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.

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.


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.
Let’s be frank, Nightwing has a great butt. Every person on the face of the Earth, no matter their sexual orientation, would have to agree with that point. There are blogs scattered around the Internet devoted to Nightwing’s derriere, not that we suggest doing those Google searches unless you’re in the privacy of your own home. The real world’s love affair with Dick Grayson’s buttocks has bled over into the fictional universe as well, with characters going so far as to name each of his butt cheeks. Needless to say, Nightwing is definitely deserving of a place on this list.

Created by Brian Pulido as a fantasy of Evil Ernie in “Evil Ernie” #1, Lady Death has evolved over the years into a much more nuanced character. She went on to gain popularity due to her over-the-top sexuality. Now, this isn’t to say that the character is a joke and shouldn’t be treated seriously. If she weren’t an interesting character, then she wouldn’t have survived over 25 years in comics. However, that being said, she is still known for her looks above anything else. The moral of the story is to go out and buy some Lady Death books and learn a couple facts!
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.
The red and blue webbed costume that Ditko came out was one of the most unusual superhero costumes ever designed, but despite it not really looking all that much like a spider, it really did fit the character well. Although artists sometimes differed on whether to give him webbing under the arms and artists like Todd McFarlane have certainly differed with how big the eyes on his mask are, the basic costume design has remained the same for over 50 years.
Catwoman has no shame about her preferred choice of action, stealing and being a top notch catburglar are at the top of her list. But when the times call for a hero, she has no problem standing side-by-side with Batman to team up and defeat the baddies. When she’s on the prowl for precious jewels, though, is sure to be the most opportune time for a quick picture. Once she takes out the vital controls of the security system, she’ll have no problem slipping into the joint and lining her pockets with a little extra cash or whatever she can find in the safety deposit box. Have her show her claws for the picture, and she can smile or look serious—either way this picture is going to be one to remember!

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Having played Buffy Summers to an entire generation, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a high school cheerleader (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) who is gifted and can fight demons and vampires. For which she won six Teen Choice Awards and the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.

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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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Today's comic books are descendants of 19th-century "penny dreadful" serials. They were multi-part sensational stories printed on cheap paper and sold for, what else, a penny each. These stories became popular among the lower and working classes. They couldn't afford and weren't interested in, the "important" literary novels of the day. Penny dreadfuls and the "dime novels" that followed them had clear-cut good-vs.-evil themes. And they weren't short on action or melodrama, either! By the early 20th century, we had such enduring characters as Tarzan and Zorro in "pulp" fiction. (So-called because of the inexpensive paper on which it was printed.) The first of the modern superheroes was Superman, who launched the Golden Age of Comics in 1938.  
And that's saying nothing of the show's villains. Even with Cesar Romero's ubiquitous mustache, you'd be harder pressed to find a more colorful cadre of costumed crooks that so gleefully and shamelessly embodied the campy, all-for-fun spirit of their medium. the 1966 Batman was, in many ways, like a comic ouroboros, with Batman's printed adventures and his television capers influencing each other in equal measure. All of this came full circle when DC Digital launched Batman '66, putting the show's highly stylized aesthetic under the pen of artists like Mike Allred and Ted Naifeh, and proving its enduring value in the process.

Artist Dave Cockrum had already famously re-designed most of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, giving them modern revamps to their rather staid older costumes. His Lightning Lad re-design was particularly good, as while many of the character got later revamps over the years, Cockrum's Lightning Lad look became a standard one for the character for decades. Essentially, Cockrum was so far ahead of the game that when the team was revamped in the 1990s, his early 1970s design fit right in. While working on the Legion, Cockrum designed a new team of heroes called the Outsiders who were set to team up with the Legion. DC passed on the concept.

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Having played Buffy Summers to an entire generation, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a high school cheerleader (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) who is gifted and can fight demons and vampires. For which she won six Teen Choice Awards and the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.

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Bald-headed Moondragon AKA Heather Douglas - who first appeared in 1973 - is a Marvel character with a complex backstory that involves Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Mentor and the monks of Shao-Lom. She is an incredibly powerful telepath, a telekinetic, a superb martial artist and is highly skilled in genetics and engineering. She doesn't possess any superhuman durability, however, and often goes up against some of the most powerful beings in Marvel's cosmic hierarchy - and yet she barely wears any clothes.

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.

