Comic book artists quite often have the same sort of elements pop up in their costume designs. Jim Lee, for instance, is well known for how much he likes to use collars, either high collars or chokers. One of the all-time great costume designers, Dave Cockrum, used so many sashes on his costume designs that he even ended up drawing a cartoon mocking his own overuse of sashes by having a few of his characters pointing out the similarity in their costumes.

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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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Batman stands tall above Gotham City, and often times he has the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. Does he have what it takes to defeat The Joker ? Bane? Doomsday? When your little one takes the mantle of The Dark Knight, there will be no need to fret over which villain is threatening the neighborhood, because we’re sure he’ll be able to just focus on his Halloween party and all of the trick-or-treating fun. But when it’s time to strike a pose and show the world that he’s The Bat, you’re going to want to get the picture just right. A little breeze will make his cape look epic, and when he has his fists on his hips, the molded effect of this premier costume really stands out. A stern face will project his newfound power, but if he happens to crack a smile, that photo will look just as epic.

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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Captain America and Iron Man have no trouble teaming up to save the day, but as we found out in Captain America Civil War , sometimes they find themselves at odds, too. When the threat to humanity is real though, Captain Steve Rogers and billionaire Tony Stark are sure to set aside their differences and suit up to defeat the bad guys. The only question is, are your children ready to do the same? Will they pass muster when they put on their hero costume? Let’s find out by decking them out in one of these red hot Avengers costumes. When Iron Man and Cap hit the scene, they’ll be ready to recreate all of their favorite action sequences. With the Captain boldly holding his shield, and Iron Man ready to fire his repulsor blasts at the baddies, these two are suited and ready. Have them stand in this pose for a really great photo!
In the late 1960s, Marvel wanted to make sure it got control of the name "Captain Marvel" for trademark purposes, so Stan Lee and Gene Colan quickly came up with a character to go with the name. For the costume, creators had him wear a literal Kree captain's uniform, which in this case was a green and white outfit with a little flair to it. It was a decent enough costume for a rank and file character, but it was a weak design for a superhero. Unsurprisingly, the Captain Marvel series was a hard sell for Marvel. Marvel needed to keep it going, though, so the company brought in Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to revamp the series.

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Unlike Emma Frost, who arguably has a story reason to dress how she does, Psylocke is scantily clad only for the reader’s enjoyment. Sure, you can say that she is supposed to resemble a ninja, but you’d be hard-pressed to find other ninjas outside of the Marvel Universe dressed this way. She’s also a character that was reimagined as a sex symbol. Before her famous outfit, Psylocke was a pretty boring looking character. It wasn’t until she lost her pants and bent over all the time that readers really started to care about the character enough for her to garner enough focus resulting in some true character development. Her costume is so iconic, it’s one of the few costumes featured in the “X-Men” films that is almost completely untouched from its comic book counterpart. Goes to show you how much the costume defines the character.

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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Starfire might have become the most sexualized character in superhero comics, and that’s saying something. Debuting back in 1980, in “DC Comics Presents” #26, Starfire was always drawn scantily clad. Her orange skin and red hair were the center of attention, with just a few purple strips of fabric covering her body. It’s hard to justify her outfit and sexualization when some of her most famous scenes in comics revolve around her lack of clothing.
In the late 1960s, Marvel wanted to make sure it got control of the name "Captain Marvel" for trademark purposes, so Stan Lee and Gene Colan quickly came up with a character to go with the name. For the costume, creators had him wear a literal Kree captain's uniform, which in this case was a green and white outfit with a little flair to it. It was a decent enough costume for a rank and file character, but it was a weak design for a superhero. Unsurprisingly, the Captain Marvel series was a hard sell for Marvel. Marvel needed to keep it going, though, so the company brought in Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to revamp the series.

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.  


