One of the most important aspects of a superhero is their look. When they begin parading the streets, trying to find a new crime to stop and a new opportunity to save the day, the outfit they wear will be the first thing people remember and this is true for readers as well. Going through comics on the shelves, it’s important that a superhero have a great costume. There have been some great superhero costumes over the years, many of them coming from Marvel Comics. They were the ones that invented Spider-Man’s costume, which paved the way for all sorts of different-looking outfits. Because of this, they have a vast collection of characters with great outfits that will remain an important piece of comic book history.
However, they have to come up with a way to sell new stories and differentiate versions of the same character. Because of this, Marvel introduced a lot of redesigns for their popular characters to celebrate the launch of a new series or an alternate. While some of these costumes are excellent, there are several that are less than attractive. Many of these superhero costumes have faded into obscurity, but we still remember how awful they were. Get ready to cringe in horror as we look at 20 of the worst Marvel superhero redesigns of the past 10 years (expect to see a lot of the current stuff), and we hope that the company goes back to its classic comic costume roots sooner rather than later.
20. DOCTOR STRANGE
Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Being the former surgeon known as Stephen Strange, he quickly made his way to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. With, he was given a mystical costume complete with bright colors and a large cloak. However, he was sidelined from getting his own series for quite some time.
With the “All-New All-Different” relaunch, Marvel decided to give Strange his own series again, complete with a new look.
However, Strange’s new costume suffers from “too cool” disease. There isn’t much benefit to giving Doctor Strange a shield or a battle ax. It just seems added in for kicks, and the new color scheme doesn’t pack as much of a punch.
19. THE THING
The Thing is one of the members of the Fantastic Four who, being a giant rock monster, only ever wore a pair of pants as his costume. This way, his orange and blue color scheme would easily stand out in the pages and serve as a great contrast to the dark green of the Hulk. With the “All-New All-Different” relaunch, that was thrown out the window.
After “Secret Wars” was over, Steve Rogers was much too old to take on the role of Captain America. That left Sam Wilson to follow in his friend’s footsteps and become the new Star Spangled Avenger.
Taking a page from both the Falcon costume and the Captain America costume, what came out was a strange amalgamation.
There was a lot more silver put on this new design and, combined with the blue and the red accents, the entire look feels jarring. He still manages to keep his goggles as well, which clearly isn’t a look that was ever meant to suit the Captain America costume.
We all know that Scott Summers is kind of a jerk. After spending a lot of his days feeding his own selfish desires, his leadership over the X-Men actually caused more problems than he was worth. Take the entire “Avengers Vs X-Men” storyline, where he was at the center of the conflict.
That wasn’t the worst crime of Scott, though, as his costume was even greater travesty. Not only did it have a strange bird over the torso, but it was almost a clear cut copy of Nightwing’s costume from the New 52. The only difference being that Scott had a visor.
16. KITTY PRYDE
Star-Lord does get around with the ladies, and he even went as far as to begin a relationship with X-Man, Kitty Pryde. Kitty Pryde is famous for her yellow and black suit to coincide with her being younger than most of the X-Men.
However, she decided to join the Guardians of the Galaxy after starting a relationship with Star-Lord.
Things didn’t stay bright and shiny for the couple, though. Star-Lord left to go to Spartax and Kitty decided to lead the Guardians. Instead of keeping her costume, though, she decided to become the new Star-Lord, even dressing exactly the same as Quill. It’s every bit as jarring as you might expect.
Scott Lang was the Ant-Man that Marvel decided to follow after their big “Secret Wars” event. When he would get a new series again, Marvel teased that he would be going back to his criminal ways and teaming up with some fairly big supervillains.
His actions in the comic weren’t the worst thing about him, though. Scott Lang’s Ant-Man costume in the Astonishing Ant-Man series looks like an astronaut outfit that forgot a mouth covering. It’s often been said that the MCU version is better than the comics, and this is a perfect example why — even the earlier versions are better than this.
14. SQUIRREL GIRL
Squirrel Girl has always been a bit of a joke character. Created in response to the serious tone of the rest of Marvel Comics, there’s something to love about her. Her design is appropriately quite ridiculous, especially considering her entire character.
When she was brought over into the “All-New All-Different” universe of Marvel, her costume looked more casual and a lot less like what a superhero would wear.
But that’s not why she’s on this list — it’s the redesign of her face. We get that Squirrel Girl is supposed to be a comedic character, but that expression is downright haunting. We’re glad she’s an Avenger, but did they really have to make her into a human squirrel?
Quicksilver has never had the greatest costume — Marvel seems to not completely know what to do with his design. Most times, it involves his slicked back white hair and some green and blue to get the job done. However, they tried something a bit different when he was placed into the Uncanny Avengers run.
Marvel tried to give Quicksilver a logo and put it directly on his chest. It consists of three arrows pointing in the same direction. It wouldn’t be so bad if his costume wasn’t white on the front and then purple everywhere else. It’s a sorry attempt at a logo and a step backward from an already sub-par design.
Unfortunately, the most defining trait of Spider-Woman going into the “All-New All-Different” reality is that she was pregnant — not something such a rich character should be known for.
That said, her costume during the time definitely didn’t help readers see her as the main event player she should be.
