or may not have worn the same pair of Superman underwear before I noticed. Suffice to say: Too many. 

Luckily the underwear assortment came with other options. Eventually, Batman became acceptable. I showed him some pictures online of the Green Lantern and the Flash and got those pairs into the rotation as well. But then there was another pair, covered in yellow V's, that had me kind of stumped. And thus, were going completely unworn by Ezra because I could not supply the associated character name. Superheroes aren't really my forte to begin with, but I figured a quick Google search on the Justice League would reveal this other, less-well-known member.

Instead, I stumbled upon a honest-to-God UNDERPANTS-RELATED MYSTERY.

The most obvious choice (SHE SAYS LIKE SHE KNOWS THIS SHIT OR SOMETHING) for a fifth Justice League logo would be Aquaman. But I was clearly not looking at underwear covered in A's, which is what Google told me his logo looked like. These are clearly V's! And clearly bothering me more than they should! 

The v of mystery

(Tangentially speaking, don't you think it's kind of a bummer that you can't buy V for Vendetta underpants in size 3T? With wee Guy Fawkes masks across the butt? Awww.) 

So I kept searching, finally looking around for the exact pack of underwear I'd purchased (and foolishly threw the packaging out before realizing that I might need to CONSULT IT FOR CLUES). The characters on the package were, alas, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash, as if even the manufacturer was like...uhhhh, no idea. Hank designed these over lunch while blitzed out of his gourd, and he doesn't have phone privileges in rehab yet. 

Amazon reviews mentioned the Mystery V pair as well, joining in my parental bafflement. A+ underwear experience. Five stars. My kid loves them; doesn't poop in them; can anyone tell me who the heck the yellow Vs are for?


Finally I somehow ended up on a random comic books forum, where a member had uploaded a photo of the underwear in question and asked the group for help identifying the logo. A minor war had ensued, with most members seeming to think that it was simply a poorly-rendered, half-assed Aquaman logo, while others said no, there was once a member of the Justice League named Volt, so this could be his logo, and then everything devolved from there into ZOMG DO YOU THINK THEY'RE BRINGING VOLT BACK IN THE NEW JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE? NO YOU IDIOT, THAT MOVIE ISN'T HAPPENING, IT GOT SHELVED, NO IT DIDN'T, YES IT DID, RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE.

And, you know, etc.

(I am not even kidding about any of that.)

And yes, at some point it did occur to me that I was sitting there, on the Internet, reading a strange message board conversation devoted to little boys' underwear styles. Ahhrrmm.

I thought maybe I could just tell Ezra that the "V" underwear stood for "Victoryman," because seriously. He's four. It's not like he can Wikipedia this shit yet. But that would have required me to let the issue go and move on with my life and stop caring so goddamn much about this

And we all know that wasn't going to happen. So back to Google it was. Maybe focus on image searches this time, while leaving the word "underwear" out of it. Maybe let's not get put on an FBI watch list over this. Maybe search for some of the other Justice League lineups? The old Super Friends cartoon, perhaps, that my next-door neighbor made me sit through on Saturday mornings because boy cartoons are stupid and you know we're watching My Little Pony after this, OH YES WE ARE?





Look at Aquaman's belt. LOOK AT IT. 


*puts on sunglasses*


I feel better now, yes. Thanks for asking. And no, I have zero intention of EVER checking the Google search terms that lead people to this entry, oh my God. 





Next time just email me, Doug would have known this. He knows all this kind of useless superhero information.


I will admit to spending a fair portion of my time reading this post saying "Aquaman! YES REALLY" outloud.


Bwahahahha This just made my day happy!


OMG! My son has same underwear. Neither my husband nor I had any idea who V is, so I made it up - Volt! (I must have been on to something since, as I just learned, there was a Volt.)

Now, how am I going to explain to my son that the V actually stands for Aquaman...that starts with an A.


