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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Harley is one of the most entertaining villains Batman has to fight occasionally, second only to the Joker. She is the Joker's lover and partner in crime, although their relationship is weird on so many levels. Harley used to be a normal psychiatric intern in Arkham Asylum, where she met the Joker and then turned into the crazy person she is today.
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Silly as it may seem, the 1960's Batman TV show had a lot going for it in the costume department. While Adam West's Batman was less a dark knight than a kind of schlubby guy in tights, Burt Ward's Robin was almost a direct translation of the Boy Wonder's classic look, pixie boots and all. Additionally, Yvonne Craig's flashy, sexy Batgirl defined the character's look in a way that is still felt in modern takes on the costume, where it's common place to inject some purple into Batgirl's palette.
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Vampirella is a character that is almost entirely defined by her looks. While she has been in comic book series regularly since her debut in “Vampirella” #1 in 1969, the character has largely been known for her incredibly skimpy outfit. Even in her very first comic, the cover is drawn by the legendary Frank Frazetta and shows Vampirella front and center with her legs spread and one hand placed suggestively on her hip.
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Pretty much every superhero in comic books has a superpower that isn’t really mentioned. Sure, some billionaire genius could, theoretically, learn how to build powerful metal suit and fight crime similar to Iron Man. However, that person still won’t have all the superpowers of Tony Stark. You see, Tony Stark is a ridiculously attractive man. Wonder Woman, in addition to being a badass warrior that could pretty much dominate any foe, is also incredibly beautiful. Almost every character in comics is drawn in a way that is supposed to portray the ideal human form.
When the great Wallace Wood took over the series early on, he came up with one of the most strikingly simple fixes of a costume in comic book history. He just made the costume red all over and it instantly made it an iconic look. The double-D had already been added before Wood changed the color, but the combination made for a striking costume that comic book artists always seem to eventually default to whenever Daredevil gets a costume change. When it comes to Daredevil costumes, we should always paraphrase Nuke from the classic Daredevil storyline, "Born Again" -- "Gimme a red."
Cockrum then revamped a few of the characters with Len Wein to make them the new X-Men in the All-New, All-Different X-Men. However, one of the characters was so perfectly designed that they just adopted him wholesale. That was Nightcrawler, whose circus-esque costume perfectly fit the carefree personality that Cockrum and Wein came up with the for character in the X-Men. It is the perfect swashbuckling outfit. The X-Men seem to go through more costume re-designs than any other team of heroes and yet Nightcrawler's costume has mostly remained unchanged for over 40 years.
When Frank Quitely redesigned the character for “New X-Men,” her costume consisted of an impossibly constructed top that had a huge “X” cut out in the front. The exact physics of the costume were never explained, but it’s clear that the artist was trying to emphasize her sexuality. The costume has since been updated, thankfully, but her sex appeal is still front and center, even today. Just searching “Emma Frost” in Google Images shows you exactly how she’s viewed. There aren’t any panels from her appearances in years of comics. Instead, it’s all sexually suggestive pictures.
Sometimes mutant powers are really just the thing to bring a group together, and if your gang is ready to put their super human abilities to work, then there’s only one team for you: The X-Men! Storm can command the team while Cyclops keeps opponents at bay with his concussive optic blast. If you have a quick-witted member of your group, a Deadpool Halloween costume is sure to turn them into the crass and sharp-tongued Wade Wilson. Up the ante by getting a friend to go in a Wolverine costume, and you’ll have one mutant posse that no villain is going to want to tangle with. We heard Wolvie’s usually hungry though, so you’re going to want to bring plenty of snacks. “Hey. Pass the chip dip, bub!”
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.
Pick a random issue of “Witchblade” prior to the last year or so of its run and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cover that didn’t feature the main character sexualized. Obviously, the biggest reason for the sexual nature of the covers is the fact that the character’s costume is basically the most unrealistic armor ever seen. Basically just enough armor to cover her arm, her nipples and only the bare minimum below the belt, Sara Pezzini’s costume is pretty ridiculous. It’s no surprise when most people would define the character based on her appearance than on her actual heroics.
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Witchblade first appeared in Top Cow Comics – an imprint of Image Comics – in 1995. Witchblade isn't actually a character in itself, so to speak - it's actually a sentient supernatural artifact, in the form of a gauntlet, which bonds to its (strictly) female host (the most well-known being NYPD homicide detective Sara Pezzini), providing said host with a variety of powers and a very skimpy costume (in essence, they become the Witchblade as a result).
Harry George Peter was already 61 years old when he came up with the design for the new female superhero that William Marston was planning for All-American Comics, then called Suprema. This was 1941, when patriotic characters were a big hit in comics, so Wonder Woman definitely had a strong Star Spangled Banner take on her design. In the early 1980s, DC Comics helped create a short-lived Wonder Woman charity, the logo of which was the double W's, which led to Wonder Woman adapting the "WW" on her chest emblem. Other than the emblem, the only thing different from her classic look than in Peter's original design is that he had Wonder Woman wearing a skirt instead of short pants.
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Depending on when you read this article, you might be waiting to watch the Wonder Woman film, or you may have just watched it, and therefore you know how amazing this woman is. Adrianne Curry is wearing Wonder Woman's traditional costume here and, because she is a gorgeous woman, her representation is amazing. Curry is a model, famous for winning the first series of America's Next Top Model.
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.
If you talk to many comic book fans that entered puberty in the ‘90s, they might list Gambit as the cause of their sexual awakening. Maybe it was the Cajun accent? Or perhaps it’s the dark, red eyes? Either way, Gambit will go down as one of the all-time sexiest characters in the Marvel Universe. The character is one of the few on this list with a costume that covers almost his entire body, down to just leaving his face and hair exposed. This modesty doesn’t stop Gambit from being a character that’s known for his sex appeal.