In the late 1960s, Marv Wolfman and Len Wein were two young aspiring comic book creators who self-published their own comic books. In one of them, there was a character named Black Nova, who spun out of one of the stories that they were telling at the time (Wolfman and Wein would trade off issues during their series). They came up with a basic design for the character, including five starbursts on the chest of the character.
Just what is a superhero? Before 1917, there was no such thing; or, at any rate, there was no such word. But there have always been heroes, and some of them have had extraordinary powers or abilities. Ancient mythology has tales of Hercules, Perseus, and Gilgamesh. Medieval folklore has Robin Hood, Beowulf and the knights of King Arthur's Round Table. Then came swashbuckling tales such as The Three Musketeers. The common thread was that the main characters battled against the forces of evil. The evil could take the form of monsters, corrupt or criminal humans, or forces of nature.
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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Years later, John Byrne revamped the costumes slightly to invert the colors a bit, so that the collars were now white and the blue was tinged with black. It is basically the Kirby design, just with a slight edge to it, so it is our pick for the best Fantastic Four outfits, since the bright blue outfits could sometimes seem to be a bit too bold, color-wise.
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We found out in a hurry after the hit films, Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger, that our brand new cinematic heroes were going to need a little help saving the world. That’s why fans were prepared when The Avengers took the world by storm! With a bevy of films under the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this group has become a fan favorite for those watching and wanting to pay homage to them by going in costume. When you can find a friend to go in a Hulk costume or Thor costume we think you’re going to find that your group has the chops to get the job done. And if you have a femme fatale to be the Black Widow? Well, then you’re going to be downright unstoppable in your Marvel costumes!
Artist Dave Cockrum had already famously re-designed most of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, giving them modern revamps to their rather staid older costumes. His Lightning Lad re-design was particularly good, as while many of the character got later revamps over the years, Cockrum's Lightning Lad look became a standard one for the character for decades. Essentially, Cockrum was so far ahead of the game that when the team was revamped in the 1990s, his early 1970s design fit right in. While working on the Legion, Cockrum designed a new team of heroes called the Outsiders who were set to team up with the Legion. DC passed on the concept.
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Oddly enough, this is the second entry on this countdown where a writer came up with a basic design and then John Romita turned it into a classic costume. When he was working on a new character to be a sort of villain (more like an anti-hero) in his run on Amazing Spider-Man, Gerry Conway came up with the design of the character having a skull on his chest. Marvel Art Director, John Romita, who had been working closely with Conway on Amazing Spider-Man, despite Romita no longer actively drawing the series anymore, took that idea and turned it into the famous Punisher skull costume. No matter what else you may think about the Punisher, that skull design is amazing.
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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You don’t have to be a feminist to understand that the superhero game isn’t exclusively for men. Ladies have been busting up the bad guys for years in the pages of the comics, and they’ve started making a splash on the screen in a big way. If you have your eye on women’s superhero costumes , we’re sure you’ll be amazed with our selection. Check out some of these top picks and see if they give you inspiration in making your choice!
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.
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.