A superhero has to have a good costume. When people enter comic stores and look at all of the books on the shelf, the heroes that stand out from the crowd will grab their attention. The reason Spider-Man was such a success was that his costume was totally different from the standard “tights and capes” that all other superheroes were wearing. Yet, it still got the point of his character across. Marvel has done well on that front, having outstanding costumes for characters like Black Panther, Captain America, and Doctor Strange. However, all artists falter a few times in their career, and the ones that worked on heroes for Marvel are no different. Several times throughout their lifespan, the Avengers have been given some… perplexing… outfits to wear.
Some of these costume choices came from the ’90s, where everything had to be cool and edgy. Other times, it was just a costume designed without much thought. Whatever the reason, Marvel has made some poor decisions when it comes to the Avengers’ costumes. As Marvel continues the MCU, they need to make careful decisions on what costumes they include in the movies. We hope that they never bring in these 15 awful Avengers outfits.
15. ARMORED DAREDEVIL
Matt Murdock is known as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, sporting a red, skin-tight outfit, he is able to sneak in the shadows and ambush criminals when they least expect it. It’s a simple design that’s proven to be one of Marvel’s best. However, he didn’t always have a great costume.
While we could’ve easily given this spot to the yellow Daredevil outfit, the Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale comic book, Daredevil: Yellow made it look cooler.
Instead, the award for the most awful Daredevil costume goes to the armored suit. Apparently, Matt was going up against some high-powered rifles so he was given chunky, spiky armor. It felt so drastically different from who the character was. Unfortunately, he’s not the only character to get weird armor like that.
Hawkeye was given a serious and more realistic revamp in the MCU. Wearing a more militaristic costume, his comic book roots are almost gone entirely. When you start to look at his original design in the comics, it’s easy to see why. A bright purple costume with the big horns and goofy “H” on his head wouldn’t have fit in the MCU at all. Even with Hollywood embracing more ridiculous comic book elements, we hope that Hawkeye’s costume never sees the light of day.
To make matters worse for Marvel’s best archer, most of Hawkeye’s outfits were terrible including the time when he became Goliath and stopped wearing pants. It’s a shame that a character who made his full debut in The Avengers had almost no good source material to draw from.
Hank Pym is one of the biggest characters in Marvel Comics. He was one of the founding members of the Avengers as well as the man who was responsible for creating Ultron. Being such an important character would warrant an impressive costume design, right? Well, not necessarily.
Ant-Man has been difficult to bring to the big screen partially because his costume isn’t eye-catching.
The colors on his suit aren’t bad. Where things start to go off the rails is with his silver helmet at the top. Having an open mouth and eyes with the antennae on top just looks goofy. We’re glad that Marvel had a sleeker look with Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume in 2015. Let’s just hope they never bring Hank Pym’s old suit back.
12. ’90s THOR
Thor has always been a character that’s difficult to get right. Considering the fact that he’s a god who lives on a different planet, readers were always going to have trouble relating to the character, thus affecting his popularity. That said, Marvel has been decent with his costume design (especially in the movies), taking inspiration from many arcs to put together some impressive outfits.
If there is one Thor that we beg them not to draw from, it’s the one that Marvel used in the ’90s. One look at this version of the God of Thunder, and “edgy” is the word that comes to mind. Having crazy rock singer hair and a shirt that shows off his massive abs, it’s clear that this version of Thor wouldn’t hold up for very long.
11. BOMBASTIC BAG-MAN
Peter Parker is a high school student. Because of this, he can be a bit irresponsible. After bonding with the symbiote and gaining the black costume that would eventually become Venom’s, he needed the help of Reed Richards to distance himself from it. Removed from his suit, Peter still needed to fight the criminals of New York City.
Because of this, he was temporarily given a spare Fantastic Four costume with a paper bag over his head.
Being named the “Bombastic Bag-Man,” it was an extremely ridiculous costume. Considering that the Fantastic Four won’t be joining the MCU anytime soon, we won’t have to worry. Furthermore, if it’s incorporated into a future Spider-Man movie, we just hope that it’s little more than a playful nod rather than an entire plot point.
Tandy Bowen never had it easy. After her father left to pursue enlightenment, her mother remarried to a man that she didn’t like. Tandy’s mother then began to neglect her. It was then that Tandy decided to go off on her own, and that’s where she met Tyrone. The two were kidnapped and injected with a powerful drug that ended up giving them powers.
Tandy was the one called Dagger. She could throw daggers made entirely of light in contrast to her brooding partner. However, her costume is a bit ridiculous. While a skin-tight white suit isn’t anything to make note of, it’s the cut that she has one her torso that is much more questionable. We’re glad the upcoming series features a more grounded look for not only Dagger, but Cloak as well.
9. NOBLE KALE GHOST RIDER
Marvel has already proven that they’re willing to use different versions of the Ghost Rider character. Johnny Blaze wasn’t the one who appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Due to the Spirit of Vengeance having appeared in the MCU, we hope that Marvel doesn’t decide to use the Noble Kale version of the character.
Ghost Rider isn’t a difficult character to get right.
Give him a hellish vehicle, make him a demon biker, give him some chains, put a flaming skull on his head, mission accomplished. However, Marvel tried to get a bit creative with Noble Kale. Instead of heavy blacks, there are bright yellows and oranges, making Ghost Rider look like a Saturday morning cartoon character rather than a terrifying entity. That bike looks like a poor man’s version of the Akira bike.
