When the Zack Snyder-directed Man of Steel hit the silver screen on June 14, 2013, it introduced moviegoers around the world to the newest superhero film universe: the DC Extended Universe. After Man of Steel found box office success by grossing over $668 million, Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Films began to bring the massive creative process to transfer the publisher’s extensive character catalog filled with heroes, villains, and sidekicks to the big screen. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman slowly followed Man of Steel, and together the four films have grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide.
The film’s wardrobe department (and in particular cases, the CGI department) has the crucial job of not only creating a costume that not captures both the actor and director's’ interpretations of the character, but also the way fans have seen the character through comics. With high expectations from the fanbase, the films’ wardrobe and CGI departments must come up with an impeccable design that will forever be immortalized on the silver screen. Over the past four films, there have been some costumes that made fans cheer and jeer. CBR found the eight characters that looked awful and the seven characters that shined in the DC Extended Universe.
15 LOOKS AWFUL: DOOMSDAY
Doomsday will go down in comic book history as the monster that killed Superman. The evil murdering machine became a hot topic in the early '90s when Superman, Vol. 2 #75 “Doomsday” hit newsstands in January 1993. The spiked gray-skinned creature with wild eyes scarred several generations of comic book lovers. When it was announced that the character would appear Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans had high expectations.
Unfortunately, the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice production and graphics team let everyone down! First, Doomsday (actor Robin Atkin Downes voiced and motion-captured the character) was a horrific combination of General Zod (Michael Shannon)’s corpse and Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg)’s blood. The monster looked like a burnt brownie and was not terrifying as his previous predecessors.
14 LOOKS BETTER: WONDER WOMAN
When Gal Gadot appeared as Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, she immediately was welcomed into the pop culture lexicon. Ms. Gadot’s Amazon Princess stole the film away from Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel and Ben Affleck’s gruff Dark Knight. Gadot’s Diana oozed out confidence and was a skilled warrior that held her own against the monstrous Doomsday.
The Warner Bros. Pictures’ wardrobe department did an impeccable job designing Wonder Woman’s armor. The armor did pay a little homage to Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, but it reminded viewers that Ms. Gadot is this generation’s Wonder Woman. She could not only play a supporting role, and also could hold her own in a box office spectacular. Plus, Gadot’s Wonder Woman was a favorite costume for this Halloween and at Comic Cons.
13 LOOKS AWFUL: LEX LUTHOR
Where do we begin with the DC Extended Universe’s version of Superman’s arch-nemesis? For decades, fans have grown to see accept icy LexCorp CEO Lex Luthor stare down the Man of Steel in numerous forms of media. However, when Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans took to social media to voice their displeasure.
They also continued to nag producers when it was revealed that Eisenberg was playing “Lex Luthor’s son” instead of the real deal. Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor had an awful fashion sense. Instead of dressing in Zegna or Brioni suits, Eisenberg’s Luthor looked like a no care slacker with weird combinations of mismatched shirts, pants, and jackets. Also, he acted like the son of Edward Nygma.
12 LOOKS BETTER: AQUAMAN
For decades, DC’s King of the Seven Seas has been probably the company’s walking and talking punching bag. Before 2011, many pop culture aficionados have put Aquaman on the worst superheroes list. But DC Comics’ President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns breathed new life into Arthur Curry and transformed into one of the publisher’s most formidable heroes in their catalog. Many fans hesitated when it was announced that Aquaman would be included in the Justice League feature film.
However, when Games of Thrones actor Jason Momoa made his cameo as Aquaman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans not only breathed a sigh of relief but were looking forward to his appearance in the upcoming Justice League. If Momoa does an incredible job in this film, Aquaman’s midnight showings may sell out!
11 LOOKS AWFUL: THE JOKER
Actor Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker polarized the DC Comics fanbase when he starred in the 2016 summer blockbuster Suicide Squad. While Leto had incredible chemistry with Margot Robbie, he was no traditional Joker. For a majority of the film, the DC Extended Universe’s Joker looked a psycho fitness model who wore no shirt and had numerous tattoos including a Cheshire Cat-like grin, a half-dozen “Ha-Ha’s,” and his name in all caps adorn across his body.
