There are a lot of great, fantastic superhero costumes. A lot of sleek, well-designed, elegant costumes. But then again, there are also a ton of really godawful costumes that no one asked for, wanted, or liked looking at. So here's a nice breakdown of the worst things a major superhero ever wore. Most of them are from the same five-year period, though, so you know what to look out for.
Also: I tried to keep it to costumes worn by major characters to keep it interesting. No one really cares how dumb Hemo-Goblin's costume was.
10. “Big M” Magneto
Look, Magneto has a pretty fantastic lineup of costumes, and he’s almost always been seen wearing some pretty stylish threads. This is the exception.
Where do we start? Losing the red and opting for straight purple takes away his distinctiveness and also removes the whole "mutant devil" look to him. The lack of a helmet is a HUGE mistake, and one that breaks the costume completely. I mean, he just comes off looking extremely generic without that bucket on his head.
Then we have elbow-high opera gloves, which look goofy on female characters and downright absurd on male ones. And he has a tunic? Like, who pitched that as a concept? Of course, we also have the big-ass M smack-dab in the center of his chest, in case you (or he, I guess, for that matter) forget his name for thirty seconds.
I'll talk about over-complexity later, but this is a good example of over-simplification.
9. The Man Called Fate
Ah, Doctor Fate, one of the better Golden Age superhero outfits. Elegant"¦pretty"¦iconic. So answer me this: What in the biscuit-sniffing hell is this dude wearing?
That dude, by the way, is Jared Stevens, aka The Man Called Fate. However, I'm not gonna call him Doctor Fate, because MF’er ain’t a doctor, so dude's getting a nickname.
Ahem, so Jerry Fate up there is wearing the worst thing ever. Jerry’s sent to pick up the artifacts of Dr. Fate, including the Amulet, Cloak, and Helmet of Fate. He gains power from the amulet, tears up the cloak to make that stupid-looking arm dressing, and you'll never believe what he does with the Helmet.
The Helmet of Fate. One of the most powerful items in the entire DC Universe, if not all of comicdom, and Jerry melts the thing down and makes a knife out of it. If that isn't the most nineties thing you've ever heard, I do not want to live your life. So yeah. Jerry Fate.
Dumb man, dumber costume.
8. Goliath (Clint Barton)
Look, I love Hawkeye. I love Hawkeye a lot. A LOT a lot. He's easily in my Top-Ten favorite comic book characters, but, MAN, has he worn some dumb things.
Like, Hawkeye's closet is 85 percent bad idea.
And when he decides to stop being Hawkeye, it doesn't help things very much at all. After his bow shatters in the middle of a fight, Clint Barton decides to knock it off with that whole "arrow" thing, and takes up a new identity. Using Hank Pym's Pym Particles, Clint becomes the new Goliath and"¦I mean just LOOK at that thing. Je-sus. What is that thing on his chest? Is it just the metal parts from a barrel? But, like, sideways? And then there's that big belt that looks goofy as heck.
Only good thing, though, is those cuffed boots. I miss those old-school Marvel cuffed boots. I think only the Taskmaster is still rocking them, and I may love that dude's costume, but he's got no fashion sense.
7. “Post-Goliath” Hawkeye
Look, Clint just maybe should not be allowed to dress himself anymore. Like, let The Wasp or Tigra pick your clothes from now on, since they both work in fashion for a living. And both of them would tell you to never, ever, not even once, wear a deep v-neck with a skirt and a headband.
It's strangely fascinating in a haunting way. Like a car accident. But specifically, the kind of car accident where the car just bursts into flames, and it's pulled over to the side of the road, and it causes a huge traffic jam because everybody's stopping to look at it, and I just want to get over the hill into the city but the 5 is just dead stopped, and…
But anyway, the costume is trash. Like, what is even going on there? It's not often that you see a costume that works on precisely zero levels. No matter where you look, it's a train wreck. Except for, once again, those sweet-ass cuffed boots that are rad as hell, and come on, why can't those make a comeback, Marvel?!
Why don't you take some of that energy you're wasting on pretending people care about the Inhumans and channel it into a cuffed boot revival? #CuffedBoots4Life.
6. Force Works
I miss the West Coast Avengers. Seriously, I do! As a West Coaster myself, it was cool having an Avengers squad in my neck of the woods.
But when they went bye-bye, Iron Man put the former members together into a pre-emptive justice squad known as Force Works. And oh, god, the costumes. First, we have the WORST USAgent costume ever. And considering that dude has had some great costumes, that offends me. Where's the Captain America motif? He just looks like a boring dude.
We have Century, who might actually take the title of most forgettable Marvel Character ever, which is shocking, considering that Gilgamesh also exists. Spider-Woman"¦looks fine, actually; no changes to her outfit. Scarlet Witch is wearing 30 percent less than she should be.