Maybe they need a full size Dark Knight to help them take on their task? Whether it’s trick-or-treating the toughest neighborhood or they’re preparing for an epic showdown with a top villain, we’re confident having an adult Batman will make sure they come out victorious. He’ll probably have all kinds of extra gadgetry in his adult-sized utility belt, and with his authentic Dawn of Justice Batman costume, your children’s costumes will achieve their full effect. For posing, Wonder Woman can show her muscles while Superman prepares to take flight, and no matter what the mission is, Batman will be there to look over the young ones, but he’s going to look pretty fantastic in his own right, too. This will definitely be a superhero costume team for the history books!

Not only are they unnecessarily sexualised, they are also extremely impractical in most cases. For instance, why would a female character with no superhuman durability to speak of go into battle with heavily armoured and massively powered opponents wearing what is essentially a bikini? It shouldn't happen, but it does happen in comic books - and it happens a lot. Of course, there are characters whose durability is such that they don't necessarily need to wear full body armour in battle but, even so, revealing 90% of their body is still unnecessary.
Characters like Tony Stark and Diana Prince are more than just good looks, however. When you read the adventures of Captain America, you don’t think about how sexy Steve Rogers is. Well, maybe you do, but that’s not all you care about. Unfortunately, for some characters, their appearance trumps most everything else about them. Let’s take a look at eight male and eight female characters in comics who are viewed as being more “hot” than “hero.”
Her abilities basically equate to being a peak human athlete, with survival skills and great combat abilities (think Tarzan, but female). She has encountered a number of well-known characters, such as Wolverine, Daredevil, Spider-Man and Black Widow. As for her costume, it's basically a ragged bikini made up of materials you'd expect to find in the jungle.
In the late 1960s, Marvel wanted to make sure it got control of the name "Captain Marvel" for trademark purposes, so Stan Lee and Gene Colan quickly came up with a character to go with the name. For the costume, creators had him wear a literal Kree captain's uniform, which in this case was a green and white outfit with a little flair to it. It was a decent enough costume for a rank and file character, but it was a weak design for a superhero. Unsurprisingly, the Captain Marvel series was a hard sell for Marvel. Marvel needed to keep it going, though, so the company brought in Roy Thomas and Gil Kane to revamp the series.
Magneto is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful characters in all the comic universes, since he has the power to stand up against anyone and prevail - even against a god, as we saw in X-Men: Apocalypse. It wouldn't be right to describe Magneto as purely a villain, an anti-hero, or a superhero because we have seen him in all those capacities. However, regardless of what role he is playing, we always find a way of loving him, despite his disgust with human beings and desire for world domination.
If Nightwing is known for his toned rear, then Power Girl is known for the “boob window.” While the character has a long, storied history in the DC Universe, most readers will only know her by her incredibly silly costume. While there are characters that show more skin than Power Girl, her costume still ranks as one of the most sexualized because of the big hole in the fabric in the middle of her large breasts that serves nothing reason but to show an abundance of cleavage.
Superman soon had lots of company and lots of competition! What do they have in common? All superheroes have some type of extraordinary power or ability. Their "superpower" can be something they're born with: Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor. It can be the result of an accident or mutation: Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine. Or, it can be simply a skill they have learned, honed and perfected beyond the average: Batman, Hawkeye. They all have a strong moral code and a motivation to rid the world of some menace.  
The costumes and designs for our favorite heroes have changed throughout the years, and while many modern versions of heroes are the best looking of the character, there are some that they just got right from the beginning. There are some that are improved though, and other heroes have so many different costumes, it’s difficult to pick which is the best. 

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Mike Zeck came up with the actual look and it is a stunning piece of design. All black except for the prominent white spider. Rick Leonardi also did some tweaks to the costume and it soon became the most controversial, yet surprisingly popular costume change in comic book history. Fans were aghast at first but then really started to enjoy the new look. Eventually, the design was adapted for the villain Venom, with Spider-Man returning to his classic look. It is popular enough, though, that it still makes occasional comebacks.

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