The tech that brought Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael to life in 1990 may be outdated at this point, but at the time, the palpable, textured look of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was downright groundbreaking. It says a lot that even almost 25 years later, the visuals of that film still hold up, and that four mutant turtles could look even sort of natural juxtaposed with the grimy, gritty set-pieces of New York's sewers and colorful, highly fictional criminal circuses.
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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.
But some female heroes haven’t been so lucky as to get more practical makeovers. Take for example Elizabeth Olsen's cleavage-baring Avengers: Infinity War look, which Olsen says isn't exactly her personal cup of tea for a character wading into battle with Mad Titans. Even she'll admit it's a step up from Wanda's comic book look, but in her words costumes like hers aren't "representing the average woman."
Silly as it may seem, the 1960's Batman TV show had a lot going for it in the costume department. While Adam West's Batman was less a dark knight than a kind of schlubby guy in tights, Burt Ward's Robin was almost a direct translation of the Boy Wonder's classic look, pixie boots and all. Additionally, Yvonne Craig's flashy, sexy Batgirl defined the character's look in a way that is still felt in modern takes on the costume, where it's common place to inject some purple into Batgirl's palette.
Sometimes mutant powers are really just the thing to bring a group together, and if your gang is ready to put their super human abilities to work, then there’s only one team for you: The X-Men! Storm can command the team while Cyclops keeps opponents at bay with his concussive optic blast. If you have a quick-witted member of your group, a Deadpool Halloween costume is sure to turn them into the crass and sharp-tongued Wade Wilson. Up the ante by getting a friend to go in a Wolverine costume, and you’ll have one mutant posse that no villain is going to want to tangle with. We heard Wolvie’s usually hungry though, so you’re going to want to bring plenty of snacks. “Hey. Pass the chip dip, bub!”
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.
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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.
That said, like some other cliches, the sashes kept being used because they really do work. When Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum took over X-Men, one of their goals was to revamp Marvel Girl, Jean Grey, and make her a bigger character. One of the ways they were going to do this was to give her a new costume and a new codename to replace the outdated "Marvel Girl" one. Cockrum went through a wide variety of looks for Jean before coming up with this excellent costume that also worked well when John Byrne changed the color scheme to make her Dark Phoenix. Cockrum's design for Ms. Marvel deserves a note here. It didn't make the list as it was a bit too skimpy of a costume, but otherwise, it was a great look (and of course, it also had a sash).
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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Emma Frost is a mutant in Marvel comic books who first appeared on panel in 1980. Originally presented as a villain, she has evolved into a superheroine over the years. Her powers include telepathy and the ability to turn her body into a diamond form, which obviously makes her incredibly durable and also grants her superhuman strength (though she can't use her telepathy whilst in that form).
Not only are they unnecessarily sexualised, they are also extremely impractical in most cases. For instance, why would a female character with no superhuman durability to speak of go into battle with heavily armoured and massively powered opponents wearing what is essentially a bikini? It shouldn't happen, but it does happen in comic books - and it happens a lot. Of course, there are characters whose durability is such that they don't necessarily need to wear full body armour in battle but, even so, revealing 90% of their body is still unnecessary.
There have been many injustices in the world of comic books. Heck, the late, great Len Wein got paid more money for creating Lucius Fox than he ever did for creating, you know, Wolverine. So the treatment of H.G. Peter is perhaps not quite as egregious as that faced by other creators, but the simple fact that that guy who came up with Wonder Woman's costume cannot even get a "thanks" in the credits of Wonder Woman is a true shame.
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.