8. ARMORED CAPTAIN AMERICA
Believe it or not, this is another creation that came from the ’90s. Captain America had contracted an illness exclusive to his Super Soldier Serum. Because of this, he was eventually paralyzed and unable to fight criminals. That’s when Tony Stark came to save the day and built Steve a new suit that would allow him to keep his career alive.
Unfortunately, that suit was one of the most awkward-looking designs for Captain America to date. Instead of trying to emulate Iron Man’s design or Captain America’s design, this suit tries to have it both ways. It has the bright colors and open mask of Captain America’s costume with the bulkiness of Iron Man’s armor. It all comes together to create something that’s laughable at best.
7. HEROES REBORN IRON MAN
We all know Tony Stark as the guy who fights with his brains rather than his brawn. He doesn’t have tactical hand-to-hand combat experience. Instead, he’s much better at creating suits of armor and tech to get the job done. Keeping that in mind, can you think of an explanation as to why Tony Stark would build a suit that had a set of rock solid abs?
The “Heroes Reborn” relaunch was bad for a lot of reasons, and Iron Man’s costume is definitely one of them.
It’s extremely busy and has no rhyme or reason to its design. It seems like Marvel got a bunch of artists together and just had them progressively add lines to Iron Man until they couldn’t think of anything less. If you think that’s bad, you should try and read the comic.
6. FORCE WORKS SCARLET WITCH
Scarlet Witch is a character whose costume was never quite suited for the big screen. Featuring the over-the-top headdress and an outfit that was less than modest, she was always going to need changes before she got put in the MCU. However, if you think that her original design is the worst that Marvel put her in, then you’re painfully mistaken.
The Avengers have several different teams across the world. One of them is the West Coast Avengers. However, the team disbanded and when many of the former members didn’t want to go back to the standard Avengers, Iron Man formed the Force Works team. Scarlet Witch was a member, and had a much gaudier costume this time around. Needless to say, if it appeared in the MCU, it would be the target of social media ire in an instant.
5. LEATHER AVENGERS
The Avengers have been around for decades. Being a team based on crossovers, none of the characters ever resembled each other. Iron Man, Wasp, and Captain America have always worn their own designs when it came to working with other heroes. However, Marvel decided that, in the ’90s, that would no longer be the case.
They decided to make the team sort of resemble one another in a weak attempt at creating an “Avengers uniform”.
They did this by giving them all leather jackets. One look at these “Avengers in leather,” and you can’t help but shake your head. Even Black Widow, a character defined by her ability to be a spy and killer, has a brown leather jacket with sleeves slightly rolled up. Yes, it looks every bit as weird as you would expect.
Sam Wilson made his official cinematic debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s there that he was given his robotic wings and a slick military suit to help him fight alongside Captain America and Black Widow against the threat of Hydra/S.H.I.E.L.D. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that he needed a significant change from his comic book outfit in order to fit with the movie.
Falcon’s original costume was much sportier than his current MCU design. He looks like a circus performer who’d be right next to the Flying Graysons. With a bright green design and the largest V-neck in fashion history, it’s easy to see why his design was changed. The red wings coming from his arms don’t exactly make him look any cooler either.
3. LUKE CAGE
Luke Cage is one of the Defenders and Heroes for Hire. Keeping the streets of Harlem safe for everyone, you would imagine that there wouldn’t be much of an interesting design to him. Instead, he’d wear more urban attire, right? Wrong. While the Luke Cage Netflix series gave a modern re-telling of Power Man’s design and backstory, his comic design remains as ridiculous as ever.
So ridiculous that the Netflix show even took a pretty big shot at it.
Wearing a silly yellow leather jacket and no shirt underneath, he looks like Marvel’s attempt at creating their own contender of a boxing tournament in the Rocky franchise. Making the design even worse is that goofy headband up top as well as his big hair. For a guy who can take a bullet to the face and not even flinch, he doesn’t exactly look the part.
2. WARREN ELLIS’ DOCTOR STRANGE
Doctor Strange has always been one of the most omniscient characters of the Marvel Universe. Not having a lot of stories on his own, he is often used a supporting character in other comics, helping out only when it is for the good of the earth. This is a role that has been adapted in the MCU due to the character’s appearance in Thor: Ragnarok.
We all know the costume of the Sorcerer Supreme by now: the blues and reds with the famous goatee and cape. However, Warren Ellis had a different idea as to what Doctor Strange could look like. In the ’90s, there was a version of Strange that looked like a discount Ozzy Osbourne. He had round glasses, long black hair, and was much younger. That said, it wasn’t long before Marvel brought an end to that design.
Captain America has always been a patriotic character willing to die for his country. That’s why the idea of him becoming Nomad is so interesting. Disillusioned with the country he would do anything for, Captain America now has no allegiance and instead lives by his own moral code. It’s a route that the MCU will be taking in Avengers: Infinity War.
That said, we’re glad that Marvel decided not to give Chris Evans the classic Nomad costume.
It’s hard to take Cap’s arc with being his own hero seriously when he is parading around in that disco suit. Furthermore, the dark blue and yellow just doesn’t look good on old Steve. Then, to add the final nail in the coffin, Marvel gave Captain America a cape that could give Thor’s a run for its money.
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