The film featured flashbacks that had Leto’s Joker interpreting classic Clown Prince of Crime moments such as Alex Ross’ Batman: Harley Quinn in fancier clothing. But, fans would be happy to see Leto’s Joker put some more clothes on when the actor makes his appearance in the upcoming Joker and Harley Quinn (and possibly The Batman) film.
10 LOOKS BETTER: SUPERMAN
The Man of Steel’s uniform is one of the world’s iconic costumes of all-time. It took seven years for Man of Steel to erase the damage that director Bryan Singer, actor Brandon Routh, and screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris did to Superman’s reputation on the silver screen in Superman Returns. When Zack Snyder rekindled the film franchise, one of the significant elements that helped make Man of Steel memorable was Henry Cavill’s Superman costume.
When moviegoers saw Henry Cavill in Superman’s crimson red cape plus the blue Under Armour top and bottom, it felt like they were looking at an Alex Ross painting come to life. Because of Man of Steel’s success, the DC Extended Universe was born and Henry Cavill’s Superman remains one of the crown jewels.
9 LOOKS AWFUL: ENCHANTRESS
Enchantress is one of the most powerful members of the Suicide Squad. In addition to Deadshot and Rick Flagg, Enchantress was a part of the revitalized Suicide Squad in the late '80s after "Crisis on Infinite Earths" shook DC Comics to its core. However, when former fashion model turned actress Cara Delevingne played the witch in Suicide Squad, her interpretation was way more villainous than the comics’ .
In addition to her horrible acting, Delevingne's Enchantress looked like a rejected model from America’s Next Top Model: Goth Edition wearing a horrifying outfit that was vetoed from a Project Runaway’s superhero-themed challenge. Besides the questionable wardrobe choices, she also had a horrible taste in jewelry. While Delevingne looked gorgeous as a goddess, her goth costume was a major turnoff.
8 LOOKS BETTER: DEADSHOT
Suicide Squad’s leading assassins and one of Batman’s most dangerous adversaries made his silver screen debut in the 2016 anti-hero film. Deadshot had come a long way since he debuted in Batman, vol. 1 #59 (he wore a tuxedo and top hat when he first faced off against the Dynamic Duo). While personality has changed over the years, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin’s re-design of the character, which made its debut on Detective Comics, vol. 1 #474, has been used in numerous comics and other multimedia platforms for over 40 years.
The Suicide Squad’s wardrobe department honored the comic book creators’ legacy by modernizing the Deadshot outfit but keeping classic elements. Deadshot’s mask was dead on, and having the Men in Black actor wear black body pads over his uniform made him intimidating and will hopefully lead to an appearance in Suicide Squad 2.
7 LOOKS AWFUL: DOCTOR POISON
While Ares stole the show as Wonder Woman’s headline villain, Doctor Poison made her DC Extended Universe as a supporting villain. Actress Elena Anaya portrayed the toxic World War I villainess whose goal was to create chemical weapons for the German army. It was intriguing seeing the Golden Age version of the villainess on the silver screen. However, Doctor Poison was one of the worst dressed villains in the DC Extended Universe.
Her dark emerald green scrubs did pay homage to the comics, but she had a Phantom of the Opera-esque twist as she had a plastic mouth covering the bottom of her face. Fans would tremble with fear if the Wonder Woman wardrobe department decide to give the character an outfit based off of Matthew Clark’s design for the second film (if she even appears in it).
6 LOOKS BETTER: ARES
Ares made his DC Extended Universe debut in Wonder Woman when actor David Thewlis stepped into his villainous boots. When fans learned that Ares would be the primary villain of Diana’s first solo adventure, they secretly hoped that the Warner Bros. Pictures’ costume department would follow the design that George Perez immortalized during his legendary run on the Wonder Woman comic book series. The costume department did not disappoint as Ares’ armor was God-worthy.
Between the scary four horned helmets and the intimidating metallic body armor, fans thought that Thewlis’ Ares was an opponent worthy of facing off against Gal Gadot’s Amazon Warrior Princess. While the God of War's powers played a massive factor in his defeat at the end of Wonder Woman, many moviegoers believe that Ares would rear his ugly head again in the sequel.
