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.
A superhero’s costumes should be able to immediately tell you who they are and what they’re about just by looking at them. From the utterly simple to the overly complicated, the best superhero costumes take a regular person and make them an icon. They should inspire readers and evildoers alike. They must conjure specific words in our heads when we think of them, like heroic, scary, or even more simply, cool.
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.
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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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.
Hot and gorgeous Anne Hathaway played cat-woman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’- the last installment of the Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. For this challenging role, she went through a lot of physical fitness and martial arts sessions as needed to look perfect, which she did. Though, she didn’t have a major role in the movie but managed to steal many hearts with her performance and sexy kitty looks.
There are so many Captain America costumes to choose from, but we say go with the latest and greatest from Avengers: Infinity War. This muscle-chested costume comes with a belt, cool mask, and even 3D boot-tops! You can buy the shield separately, but you know you won't want to lug that around while hitting Halloween parties (unless you're hosting and it doubles as a serving tray).
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Over the years, though, in an attempt to lighten the character up, the black of Batman's costume became bluer and bluer and during the 1960s, DC even added a yellow oval behind Batman's bat symbol on his chest. In the 21st Century, however, artists have re-embraced that classic design and gone in the direction that Jim Lee took the costume during "Hush," which is to make it dark and have the chest symbol return to just a black one without the yellow oval, which brought a little too much lightness to the design. Frank Miller famously was initially stuck with the yellow oval look in Dark Knight Returns, but then had Batman shot in the chest. When he fixed the costume, the yellow oval was gone for the rest of the series!
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.
Vartox belongs on this list, not because of his sexy nature, but because of how he was created to be sexy and ultimately failed. Unfortunately, over the years, the sexy nature of his design was lost, and the ridiculous costume and silly look defined the character. His look is also lampooned a bit in his appearance in “Power Girl.” There, he tries to woo Power Girl into helping him repopulate his home world. He dons a black leather speedo and see-thru robe, trying to show how sexy he is. Unlike others on this list who are actual sex symbols, Vartox is here because he was created to be a sex symbol, but fans never really bought into it.
When Dick Grayson first debuted as Robin in the pages of Detective Comics #38, comic book costumes were still mostly done in a simpler style. Robin's bright, circus-like costume definitely fit into that era perfectly. However, as the years went by, it was becoming harder and harder to keep that costume looking current when it was placed next to more modern looking costumes. The guy was literally walking around with little green booties and no pants! It was not something that translated well anymore. Dick Grayson graduated to his Nightwing identity, but his replacement, Jason Todd, was stuck with the old fashioned costume.
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!
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.