Vampirella - a vampire (or at least the alien equivalent), if you hadn't already guessed - is a heroic character who came to Earth when her own planet was dying (at least in her original origin story) and, upon her arrival, sought to protect it from the forces of evil. She first appeared on panel way back in 1969 in a self-titled comic strip in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror comics magazine and has gone on to appear in comics published by both Harris Publications and Dynamite Entertainment.
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What's really interesting, then, in retrospect, is how the first attempt to make a Punisher motion picture, starring Dolphn Lundgren as the Punisher, decided to drop the skull motif from the character's chest. Without the awesome costume, the Punisher sure does seem like every other gunslinging hero out for revenge in the world of popular fiction, of which there have been many examples over the years. Few characters have relied on a cool costume quite as much as the Punisher.
Years later, with Wolfman and Wein now working for Marvel Comics, Wolfman brought the character to Marvel's Art Director, John Romita, who took Wolfman's original design and adapted it into the character that would be known as Nova. Romita reduced the starbursts on the chest to three and added a bit of a starburst onto the helmet. Using bold, primary colors, the Nova armor design was often the most notable thing about the character for years. Even as other characters took over the identity as the main Nova at Marvel, the costume itself remained the same, as it was near impossible to improve on that basic design of Romita/Wolfman. If/when Nova shows up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can bet that this is the costume we will see.
As noted earlier, patriotic-themed heroes were hot in the early 1940s. America was going through a strange period of both isolationism and nationalism at the same time. Americans were really proud of their country, but also didn't want to get involved in the war in Europe. Patriotic-themed heroes captured that feel, by having noble American heroes defeat villains who dared to come over here to mess with us. Things got bolder, though, when Timely Comics introduced Captain America, who broke out of the isolationist viewpoints by having the lead character punch out Adolf Hitler on the cover of the first issue, a full year before the United States actually went to war with Nazi Germany!
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Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is the most famous female superhero character of all time from the movies. Scarlett’s look as a Black Widow wearing a black suit with lots of guns and gadgets, fighting bad people is a complete bad-ass and also the sexiest of them all. The first when she appeared as Black Widow was in Iron Man 2 and then reprised her role as the same in The Avengers, from which she received popularity and praises. She also appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and recently in Captain America: Civil War. Scarlett is considered and often listed as the world’s sexiest woman alive. Perfect to say she is the perfect women to be a superhero!
Starfox is probably the only hero in the Marvel Universe actually defined by his sexuality, not just to outside readers, but also to the characters in the universe. Describing Starfox as an actual hero is a bit of stretch. It’s more fitting to call him a cosmic womanizer that goes around the Marvel Universe attempting to seduce female characters. He is most definitely more hot than hero.
In the mid 1950s, DC had a book called Showcase, which was designed to try out new characters. The first three issues had normal heroes like a fireman and a Navy "frogman." They sold terribly, so DC decided to mix things up and try to bring back superheroes. Artist Carmine Infantino was to design a new look for the Flash and he came up with an amazing look that likely made the book a sellout before people even cracked open the front cover! The sleek, lightning-themed red, yellow and white costume would become so popular that it remains one of the few superhero costumes to simply be brought over into television without massive overhauls to the design. It is just that good. There have been tweaks over the years, like altering the logo on the chest or adding lenses to the eyes in the mask, but generally, the costume remains the same today as it did back in 1956.
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It is hard to get even one costume on a list like this, but somehow, Spider-Man managed to show up on this list twice! It all started when a fan named Randy Schueller thought it would be a cool idea if Spider-Man had an alternate costume that he could wear. He wrote in to Marvel with the idea and, since this was back in a day when Marvel still accepted submission ideas from the public, Jim Shooter bought the idea from Randy for a little over $200. Tom DeFalco then worked with Randy for a bit on trying to turn the idea into a Spider-Man issue but it never quite came together. A couple of years later, Shooter was trying to think of major changes to be made in Marvel's Secret Wars event and he thought back to the black costume idea.
Much of the success of the film's visuals owes to the physical performances of the actors in the suits, but even more of it is thanks to the atmosphere and carefully crafted darkness of the film's entire look. Of course, as more live-action Turtles films debuted, their visual language began to skew ever closer to the hugely popular films, cutting their effectiveness. The Turtles received updated looks in the recent Michael Bay produced reboot to wildly mixed reactions.
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By the end of the 1940s, superheroes had lost a lot of their appeal to the public. National Comics (now DC Comics) went from having dozens of superhero titles to only having a handful. Most of the members of the Justice Society of America fell out of sight in the world of National. Flash and Green Lantern went from appearing in multiple titles to not appearing in any books at all!