My Comic Book Costume Five

After watching the preceding videos in which Tim Gunn critiqued various superheroes' wardrobe choices, it got me thinking about My Five favorite comic book costumes:

5) Quasar:
Greg Capullo's redesign of the original costume had to be his greatest contribution to the character. He stayed within the same iconic palette of red and blue with a touch of yellow, but modernized it by integrating the cape more into the torso and logo. More importantly, he underscored the cosmic nature of the character by making the outside of the cape blue and the inside a freaking starscape. I bet the artists who had to draw the character later loved that...

4) Supergirl:
I realize the costume is somewhat derivative of her cousin's. The “S” shield is the same, most of the time against a blue top. The red cape is a little shorter, but again not a big departure. So other than the obvious, what separates this blonde beauty from the man of steel? It's the miniskirt; definitely the skirt.

3) Magneto:
The X-Men's most formidable adversary has the regal, imposing costume every good villain should have. It's evolved over the years, and I personally think Jim Lee had the best rendition of the suit, but the basic elements are almost always the same, a mix of metal and fabric in dark crimson and purple hues with a billowing cape emerging from a metal torso piece. Most important of all is the helmet, which has function as well as form, protecting the master of magnetism from various telepaths among our heroes. For a time in the ‘80s, Magneto went without the helmet and sported a giant “M” on his chest, but that just looked ridiculous. Sometimes, you just don't mess with an original.

2) Batman:
In it's purest form, this is a costume truly designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, a “cowardly and superstitious lot”. The cape and cowl are sometimes black and sometimes dark blue, but that single piece element of the costume is what fully evokes the sense of a giant bat emerging from the shadows. I personally prefer the dark black bat emblem on the chest to the hokier one in a yellow oval, even though some writers have used the explanation that he's wearing a bullet-proof vest under there and wants them to aim for the yellow rather than his head. And of course, the infamous utility belt with pouches and compartments conceal weapons and devices for any eventuality. I had considered listing the sleeker, futuristic Batman Beyond, which replaced the cape with glider wings, added a full face mask, and went all-black with a more modern red emblem on the chest. It's a great redesign, but I think it would have been heresy to ignore the original.

1) Spider-Man:
He's had a few costume changes over the years, as noted in one of those videos I posted, but the original is definitely a masterful design that's seen many interpretations by many artists. There's something so graphic about Steve Ditko's design. Discounting the webshooters concealed under the gloves and the rarely seen belt with his logo on a light, it's usually depicted as a seamless costume. The mask, shirt, pants, boots, and gloves are all separate pieces of course, but the continuous pattern of the red webbed sections over the blue are what tie it all together. He may have a spider emblem on his chest, but the whole costume is one big logo. The red, white, and blue manage to be patriotic without being overtly so, and with his face fully concealed behind big, white lenses, he's one of the more mysterious heroes. It's a timeless look that he always seems to return to, and even subtle changes like moving the webshooters to the outside or slightly changing the pattern were fleeting. A good original is hard to improve upon.

Well, those are my favorites; what are yours? Perhaps more importantly, and something I may consider in the future, who do you think has the worst costumes?



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