Like most things in this world, superhero costumes did not just pop into this world out of thin air. There was a long history of costumes that predated them and influenced their creation. There was the colorful armor that knights wore in the Middle Ages. There were the fantastical outfits that some of the characters in pulp fiction novels and adventure comic strips wore. Perhaps most notably, there was the over-the-top attire that circus performers wore in the many traveling shows of the early 20th century. All of these previous ideals helped to influence the direction of superhero costumes in comic book history.
Vampirella is a character that is almost entirely defined by her looks. While she has been in comic book series regularly since her debut in “Vampirella” #1 in 1969, the character has largely been known for her incredibly skimpy outfit. Even in her very first comic, the cover is drawn by the legendary Frank Frazetta and shows Vampirella front and center with her legs spread and one hand placed suggestively on her hip.

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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.


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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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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The former former fashion model and actress, Rebecca Alie Romijn, best known for her role as Mystique in the X-Men films, and for her recurring role as Alexis Meade on the television series Ugly Betty. In 2000’s X-Men Romijn had her first major movie role as Mystique; she returned to the role in 2003’s sequel X2: X-Men United, and again for X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). In these movies her costume consisted of blue wakeup and some strategically placed prosthetics on her otherwise nude body. In X2: X-Men United she shows up in a bar in one scene in her “normal” look, and also in X-Men: The Last Stand, she appears as a dark-haired “de-powered” Mystique.
Black Widow of the Avengers knows a thing or two about kicking butt and taking names, and it doesn’t matter if she’s teaming up with the Cap, Hawkeye, or just striking out solo. When she’s ready to throw down, it’s time to put all villains on notice. Recreate her Captain America: Civil War look with this stunning movie costume ; all you’ll need to complete the style is a wig for her signature long red hair.
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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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.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is the most famous female superhero character of all time from the movies. Scarlett’s look as a Black Widow wearing a black suit with lots of guns and gadgets, fighting bad people is a complete bad-ass and also the sexiest of them all. The first when she appeared as Black Widow was in Iron Man 2 and then reprised her role as the same in The Avengers, from which she received popularity and praises. She also appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and recently in Captain America: Civil War. Scarlett is considered and often listed as the world’s sexiest woman alive. Perfect to say she is the perfect women to be a superhero!

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