Costume design is no child’s play. A simple detail can make or break the design. Fans are usually very demanding when it comes to live-action costumes of their favorite comic book characters. While some costumes are almost universally praised for their ingenuity, authenticity and overall appeal, others are harshly criticized for being too extravagant, inaccurate or just plain ugly. But looks are not the only factor the fans take into account when judging a superhero costumes, there have also been remarks about the functionality of costumes. This issue resurfaced with Ben Affleck’s Batsuit. Batffleck's cowl seems to be made of a very thick material, rendering Affleck’s neck immobile.
Thus far, the DCEU has had both hits and misses when it comes to costumes. The Flash's unconventional costume as well as Joker's unorthodox look caused a lot of fuss. But the truth is, you can never please everyone, and pretty much every costume design will be met with criticism. While the only thing most of us can do is criticize, talented artists design their own versions of DCEU heroes and villains, some of which can rival the real thing. So, in honor of these incredible individuals we present 15 fan-designed DCEU costumes better than the movies.
Casting Ben Affleck as Batman was a bold movie which was met with almost universal disapproval. But Affleck is not the first actor who's casting as Batman caused backlash. Years before Affleck, Michael Keaton was cast in Burton’s Batman movie, leading the fans to write letters to the studio demanding the role be re-cast.
Over the years, there have been many live-action Batmen. While consensus has not been reached on which Batsuit looked the best, it is safe to say that Bale’s suit from The Dark Knight and Keaton’s suit from Batman are the most popular. Affleck’s suit, based on The Dark Knight Returns, didn’t look horrible but some fans had something a bit different in mind. This is a very cool early concept for the Batffleck done by British artist Ben Wilsonham and we would have loved to have seen it in the movie.
OK, making a half-human half-machine character look fierce, human and realistic on the big screen is not the easiest task. Oversimplifying the costume can result in a low-budget look, while going overboard with the CGI can lead to a rather unrealistic overall appearance. While Smallville can be blamed for the former, Justice League takes the blame for the latter.
While Ray Fisher’s Cyborg costume is a vast improvement on the Smallville costume it still doesn’t quite do justice to the comic book character. In fact, a number of fan designs out there are far better than Cyborg’s DCEU costume. The one and only Bosslogic treated us to his own amazing take on Cyborg, one which we would have loved to see in the movie.
13 THE FLASH
OK, we'll admit that this one’s a little bit…out there. A fantasy look may not seem like the perfect fit for the Scarlet Speedster, however, upon seeing this marvel we kind of had a change of heart. Yes, a fantasy-looking Flash is not something the world is used to seeing, but neither is a polymer-plated and wired Flash.
And if DCEU was gonna go with an unconventional design for the Flash’s costume, they might as well have chosen this one. Designed by the Malaysian artist Daniel Kamarudin, the fantasy Flash looks very devilish with pointy lightnings decorating his cowl. Daniel did an entire series of these fantasy redesigns for Justice League heroes as well as the Avengers and you should definitely check them out.
12 HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn is a special kind of crazy. This psychiatrist-turned supervillain made her debut on the amazing cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. The character proved to be so popular that DC Comics decided to introduce her into their mainstream comic book universe. Over the years, Harley Quinn has acquired quite the fanbase among comic book fans who were only too happy to hear that Harley will be getting her big screen live-action debut in DCEU’s Suicide Squad.
The part went to Australian actress Margot Robbie and Harley received a considerable makeover. Harley’s revamped Suicide Squad look wasn’t too shabby, however, we’re still kind of craving her classic look. Artist Jesus Bonaguro, known as kaethor, gives us a pretty good idea of how Margot Robbie would look in the classic costume.
When Doomsday was announced as the big bad of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the fans were eager to see what the gigantic monster would look like on the big screen. Needless to say, Doomsday’s appearance in the movie did not satisfy everyone’s expectations. Junaidi Lim, a 2D artist from Jakarta, Indonesia, wasn’t quite impressed with Batman v. Superman’s Doomsday and decided to create his own version of the villain.
According to the artist, his take on Doomsday was roughly based on the character's look in the comics as well as his big screen appearance. The idea was to make Doomsday more human-like than animal-like, as he was depicted in Batman v. Superman. In order to give the character a more human-like look, Junaidi drew the monstrous villain in a pair of green shorts. Well, if only the movie version looked this good.
10 WONDER WOMAN
Fantasy redesigns of beloved comic book characters are not that uncommon. Most of these fantasy superhero costumes tend to look very impressive, however, they’re not exactly what you would call functional. Yet, the amazing artist Daniel Kamarudin from Malaysia managed to create a fantasy Wonder Woman costume redesign that looks jaw-dropping and we could actually imagine it being used in a live-action movie.
Obviously, the costume does have a rather unusual look and it is hard to believe that it could be used as a main costume, but it could work as some kind of a special one-time outfit. The design is just so beautifully intricate and befitting of the Goddess of Truth. We have no doubt that Gal Godot would look absolutely mesmerizing in such an outfit.
Aquaman’s new look was undoubtedly a smart move, since his usual orange fish scales would probably look rather ridiculous on the big screen. And given that the character has been mocked for a better part of his history, the DCEU tried their hardest to restore some credibility to Aquaman as a powerful hero. Their first move was casting the mammoth Jason Momoa. Their second move, giving Aquaman a less colorful costume.
While we do enjoy Momoa’s portrayal of the King of Atlantis and actually find his costume fitting in regards to the overall atmosphere of the DCEU, we can’t help but wonder if maybe a more comic book-accurate costume would have worked too. Upon Momoa’s casting, artist James Bousema designed two awesome costumes for Aquaman. Both of his designs look very interesting and could possibly work very well in live-action.
