The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, has been on a roll with producing one awesome film after the next and then still finding a way to connect them. The have great directors, cinematographers and even costume designers that are able to draw their inspiration through the decades of comics created based on the characters such as Thor, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch and all of their villains and arch-nemeses. There are hundreds of costumes to use as influences for the films, but costumes from the Golden and Silver Age of comics are more often than not, not practical.
Whether a character is as strong as the Hulk or as magical as Scarlet Witch, it is always wise to have protection while going into battle. Strong armor, chainmail or even tough leather can make all the difference between life and death. Some examples of costumes that were actually used for superheroes and supervillains are bikinis, go-go boots, overly large hats and sweaters in comics. The era of the ‘40s through the ‘90s were not completely focused on practicality. It wasn’t until more recently that the MCU started using practical costumes that can offer protection. So here are 15 costumes from comics that are too impractical for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
15. BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow’s most common and popular costume is the all-black jumpsuit, but what many fans of the MCU might not know about her is that she was originally in all fishnets and a tiny cape. You can see how this original costume of hers would be highly impractically and how they made a good decision to change it to what it is now.
One of the main problems that Black Widow would have with wearing fishnets from neck to feet is the tanlines. Although sometimes the fishnet costume would show her skin, other times it would be colored in, it is still not a practical or professional look. We are also glad they got rid of the cape — she’s supposed to be a spy, so why does she need a cape?
As in many comic storylines, superheroes or villains can be more than more character. The man behind this bright green suit with black pinstripes, a furry collar and large feathers is Professor Clifton Shallot. This costume that looks like a sweater onsie should stay where it is, in the older Spider-Man comics. The MCU made the right choice in designing a newer version of The Vulture’s costume and using technology.
Unlike in the MCU, Professor Shallot actually transforms himself into a human vulture using bio-mutation. He has fangs, claws and wings. Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming is made from a mechanical suit and has more protection from battles. The man behind Vulture in MCU is Adrian Toomes (who also becomes the Vulture in the comics) and he owns a salvage company instead of being a college professor.
13. BETTY ROSS
Betty Ross has appeared in The Incredible Hulk as the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She has a long history with Bruce Banner and his secret alias as the Hulk. She is an on and off again lover and even turns into a Hulk herself. In the comics, she is Red She-Hulk.
If the MCU ever decides to bring Betty Ross back and make her the Red She-Hulk to add a love triangle between Natasha and Bruce they would have to go a different route on her costume. Red She-Hulk is just as strong as Hulk and She-Hulk, and all the Hulks have similar costumes — they look torn and there is very little fabric. This is appropriate for men in films, but if a She-Hulk were to be introduced, the costume would have to have more fabric.
12. SCARLET WITCH
This tops the most impractical of all Marvels costumes to be part of the MCU for many different reasons. For one, the films are PG-13 and Elizabeth Olsen in a swimsuit corset will lean toward a more Rated R approach. On top of it being very revealing, there is very little protection being offered for when she goes into battle. When the Avengers are saving the world, they’re going against all kinds of villains, and this costume leaves a lot of skin unprotected.
Other highly impractical feature of this costume is the bedsheet cape. This cape looks like it can cover a king size bed, and maybe it did at once. Large capes make mobility very difficult. Even if she is out of range and using magic to battle, it still seems like a bad idea. The MCU definitely went for a more modern and fully-clothed costume for her.
11. THE DORA MILAJE
The MCU did an excellent job designing the costumes for the Dora Milaje. They went for more practical and protective than revealing as seen in the comics. Most of their costumes, like the ones in this comic with Stor, look like just a bra, tiny pants and wraps around arms and legs. The Dora Milaje are guards and trained to keep the peace, but that doesn’t mean they will not throw down in a fight. The costumes they have in the comics provide very little protection while fighting. There isn’t any protection from their skin making wounds more likely to occur.
The women of the Dora Milaje are chosen from each tribe to protect the king and possibly to marry the king. So maybe they thought the less clothing they wore, the better chance at marriage they have. It does not work that way in MCU fortunately.
Odin is shining bright in his gold armor and helmet with contrasting blue shirt. This was one of Odin’s costumes from the Golden Age of comics when he fought Zeus. The problem with this costume is that it looks like the protective armor is on the gold pants and none on the torso. You can see how this could become a problem while in battle, but at least he matches and looks fashionable for the times.
The MCU decided to go a different route with his costume and make it more practical in the films but still keeping the large helmet. In the MCU, Odin has strong, protective and sophisticated looking armor covering the full top half and leather pants, making him ready for any battle.
The guardian of Asgard needs to be always ready for a challenge. This bulky yellow costume looks like he is ready for Big Bird auditions instead or protecting the way to Asgard. He is wearing a helmet that looks like he has no peripheral vision whatsoever, and either the costume that looks like fur is really armor or it is just yellow fur.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Thor films took the same similar style in the comics but just made it more cooler. He still has the bulky helmet which is part of Asgardian tradition, but it looks like he can have a better view of his surroundings with it. The MCU costume for Heimdall actually looks like strong and sturdy armor that a warrior would use and need, unlike the comics version.
