Sunday, 3 January 2010

Top Ten Favourite Superhero Costumes

While compiling the list of top ten comic characters, I realised alot of my interest in a character simply stemmed from liking their costume. This gave me the idea of separating the outfits out and compiling this list. I'm not claiming these are the best designs ever (though I would hold that assertion for a few entries) but they are favourites. I notice that alot of my attraction to these designs stems from my childhood so nostalgia obviously plays a large part in the following list:

10. Wonder Man. While my adult self prefers the black spandex outfit Wondy's been running around in (more or less) since the mid-80s, I'm increasingly becoming fond of his original outfit, which I loved as a kid. I have a weakness for goggled designs (e.g. Cyclops, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, etc) and it's primarily the mask design that I still like here.

9. Namor the Sub-Mariner. Running around in his pants, Namor hardly scores high in the fashion league but this sleek, black early 70s design, complete with gold underarm wings gives the character a much stronger, dangerous appearance. He's currently running around in a slightly refined version of this outfit but the original remains the best.

8. Hank Pym. While I still like Pym's original Ant-Man design, it's a bit clunky and simplistic. The simple blue and yellow version of his Goliath outfit is much more appealing but still lags behind the 70s/80s (i.e. goggled!) Yellowjacket design. Great clash of light and dark elements, cool cowl and those funky wings, what's not to like?
7. Atom. Another character I like purely because of his costume, the Atom's simple, sleek two-colour design is nevertheless an interesting and effective outfit.

6. Wonder Girl. There are lots of heroines with great costumes but there's an undefinable quality to Wonder Girl's classic costume that just shouts grace to me. Maybe it's something to do with the way she was characterised in the New Teen Titans (becoming a beloved character to many), but whatever this still stands as the best outfit sported by either Donna Troy or Cassie Sandsmark and would actually be a more practical outfit then the iconic Wonder Woman costume.
5. Captain Marvel. Despite also still having a fondness for the original 60s design, it's the more famous red and black Captain Marvel design that I love. The black and red works well (I nearly put the similarly-coloured Tarantula in this list but his bandanna mask and silly boots lost him a place) and while the pants may not work as well to modern eyes as Genis-Vell's redesigned version, Mar-Vell's open-faced mask allows more of the hero underneath to show through. Another great example of mixing simple colours.

4. Dr Fate. While the yellow and blue colour balance works well, it's that beautiful helmet design that makes Dr Fate such a favourite for me. There's nothing else quite like it but it's another sleek and simple creation that just looks great (the short lived 1940s truncated version showing Kent Nelson's lower face lost all the elegance from the ensemble).

3. Nova. Another example of a cool light/dark colour combination, topped off with a sleek helmet adorned with a star design to add interest. The 90s saw a slightly streamlined version introduced, one that remains the character's best design.

2. Captain Marvel/Marvel Family. Improving on the fairly bland Superman template, the original Captain Marvel's costume is a perfect example of superhero iconography. A simple but elegant primary-coloured outfit topped off with a powerful chest emblem and accentuating (white indicating purity) cape. Although perhaps less obviously heroic due to it's darker blue and red palette, Captain Marvel Jr's outfit is still probably nevertheless a slight improvement over his originator's costume due to it's cooler colour scheme---and if it inspired Elvis' look, how can it be that wrong?

1. The Flash Family. I have a hard time deciding who has the best outfit, the Flash, Kid Flash or the Reverse Flash, so I'm lumping them all together. Like the Atom, they are all sleekly designed with a simple dual primary coloured palette that makes the characters pop well. Any one of these three designs could easily stand as a contender for greatest superhero design ever.


kelvingreen said...

Ooh, now this is a great idea. I'm doing this!

Rol said...

You forgot the greatest superhero costume EVER!

Nige Lowrey said...

Captain Ultra? :)

Actually, the black suit could have been a contender..

Tone said...

Without wishing to sound like an Allo Allo joke, you do love your goggles and helmets. Like most of those cossies apart from Atom, Shazam and Wonder Man. Green and red's rarely a winning combo as he found out to his eternal shame with his 80's Christmas tree outfit.

Yep, very cool idea, I'm nicking it too when I get five blogging minutes.