And then you have the new outfit War Machine wears over the course of the run, the Eidolon Warwear. Which looks like it threw up all over itself and then decided it looked presentable enough.
5. “Armored” Daredevil
Dear reading audience, in the totally possible case that one of you is, or will grow up to become, a major comic book artist, I want you to repeat after me. Adding armor to an existing character's costume is never a good idea.
The one good example ever is the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle. That costume's good. That's it.
So what about this costume? I mean, it's bad, but what else? Look at those dumb kneepads! Look at the stupid plating on the sides of his legs! Why is his billy club tied to his elbow?
This wearable train wreck was used when our good buddy Matt went up against F-List Daredevil villain Hellspawn. It owes its unholy creation to that time Matt's classic red suit was destroyed in combat with the Wild Pack, who you definitely don't remember. Silver Sable used to lead them. It's okay, I barely remember who they were.
4. “Feral” Wolverine
This one came about when good ol' Logan had the adamantium forcibly ripped from his bones by Magneto in what I'm sure was a painful procedure.
He was forced to start using his regular bone claws at that point. Also, he wrapped a bandana around his face and started running around in the woods. You know, like you do. And about a third of the time, he refused to wear sleeves.
Can you tell this is a nineties costume? Oh, and I know this isn't a new observation, but where in the Sam Hill did his nose go? Like, it still exists, right? Because it sure doesn't look like it.
I know people give the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern outfit a hard time for nose location, but that one ain't got nothing on this travesty of nostril justice. It literally looks like someone gave up halfway through drawing it. In addition, I know Logan is a hairy dude, but, like, he looks like a bigfoot in this costume.
Plus, the stuff on the sides of his head isn't natural. No one's hair has ever grown like that.
3. New 52 EVERYONE
Uggggggh. Look, this is half joke exaggeration, but it’s backed by truth.
The New 52 reboot gave birth to some TERRRRRRRRRRIBLE costumes. First, the Justice Leaguers are all in dumb needless armor, especially Superman.
Like, that over-complicated Super-Armor is going to go down in history as one of the worst things Clark Kent has ever worn. By losing the trunks, the costume is missing that big splash of color in the middle, making it look unbalanced and far too lean. Same is true of Batman’s costume. Also, what's with all the lines everywhere? Stop drawing lines all over simple costumes!
No one ever looks at The Flash's costume and thinks, "Hmmm…this is the epitome of simplicity and visual design, but you know what it's missing? A buncha lines everywhere."
Over-complexity is the flaw in ALL of the New 52 designs. I mean, just compare Deadshot's outfits before and after the reboot to see that. And then wash out your eyes because you had to look at New 52 Deadshot.
2. “Cut-Out 4” Invisible Woman
Well, this one's just offensive. Like, I know the nineties were terrible for ladies in comics, and especially terrible for their fashion sense, but holy hell, look at this thing.
Clearly drawn by a dude who's never met a lady before, this costume would take thirty seconds before Sue Storm accidentally winds up flashing some random street passersby.
Like, it looks like one of her children got hold of the scissors by accident, and now Sue has to go superheroing in a mangled outfit. It looks like you tried to chroma-key out all the blue from her outfit, but the effect failed to render all the way. I'll be honest, I don't know many mothers of two (or women in general) who'd ever paste that thing onto their bodies.
She reportedly changed her outfit because she felt too "frumpy", which sure is a word no one has used in like thirty years. I think that’s some seriously outdated language, and I’m a person who uses the word "rad" in casual conversation.
1. “What is Even the Hell” Thor
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
Please explain it to me, dear Lord above. Make me able to understand this crazy. I remember first seeing this outfit while reading Marvel vs. DC, and just being perplexed. Like, I did a full-on double take.
Why does Thor need a harness around his chest, but not a full shirt? Who gave the Norse God of Thunder a belly shirt? And the face mask? WHY? How is that going to protect his secret identity? Also, Jesus Christ, that dude is going to friggin' trip over all that hair. Or at least he's going to have it pulled out by The Wrecker next time they go toe-to-toe. Plus, look at that huge codpiece. As if the hammer weren't clear enough over-compensation.
Holy heck on a stick, it's like you lit a fire somewhere in the nineties, and all of the tropes tumbled all over each other trying to get to safety, until they bumbled together into one big mess. Then you took that mess and made Thor wear it.
And there you have it, the worst costume changes I've ever seen. Just some bad, BAD fashion choices all over this one. I'm gonna go stare at some Superman comics to remind myself what a good costume looks like. And speaking of Superman, why isn't the Electric Blue Superman outfit on this list? Because it's amazing, that's why.