Everyone loves a crime-fighting superhero (and a good supervillain; think Mysterio). So why not dress as one for your next Halloween get-together? Relive your childhood memories by sporting one of these costume ideas. Bonus: they also make for perfect Instagram bait. From Marvel to DC Comics and everything in between, here are some of the best adult superhero costumes on the market now.
Created by Brian Pulido as a fantasy of Evil Ernie in “Evil Ernie” #1, Lady Death has evolved over the years into a much more nuanced character. She went on to gain popularity due to her over-the-top sexuality. Now, this isn’t to say that the character is a joke and shouldn’t be treated seriously. If she weren’t an interesting character, then she wouldn’t have survived over 25 years in comics. However, that being said, she is still known for her looks above anything else. The moral of the story is to go out and buy some Lady Death books and learn a couple facts!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Part of the appeal of the character was his awesome costume, which was designed by C.C. Beck. Fawcett's attempt to make Captain Marvel different from Superman was to try to work the magic angle more with their character, as Billy Batson says a magic word, "Shazam!" to transform into Captain Marvel, Earth's Mightiest Mortal. As a result, Beck went for a more ornate costume than Superman's, with a lot of flair thrown into the design. Elvis Presley would later mimic a lot of the elements of Captain Marvel's costume for his Las Vegas show outfits. If your superhero costume is cool enough that the King of Rock 'n' Roll works it into his stage outfits, then we think that merits a high spot on this countdown.
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Let’s put the massive nature of his sex appeal in perspective. Gambit is not a great hero. In fact, he is responsible for the massacre of the Morlocks by the Marauders. He led the killers to the Morlock tunnels, and then went on to hide this from his fellow X-Men. Even with doing something so despicable, fans still pine over the Cajun hero. In fact, if you ask readers to name one defining characteristic of Gambit, they’d probably mention his love affair with fellow X-person, Rogue, and forget the horrible atrocity that he allowed to happen. There’s no denying that Gambit is much more of a sex symbol than a hero.
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!