Hawkeye is sporting a fushia and cerulean blue coat with matching tights, go-go boots and pointy eye mask. Sometimes he will have a matching fuschia bow, other times it will be gold. Hawkeye is known as one of the main members of the Avengers, but in the MCU they decided to go with a completely different approach of Hawkeye’s costume. This turned out to be a good idea because the original costume from the comics is flashy and very ’80s looking.
Hawkeye first appeared in Marvel comics as a villain in Tales of Suspense. He then later joined the Avengers and has been a common character in all the series ever since. The blue and purple costume was one of his first costumes he wore. It soon changed in the comics after the films debuted.
Mantis, like other characters, was an Avenger in the comics but not yet introduced as an Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics, Mantis’ go-to costume looks like a circus tent with the yellow and green stripes. While in the film Mantis is fully clothed which looks more practical on-screen.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Mantis is a sort of a caretaker in the film for Ego. But in the comics, she is far from anyone’s caretaker (except when she was a barmaid in Vietnam). She is highly skilled in martial arts and has battled characters such as Thanos, Captain America and Thor and survived. She has total control over what her body when it come to pain, heartbeat and bleeding. But the film only focused on her telepathy which is the ability to sense the emotions in other.
This was Loki’s go-to reptile costume in the ‘50s and ‘60s to make a fashion statement. Bright colors were common in costumes of superheroes in the Golden and Silver Ages. They cared more about making a statement and being a head-turner than actually using any strong and sturdy armor. You can see how this costume can be impractical in the MCU and how they made the right decision to change it to the leather suit with armor and darker colors.
The bright yellow and green costume of Loki from the comics looks like it could be designed after a reptile with the scales on the chest. The best part about this costume is the long yellow ponytail. In the MCU they decided to not add the ponytail, probably because he would have kept whipping in Loki’s face.
Kismet (aka Ayesha), or possibly a swimsuit model for the Guardians of the Galaxy comics actually first appeared in The Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four comics but first appeared in the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Kismet is a very powerful character in the Marvel Universe and is able to manipulate and control cosmic energy and created by the Enclave.
This red swimsuit is not the costume the MCU decided to go with in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This costume of Kismet appeared after she was created as Paragon who is a masculine male and was to control a powerful being. Then she incubated herself into a cocoon and came out of the cocoon as Kismet in this costume with long blonde hair.
Gamora is a fierce, strong and independent woman. She is showing how strong she is with her revealing costume in the comics but still adding some golden accessories to look more fashionable. This is not even the most revealing outfit of hers but it does make you wonder how it stays on while fighting. She even has her big and long hair down that looks like it would always get in the way.
Thankfully, the MCU went with a more subtle and PG rated costume. In the film, he is wearing more normal clothes that consist of a leather pants and shirt with boots and a coat, no green onesie. Her costume in MCU matches the sassy and aloof personality of Gamora more in the films.
If MCU decided to go with this costume of Yondu, no one would take him seriously and he would not be threatening or intimidating in the least. This costume looks like it belongs in a circus act. The long shoulderd wings that connect to a tiny vest and the nonexisting pants.
Yondu is a leader and a take-no-prisoners leader at that, so it was a good decision for the MCU to go a different route with his costume. In the comics, Yondu was a member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy and at one time, a member of the Avengers. In the MCU he is a space pirate who raised Star Lord. For continuity, the comics released after the films kept Yondu as a space pirate instead of a Guardian and Avenger.
Hela took Thor: Ragnarok by storm and redefined female villains. She was super cool and powerful … and fully clothed. It would be very impractical to have the main villain in a swimsuit costume and still try and look scary, or be taken seriously. This is second on the list of impractical costumes because of how revealing it is, as her face is more covered than her body.
As the goddess of death, you need to look the part and the costume in the MCU definitely looks the part. This one that she once wore in the comics doesn’t look so much as a costume, or even a full set of clothes. Contrary to most of the costumes in comics, Hela’s costume started out fully clothed in the Silver Age and then more revealing as the times went on.
Sticks and stones may break her bones, but chains and whips excite Sif. This is Savage Sif’s outfit complete with black leather, chains and a baton. This outfit tops the most impractical list and pretty much explains why all by itself. Sif has had many different costumes but this one is the most revealing, uncomfortable and impractical of them all. This might just be the fashion of Asgard because Sif’s brother Heimdall, Odin and Loki all make the list of impractical costumes as well.
Sif has fought alongside Thor is battles against Pluto, Wrecker, Enchanters Three and Circus of Crime. Sif is a warrior so it is only fitting to give her a warriors costume. Even if they decide to make Sif savage in the MCU, they certainly cannot use this monstrosity of an outfit.
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