A superhero’s costumes should be able to immediately tell you who they are and what they’re about just by looking at them. From the utterly simple to the overly complicated, the best superhero costumes take a regular person and make them an icon. They should inspire readers and evildoers alike. They must conjure specific words in our heads when we think of them, like heroic, scary, or even more simply, cool.
Oddly enough, this is the second entry on this countdown where a writer came up with a basic design and then John Romita turned it into a classic costume. When he was working on a new character to be a sort of villain (more like an anti-hero) in his run on Amazing Spider-Man, Gerry Conway came up with the design of the character having a skull on his chest. Marvel Art Director, John Romita, who had been working closely with Conway on Amazing Spider-Man, despite Romita no longer actively drawing the series anymore, took that idea and turned it into the famous Punisher skull costume. No matter what else you may think about the Punisher, that skull design is amazing.
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!
In addition to the rest of the world, at least one editor of the New York Times considers her one of the most influential female rappers of all time. Minaj has won eleven BET Awards, six America Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards, amongst other awards, and sold at least 20 million singles as a lead artist and 60 million as a featured artist worldwide.
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.
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.
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.
By the end of the 1940s, superheroes had lost a lot of their appeal to the public. National Comics (now DC Comics) went from having dozens of superhero titles to only having a handful. Most of the members of the Justice Society of America fell out of sight in the world of National. Flash and Green Lantern went from appearing in multiple titles to not appearing in any books at all!
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.
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.
Starfire might have become the most sexualized character in superhero comics, and that’s saying something. Debuting back in 1980, in “DC Comics Presents” #26, Starfire was always drawn scantily clad. Her orange skin and red hair were the center of attention, with just a few purple strips of fabric covering her body. It’s hard to justify her outfit and sexualization when some of her most famous scenes in comics revolve around her lack of clothing.
Alba has been called a s.x symbol. She appears on the “Hot 100” section of Maxim and was voted number one on AskMen.com’s list of “99 Most Desirable Women” in 2006, as well as “Sexiest Woman in the World” by FHM in 2007. She played the Marvel Comics character Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four. Alba, then appeared in its sequel, in Into the Blue later that year, and Good Luck Chuck a few years later. She look hot in her blue leather bodysuit.
Namor might go down in history as the male hero with the most revealing costume. Wearing only the tiniest green speedo, Namor is the very attractive mutant who rules the seas. He is maybe the very first comic book “bad boy” dating back to his first appearance in 1939. Now, almost 80 years later, he is still known for his sex appeal, in the real world and the fictional world alike.
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.
There were some slight changes from Ditko's armor to the one featured here, mostly with the face mask, but since those changes were made, that basic design has been fairly consistent. Now, Iron Man's armor has obviously been altered in other ways as technology has changed, but the basic yellow and gold design has been used almost exclusively since then. No matter how fancy the armor gets otherwise, the yellow and gold set-up is a catchy design.
Let’s play a game. Think of one thing about Lady Death other than her looks. Do you know her real name? Do you know her backstory involving witchcraft and her evil father? Statistically, if you're reading this, you probably just know that she has large breasts, hardly any clothes, and each cover has her posing in a suggestive way. The truth is most comic book fans have seen Lady Death, but maybe haven’t read her series. She is one of the prime examples of the excessively sexualized female characters of the ‘90s.