Here, we will take a look at the very best of the best when it comes to superhero design. Do note that we are working with at least one major caveat, that the superheroes in question have iconic costumes. It does not do you much good to have a really cool costume if no one knows who you are. As a result, we are heavily weighing in the cultural impact of the costume design when we rank them. Where does a costume stand, historically, within the medium itself? That is one of the most important questions that we address when we start our ranking of the best superhero costumes of all-time.
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Black Widow of the Avengers knows a thing or two about kicking butt and taking names, and it doesn’t matter if she’s teaming up with the Cap, Hawkeye, or just striking out solo. When she’s ready to throw down, it’s time to put all villains on notice. Recreate her Captain America: Civil War look with this stunning movie costume ; all you’ll need to complete the style is a wig for her signature long red hair.
Being a superhero doesn’t give you a ton of down time, but if you find your kids have a few moments to spare, it’s likely an opportune time for a candid shot. You’ve worked on making sure they know to look serious while they’re in costume, so let them show their stares towards the camera while they have their hands against their hips. The bold logos featured on the chest of the boy’s costume will be on full display and any onlookers will feel a surge of reassurance when they see that this trio of heroes are on the scene and ready for action!
The 1960s Batman TV series helped to identify the fact that a black leather outfit was her best look, but that did not last too long in the comics themselves. Her most famous costume for years was a tight purple outfit designed by Jim Balent. The late, great Darwyn Cooke, however, came up with this brilliant mixture of a functional,black leather outfit that she wore on the Batman TV series and the film, Batman Returns. The use of the goggle mask was also a great touch. Jim Lee was wary of changing looks during his "Hush" series on Batman, but he adopted the Cooke Catwoman design entirely, that's how good it was.
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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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.
Today's comic books are descendants of 19th-century "penny dreadful" serials. They were multi-part sensational stories printed on cheap paper and sold for, what else, a penny each. These stories became popular among the lower and working classes. They couldn't afford and weren't interested in, the "important" literary novels of the day. Penny dreadfuls and the "dime novels" that followed them had clear-cut good-vs.-evil themes. And they weren't short on action or melodrama, either! By the early 20th century, we had such enduring characters as Tarzan and Zorro in "pulp" fiction. (So-called because of the inexpensive paper on which it was printed.) The first of the modern superheroes was Superman, who launched the Golden Age of Comics in 1938.
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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Superman will always be a classic superhero costume, but this cool update based on last year's hit film is worth sporting. This printed fiber-filled jumpsuit has a good sheen on it to look extra slick in your Halloween Instagrams, and it comes with 3D-printed boot tops to complete the look. Our favorite part is the Velcro cape, which you can remove if it starts to be a pest when running around town party-hopping.
Bomb Queen is actually a villain, but she has her own titular comic book series in Image Comics and, given her ridiculously revealing costume, it would be criminal not to include her. She first appeared as recently as 2006 and has eliminated and banned all superheroes from the fictional city she lives in - New Port City. She rules the city as its dictator and is a popular leader amongst the criminals who reside there.
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It’s time for the ladies to show their strength. Halloween is the perfect time for you to pick the perfect women’s costume and take on the streets in style. If you are a woman, let them hear you roar! You’ll love taking on every party like you’re entering an action-packed fight scene! Get to shopping now, and find yourself the best, most beautiful, most authentic women’s superhero costume!
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.
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!”
Soon, other artists streamlined Shuster's original design and made it look more like spandex. Thus, the classic Superman look was born. This was not just the ideal Superman look, but it became the ideal look for superhero costumes period. The success of this design informed essentially every superhero costume ever to follow after it. For a character as popular as Superman, who has been adapted into so many different forms of media, it is an amazing testament to how good his first costume was that when Action Comics hit #1000, Superman was wearing essentially the same costume that he wore 999 issues earlier.
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