Not only are they unnecessarily sexualised, they are also extremely impractical in most cases. For instance, why would a female character with no superhuman durability to speak of go into battle with heavily armoured and massively powered opponents wearing what is essentially a bikini? It shouldn't happen, but it does happen in comic books - and it happens a lot. Of course, there are characters whose durability is such that they don't necessarily need to wear full body armour in battle but, even so, revealing 90% of their body is still unnecessary.

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Superman soon had lots of company and lots of competition! What do they have in common? All superheroes have some type of extraordinary power or ability. Their "superpower" can be something they're born with: Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor. It can be the result of an accident or mutation: Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine. Or, it can be simply a skill they have learned, honed and perfected beyond the average: Batman, Hawkeye. They all have a strong moral code and a motivation to rid the world of some menace.  

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It’s hard to believe that a hero that's usually shown not even have normal flesh would be known for his sex appeal, but Colossus definitely is. While he’s been a longstanding member of the X-Men, Colossus has always been known for his massive frame and surprisingly skimpy costume. Unlike other “sexy” heroes known for their bad boy qualities, people are drawn to Colossus because he’s generally really sweet and caring, not only with his affection towards Kitty Pryde but also with his sister Illyana. Even with his sweet personality, comic book fans will probably never forget his “centerfolds” from those old swimsuit issues.
Soon, other artists streamlined Shuster's original design and made it look more like spandex. Thus, the classic Superman look was born. This was not just the ideal Superman look, but it became the ideal look for superhero costumes period. The success of this design informed essentially every superhero costume ever to follow after it. For a character as popular as Superman, who has been adapted into so many different forms of media, it is an amazing testament to how good his first costume was that when Action Comics hit #1000, Superman was wearing essentially the same costume that he wore 999 issues earlier.

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Vampirella - a vampire (or at least the alien equivalent), if you hadn't already guessed - is a heroic character who came to Earth when her own planet was dying (at least in her original origin story) and, upon her arrival, sought to protect it from the forces of evil. She first appeared on panel way back in 1969 in a self-titled comic strip in Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror comics magazine and has gone on to appear in comics published by both Harris Publications and Dynamite Entertainment.
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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Not coincidentally, it also featured the best bat-suit yet on film. It may not have looked quite as definitive in close ups as Michael Keaton's outfit, but it moved more fluidly, owing largely to the suit's increased mobility, and especially coupled with its flowing, shadowy cape, cut the best silhouette of any of Batman's onscreen looks -- sorry, Batfleck.
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).
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!
Just what is a superhero? Before 1917, there was no such thing; or, at any rate, there was no such word. But there have always been heroes, and some of them have had extraordinary powers or abilities. Ancient mythology has tales of Hercules, Perseus, and Gilgamesh. Medieval folklore has Robin Hood, Beowulf and the knights of King Arthur's Round Table. Then came swashbuckling tales such as The Three Musketeers. The common thread was that the main characters battled against the forces of evil. The evil could take the form of monsters, corrupt or criminal humans, or forces of nature.  
Dejah Thoris originally appeared all the way back in 1917 as the princess of the Martian city-state/empire of Helium in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Martian novels (the same source that introduced the more well-known John Carter (that guy who got a movie to himself in 2012) - the man who happens to be her husband). Since then, she has appeared in a number of comic books, most notably in Dynamite Entertainment's 2010-11 comic miniseries Warlord of Mars.

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.

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