Masks are a staple of the superhero tradition on the printed page, but their inclusion on the big screen has been noticeably less guaranteed. That was bound to happen just as soon as big name actors started filling out the spandex, with film studios anxious to make sure movie going audiences are aware of the superstar playing the superhero. This has led to many superheroes going mask and helmet-less on their movie posters -– most notably Iron Man’s impractical appearance on the Marvel’s The Avengers poster -– if they even wear masks at all.
With the reveal that the titular hero on the CW’s Arrow will finally wear a mask following a season and a half of mask-less vigilante antics, we’ve pegged the five other heroes that need to follow Oliver Queen’s lead.
Anthony Mackie’s gone on record as saying that he wanted to rock Sam Wilson’s full-on spandex getup in next spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but early photos and trailers have shown that the high-flying hero will be sporting rather generic looking S.H.I.E.L.D. combat gear. That makes sense considering the character’s affiliation with the organization, but if he isn’t wearing something more in-line with his mentor Captain America’s colorful duds by the end of the film -– including Falcon’s mask -– then we’ll be very disappointed.
Bobby Drake’s mask may not be like most other superheroes’, but his iced-up visage has become the character’s most defining trait since his debut 50 years ago. Instead of depicting Iceman in his normal head-to-toe ice garb, actor Shawn Ashmore has appeared in three films wearing the black leather X-Men uniform, with his iconic ice look getting one cameo appearance in X-Men: The Last Stand. Next summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past could be our last chance to see Iceman on the big screen, and we want him to finally go full ice.
Whether it’s a mask or a helmet, Thor’s always equipped with some serious headgear in the comics. His winged helmet has become his signature item, second only to Mjolnir, and as Eric Masterson the Asgardian hero even added a metal mask to his look. Thor’s helmet is readily available for purchase in every toy aisle across America, but kids who just saw Thor: The Dark World probably won’t recognize it. Chris Hemsworth’s hair is so notable that pretty much every filmmaker in charge of it decides to let it flow free, keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mightiest Avenger separated from his most awesome accessory. Here’s hoping Thor will suit up for real in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe tends to keep one foot in the classic Marvel Comics universe and another in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. The exception is Hawkeye, the lone Avenger that feels purely of the Ultimate Universe thanks to his standard S.H.I.E.L.D. costume and lack of a mask. Hawkeye’s mask has become one of the most instantly recognizable in comics, and it’s one that I bet Jeremy Renner’s interpretation of the character wouldn’t mind having. Unlike his teammates, who are either out to the public, wear a mask or aren’t from this Earth, Hawkeye has a secret identity he might want to keep control of.
As we recently learned, James Mangold included Logan’s costume in a deleted scene from this past summer’s The Wolverine. Why are you messing with us, Mangold? Wolverine has one of the most instantly recognizable masks in all of comics, and he has not worn it once in any of his six feature film appearances. Yes his mask is a little goofy, and yes, the one in the deleted scene kind of looked like a high-end kids toy, but we won’t be able to judge the mask’s actual onscreen potential until it’s on Hugh Jackman’s face as he rips up ninjas. Remember how everyone thought Wolverine’s haircut would be impossible to translate onto film, and then remember how they somehow made it work? The same can be done for his mask. Make it happen.