Can I tell you that I had a child that wore the SAME Superman shirt every single day for a year. Also, another one that had to wear a Batman shirt every day for a year (different year) but I got lucky and just bought out all the Batman underroo things I could find so I didn't have to wash quite so often.

Mom in Two Cultures

This will become your most-read post of all time because the search options are endless! My most read post is called "My Secret Life as a Japanese Housewife." It turns out they might be looking for something else....


Both my boys and myself are sick, so it has been a nasty week. Thank you thank you thank you for lifting my spirits. Luckily, my oldest is not into characters yet. I looked for angry bird undies, but could not find them in his size.


We do have to wonder if AQUA man is the right symbol for pre-schooler underwear, given their occasionally tenous relationship to toilets and the associated WATER, but never mind:).


I wish they'd make these in girl styles :(


My 8 year old son is obsessed with Star Wars AND Ninjago AND LOTR AND Harry Potter AND Harry Potter AND superheroes. All of them. And they all have Lego sets now which makes birthday and Christmas gift shopping super easy, but now there are many tears when Luke/Batman/Aragorn/Harry loses his hair. He did have character undies for a while, but he went for comfort over style, so he now wears plain jockey shorts. Praise the Lord as there are enough tears over certain favorite shirts and pants that in his opinion, should be washed every night so he can wear them everyday. (Did I mention he has two sisters age 5 and 2 with their own very strong clothing preferences? Hoo boy!)

Do you have Netflix? If so, I can highly recommend Spiderman and his Amazing Friends. For you, not the boys. It is a mindfuck! I don't remember it being that trippy when I watched it as a kid, but when it's on now, I am in a constant state of "Whoa!" and I have never been stoned in my life. And yeah, the kids love it too.


Ok, this will almost definitely backfire on you, because then you will have a small child who doesn't want to take his cape off...

But I made a cape for my nephew. To go with his superman shirt.

And it was wicked easy. I took some red fabric, and I cut it into a shape that was vaguely cape-like. And then I hemmed the edges. I sewed some snaps on the cape, and I sewed some snaps on the shoulders of his superman shirt. Voila. Superman shirt with removable cape.

I reeeeeeeeally wish I'd taken a better picture, but he was wicked happy with the results:

I don't know if you've ever received a spontaneous "OMG thank you for my superman shirt with removable cape" hug from a three-year-old, but they're pretty much the greatest thing in the world.

Angela Krall

We have them too! We were baffled too! THANK YOU a million times for clearing up the great underwear confusion of 2012 in our house. Seriously though, why do that to kids? If his name is "Aquaman", at least put an "A" on his belt. And we wonder why kids today can't read... gah!


I've been reading your blog for years and have never commented, but this might be my favorite entry of all time.


PS. He never wanted to take his cape off.


The real question is did you go back to the boards to say IN YOUR FACES, NERDS! Your cluelessness just got mommified (please don't say that.)

Anyway, Z had NEVER EVER NOT ONCE seen a hero. And yet, he put his pillowcase on as a cape and asked me to help him fly. The one Batman shirt, which is A GODDMAN PAJAMA SHIRT must be worn under his uniform shirt to school so that he can brandish it at will (usually lifting up both shirts at once then realizing he's only showing his stomach which he only intends to do sometimes so then he has to do a little wait a minute gesture, pull that shirt back down and then turn back to you HA HA! BATMAN!

Now he is squarely in superhero underwear phase (preferably SpiderMan except on random days when BATMAN, MUST WEAR BATMAN, BUT NOT THAT BATMAN, THE OTHER BATMAN, THE BLUUUUUUUE ONE (you know Batman's blue right? Three year olds be high.) I got him a Superman shirt off a clearance rack in Target last week and yet...I haven't been able to give it to him just yet because...well...IT'LL BEGIN AGAIN, I KNOW IT.