Spider-Woman completely lost the mask and all of the interesting parts of her costume design. Instead, she was given a shirt with the Spider-Woman logo on it. Then she had black sleeves and pants. In place of a mask, she was a set of goggles that barely protect her identity. She doesn’t look anything like spider hero should.
Bruce Banner went through a lot of struggles over the years, so Marvel decided to give him a break when they relaunched their universe. They still had a Hulk, but Amadeus Cho was the man behind the monster this time around and because of this, Hulk got some aesthetic changes as well.
Unfortunately, Totally Awesome Hulk just looks downright weird. He looks some tech-savvy hipster that you’d run into at Starbucks to have a conversation about upcoming midterms. Complete with the spiked-up hair, the goofy expression, and some more “hip” shorts, this is the Hulk for a new generation, and it hurts.
Angela was a character brought into the Marvel Universe after a deal was struck with Image Comics. She was introduced as the secret sister of Thor Odinson.
The God of Thunder had to go on a journey to find her and she would later have adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as on her own.
Since coming over to Marvel, she was taken from the golden city of Asgard and banished from Heven. Following this banishment, she would make her way to the dark realm of Hel. Becoming its painful ruler, she is given the headdress of Hela on top of her white costume. All in all, it looks like a weird photoshop job.
Storm is a character that has gone through a few design changes over the years. There was the weird mohawk look from the ’90s, the classic X-Men look, and a few more. She was given a new costume during her time in Extraordinary X-Men, and it’s far from the best.
Gone are the black robes and cape. Instead, she is given a mohawk that is way too long for any reasonable human or mutant. On top of that, she has an almost entirely white costume that is open in the middle, with one of the weirdest-looking patterns we’ve ever seen on a costume.
Hyperion is often described as Marvel’s version of Superman. After all, he is one of the strongest characters, can fly at fast speeds, and packs some serious power in his punches.
Unfortunately, his design has never been the best, featuring a golden girdle that looks every bit as ridiculous as it sounds.
When he was given a new costume in the “All-New All-Different” relaunch, it probably wasn’t any worse than his ones from the past. His design is black and gold instead of red and yellow. His girdle was shortened, but now it has a radioactive symbol right over his stomach to give him some sort of defining logo.
The mutant known as Sunspot has had a fairly interesting design over the years. Having powers similar to the Human Torch, he can burst into flames and soar into the sky. However, the difference was that he had a black costume over his body to contrast with the fire around him. It was cool.
For his time in the New Avengers book, it was changed for the worse. Sunspot had managed to gain the resources of AIM to forge his own Avengers team. Along with it, he gave himself a new costume that was much more tech-related. He also had a pair of silly goggles that made it look worse.
Rogue is one of the most interesting X-Men ever created. She has the ability to absorb the powers of other superheroes and use them for herself. It’s difficult to come up with a costume that communicates this, so Marvel just gave her some sweet hair and a cool jacket to go with the X-Men uniform.
For the Uncanny Avengers, they were willing to try something a bit more adventurous — and it didn’t pay off.
5. CAPTAIN AMERICA
When the “All-New All-Different” relaunch took the Marvel Universe by storm, Captain America was not one of the characters to make the jump at first. Sam Wilson had taken the mantle. However, it wasn’t long before Steve Rogers returned to the fray with a costume that looked like really off (must have been a Hydra design).
There is always a point where a character is a bit over-designed, and that’s what happened with Captain America’s new look. With different tones and shades, the costume didn’t have the same consistency or punch that it once did. Furthermore, that traditional shield design just feels wrong.
The Vision has never been a simple character when it comes to his design. Featuring a red body, gold cape, and a few green accents, there was always a bit going on with his look. However, Marvel decided to kick it up a notch when bringing him to the “All-New All-Different” continuity.
In short, Vision is much redder than normal.
He has a lot more of this faded red around his body. He’s also given a symbol on his chest that never really took off (it’s a similar problem with Quicksilver’s attempted logo). By making him mostly red and muting the green, he also loses a lot of his visual flair.
3. IRON FIST
There seems to be a trend with the “All-New All-Different” universe to give a lot of popular heroes redesigns where they have black instead of their regular colors. One example of this is the costume of the Iron Fist.
We all know Danny Rand usually wears a green suit with a deep V and popped collar — it’s a simple yet effective design. However, he was given a black suit with yellow stripes down the sides for the new universe. The problem here is the Iron Fist’s costume looks more like a tracksuit than something a crime-fighting vigilante would ever wear.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot were completely sold to us when they appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy. Because of this, Marvel knew they had an opportunity to give these characters the lead in their own comic series called Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
The issue here is that Groot was given a completely different look to fit in with the artistic vision they had for the series.
Where it falters is in the fact that Groot doesn’t have a neck and looks more like an actual tree than the alien he really is. It’s a jarring change when you see how he great and menacing he looked beforehand.
1. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
What happens when you have a popular cast like the Guardians of the Galaxy and try to breathe new life into them? A series of awful costumes, that’s what. When Marvel started the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy series, Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora were each given redesigns that make them seem even less like a unified team.
Star-Lord retains the mask from the movie, but he has a blue shirt with a Guardians logo that is off-putting when juxtaposed with the rest of his outfit. Gamora suddenly has her hair back like a discount samurai. Drax, the worst offender, is given a white suit that makes him look more like a chef. Even if the series is for comedy, those costumes aren’t good.
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