Scantily dressed super-heroines have always frequented comic books throughout the years, some more so than others, and delighted men and women across the globe in the process. Often debated how they’d be able to protect themselves in a fight against their foes, their battle armor does little to shield enemy attacks, but shifted comics in their thousands. While some characters' costumes have shown less skin over the years, characters such as Starfire and Witchblade are still drawn today in the same sexy outfits of years gone by.
However, whilst most female superhero costumes are considered hot, there are some that have the opposite effect. With artists now going for a more practical approach when drawing super-heroines, not all females are drawn as sexy and lacking the proper attire for battle that they used to be. There are even some very rare heroines that have never been drawn with the intention of being eye candy. This list reflects on eight of the costumes that are considered super-hot, and a selection of the few that are considered to be super-not.
15 HOT - HARLEY QUINN
Harley Quinn has had many costumes over the years since first appearing in Batman: The Animated Series. Starting out fairly innocent with her famous red and black jumpsuit, her costumes took a more revealing route with the Batman: Arkham series of games. Launched in 2009, Harley’s costume changed to something similar to that of a suggestive nurse’s outfit that you would find at Halloween in a costume shop. The revealing nature of Harley’s costumes continued when DC relaunched and revamped their titles in 2011 with the New 52 series of comics.
A playful but dangerous flirt, her costumes reflect her crazy personality well. Her recent Suicide Squad costume has proven popular not only with her male fans, but with female cosplayers all over the world. With Margo Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn being one of the most successful things about the recent Suicide Squad film, there are talks of Harley getting her own film. Rightfully so!
14 NOT - BIG BARDA
Big Barda is a DC character that is a warrior of the New Gods from Apokolips, and her costume in the comics reflects that. Trained to be a leader of Darkseid’s deadly team of Female Furies, Barda’s outfit was drawn for a heroine truly ready for battle. With a helmet similar to that of Japanese Samurai, Barda was dressed head to toe in armor, with not even so much of a glimpse of skin on show.
However, while Barda’s costume might not be appealing to the eye, the physical characteristics hidden underneath deliberately were. Barda's physical appearance was said to have been inspired by actress Lainie Kazan, who had appeared in Playboy magazine around that time, and her personality was based on that of Kirby's wife, Roz.
13 HOT - PSYLOCKE
Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock, also known as Psylocke, is one of the most popular ladies from the X-Men team. Known for both for her power and her looks, Psylocke was initially just a supporting character for her twin brother Captain Britain; back then, her costumes were quite modest. Betsy started out life as a telepath, but after she had her mind placed in the body of the Japanese ninja Kwannon, she gained a high level of fighting skills as well as multiple, much more revealing costume changes.
With a skin-tight purple leotard that shows more than just a little bit of cheek, Psylocke’s more well-known costumes are super sexy. Be it the original Jim Lee version, or her more recent X-Force costumes, the skin-tight clothing always shows off her muscles gained over the years of fighting the bad guys.
12 NOT - SQUIRREL GIRL
Squirrel Girl is seen as a cute, lighthearted character, but unless squirrels are your thing, her costume lacks the sex appeal of other characters on this list. Bullied for her physical mutation, Doreen fled into the woods and discovered she was able to communicate with squirrels. With a giant prehensile tail, strong buck teeth and claws to help her climb trees, she shares a lot of physical attributes with the squirrels she can connect with.
Another part of her costume includes a utility belt with multiple pouches for nuts, dubbed "nut bags," for energy and for her squirrel friends. As well as enhanced agility, vision and smell, Doreen Green also has super human strength that is often underestimated by her foes. It is this underestimation of her powers that has led to the demise of many an enemy, including the super-villain Dr Doom.
11 HOT - POWER GIRL
Commonplace in the comic book world, Power Girl has one of the most famous "boob windows" around. With aliases of Kara and Karen Starr, she is the super-heroic cousin of Superman from an alternate universe. Even though she is the Earth Two equivalent of Supergirl, she has always drawn completely differently. While Supergirl has the innocent girl next door look, Power Girl has always been drawn as a super busty character, and the only similarity is their blonde hair.
