After Todd was killed off, DC decided to do a revamp for the Robin costume for its third attempt at a sidekick for Batman, Tim Drake. The company turned to famed artist, Neal Adams, who cleverly made sure to work out a larger payment in case the costume he came up with was also going to be used in the Batman films that were coming out at the time. The new design kept a lot of the original elements of the first Robin costume, but did one of the best modernization jobs on a costume ever, adding pants and a black-tinge to Robin's normally bright yellow cape.
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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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.
Hathaway played sly, morally ambiguous cat burglar Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s final instalment in his Batman film trilogy. She described the role as being the most physically demanding she had ever played, and confessed that while she thought of herself as being fit she had to redouble her efforts in the gym to keep up with the demands of the role. Hathaway trained extensively in martial arts for the role, and looked to Hedy Lamarr—who was the inspiration for the Catwoman character—in developing her performance.
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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Debuting in “Cry for Dawn” #1 way back in 1989, the character has only show up sporadically throughout the decades. However, when people think of the hottest female characters in comics, she’ll always rank highly. She is so defined by her looks that Dragon Con held a Dawn look-a-like contest from 1998 to 2010, even when the character wasn’t seen in any recent comic books. Now, don’t think that we are somehow saying that the character isn’t a great character because her looks are so important, but rather that the iconic design by Linsner has allowed the character to live on through the years based on looks alone.
Depending on when you read this article, you might be waiting to watch the Wonder Woman film, or you may have just watched it, and therefore you know how amazing this woman is. Adrianne Curry is wearing Wonder Woman's traditional costume here and, because she is a gorgeous woman, her representation is amazing. Curry is a model, famous for winning the first series of America's Next Top Model.
Starfox is probably the only hero in the Marvel Universe actually defined by his sexuality, not just to outside readers, but also to the characters in the universe. Describing Starfox as an actual hero is a bit of stretch. It’s more fitting to call him a cosmic womanizer that goes around the Marvel Universe attempting to seduce female characters. He is most definitely more hot than hero.
Mystique is one of the most impressive characters in X-Men lore. Hardly is there any other character in DC or Marvel who can match up to her shape-shifting abilities. All mutants in the X-Men movies, cartoons, and publications are special, and although we have labeled Magneto's mutants as the villains, we can all accept that their actions are as a result of human hostility towards them.
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.