Call it the face that launched a thousand goth kids, imitators, and creepy Halloween costumes (not to mention a pro wrestler taking the look), but the grimy, almost commedia dell'arte inspired make up of the Crow is one of the most visually effective signature looks in film. Years of rehashes, reboots, attempts to redefine the look, and adoption by pro-wrestlers have made the Crow a bit played out, but when it comes down to it, that original look still flies.
We found out in a hurry after the hit films, Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger, that our brand new cinematic heroes were going to need a little help saving the world. That’s why fans were prepared when The Avengers took the world by storm! With a bevy of films under the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this group has become a fan favorite for those watching and wanting to pay homage to them by going in costume. When you can find a friend to go in a Hulk costume or Thor costume we think you’re going to find that your group has the chops to get the job done. And if you have a femme fatale to be the Black Widow? Well, then you’re going to be downright unstoppable in your Marvel costumes!
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Pick a random issue of “Witchblade” prior to the last year or so of its run and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cover that didn’t feature the main character sexualized. Obviously, the biggest reason for the sexual nature of the covers is the fact that the character’s costume is basically the most unrealistic armor ever seen. Basically just enough armor to cover her arm, her nipples and only the bare minimum below the belt, Sara Pezzini’s costume is pretty ridiculous. It’s no surprise when most people would define the character based on her appearance than on her actual heroics.
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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).
Unlike Emma Frost, who arguably has a story reason to dress how she does, Psylocke is scantily clad only for the reader’s enjoyment. Sure, you can say that she is supposed to resemble a ninja, but you’d be hard-pressed to find other ninjas outside of the Marvel Universe dressed this way. She’s also a character that was reimagined as a sex symbol. Before her famous outfit, Psylocke was a pretty boring looking character. It wasn’t until she lost her pants and bent over all the time that readers really started to care about the character enough for her to garner enough focus resulting in some true character development. Her costume is so iconic, it’s one of the few costumes featured in the “X-Men” films that is almost completely untouched from its comic book counterpart. Goes to show you how much the costume defines the character.
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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In the mid 1950s, DC had a book called Showcase, which was designed to try out new characters. The first three issues had normal heroes like a fireman and a Navy "frogman." They sold terribly, so DC decided to mix things up and try to bring back superheroes. Artist Carmine Infantino was to design a new look for the Flash and he came up with an amazing look that likely made the book a sellout before people even cracked open the front cover! The sleek, lightning-themed red, yellow and white costume would become so popular that it remains one of the few superhero costumes to simply be brought over into television without massive overhauls to the design. It is just that good. There have been tweaks over the years, like altering the logo on the chest or adding lenses to the eyes in the mask, but generally, the costume remains the same today as it did back in 1956.
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Characters like Tony Stark and Diana Prince are more than just good looks, however. When you read the adventures of Captain America, you don’t think about how sexy Steve Rogers is. Well, maybe you do, but that’s not all you care about. Unfortunately, for some characters, their appearance trumps most everything else about them. Let’s take a look at eight male and eight female characters in comics who are viewed as being more “hot” than “hero.”
Years later, John Byrne revamped the costumes slightly to invert the colors a bit, so that the collars were now white and the blue was tinged with black. It is basically the Kirby design, just with a slight edge to it, so it is our pick for the best Fantastic Four outfits, since the bright blue outfits could sometimes seem to be a bit too bold, color-wise.
Jennifer Lawrence, the winner of multiple awards and titles, including an Oscar is a well-known actress for doing challenging yet brilliant roles in the movies. She is also known for her role as Mystique in the X-Men Series. For Jennifer Lawrence to become the hot marvel comics superhero character Mystique, she had some carefully placed prosthetics and complete blue make-up on her otherwise nude body. All three movies in which she played a role of Mystique, was a blockbuster and broke records.
It's debatable whether Brandon Lee's portrayal of James O'Barr's tragic anti-hero would have gone down in history as quite so legendary if the young actor hadn't lost his life during filming, but The Crow's visual influence can never be denied. Translating O'Barr's striking make-up pattern and leather-clad intensity almost directly off the page, The Crow's look was simply so effective as to be almost shocking.
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.
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.