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The character of Dawn, as drawn by Joseph Michael Linsner, oozes sex appeal. She’s the goddess of birth and rebirth as seen in various comics since the late ‘80s, but many comic book readers probably recognize her by her sexy clothing and red hair. Almost every cover featuring the character depicts her in assorted lingerie with an emphasis placed on her breasts. Similar to Lady Death, Dawn is probably more recognized from ads in Wizard Magazine than in her actual comic series.
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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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.
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In the 1950s, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the same guys who brought Timely Captain America, had worked on some comic book ideas in the 1950s and one of them ended up becoming the Fly for Archie Comics. When Stan Lee asked Kirby to come up with a new spider-themed hero, The King of Comics adapted some of the design ideas that he had for the earlier spider hero and used them for Spider-Man, including a gun that shot webs. Lee was not a fan of the look and asked Steve Ditko to try to do a take on Spider-Man. Ditko dropped pretty much every element of Kirby's design, including turning the web gun into webshooters that Spider-Man had on his wrists.
Spider Woman a.k.a. Spider-Gwen might be from an alternate universe, but with her stylish look we think she’d be right at home on any planet. With this costume’s sleek hoodie and dynamic color scheme we’re sure you’re going to love pretending you’re the one who got bit by a radioactive spider. Give this cool costume a try to bring this up-and-coming superhero to life!
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But some female heroes haven’t been so lucky as to get more practical makeovers. Take for example Elizabeth Olsen's cleavage-baring Avengers: Infinity War look, which Olsen says isn't exactly her personal cup of tea for a character wading into battle with Mad Titans. Even she'll admit it's a step up from Wanda's comic book look, but in her words costumes like hers aren't "representing the average woman."
Having played Buffy Summers to an entire generation, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a high school cheerleader (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) who is gifted and can fight demons and vampires. For which she won six Teen Choice Awards and the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.
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!
When he was originally working on Batman for National Comics, artist Bob Kane was thinking of the character as being a brighter hero, with a costume that would have bat-wings. Eventually, Kane brought in writer Bill Finger to work on the character idea and Finger explained to him that they should go the other direction. Finger was a big fan of the shadowy pulp fiction hero, the Shadow, and Finger felt that they should take the character into the shadows with a dark costume and a cape and a cowl to make him look more like a bat. Kane agreed and Batman was born.
By the end of the 1940s, superheroes had lost a lot of their appeal to the public. National Comics (now DC Comics) went from having dozens of superhero titles to only having a handful. Most of the members of the Justice Society of America fell out of sight in the world of National. Flash and Green Lantern went from appearing in multiple titles to not appearing in any books at all!
There were some slight changes from Ditko's armor to the one featured here, mostly with the face mask, but since those changes were made, that basic design has been fairly consistent. Now, Iron Man's armor has obviously been altered in other ways as technology has changed, but the basic yellow and gold design has been used almost exclusively since then. No matter how fancy the armor gets otherwise, the yellow and gold set-up is a catchy design.
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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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Scarlett Johansson is considered one of Hollywood’s modern female s.x symbols and is often listed as one of the most beautiful women in the world. The Johansson plays Natalie Rushman and superhero Iron Man Tony Stark’s assistant in the film Iron Man 2. Dressed in a black body suit complete with guns and bullets, we think Johansson looks awesome with those gorgeous locks. She also has played popular Marvel comic book character Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in the film The Avengers, and will reprise the role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
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.
She-Ra - who first appeared in 1985 in the Filmation movie The Secret of the Sword and the Filmation cartoon series She-Ra: Princess of Power - is, of course, the sister of He-Man. Wielding the Sword of Protection, she is granted similar powers to her brother - superhuman strength and durability, for example - as well a few more esoteric abilities, like healing and the ability to speak to animals.
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.
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.