While Jon Favreau's first Iron Man film explored the evolution of Iron Man's armor from his first spot-welded, cave-cobbled bulky behemoth to the more streamlined look that would become the standard platform moving forward, and his sequel, Iron Man 2 brought in the gun-laden War Machine and a subtle take on the fan-favorite Silver Centurion armor, Iron Man 3 truly opened the floodgates, showcasing page-accurate renditions of everything from Iron Man's stealth armor, to a more faithful adaptation of the aforementioned Silver Centurion armor, and even Rhodey taking the helm of the star-spangled Iron Patriot armor.
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.
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.
That's where we come in. We can help you to look like almost any kind of superhero you want to be. If you have a particular favorite character, chances are we have a costume for him/her. We have officially licensed costumes for most of the major DC and Marvel Comics characters. Plus, we have independent or spoof characters such as Ace & Gary, Kick-Ass, Duffman, Hellboy, Shazam, and the Watchmen.
When Dick Grayson first debuted as Robin in the pages of Detective Comics #38, comic book costumes were still mostly done in a simpler style. Robin's bright, circus-like costume definitely fit into that era perfectly. However, as the years went by, it was becoming harder and harder to keep that costume looking current when it was placed next to more modern looking costumes. The guy was literally walking around with little green booties and no pants! It was not something that translated well anymore. Dick Grayson graduated to his Nightwing identity, but his replacement, Jason Todd, was stuck with the old fashioned costume.
Over the years, though, in an attempt to lighten the character up, the black of Batman's costume became bluer and bluer and during the 1960s, DC even added a yellow oval behind Batman's bat symbol on his chest. In the 21st Century, however, artists have re-embraced that classic design and gone in the direction that Jim Lee took the costume during "Hush," which is to make it dark and have the chest symbol return to just a black one without the yellow oval, which brought a little too much lightness to the design. Frank Miller famously was initially stuck with the yellow oval look in Dark Knight Returns, but then had Batman shot in the chest. When he fixed the costume, the yellow oval was gone for the rest of the series!
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!
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.
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The comic book version of Thor has never really been a sex symbol. Sure, he’s incredibly good looking, as the God of Thunder probably should be, but he’s never been viewed as sexier than, say, Wolverine. However, when Thor debuted on the big screen, anyone with eyes saw that Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is most definitely a sex symbol. It’s become so much of an issue that the recent Thor shorts directed by Taika Waititi even poked fun at Thor’s big muscly physique. His looks are so vital to the character that when fans saw his new look in “Thor: Ragnarok,” they obsessed over his haircut more than anything else.
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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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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.
Pretty much every superhero in comic books has a superpower that isn’t really mentioned. Sure, some billionaire genius could, theoretically, learn how to build powerful metal suit and fight crime similar to Iron Man. However, that person still won’t have all the superpowers of Tony Stark. You see, Tony Stark is a ridiculously attractive man. Wonder Woman, in addition to being a badass warrior that could pretty much dominate any foe, is also incredibly beautiful. Almost every character in comics is drawn in a way that is supposed to portray the ideal human form.
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.”
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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.