Power Girl’s most well-known costume not only shows off her chest, but is also a figure hugging, leg-baring leotard similar to the likes of Marvel’s Psylocke. The only modest part of her outfit is that it comes with long sleeves attached. The reason behind the size of her chest is an interesting tale. Artist Wally Wood was convinced that his editors were not paying any attention to his work, so he gradually increased Power Girl’s chest size until they started to notice what he was trying to do.
10 NOT - WOLFSBANE
A mutant originating from Scotland, Wolfsbane is another X-Men character where sex appeal was not the focus. Another animalistic mutant, she can transform from half human half wolf similar in looks to a werewolf, into a full wolf-like character. Unlike some other shapeshifting mutants, Wolfsbane is able to retain aspects of her human intelligence whilst in animal form.
Created by Chris Claremont, Wolfsbane has been a part of many of the main Marvel teams, including New Mutants, X-Factor, X-Force and even a spell as a teacher at Xavier’s academy. Wolfsbane is a character that will be seen for the first time on the big screen in the upcoming New Mutants film. Set to be played by Maisy Williams, we will see the Game of Thrones star transform from the actress we know into a super furry animal.
9 HOT - EMMA FROST
Emma Frost is one of the hottest X-Men characters, and her costumes reflects that fact. Another Claremont character, she started life out a villain, as leader of the notorious Hellfire Club and an archenemy of the X-Men, before eventually joining them and even becoming the headmistress of Xavier’s school. Frost’s costumes are very skimpy in nature, with certain outfits consisting of barely-there underwear. Unlike other comic heroines, this does not mean she is not equipped for battle.
One of the White Queen’s powers is that she can transform into a diamond state with enhanced strength and durability. As an Omega-level mutant, her telepathy skills rival those of Jean Grey’s and she has even been known to host the Phoenix Force too. A tall, slim blonde in a skin tight white outfit that leaves little to the imagination, the White Queen is a character designed to be easy on the eye.
8 NOT - JESSICA JONES
While some of Jessica’s original costumes echoed those of other super heroines' super tight catsuits, the more recent versions of Jessica that most people would recognize has her hiding behind casual attire. When Jessica was known as Jewel, she wore a stereotypical clingy catsuit when she flew through the sky, but that changed after being captured and having her mind controlled by Zebediah Killgrave.
Once Jessica broke free of the mind control, she spent a brief stint as the vigilante Knightress before retiring and becoming the character we know her as today. After she retired from super hero-dom, Jessica tried to blend in with society and set up her own private investigation firm. With baggy jeans, a t-shirt and leather jacket, Jones is now drawn like the regular person she wants to be.
7 HOT - STARFIRE
One of the hottest alien super-heroines around, Starfire has long been known for her sex appeal. Also known as Koriand'r, Starfire is regarded as extremely physically attractive even by the standards of superheroes. In her time on Earth, she once even worked as a model under the alias Kory Anders. A strong-willed and loving character, Starfire has had many partners and husbands over the years.
In the New 52 series of comics, Koriand'r changed and she became a colder, distant character. Along with Starfire’s change in personality, there was a change in her costumes; her outfits became skimpier and more revealing, with her New 52 costume being famous for the flesh on show. After DC came under fire for Starfire’s New 52 attire, her costumes have taken a slightly more modest route in recent years.
6 NOT - FERAL
Another super furry character, Feral is both feral in looks and nature. Created by Rob Liefeld, she has appeared as both a superhero and supervillain, but is most well known for her stint with X-Force. While Feral’s purple costume resembles something similar to that of DC’s Starfire, her mutation means that she is covered in light orange feline fur, as well as sharp claws, fangs, and pointed ears.
