The X-Men movie franchise was one of the pioneers of the current comic book movie craze. Before 2000, when X-Men was released, there were decades of embarrassing comic book adaptations, with Blade being the only example of one done well. However, just because you’re one of the first doesn’t mean you’re one of the best. Over the years, the X-Men film franchise has gone through some ups and downs, with 10 total films of very different quality. Regardless, these films all had one thing in common – terrible costumes.
There are a lot of factors that go into bad superhero costumes. Sometimes, these costumes will just look cheap. Other times, a costume just doesn’t work well because of its complete disregard for the comic book counterpart. If it's one thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- and even the DC Extended Universe -- has shown, it's how filmmakers can make modern costumes look great on film, as well as faithful to the comic books. Sure, you don’t need Wolverine in yellow spandex, but you can put Wolverine in a costume that resembles his traditional look and not just black leather. Let’s look at the 15 worst costumes from the X-Men movies.
15 WEAPON X WOLVERINE
In X-Men: Apocalypse, Wolverine is seen, very briefly, as he slices his way through a Weapon X facility. The cameo is probably the biggest amount of fan service in the whole film, with Wolverine resembling his look from the famous Weapon X storyline and serving no overall point in the film. Unfortunately, Bryan Singer and Co. didn’t go with the complete look, where almost his entire head is covered with machinery, with a Cyclops-like visor, and he looks like he’s part of some crazy experiment.
What ends up on film is Hugh Jackman running around in his underwear, with a horrible haircut and a couple bits of machinery on his face. It looks cheap, and worst of all, it looks silly. What should have been a “HOLY CRAP!” moment turned into a bunch of confusion and a few snickers from the fans.
14 ALL OF THE X-MEN
In 2000, the hottest things in “superhero” films were Blade and The Matrix. Both of those films featured heroes wearing all black leather. So, when Fox was developing X-Men, Bryan Singer decided to ditch the classic looks of the characters that worked for decades. Instead, he put each character into nondescript black leather outfits.
It’s hard to point on one single X-person as worst of all. Each suit is equally atrocious. The black leather isn’t cheap looking, and the characters don’t look silly, per se. The biggest crime is taking these characters that have bright colorful costumes that show off distinct personalities, and putting them in very similar black leather costumes. By doing this, you remove any sort of comic book attachment, and thus the characters lose that essence that makes them unique and special. These costumes are a travesty.
13 JEAN GREY/DARK PHOENIX
If you’re going to translate the most iconic X-Men storyline ever, featuring the Dark Phoenix entity, then you better include the classic Phoenix costume. The comic version of the Dark Phoenix costume is so iconic. The Phoenix symbol is almost as recognizable as the Spider-Man chest symbol. So what do you do when you translate the Dark Phoenix to the big screen in X-Men: The Last Stand? Ignore everything from the comic.
The outfit that Jean wears is purple, with what looks like a corset over a trench coat. There’s no phoenix symbol. There’s no sash around the hips. The only thing they did to distinguish her from the other characters in the film is not put her in black leather; a wasted opportunity for what could have been such a cool visual element in the film.
12 SILVER SAMURAI
Real talk – the Silver Samurai isn’t the greatest example of an X-Men villain. He’s actually a bit corny. However, even if you have a passing knowledge of the X-Men comics, you would instantly recognize Silver Samurai. His comic costume has the Rising Sun Japanese imagery, with the traditional samurai costume. And yes, he’s completely silver.
In The Wolverine, the Silver Samurai is a robot exo-skeleton that is just all silver, with no style whatsoever. It’s as if you told an artist to draw the Silver Samurai, but didn’t show them what he looks like. He’s just a big, boring silver robot with samurai-ish features. Like we said, the original isn’t the best design in the world, but somehow Fox managed to take an okay design and make it worse.
Sure, Quicksilver has the best scene is X-Men: Days of Future Past, we just wish he didn’t look stupid during it. Now, obviously, the film takes place in the ‘70s, and that decade isn’t known for the best fashion, but Quicksilver just looks ridiculous. That’s not even because he doesn’t resemble his comic book counterpart, but because his costume is campy and impractical.
We get it, his name is QuickSILVER, so therefore he has silver clothes and hair... but this still looks dumb. He likes listening to music while he speeds around. Okay, sure, but how do the headphones stay on? Also, is the music super sped up so it plays normal speed when he’s going so fast? Finally, why would a speedster want to wear a loose-fitting jacket? Doesn’t seem practical for someone with that very particular powerset.
There’s not much about Mystique’s classic costume in comics that wouldn’t translate well to the films. Sure, you could say it’s a bit revealing, with large portions of the white costume being cut out showing off her legs. However, what makes her look completely wrong is ditching a costume altogether and giving her scales.
Are we to believe that Mystique’s true form is a nude body where scales cover up her naughty bits? Wouldn’t she rather wear anything rather than nothing? They’ve tried to explain how she is comfortable enough to do it, but the “costume” in the films is just a poor attempt to make the character sexy, by just making her naked. At least give her the little skull on her forehead, sheesh!
Of all the X-Men villains, you could argue that Magneto has the most recognizable costume. His helmet is iconic, and the costume’s purple color is almost synonymous with the character. However, in X2: X-Men United, the character is wearing a solid black, ironically almost fascist uniform with a cape draped over his shoulder. He is the antithesis of the character in the comics, even though he’s expertly portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen.
Close your eyes and picture Magneto’s costume from X2. You probably can’t, and the reason is that the costume is almost completely unmemorable. Seriously, there’s nothing special about what should be one of the most recognizable characters in the film. He also hardly ever wears the helmet, which is the only part of the costume that even remotely resembles the comic book character. It’s just boring.