8 THE FLASH
Back in 2014, The CW premiered its second Arrowverse series, The Flash. Starring Grant Gustin as the titular hero in red leather costume, the series quickly became a hit. So, when Warner Bros. announced that the DCEU’s Flash will star a different actor in a different costume, opinions were divided. But even after everyone made their peace with the studio’s decision, DCEU’s Flash, played by Ezra Miller, continued to be a cause of discord among the fans.
A far cry from the source material and the CW series, Ezra Miller’s Flash sports a suit made out of polymer plates held together by intricate wiring. Many of the early fan designs looked much better than Miller’s movie costume. This particular costume, designed by Indonesian artist Kevin Insan Rasyid, is based on the early concept art and truly makes us wish Miller wore this in the movie.
Justice League’s big bad Steppenwolf was kind of a letdown. Even before the movie premiered many were wondering as to why he was even chosen as the villain. With so many more prominent villains in the DCU, going with Steppenwolf was kind of an odd move. Unfortunately, the gamble didn’t quite pay off, since Steppenwolf turned out to be a pretty boring villain with a rather unimpressive CGI look.
Looking back at some early concepts as well as fan art makes us wonder why the studio went with the CGI appearance for Steppenwolf. The talented Australian artist Bosslogic created a perfect fan design for the live-action version of Steppenwolf. Sadly, he wasn’t in charge of the movie and his amazing piece of fanart will have to remain only fanart.
In a short period of time we got not one, but two versions of Deadshot. First, the CW’s Arrow introduced us to Floyd Lawton and the Suicide Squad. The Arrowverse's Deatshot, portrayed by Michael Rowe, looked pretty good even though his costume wasn’t like the one from the comics. The other Deadshot was played by Will Smith in DCEU’s Suicide Squad movie. Smith’s version of the character sported a more comic book-accurate costume.
And while we didn’t exactly hate Deadshot’s costume in Suicide Squad, we still like this fan-designed version better. John Gallagher, who currently works as a production illustrator on the CW’s The Flash, did an amazing take on Deadshot. John’s version preserves more of the character’s look from the comics while at the same time possessing enough originality.
5 ARMORED BATMAN
Batman’s Supesbuster from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been hotly debated. While the idea of an armored Batsuit is not exactly a novel one, a number of fans was dissatisfied with the armor’s design. And if we’re being honest, we too though that the designers could have done a better job with the armored Batsuit.
Clearly, artist Ricky Ryan thought so too. According to the artist, his Full Armor Batman was inspired by The Dark Knight Returns and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ricky’s armored Batsuit looks fierce but considerably less bulky than Affleck’s armored suit from the movie, which kind of reminds us of Tony Stark’s cave-built MK 1 Iron Man suit. The Supesbuster was way too bulky and didn't really have a cool and polished design like Ricky's Full Armor Batman.
4 THE JOKER
Out of all DCEU movies Suicide Squad was by far the most criticized one. Not only did the critics pan the movie on every possible basis, the audience too thought the movie was quite bad. The cons of Suicide Squad simply outweighed the pros and the movie turned into an unbearable mess. One of the minor reasons that made people dislike this movie was Jared Leto’s Joker.
Joker’s look in the DCEU is a far cry from the character’s iconic appearance in the comics. This major step away from the source material was met with pretty harsh criticism. What’s even worse is that artists around the world came up with fanart, such as the one above by Bosslogic, which looks far better than what we got in the movie.
3 WONDER WOMAN
Even the critically acclaimed Wonder Woman wasn’t completely immune to criticism. One target of criticism was Gal Gadot’s costume. The problem wasn’t so much with the overall design of the costume, nor with the whole pants v. skirt dilemma, rather the problem was the lack of color. To keep in tone with the pretty dark atmosphere of the Snyderverse Wonder Woman’s costume suffered a considerable loss of color. Naturally, fans started developing their own more colorful versions of the costume.
This version of Wonder Woman’s costume came after we got our first look at Gal Gadot in costume for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The author, a student from New Jersey going by Jasaric, loved the design of Wonder Woman’s costume but wanted to add a bit color and a couple of modifications. The result is truly amazing.
2 THE FLASH
To be honest, we’re not exactly digging Flash’s DCEU costume. Even though, Ezra Miller is doing a remarkable job as Barry Allen, we just can’t get over that weird suit. The early concepts for the Flash looked way more promising, which is why his final costume was an even bigger letdown. Luckily, talented artists are creating amazing fanart with alternate designs for the DCEU Flash.
This cool fanart comes from the Portuguese artist Tiago Datrinti, who works as an independent comic book artist and a tattoo apprentice. Tiago’s take on Ezra Miller’s Flash suit is actually quite similar to the actual suit used in the movie. However, this one looks more sleek. Perhaps once Miller’s suit finally gets upgraded it will look more like this.
1 DARK SUPERMAN
Now that DCEU’s highly anticipated Justice League is finally out for the world to see, the one question on everyone’s mind is, "where the heck was Superman’s black suit?" An iconic part of Supermen’s comic book revival, the all-black suit with the silver "S", was nowhere to be found in the movie. But what made the fans even angrier is that both the studio and the actor teased the suit prior to the movie’s release.
Unfortunately, as it turns out Superman’s black suit was never even planned for Justice League and we have apparently been duped. However, fanart of Cavill’s black Superman suit still remains and it looks gorgeous. Bosslogic’s take on Dark Superman is a frightening sight. It’s a shame his design for Supes’ crossover to the dark side wasn’t part of the movie.
Which of these designs do you wish were used in DCEU movies? Let us know in the comments!