She-Ra - who first appeared in 1985 in the Filmation movie The Secret of the Sword and the Filmation cartoon series She-Ra: Princess of Power - is, of course, the sister of He-Man. Wielding the Sword of Protection, she is granted similar powers to her brother - superhuman strength and durability, for example - as well a few more esoteric abilities, like healing and the ability to speak to animals.
Alison Brie looks amazing in Captain America's costume, and if Marvel were to think of developing a female Captain America, she would be perfect for the role. Brie is an actress and producer, popular for her performance in series such as Community and Mad Men, and in films like Scream 4, The Five-Year Engagement, Get Hard, and How to Be Single, among others. It's interesting how she looks as if she is on the set of The Avengers movie.
Psylocke comes in as our fourth X-Men character on the list. It’s hard to pin down why the X-Men characters tend to fall into the “sexy” categories, but honestly, you could probably come up with a dozen or so to fill another similar list. More so than the other X-people on this list, Psylocke has been a character almost completely defined by her sex appeal to readers.
Alison Brie looks amazing in Captain America's costume, and if Marvel were to think of developing a female Captain America, she would be perfect for the role. Brie is an actress and producer, popular for her performance in series such as Community and Mad Men, and in films like Scream 4, The Five-Year Engagement, Get Hard, and How to Be Single, among others. It's interesting how she looks as if she is on the set of The Avengers movie.
Today's comic books are descendants of 19th-century "penny dreadful" serials. They were multi-part sensational stories printed on cheap paper and sold for, what else, a penny each. These stories became popular among the lower and working classes. They couldn't afford and weren't interested in, the "important" literary novels of the day. Penny dreadfuls and the "dime novels" that followed them had clear-cut good-vs.-evil themes. And they weren't short on action or melodrama, either! By the early 20th century, we had such enduring characters as Tarzan and Zorro in "pulp" fiction. (So-called because of the inexpensive paper on which it was printed.) The first of the modern superheroes was Superman, who launched the Golden Age of Comics in 1938.  

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.


Being a kid can be tough. After all, our little ones know they have to wait a few years before they can fulfill their superhero potential. But there is one holiday that lets them get their inner superhero out. Of course, Halloween is the day that lets any boy or girl join up with the Avengers, Justice League, or the X-Men to live out their superhero dreams. So when groups of tiny heroes descend on local neighborhoods in search of Halloween treats, we’re sure they’re going to want to feel like real authentic heroes. Our deluxe kids’ superhero costumes fulfill that wish, and with a few extra touches you’ll be able to help them seal the deal as bonafide, authentic superheroes. Striking just the right pose or completing the ensemble with the perfect superhero accessories could be just the addition that take your little one’s experience from ordinary to extraordinary, so peruse these Love Your Look ideas for the tricks of the trade that we use to set the superhero scene just right!
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.

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Every guy dreams of being a superhero when he grows up, but thankfully there's one day a year you can dress up as one and not look crazy. Finding a kick-ass superhero costume in time for Halloween can sometimes be challenging, but we've hunted high and low to find options that won't leave you looking like a fool at your Halloween get-together. Bam!

This is a tricky one, since Iron Man has technically gone through a number of different designs over the years, as the outfit is always evolving. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely which armor is the best, so we have decided to pull back a bit and note that the more general "yellow and gold" design is what we're going to celebrate here. You see, when Iron Man first debuted, he wore what looked to just be a suit of big, bulky, gray iron. When he became a regular superhero, Marvel tried to fix that design flaw by literally just spray-painting the armor gold. "Oh no, he's hideous!" "Oh, never mind. He's spray-painted gold. It looks great now!" Then Steve Ditko designed a new armor that worked red into the design and it really clicked.

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Arguably, Iron Man has the coolest costume out of all the comic universes, because it's both beautiful and functional. It's not just the little kids who want to grow up to be Iron Man, even grown men would love to fly around and shoot at stuff. If the Iron Man suit was real, people would sell anything they could to purchase it, because it turns an ordinary guy into a powerful superhero with the strength and firepower to defeat a whole army of superhumans.
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.

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In 1974, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Roy Thomas decided that there should be a Canadian superhero, so he asked Incredible Hulk writer Len Wein to come up with one and either call him the Badger or Wolverine. Wein read up about wolverines and decided to use that name. When the character concept was developed by Wein, Marvel's Art Director, John Romita, was brought in to then give the character a look. Romita essentially designed a costume that made the character look like an animal. That was fine for his first appearance.
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.
Wonder Woman - without a doubt the most well-known character on this list - is a DC Comics superheroine who first appeared way back in 1941. Also known as Diana Prince, she is an Amazonian warrior whose powers included superhuman strength, speed and durability - and she also wields magical weaponry and equipment such as the Lasso of Truth and the Bracelets of Submission.
Harley is one of the most entertaining villains Batman has to fight occasionally, second only to the Joker. She is the Joker's lover and partner in crime, although their relationship is weird on so many levels. Harley used to be a normal psychiatric intern in Arkham Asylum, where she met the Joker and then turned into the crazy person she is today.

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