The Juggernaut costume from the comics is so simple, that it would be so difficult to mess up. Really, the only thing that you must absolutely get right is the helmet, and try to make it red. In X-Men: The Last Stand, they take what is a super simple costume and make it so busy that he looks even more over-the-top than the comics. Plus, they didn’t even get the helmet right!
Sure, maybe a bright red costume wouldn’t work on film, at least that’s what the filmmakers would tell you, but why did you want to put criss-crossing straps all over his chest? Also, he definitely doesn’t need his whole torso exposed. This is a guy who literally runs through walls and anything in his path. Wouldn’t he want his torso protected, as well as the whole front of his face? Just stick with the classics every now and then.
7 NEW X-MEN
X-Men: Apocalypse has the brightest, most colorful costumes in all of the main X-Men films. So, why, oh why, did the filmmakers decide to put the young X-Men characters in completely bland, black armor for the big final battle? Sure, there’s a plot point where they just throw on whatever is available, but this is a superhero film, put them in some freaking color!
You can’t even pinpoint one of the character’s costumes as worst, they’re all equally garbage. Literally, they all look the same. These are arguably worse than the first X-Men film, and that was over 15 years ago! Making matters worse is the fact that the end of the film shows these same characters in fairly comic-accurate costumes, as if to rub salt in the wounds. Like “hey, we totally could have done this throughout the film, but we decided not to!” Oh well, maybe we'll get something decent in the follow-up film.
6 FUTURE XAVIER
Bryan Singer sure does love black leather and armor, huh? In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer got a chance to put the X-Men in a dystopian future, and he ends up putting them in black body armor. It’s so annoyingly obvious. However, why do you need to put Professor X in a horrible armored suit?
In all of the previous films, Xavier has always gone to his traditional look that a headmaster of a school would wear; i.e., a nice suit. The guy’s in a wheelchair, and his power is completely mental, so he doesn’t need a costume that is form-fitting and easy to do flips in. But since this is the dystopian future, Xavier has decided it’s time to wear black leather battle armor? We don’t buy it at all. He has the most powerful mind on the planet, he’s above wearing cheesy, plastic-looking battle armor and kneepads.
The first X-Men film is filled with bad costuming choices, as evident from earlier in the list, but Sabretooth’s might actually take the cake as the single worst design. His comic book costume is sleek, with hints of fur to show his primal nature. However, in X-Men, he’s a full blown half-animal, half-human joke.
The facial hair alone earns him a spot on this list, never mind the fur-on-fur-on-fur outfit. Take a look at those eyebrows! You can almost braid them! His patchwork beard is also just stupid looking. He looks like a caveman, but with sharp claws. Instead of being a badass killer, who could take on Wolverine, he’s basically the butt of jokes, a true tragedy of such a badass and genuinely compelling character, visually and otherwise.
First things first, thank the gods that Apocalypse didn’t resemble Ivan Ooze when X-Men: Apocalypse was finally released. That doesn’t exempt him from having a really bad costume, though. The comic book costume for Apocalypse is known for a few distinct features. First is his big "A" on the torso. Then there are the tubes going from his back to his arms. Finally are the blue lines on his gray face that form his grin/grimace.
In the movie, they pretty much ditched all that in favor of an overly complicated design that’s hard to read and looks completely plastic. Ok, sure, they gave him lines on his face to make the grin, we’ll give them that, but the rest of him is just not good. Instead of going simple, like these films have a history of doing, they decided to take remnants of the classic look and mix it with Egyptian imagery. The result is a muddled mess, no matter if he’s blue or purple.
3 WHITE QUEEN
Yes, Emma Frost, aka the White Queen, has always looked over-the-top sexy in the comics. Her first appearances always put her in a corset and not much else. However, more recently, she’s retained her sex appeal, while also wearing more appropriate attire. In X-Men: First Class, they revert her back to her Hellfire Club roots, but in a very lazy way.
If you want to make her look more like her classic incarnation, that’s fine, but the filmmakers ended up putting her into a costume that was surprisingly more sexual than the comics. Why put her in a corset, when you can just put her in a bra? Maybe that was the thinking behind it? The costume on screen just looks like they had to throw together a costume and forgot the shirt. Doesn’t help that the acting is robotic, but that’s a whole different list.
Poor Iceman. The classic X-Men character always got pretty shortchanged in the movies. He never closely resembled his comic book counterpart at all, other than a few seconds near the end of X3. That fact should have made his appearance in X-Men: Days of Future Past even more exciting because for the first time ever, we get to see Iceman sliding around on ice and in his full Iceman frozen body look. Well... almost.
Instead of giving fans the Iceman look they’ve been craving for 15 years, Days of Future Past gave hints of it, but wrapped in a godawful costume. The biggest problem is the vest. It looks as if Bobby snuck into his post-apocalyptic dad’s closet, and stole a jacket that’s just a couple sizes too big. He doesn’t look sleek and icy, like he should. Instead he’s wearing a jacket (which is silly for a guy who controls cold, right)?
You had to know this was going to be on the list, right? By far, the most egregious costume mistake in all of the X-Men films is the Deadpool costume from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Where to even begin? Obviously, why did they sew shut his mouth? Then, why did they decide to not give him any shirt? What was with the black lines all over his body? These questions boggle the mind.
The worst part, without a doubt is that the filmmakers knew what they were doing. They knew what Deadpool was supposed to look like. How do we know this? Well, when Deadpool shoots his optic blasts (ugh.), his eyes develop a blackness around them, reminiscent of the classic Deadpool mask. They also gave him red pants. Even though, years later, we got the Deadpool film that was all kinds of awesome, the Origins costume will always make fans’ blood boil.
Which was your least favorite on-screen X-Men costume? Let us know in the comments!