The comic book industry has created some of the greatest costume designs in all of pop culture. Initially looking to heroes of literature, these costumes were carefully developed through the merging of designs from across eras, cultures and genres. These heroes and their iconic designs are often the most recognizable parts of their brand, and make more money through merchandising than comics.
These costumes represent the characters as well as the publishing brand itself, and are often shared by several heroes at once. Over decades of existence and great histories in print, these costumes have more than earned a legendary and recognizable status. The designs used by Superman, Batman, and more continue to inspire new heroes, artists and fans alike, and the impact they’ve had on the superhero genre is undeniable.
10 Spawn Has The Greatest Costume In Indie Comics
Created by Todd McFarlane for his Image series of the same name, Spawn is the special forces operative turned warrior of Hell. After Al Simmons was murdered on a mission, he was sent to Hell, where he was offered a chance to see his wife again if he became a Hellspawn.
Spawn has a distinct white M emblazoned on his chest, signifying his old allegiance to Malebolgia. He also wears a great, expansive red cape as designed by Todd McFarlane and his arms and legs have spikes. A perfect symbol of the 90s wave of indie heroes, Spawn has the best look in indie comics.
9 Wonder Woman Wears The Armor Of The Gods
Wonder Woman was one of the first female superheroes created back in the Golden Age and is a member of DC’s legendary trinity of heroes. Much like her two friends, she sports one of the greatest costumes in the world of DC Comics, one especially helped by Lynda Carter’s 70s show.
Wonder Woman’s design has seen some changes throughout the years, but the basics of her look has remained. Her red and gold armor with a star-spangled skirt and tiara will always be the character’s signature costume, and the one best known to fans.
8 The Flash Defines The Speedster Look
Although the Flash was originally created in the Golden Age, his Silver Age redesign is the one fans know and love best. The hero, fittingly nicknamed the Scarlett Speedster, wears a red bodysuit with yellow lightning signs across his body, including prominently displayed on his chest.
The Flash’s symbol is worn by several speedster heroes, from Jay Garrick and Barry Allen to Wally West and Avery Ho. The popular lightning bolt partially reflects the Flash’s origin, with a lightning strike giving him his super speed powers.
7 Wolverine Is The X-Men Uniform Perfected
Wolverine has been a fan-favorite hero in Marvel Comics since his first full appearance in Hulk #181 by Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Jack Abel and Glynis Wein. The hero has undergone a number of changes to his design, but the best known costume for the hero is his yellow, blue and black outfit similar to the X-Men uniform.
Wearing the customized costume, Wolverine has battled everyone from Hulk to Thanos. His cowl-like mask as perfected in the X-Men Animated Series works particularly well on him and should always be his definitive design. Everything from the good color scheme to mask is perfect on him.
6 Jack Kirby Gave Thor A Superhero Makeover
Thor has his origins in ancient Norse mythology as the God of Thunder. In the 1960s, the deity was re-imagined as a Marvel Comics superhero, keeping his hammer and helmet. However, his costume was also given a distinctly Kirby design, one similar to his later creations in the New Gods.
Thor has undergone plenty of change to his look but always worked best with his brightly-colored Kirby armor, with vibrant red and blue. Accompanied by a red cape and winged helmet, his design was adapted to film, where it renewed interest in the hero.
5 Green Lantern Is The Ultimate Space Cop
Green Lantern can refer to two distinct eras of superhero, both the magical Golden Age Alan Scott and later Hal Jordan with the Green Lantern Corps. The latter is easily the most recognizable as well as the most iconic design, befitting an intergalactic space cop.
The Green Lantern costume is a combination of green, black and white, with the Green Lantern symbol proudly displayed on the chest and white gloves. Although every Green Lantern has a somewhat different look, Hal Jordan’s Rebirth costume especially stands out.
4 Captain America Is The Star-Spangled Avenger
Captain America is one of the oldest superheroes in comics, created by Jack Kirby in 1941. The World War Two US Army mascot was given a fitting design in a red, white and blue suit that proudly displays elements of the American flag, including a star on his chest.
Captain America also carries his iconic shield, which matches his costume’s color scheme. He is immediately recognized as a symbol of American patriotism as well as a callback to his old days as a mascot. The man out of time is the best-designed mainstay Avenger.
3 Batman Owns The Cape And Cowl
Batman was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in the Golden Age, with a grey and black appearance. As the decades went on, his costume was altered – he was given a better bat-symbol on his chest, bladed gauntlets and the design of his cowl underwent some change.
Batman has worn a variety of different suits, with many one-off variants during the Silver Age. When selecting his most iconic look, his blue, grey and yellow suit from Neal Adams or his simpler black and grey would be in the running. Every fan has their own favorite, but it’s undeniable that the Bat-suit is beloved.
2 Spider-Man Is The Friendly Neighborhood Web Slinger
Spider-Man has been especially well known to younger fans, thanks to his popular films and iconic animated series in the 1990s. His red and blue suit with the webbing design has been a favorite of fans, cosplayers, artists and kids for decades, and his mask can be seen across merchandise.
Spider-Man has seen a lot of change to his costume throughout the years but, unlike other characters, even managed to look iconic in his later costumes. Notably, the “black suit” that later became Venom was praised by many fans and has aged excellently with readers.
1 Superman Is The Symbol Of Hope
Superman – also known as Clark Kent – is the orphan son of Krypton, rocketed to Earth by his parents as his home world exploded. When he grew up and realized the full extent of his powers, Clark donned the legendary red, blue and yellow suit with his family emblem on his chest.
Thanks to numerous films, TV series, thousands of comics and extensive merchandising, Superman is the definitive superhero. Few don’t recognize his costume, even if they aren’t fans of his stories. For the latter half of the twentieth century, Superman’s design was almost ubiquitous in pop culture.
NEXT: 10 Indie Superheroes Who Would Be Better In DC Comics
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