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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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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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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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.
Once Superman became a massive success, other comic book companies were quickly trying to do their own versions of the Man of Steel. National Comics (now DC Comics) was quick to litigate, though, when execs felt their character was being infringed on. One knockoff character, Wonder Man, was quickly dropped after National sued. Captain Marvel, however, fared better. While clearly created as an attempt to do its own version of Superman, Fawcett's superhero grew so popular that by 1944, he was outselling Superman even!

If you talk to many comic book fans that entered puberty in the ‘90s, they might list Gambit as the cause of their sexual awakening. Maybe it was the Cajun accent? Or perhaps it’s the dark, red eyes? Either way, Gambit will go down as one of the all-time sexiest characters in the Marvel Universe. The character is one of the few on this list with a costume that covers almost his entire body, down to just leaving his face and hair exposed. This modesty doesn’t stop Gambit from being a character that’s known for his sex appeal.

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