Scarlett Johansson is considered one of Hollywood’s modern female s.x symbols and is often listed as one of the most beautiful women in the world. The Johansson plays Natalie Rushman and superhero Iron Man Tony Stark’s assistant in the film Iron Man 2. Dressed in a black body suit complete with guns and bullets, we think Johansson looks awesome with those gorgeous locks. She also has played popular Marvel comic book character Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in the film The Avengers, and will reprise the role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
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.
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.
In the 1950s, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the same guys who brought Timely Captain America, had worked on some comic book ideas in the 1950s and one of them ended up becoming the Fly for Archie Comics. When Stan Lee asked Kirby to come up with a new spider-themed hero, The King of Comics adapted some of the design ideas that he had for the earlier spider hero and used them for Spider-Man, including a gun that shot webs. Lee was not a fan of the look and asked Steve Ditko to try to do a take on Spider-Man. Ditko dropped pretty much every element of Kirby's design, including turning the web gun into webshooters that Spider-Man had on his wrists.
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.
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.
For a character who has been such a major part of Batman's comic book history, Catwoman has had a surprisingly unimpressive list of comic book costumes over the years. When she debuted, she was simply dressed in normal clothes, as the name "The Cat" was more general for a thief than anything, and not something that was actually a costume motif. When she then started to reappear as a villain, she went through a few different uninspiring outfits. Then, due to the Comics Code, she stopped appearing in Batman comics period for over a decade.
After Todd was killed off, DC decided to do a revamp for the Robin costume for its third attempt at a sidekick for Batman, Tim Drake. The company turned to famed artist, Neal Adams, who cleverly made sure to work out a larger payment in case the costume he came up with was also going to be used in the Batman films that were coming out at the time. The new design kept a lot of the original elements of the first Robin costume, but did one of the best modernization jobs on a costume ever, adding pants and a black-tinge to Robin's normally bright yellow cape.
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.
Another Detective Comics character, Halle Berry plays Patience Phillips who is murdered and then brought back to life to become Catwoman. The character acquires cat-like abilities and is on a look-out for her murderer in the film. Berry won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for Catwoman and accepted the award in person, one of few people to do so.
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.
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.
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.
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!