@ Lisa -- My kids have asked that over the years. When they liked (as I cringe) The Power Rangers (whose creators seem unable to realize it's fucking 2013 and their special effects are so unspecial they look like they were made by blind chimps in the 30's or maybe Taka from Land of the Lost) they didn't understand why those underwear weren't for them. Screw My Little Pony; we want Power Rangers. The boy was the same for a while, prefering Dora to Diego and refusing to let Diego touch his butt. I suppose my husband would use bad humor here and say, "Good."


So weird. I just bought the same package for my 4 year old daughter last week. (Because girl underwear at Target is so ridiculous. And it turned out she's in LOVE with these new underpants. Way to give her another reason not to wear pants.) No idea what the "V" was either. My husband said it was Aquaman.. and I thought it was weird, but sure okay.. it's an A.

Laura Lou

Thank you for solving this mystery. I had to hide that pair because every time I tried to get him to put it on it devolved into discussions of which superhero had this and why can't I see the video and JUST PUT ON YOUR UNDERWEAR SO WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR DAY ALREADY! Now I can add that pair back into the rotation, meaning that's another day laundry can be put off. Win!

Laura Lou

Thank you for solving this mystery. I had to hide that pair because every time I tried to get him to put it on it devolved into discussions of which superhero had this and why can't I see the video and JUST PUT ON YOUR UNDERWEAR SO WE CAN GET ON WITH OUR DAY ALREADY! Now I can add that pair back into the rotation, meaning that's another day laundry can be put off. Win!


Oh my god, I love this so very much. I may be getting this for my little girl when she is old enough because gender stereotyping be damned!


In the boys undershirt section at Target, you can usually find a Hanes T-shirt 3-pack that includes Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern.


Seriously laughing out loud. Love it and could so see myself going down this path.


Confession time...we have these underware too...but I have NEVER considered which super hero's logo this was. Guess I'm a bad mommy? I buy underware in bulk...regardless of characters...see previous post regarding potty training fail. I'm cool with tossing them in bad situations. Thank Goodness my peanut doesn't care!!!


And...she's back ladies and gentlemen. I loved Sodor but this entry is classic top-shelf Amalah!

Still Playing School

Unlurking because I LOOOOOOOOVE this!!!!


Ok, now get yourself to Barnes and noble and buy one if those My Busy Books. There is one that comes with a (terribly written) little rhyme about each character, a playmate, and 12 figurines featuring all those guys!! For like ten bucks. My almost four year old has the undies and the book and looooves them! Just beware since the guys are only two inches high and you've hit a little Ike. These books are now ky go to birthday present for kids!!


Superman must be part of the collective unconscious by now or something.


My almost-5-year-old has been wearing that same series of underpants in varying sizes for about 2 years now. The "What super hero is THAT underwear?" conversation also happened in our house. I said "Aquaman" with as much confidence as I could muster in the hopes of avoiding further questions about it, considering I had absolutely no idea if it really was Aquaman. I never bothered to get confirmation. So, thank you, Amalah, for doing the dirty work for us lazy moms who just lie to their kids and hope they don't ask follow-up questions.

P.S. the superhero phase NEVER DIES. My son has his superhero Halloween costumes planned out for the next decade. Wait until he figures out some of the really obscure ones and starts asking to be Ant Man or Hawk Man. Good luck finding THOSE costumes. The universe is one douchey sonofabitch to send little boys these endless characters and yet provide NO appropriately sized costumes for them. Like I can sew... We're gonna be coloring logos on paper bags for the next decade.


OMG, THANK YOU! We bought that same pack of underpants for our two year old this Christmas and that damn yellow V was driving me crazy. Not crazy enough to remember to look it up, but enough so that every time I saw them, I had a brief "WTF" conversation with myself.


Thank, God. We asked the same question all weekend long.

Kim W.