During her Liefeld years, Feral was drawn with a giant mane like hair that was a cross between Wolverine’s well-known pointed hair and that of the Thundercats' Wilykat. Also known as Maria Callasantos, Feral’s ferocious nature has seen her come to blows on numerous occasions with her teammates, as well as caused her to kill members of her family when her mutation first manifested.
5 HOT - RED SONJA
With only her boobs and butt truly ready for battle, Sonja’s metal-clad bikini has become famous over the years. Unlike Big Barda, Red Sonja’s costume is sexy but inappropriate for the battlefield. Known as ‘the She-Devil with a Sword’, she is said to be the greatest swordswoman of the Hyborean Age that has skills to match any man. Her divine gifts were granted to her by the goddess Scathach, but the price was that she must not lay with any man that can not defeat her in combat.
Inspired by the Conan The Barbarian character, Red Sonya of Rogatino, she was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith for Marvel. The fiery red-haired warrior started out as a supporting character in the Conan series of comics, but Sonja proved to be so popular that she eventually got her own solo book. Another popular cosplay choice, Sonja’s chainmail bikini, leather gloves and boots are often seen wandering around convention halls.
4 NOT - MARROW
Marrow is the perfect name for super-heroine Sarah, because it sums up in one word not only her powers but her look, too. This female character’s superpowers and costumes include the ability to enhance the growth of her skeletal structure so that her bones grow out of her skin and can be removed from her body. As a child, Marrow was taken in by some of the other hideous looking mutants from the Morlocks, and as a young adult she formed the Gene Nation unit until Callisto ordered her to join the X-Men.
Her bone structures provide her with the ability to make her own weapons such as knives and clubs as well as providing a little bit of body armor. With her powers originally uncontrollable, experimentation at a Skrull medical facility meant that Marrow’s could control herself after the enhancements.
3 HOT - VAMPIRELLA
Armed with nothing but a thin red monokini held together by a gold ring around her neck and a cape, Vampirella’s iconic costume remains renowned today. Attempts have been made on numerous occasions to make her outfit more modest, but the sling suit costume still remains. Vampirella was one of the bad girls of comics that was inspired by the 1960’s sci-fi films.
With multiple origin stories, the three things that stay the same are the costume, her powers and her jet black hair. Vampirella possesses multiple powers that are associated with vampires, but is also super strong and agile as well as being immortal with a healing factor. Considered a vampire because she needs blood to survive, Vampirella has all of their powers but without their weaknesses.
2 NOT – LILANDRA
The Empress of the alien Shi’ar Empire, Lilandra Neramani was one of the many characters created by Chris Claremont. Born on the planet Aerie, she was one of four royal siblings, and the second eldest after her murderous older sister Deathbird. A long-time lover of Professor Xavier, with whom she shared a telepathic connection, her costumes were some of the most bizarre in the X-Men universe. With hair that stuck out like that of an exotic bird’s crest, and commonly seen fully clad head to toe in silver armor, there was very little skin left on show.
Perhaps designed this way because of her warrior nature, she was not seen as a sex symbol by anyone but Xavier. Lilandra has recently been rumoured to be appearing as the villain for the first time on the big screen in the new X-Men: Dark Phoenix film by award winning actress Jessica Chastain.
1 HOT - WITCHBLADE
An Image comics character on the list, Witchblade is known for her scantily clad attire that has gotten many a cosplayer in trouble at a convention for its revealing nature. With little to leave to the imagination, her costume barely covers the side of her breasts. The only part of the costume that seems to matter in terms of the character being a heroine is the Witchblade gauntlet itself.
The supernatural gauntlet bonds with a female host, and it provides her with a variety of powers so that the host can help to fight supernatural evil. The comic book series ran until 2015, but has proven popular outside of comics, having been adapted into a TV series, anime, manga and a novel over the years.
Which female superhero costumes do you find the hottest, and which for you are the opposite? Let us know in the comments!