Dark Phoenix Finally Gets the X-Men Costumes Right

Dark Phoenix

Photos leaked in March from the set of director Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix teased new uniforms for the team, but now that the first official trailer has arrived, we’re introduced to them in their full glory. Even though we only see them for a few seconds, they’re shaping up to be the most faithful representation of the iconic costumes from the comic books.

The X-Men’s movie costumes have been a sore subject for a lot of fans, for the better part of two decades. When the first film premiered in 2000, gone were the classic bright yellow-and-blue uniforms, or even the more individualized Spandex, and in their place was the infamous black "biker leather" that muted the color palette of the entire franchise. However, comic book movies have evolved significantly since then. The original style decisions came from a place of trying to appeal to the widest possible audience, and when you have mind-readers, red eye beams, and hairy guys with claws popping out of their hands, perhaps executives thought yellow-and-blue Spandex was a step too far. They even made a snarky joke in that first film at the expense of their more familiar comics costumes, mocking the very idea of wearing color.

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Comic book movies have, for the most part, ditched the grim-and-gritty in favor of more colorful (and faithful) recreations of the source material. From the downright gaudy red-and-gold chrome of Iron Man, through Captain America’s stars and stripes, and on to the neon-drenched pop art that is Thor: Ragnarok, Hollywood has largely realized that what makes comics great isn’t the realism, it’s the escapism.

Dark Phoenix

In the X-Men franchise, costume design has taken center stage in more ways than one. Since 2011’s X-Men: First Class, the films have been largely period pieces, beginning in the 1960s and moving forward. In the case of Logan and the framing narrative of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the movies have even ventured into the future, but only Deadpool has been set in the present day. One thing all the movies have in common, however, is a much more discerning eye toward remaining faithful to the comics.

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