If you ask a comic book fan to name the first thing they would say to describe Emma Frost, odds are it’ll be a physical attribute. Emma Frost’s sexuality has been at the forefront of the character since her early appearances. Before she turned hero and became one of the central X-Men, her stint as the White Queen featured the character in very revealing white lingerie. Even when the character joined the good guys, her “assets” were still on display for all to see.
It has been proven in the short-lived “Witchblade” TV series and more recent comics that the character of Sara Pezzini can wield the Witchblade without losing her clothes. Unfortunately, most of the comic book version of the character has never really had this as an option. Eventually, without fail, Sara finds herself in a state of undress. When your main character is almost nude throughout the series, it’s not surprising that readers would associate her with her looks instead of her actions.
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.
Maybe they need a full size Dark Knight to help them take on their task? Whether it’s trick-or-treating the toughest neighborhood or they’re preparing for an epic showdown with a top villain, we’re confident having an adult Batman will make sure they come out victorious. He’ll probably have all kinds of extra gadgetry in his adult-sized utility belt, and with his authentic Dawn of Justice Batman costume, your children’s costumes will achieve their full effect. For posing, Wonder Woman can show her muscles while Superman prepares to take flight, and no matter what the mission is, Batman will be there to look over the young ones, but he’s going to look pretty fantastic in his own right, too. This will definitely be a superhero costume team for the history books!
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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It's debatable whether Brandon Lee's portrayal of James O'Barr's tragic anti-hero would have gone down in history as quite so legendary if the young actor hadn't lost his life during filming, but The Crow's visual influence can never be denied. Translating O'Barr's striking make-up pattern and leather-clad intensity almost directly off the page, The Crow's look was simply so effective as to be almost shocking.
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.
Also, like Nightwing’s booty, Power Girl’s boobs have been the subject of many, many in-continuity jokes. From characters shaming her for her costume to Power Girl even acknowledging the fact that most males tend to look down at her chest instead of up at eye-level. No matter the controversy surrounding the infamous boob window, in many readers’ minds, Power Girl is defined by her chest. Hopefully, at some point in the future, she will get that chest symbol that she has been searching for.
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.
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.
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The costumes and designs for our favorite heroes have changed throughout the years, and while many modern versions of heroes are the best looking of the character, there are some that they just got right from the beginning. There are some that are improved though, and other heroes have so many different costumes, it’s difficult to pick which is the best.
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!
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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.