As we noted in the introduction, when Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster sat down to come up with the very first superhero costume, it is not that they did not have any influences to work with. In fact, it is quite evident that their super-strong hero's initial costume was modeled after the outfit that a circus strongman would wear. However, beyond the powerful primary colors used for the costume -- the blue in Superman's costume is literally the darkest shade of the traditional blue used for comic book coloring -- the costume also evoked a sense of wonder that was so unusual in comics of the time.
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When it comes to choosing a hero costume, it seems like there’s an endless number of superheroes to choose from. You could be the kind of hero who comes from another planet, or maybe one who gains their super abilities from some extraordinary set of circumstances right here on Earth. Or you could even be the kind of hero who had their mutant powers from birth. Whatever kind of hero you’d like to be, our selection of men’s superhero costumes is sure to have a choice that will suit your tastes. Check out some of these curated choices for our favorite and most popular costume selections!
When the Fantastic Four were introduced, Marvel was unsure if it was really prepared to transition from doing science fiction and horror comics to doing superhero comics, so the Fantastic Four originally wore just normal clothes. Even in their second issue, the team is decked out in normal outdoor wear. When the series received a tremendous response from the fans, though, Marvel knew that it had a superhero hit on their hands and so with the third issue, so creators and execs decided to give them costumes. However, they wanted to stick with the basic idea that these were not ordinary superheroes. These were sort of explorers more than traditional superheroes, and as a result, Jack Kirby came up with an awesome sort of utilitarian design for their jumpsuits. Famously, the costumes originally had masks but they decided to drop them.
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.
However, when Wolverine was then chosen as one of the main characters in the All-New, All-Different X-Men to debut in Giant Size X-Men #1, Marvel turned to Gil Kane, who had become a go-to cover artist for Marvel in the mid-1970s, to draw their cover debut. Kane looked at Wolverine's costume and decided to add a cowl to his face mask rather than the whisker look that Romita had on the original costume. Dave Cockrum had drawn the original costume throughout the issue, but after he saw the Kane re-design, he liked it so much that he went back and re-drew it all the way throughout the issue. Almost five decades later, that Romita/Kane design still stands out as Wolverine's most commonly used costume.
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!
Let’s be frank, Nightwing has a great butt. Every person on the face of the Earth, no matter their sexual orientation, would have to agree with that point. There are blogs scattered around the Internet devoted to Nightwing’s derriere, not that we suggest doing those Google searches unless you’re in the privacy of your own home. The real world’s love affair with Dick Grayson’s buttocks has bled over into the fictional universe as well, with characters going so far as to name each of his butt cheeks. Needless to say, Nightwing is definitely deserving of a place on this list.
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.
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Catwoman has no shame about her preferred choice of action, stealing and being a top notch catburglar are at the top of her list. But when the times call for a hero, she has no problem standing side-by-side with Batman to team up and defeat the baddies. When she’s on the prowl for precious jewels, though, is sure to be the most opportune time for a quick picture. Once she takes out the vital controls of the security system, she’ll have no problem slipping into the joint and lining her pockets with a little extra cash or whatever she can find in the safety deposit box. Have her show her claws for the picture, and she can smile or look serious—either way this picture is going to be one to remember!
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We might be partial to the Ninja Turtles as our favorite superheroes (it must be the mutual love of pizza), but Michelangelo is definitely one of the best turtles in the gang for his fun-loving and easygoing vibes. Not only does this costume come with the padded shirt, stylish AF shorts, bandana, eye mask, and mock sweatshirt, but they even include the turtle shell backpack! Dude, this costume is seriously awesome. Cowabunga!
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.