Movies & TV / Columns

The Greatest Superhero Costumes Of All-Time

October 2, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. If you enjoy reading or discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. I throw out a subject, you comment below. Easy. Let’s get started. 

Previously on…

Last time we discussed the Greatest Supervillain Teams!. Here’s what some of you had to say:

William Jansen: “Good list. Among those not yet named, The Dark Judges from Judge Dredd were consistently entertaining back when their stories was published as Dommeren here in Denmark. Haven’t kept up with them recently though, but they were my favourite thing going for a while.”

Acolyte Of Glorious La Parka~: “Would the Four Horseman of Apocalypse be considered as a ‘group’?”

DerekScott: “Legion of Doom. So many great villains (and a few crappy ones). I was always surprised Joker wasn’t a member, then I learned that another company had the rights to several Bat villains for TV projects, including Joker, Catwoman, Penguin and Mister Freeze.”

Al Lobama: “I’ve always had a soft spot for the Sinister Syndicate, mostly because of how awesome the “Deadly Foes of Spider-Man” series was. And while they haven’t gotten much page time in Astro City, I just absolutely love the concept of a team of evil shape-shifters…and naming them the Doppel Gang!

For DC, I have to admit that I’m partial towards the Secret Society of Super Villains, with an honorable mention to the Monster Society of Evil from Captain Marvel/Shazam!”

prowriter: “The Four from Planetary. Selling out our reality for superpowers is pretty damn evil.”

Carl Rood: “The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has actually been pretty inconsistent over the years. In the original group, only Magneto was really about the mutant cause. Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch were members out of obligation and Fear. Toad, Mastermind, Blob, and Unus were pretty much just straight criminals.

Mystique’s group seemed more concerned with placing themselves so that they’d come out on top no matter who won, hence their becoming Freedom Force. They still had the thing with Blob and Pyro pretty much just being criminals looking out for themselves.

Later iterations never really made much impact.”

GoalFather: “first supervillain team i’ve seen was in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series

“The Insidious Six” (because they couldn’t say Sinister Six on TV apparently)

Dr Octopus
Mysterio (later Vulture)

with Kingpin pulling the strings.

Loved it…i’m a sucker for villain stables especially when they’re all alpha characters”

SCGuy: “Legion of Doom and the Royal Flush Gang have always been favorites of mine!”

As always, some great back and forth last week. Also, as always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss…


The Greatest Superhero Costumes!

Why? Because it’s October and all this month will be Halloween themed columns. Please send me any pics of you in a superhero costume. I just might post them here. 

In thinking about what makes a great superhero costume, you have to take in a few factors. First, it should be able to tell you who the hero is right away. I’ve always been a fan of simple designs. Take a look at the most iconic costumes and they all have that in common. That’s not to say complicated uniforms are trash but, especially in comics, how complex costumes come off is dependent on the artist drawing them. Some artist love the details while others will cheat here and there to make their job easier.
Does the costume inspire or make you cringe? Does the color structure work? Too many colors can make it ridiculous and contrasting colors can hurt the eyes. Is is functional? You have to think about movie aspect as well these days. How will it look in theaters on on TV screens?

Every superhero costume has gone through evolution. Some better than others and many times we realize that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. My personal favorites don’t quite belong in the “Greatest” category but it’s my column so I’m throwing them out there.

Let’s get it out of the way at the start, Squirrel Girl has the most fun costume. Done.

My personal favorite? Doctor Fate. The classic blue and gold along with a sleek helmet drew me to Fate as a kid. His popularity has been up-and-down over the years, thanks to uneven writing and never really getting center stage in big stories but his costume has kept him in contention.

If I had to say a really great costume that’s highly underrated, I’d go with the original Deathlok. A soldier zombie cyborg? How is he not more popular?

When it comes to basic, one color costumes that work, I like Black Bolt, Moon Knight, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch. Each cool in their own way.

Others just outside the winner circle are Green Lantern, Ms. Marvel, and Rorschach. Rorschach’s has been a favorite of mine for a while. It ties in well with his name and mood of the character.

While Thor’s costume doesn’t get the love it should, it conveys his godly status and warrior spirit. Another one that doesn’t get love is Spider-Woman. While her costume pays homage to Spider-Man, the differences make it all her own.

I put Captain Marvel and Captain America in the same category. While Captain America has the iconic status on lock, they both use a basic color scheme that gives it a functional, military feel that let’s readers (and supervillains) know what they are getting into.

While Invincible is the new kids on the block, his costume checks every box on the greatest list. Some may call it retro but it’s once of the best in the business.

Wolverine might have had a number of costume changes over the year, there’s one thing that ties them together: those claws. Not many characters could pull of the brown and yellow but Wolverine made it work and come off as a bad ass.

Another one who’s had plenty of costumes is Iron Man. Some better than others, no matter what armor he wore, you knew you were fighting Iron Man. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Flash. Simple and effective. Complex and effective? I’d go with Spawn

When it comes to the cream of the crop, the last three names usually come down to Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man. The reason is simple. Icons. Their lasting popularity and design have rightfully earned them their place in the Superhero Costume Hall of Fame. But who’s the best to you?

Comment below!


That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!