If I weren't so broke, I'd have this shipped to you:


What I want to know is: has any underwear company, ever, in the history of little-boy underwear, gotten smart enough to put the action figures/pictures/cool images on the FRONT of the pants? Because if I had a nickle for every day my son insisted on wearing his little underpants BACKWARDS when he was three, so that he could SEE the coolness, I would be a rich woman. (I suppose, if I'd started an underwear company that realized that the cool pictures weren't for the benefit of moms watching their naughty little boys running away without pants on but were for the benefit of little boys who could thereby be induced to stop needing diapers, I would be even richer...)


One of your more brilliant pieces of writing. Boy did I need a bright spot in my day today; THANK YOU.


Amy, you're my favorite because we are the same flavor of crazy when it comes to this sort of thing. Oh yeah, like a dog with a bone until you find your answer. I love it.
Also? Thank you for making my stress headache go away with the million laughs in here. My 2 year old already declares himself a superhero on a daily basis, mostly he identifies with Super Goofy but it's only a matter of time before he's exposed to Marvel and the Justice League. I see some similar underwear related issues in my future.


Ha, ha. I've been wondering the same thing since I picked up that underwear pack at Target for my 6 year old.


I shouted Aquaman immediately, too, although only in my head... We are ALL about the superheroes over here, ALL ABOUT them. So much so that I was heartily embarrassed by how long it took me to figure out the 2yo's "sippio" word. She is now three, and rocking Batman crocs with her turtle dress at preschool, and yesterday, when she was wearing her supercool Batman shirt with the detachable cape, she schooled 2 little boys with "I not a boy. My name is Julie." And her potty training goal is that exact package of undies, because there are no girl superhero underwear. Because sexism. And stupid missed marketing opportunities - my 6yo girl wants them too.


I thought it was an "A" from SNL's Ace and Gary.


In the ultimate defense of nerds everywhere it isn't a V is is a stylized trident point.


This post is like everything I love about your blog all in one hilarious entry. All it needs is a random animal terrorizing you or something breaking (which in retrospect, probably better that those things didn't happen).


You have just made me feel a little bit better that I don't have kids except of the furry variety. I'm know officially too old and the situation wasn't ever right for kids (I kind of think a husband should be in the picture - you know to help pay for it). So the fact that my furkids will eat what I give them and grow their own clothes makes life so much easier.


I have never been so glad to be a girl mommy. I know my effing princesses, yes I do. These problems just do not happen to me.


My 3-year-old daughter is obsessed with Spiderman and his Amazing Friends and insists on watching the same episode over and over. For the record, I'm pretty sure I could recite "A Firestar is Born" from memory.

Thankfully, there's no such thing as Firestar underwear but, instead, she only wants to wear Strawberry Shortcake. The best of both worlds!


Ha, we have that pack of underwear. I asked my husband what the 'v' stood for, and he said 'It's Aquaman's symbol, of course!' as if it were PERFECTLY OBVIOUS.

Clearly, you didn't marry a big enough geek.

Suzy Q

I was going to suggest VitameatavegaMan, but mystery already solved!

Holy cats, that gif of Aquaman riding the flying fish is the BEST THING ON THE INTERNETS EVER.


Those underpants are totally in my Amazon cart now.


AHHHH! Reading your column has paid off for me, because my son has been asking me for months why he has V underwear. Bam! Aquaman, kiddo! I'm so grateful you did all that research. :)


That is some seriously impressive googling!


There is so much awesomeness in this post I don't even know where to start. Seriously, woman, I have a total MomCrush on you. It's the teeniest bit unhealthy.


Ha!!!!!!! We have those same undies. I have three boys and it was driving me crazy!! My husband couldn't figure it out either. THANK YOU!


This is arguably my all-time favorite post!


If my boyfriend and I ever get married and have kids, I know they're going to be comic book character crazy! How do I know this? Because my boyfriend is a comic book fanatic and always has been.


My 4.5 year-old has just pulled up a chair to watch "the video". He'd like to know if the guy is going to an island and when he's going to get there.


He's STILL watching!


THANK YOU. We own those too and no, I never did figure it out. I even asked a couple of people and THEY didn't know either. Clearly I don't know enough true comic geeks, I guess. But at last that mystery is solved.