5 LOOKS AWFUL: HARLEY QUINN
Margot Robbie stole Suicide Squad with her tour-de-force as The Joker’s former assistant and girlfriend but in all honesty, Robbie’s wardrobe for Harley Quinn was way too risqué. The two-toned red and blue hair and jacket along with the ripped “Daddy’s Little Monster” T-shirt was one of Harley Quinn’s worst costumes in the character’s storied history. Also, she did not even have pants!
Throughout her history, Harley wore pants with her uniform. Also, a tattooed Harley was very unappealing on the eyes. The tattoos that were spread throughout her body including spades on her left knee, a heart-shaped arrow with “Puddin” on her right knee, and a small black heart on her cheek. Going forward with Suicide Squad 2 and the untitled Joker and Harley Quinn film, the DC Films' wardrobe department should have Robbie's Harley in more clothes.
4 LOOKS BETTER: KILLER CROC
When DC Films announced that Killer Croc would rear his ugly reptilian head in Suicide Squad, fans began to debate about how Warner Bros. Pictures would design the character. Some fans thought that Croc would be a CGI character, while others worried how Croc would look if he were in full make-up. Thank goodness that the Suicide Squad producers and makeup team did an impeccable job transforming actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje into the monstrous beast for the 2016 anti-hero film.
In addition to the flawless makeup job, Suicide Squad’s costume department added a leather hoodie and an alligator-esque jacket, which made the former Gotham Crime Boss more frightening than Enchantress and Joker combined. We are hoping that Killer Croc's role exponentially increases in Suicide Squad 2.
3 LOOKS AWFUL: CAPTAIN BOOMERANG
Australia’s nastiest boomerang thrower is the next character that is highlighted in the DC Extended Universe’s Worst Dressed List. In both of the Flash and Suicide Squad comic books, George “Digger” Harkness is a well-dressed criminal whose sharp boomerangs always hit their targets. When actor Jai Courtney slipped into the Captain Boomerang boots, the wardrobe choices were abysmal. Instead of wearing a slick outfit, Courtney’s Boomerang was forced to wear an unattractive trench coat along with dark denim jeans and a royal blue vest with “CAPTAIN” in white capital letters.
If Mr. Courtney’s captain is brought back for Suicide Squad 2 and the untitled Flash motion picture, the DC Films’ wardrobe department should go and research the iconic villain’s style evolution in the comic books. That way, they would create a design that would appease the fanbase and moviegoers.
2 LOOKS BETTER: KATANA
It was a massive risk for the Suicide Squad production team to put Katana on the silver screen. Unless you were either a hardcore fan of the anti-hero team or a DC Comics aficionado, you might not know who Tatsu Yamashiro is. Moviegoers would also not know her origin story, and how the superhero assassin fits in the DC Universe. But actress Karen Fukuhara did an impeccable job bringing the former Outsider turned Suicide Squad leader into the DC Extended Universe.
Suicide Squad transformed Katana from an unknown assassin to a household name thanks to the simple but stunning uniform. Katana’s leather jacket with red bands and gold buttons was very eye appealing. The wardrobe team also captured her recent signature white mask with red circle on the forehead, which made moviegoers fall in love with her tough love heroism.
1 LOOKS AWFUL: FLASH
Ezra Miller received a rude welcome into the DC Extended Universe family after fans protested his initial casting as Flash (Barry Allen) for the upcoming Justice League film on social media. The CW Network supporters argued that Grant Gustin, an actor that the pop culture aficionados were familiar with as the Scarlet Speedster, was passed over in favor of the Trainwreck actor.
However, Gustin and the CW’s The Flash won the costume contest when Warner Bros. Pictures’ publicity department released Miller in Flash’s uniform for Justice League. Miller’s Flash uniform looked like the wardrobe department ripped off Saban’s Power Rangers’ the Red Power Ranger uniform and just put a lightning bolt on the chest. Flash’s outfits should always be sleek, but the Scarlet Speedster’s Justice League outfit is a clunker.
Do you agree or disagree with this list? Let us know in the comments!