12 January 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Superhero Costumes

I was inspired by a recent story on filmjunk.com, but wanted to take a bit broader look at what we have gotten in superhero suits thus far. This list isn't comprehensive, just a few of my favorite examples of what can go right or horribly wrong.

The Good

Supergirl - Supergirl

Nothing radical here, and thats what I like. Its simple, identifiable and easy on the eyes.

Catwoman - Batman Returns

Sure, this suit is a tad impractical, but its sexy and sleek and it preserves the notion that she is dressed up in a cat motif.

The Kingpin - Daredevil

Filmjunk actually dissed this look, but I think this is exactly what the Kingpin should look like. He is huge, but not fat, and looks great in a suit. Who cares if he is black or was in The Green Mile, Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin could believably kick some serious butt.

The Fantastic Four - Fantastic Four

So what, the Thing's eyebrow isn't perfect. At least he doesn't look like a freak (well, for a rock dude). And the rest of the team has suits that actually look like they weren't homemade.

Hellboy - Hellboy

"Man in suit" can go horribly wrong, but Hellboy doesn't look like a cheap Halloween costume, and there is no way CG would look near as good.

Spider-Man - Spider-Man 3

The red and blue costume in Spider-Man 1 and 2 is great. It takes the classic look, and makes it believable without a cheap spandex look. But this black and silver costume is even cooler. I always liked the alien suit in the comics, and this image brings out the geekiest in me.

The Bad

Lex Luthor - Superman

Lex Luthor is best known for being bald, so who's idea was it to give him a wig?

Nuclear Man - Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

What if Fabio were a supervillain...

Riddler - Batman Forever

Thanks Jim, but I could go without seeing your skin tight unitard. Nothing says dangerous like a guy in pajamas, unless you give the guy dyed orange hair.

Batman - Batman and Robin

"Nipples on the Batsuit" has become a benchmark for when designs have gone bad. Are flames on Optimus Prime = Nipples on the Batsuit? Thats anyone's call, but you can see how the nips set a standard by which all else can be measured.

Mr Freeze - Batman and Robin

No, its not Megatron from the new Transformers, nor is it a guy with a juicer on his head. Its Arnold in far too much neon chrome.

Bane - Batman and Robin

How hard is it to put a buff guy in a Mexican wrestler's costume? Instead, they went for the skinny guy in fake padded arms approach complete with painted green veins.

Green Lantern, Fire, Flash - Unaired Justice League Pilot

Trick or Treat. I wonder why this series didn't get greenlit. I just wish I had a picture of the Martian Manhunter from this pilot. Believe it or not, he is even worse.

Green Goblin - Spider-Man

Is it morphin time? GG looks an awful lot like the Green Ranger.

Daredevil - Daredevil

Just when you thought a leather body suit was the way to go... This suit isn't that bad, but the mask/hat needs some work.

Catwoman - Catwoman

So, what were they going for here? Obviously the goal was to make the costume as skimpy as possible while maintaining some feline attributes. Then again, maybe they just ran out of cows from which to make the leather.

The Ugly

Batman - Batman TV Show

Is it the drawn on eyebrows, or the potbelly that is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of his foes?

The Penguin - Batman Returns

Interesting approach to the character, but he is dang nasty, and watching him eat raw fish reminds me of Gollum.

The Fantastic Four - The Fantastic Four

Woah! Look at that face on the Thing. His rocky look isn't so bad, but those crossed eyes and grin are crazy. The rest of the team are just as goofy, from Mr F's fake gray stripes to Johnny's wave. And I think even blue T shirts would be more stylish than those giant white collared jumpers they are wearing.

Steel - Steel

It's not that the costume is so bad, its the fact that Shaq is in it.

Two-Face - Batman Forever

Is that purple half face supposed to look like a scar, becasue it looks like cheap rubber. And the half tie cheetah print is ridiculous.

The Bat Posse - Batman and Robin

I think most people forget that there wasn't just one bad Batsuit in Batman & Robin. There was the crappy nipple suit, and then there was the even uglier silver plated team costumes. So, if Batman and Robin have nipples, why doesn't Batgirl?

Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition

Batman - The Motion Picture Anthology 1989-1997 (Batman / Batman Returns / Batman Forever / Batman & Robin) (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Batman Begins (Widescreen Edition)

Spider-Man / Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Editions)

Fantastic Four DVD


Digital said...

Sorry, this is the best I could find:




Shiro said...

Great list, although the only difference of opinion I have is Daredevil's costume was excellent. Yes, excellent. I thought it stayed very true to the comic while bringing it into the real world believably. Other than that, your list was dead-on! ^_^


Chip Chief said...

thanks digital. i think those pictures give at least of hint.

and shiro, i guess no one can agree on everything :)

Anonymous Mysterious Person said...

Dude. spot on. just one mistake, though. Riddler was from Batman Forever and not Batman Returns as stated. Hohoho.

Chip Chief said...

thanks for the catch oh mysterious one.