Now, if you could only clear up where the Lone Socks go?


THIS is why I read this blog. THANK YOU!


This is the funniest post I've ever read. Thank you.


HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! duly filed under random shit that makes me laugh! THANKS :-))


Wow, you are MUCH more diligent than we are. We're actually comic book fans at our house, and we just call them Hawkman underpants 'cause, you know, v's are vaguely bird-like and Hawkman's costume is mostly yellow. Thank you for solving the mystery, though; I'm forwarding this link to my husband (who might or might not still be laughing about the fruit sticker episode of yore). Incidentally, if you're looking for superhero cartoons for Ezra, the lamentably canceled Batman the Brave and the Bold is on DVD and while it has its fair share of punching, it's pretty little guy friendly. Our son is a couple months younger than Ezra, and he's a big fan. (Who has recently refused to wear anything without Angry Birds on it, so I actually have a big pile of unloved Justice League T-shirts at my house.) There are also a TON of SuperFriends spinner books that dovetail with the Fisher-Price Imaginext SuperFriends toys. And if Ezra will do Marvel superheroes at all, the Spectacular Spider-Man series is very kid-friendly, as superhero cartoons go.


We have that same pack and I was eqaully puzzle by the "V's".


Love. This. Post.

Twice Five Miles

OH MY GOD I have the same underpants for my little guy and this has been making me irrationally insane for far too long now. THANK YOU so much! Now I have the answer.

(I went online to the message boards too. Terrifying.)

Corey Feldman

I had been wondering how my 4 and 6 year old had been picking up all of this superhero and star wars stuff. I can't believe I didn't think of electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere

Lynn Brooks

You are the BEST!! Winning!! Now by all means sit those boys down to "My Little Pony"


I changed email addresses. It's still me. And you still make me laugh. Thanks!


I'm sorry, but those comic nerds on that forum are not worth their mettle if they could not explain this... uh... relatively simple mystery. But props to you! You should win something! Perspicacity Badge!


You are a Superhero all on your own.

Also, I feel like I just read an episode of Big Bang Theory (which, if you aren't watching, you need to - seriously, it's on all the time and you could probably relate a little to Penny), I'm pretty sure all of the characters on the show would have a pack of these underwear, too.

Someone needs to get this over to CBS right away.


HA! My Sister-in-Law called us one day to find out the same thing. We, being giant comic nerds, were able to tell her. But they're pretty V-like.


THANK YOU! Same underpants, same questions here!


Ha! It sounds like our boys were separated at birth. My son gets hand me downs from his superhero obsessed cousin, and so he has turned into a superhero obsessed boy who has never seen superheroes on anything but clothing and toys.


amalah, been there with the super herp stuff, but guess what my boy is into now? you will NEVER NEVER guess, I thought I would Never have to go through this phase, but I guess it happens, must be in the genes, cause his dad geeks on it too...

dun,dun, dun....



Ummmm... I am sure I am totally alone here, but when I got to the bottom of your entry and I saw the gif of Aquaman, I could only see his torso. From the movements he was making it did NOT appear that he was riding fish. Just saying... awkward. I actually LOL'd when I finally scrolled down to reveal the entire image. Wow. I really needed that laugh. Thanks!


That shit is funny. I needed it today. The end.


Yes! We have these! Fortunately, my son's name starts with a V so we just told him they were for Super Vaught! Yeah, I know. But it's good to have the mystery cleared up.


Yes! We have these! Fortunately, my son's name starts with a V so we just told him they were for Super Vaught! Yeah, I know. But it's good to have the mystery cleared up.

Jen L.

HOLY HELL YES! Thank you. We have the same underpants. The pack was purchased after my child peed in the playground thingy at Burger King. I left him in the car with my husband naked as a jaybird (the kid, not my husband) and bought that pack of underwear. We were all, "Who the hell is V?" THANK YOU.

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