When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the characters’ classic costumes have to be adapted for the screen, since their classic spandex wouldn’t work on film. This is especially true of the MCU Netflix series; the movies might get some version of the classic comic costumes, but the gritty tone set by the Netflix corner of the MCU makes it harder for this to work, so things have to be a bit watered down. Don’t get us wrong, it works for the most part, but it does leave us wanting a bit more from the MCU heroes of Netflix. Luckily, there’s concept art, both from fans and from Marvel itself, that gives us a look at what Luke Cage, Daredevil and the rest of the Netflix heroes might look like in costumes that are more similar to the comics.
Be it because we’ve yet to see a character in full costume or because the costume we got was lackluster, it’s nice to see what might have been with the help of concept art from both fans and professionals. When you really think about it, only Daredevil and the Punisher ended up getting “costumes,” and the former has its fair share of criticism, while the latter is just an insignia on top of tactical clothing. Aside from these two, the other Netflix heroes have gone without a proper costume, mostly just wearing the color of their comics counterpart. Of course, Jessica Jones doesn’t really need a costume, and neither does Luke Cage for the most part, but thanks to these 15 designs, we can see what some of the Netflix heroes might have looked like with more heroic outfits.
15. JAMES HOLLAND’S PUNISHER
While the costume we got for The Punisher was great, it was a little plain, whereas this version by James Casey Holland is much more interesting-looking. With just a few small changes, Holland managed to make an all-black design seem much more vibrant by adding in small bits of color; the pants are mixed grey camouflage, the shirt is a deep blue, etc.
We also love how the shape of the bullet-proof vest forms the skull insignia. Even better is the fact that Jon Bernthal now has a slicked-back hairstyle. Everything about this design is great, it’s a perfect version of the character’s design that could work both in the Netflix series and in the comics it’s based on.
14. DEFENDERS IN COSTUME BY JAO PICART
As mentioned, Daredevil was the only one of the Defenders to get a full-fledged costume, but that didn’t stop Jao Picart from depicting his own versions of the Defenders. Daredevil’s costume remains the same, but Iron Fist now has his own outfit, complete with his trademark mask and green and yellow palette.
Luke Cage and Jessica Jones also got an upgrade, the former receiving his comic-book arm-guards and the latter pinning an insignia to her jacket and wearing a light shirt underneath. These changes are small compared to Danny’s full-costume, but that sort of works for the characters and how they’ve been depicted in the series.
13. FACUNDO MOYANO’S TRACKSUIT IRON FIST
A little bit of Netflix, a little bit of the comics, and a little bit of Bruce Lee; this awesome suit by Facundo Moyano shows us what Iron Fist might have looked like had he decided to don a costume while protecting Hell’s Kitchen in Daredevil’s absence. We especially love how his mask is a tribute of sorts to Daredevil’s original black mask, and how home-made the design appears.
The tracksuit is perhaps the best part of this design, since it adds just enough color and nods just enough to the character’s signature comics outfit. The shoes are also great, since they look like Bruce Lee’s Game of Death sneakers, adding a little bit of classic Kung Fu cinema to the whole outfit.
12. MCU POWER MAN BY KODE LGX
Luke Cage hasn’t really had that many costumes throughout his comics career, and not many of them veered too far from his casual threads. In modern times, Cage has been depicted with jeans, a yellow shirt, and metal wrist gauntlets — subtle costume bits that give his normal clothes a bit of flair.
An artist who goes by the name Kode LGX depicted what these gauntlets might look on Mike Colter and we love them; there’s just enough of a science-y vibe to imply the gauntlets serve a purpose and they add just a little something to the whole look. We also love the insignia added to the shoulders of the shirt.
11. DEMONIC DAREDEVIL CONCEPT ART
This next one is an official piece of concept art from Marvel, drawn by concept artist Josh Nizzi. While some of the elements of this suit don’t quite work, there’s still a lot of good stuff here, stuff that’s better than what we got with the final product. The boots and gloves look particularly good, though the color might have to be adjusted were this design to ever grace the screen.
10. JOHANNES HOLM’S MCU ELEKTRA
Elektra’s costumes in Daredevil season 2 and The Defenders both had great designs and colors, but the material they were made out of ended up making them look like cheap Arrow costumes. These designs by Johannes Holm, on the other hand, seem like they could work with any kind of material.
The tributes to the classic costume are there, but these designs definitely aren’t afraid to do their own thing. We’re not sure which one we like more, since they both work as fitting adaptations of the comics. If we had to choose one, we’d go with the face-mask one, since it would actually help to disguise her and we think the shorter forearm guards work better.
9. LEWIS JONES’ MCU DAREDEVIL
Next up is another Daredevil design; this one is by Lewis Jones and while it might not be for everyone, we could definitely see elements of this suit working in the MCU. While the mask is cool, it, along with the collar, might need a few tweaks to work on Netflix, but the rest of the suit has some great stuff going on.
We particularly like the torso armor, the boots, the belt, and the arm straps. Perhaps with a few material/pattern changes and a new, much less video-game-looking mask, this suit could be a great replacement for the current costume.
8. FREIDRICK ESTRADA’S IRON FIST COSTUME
Here we have another costume that looks like it would be right at home in the MCU, an Iron Fist design by Freidrick Estrada. This costume has a lot of neat ideas going for it, fully embracing a flashy superhero aesthetic while rocking some realistic elements.
Perhaps the coolest part about this design is that the mask seems to be a modified version of Daredevil’s mask, changed to fit the Iron Fist comic look, complete with armor plating that helps to form the black eye markings. The straps that form the ends of the sleeves are also a nice touch that helps this MCU Iron Fist feel a bit more mystic.
7. MIGUEL MERCADO’S ELEKTRA
Elektra’s costume is kind of hard to pull off in live action, and while we love the Netflix costumes she has, we also love this design by Miguel Mercado. This version is equal parts realistic martial arts elements and superhero costume design, giving Elektra a gi-styled top with some ninja aesthetics on the upper half and superhero leggings with soles attached.
We particularly like how this costume appears to be covertly protective, meaning it doesn’t look like it would protect her, but at the same time, it doesn’t look like it leaves her completely defenseless. Mercado did great work here, and we’d love to see it in the MCU.
6. KODE LGX’S PUNISHER
Here we have another piece by Kode LGX, this times it’s a Punisher concept. This one seems to take a piece of every previous Punisher screen costume and a little bit of comics inspiration to make a sleek, simple version of the design that we think would look great in the MCU.
We really like how the high collar is designed, as well as how the trench coat looks over the skull and bullet-proof vest. The shaved head and face scars are another nice touch, as are the fingerless gloves; it’s really the little touches that make this design perfect for the character.
5. JAMES HOLLAND’S CLASSIC KINGPIN
Prior to the recent season 3 teaser of Daredevil, it appeared that Wilson Fisk would not don his usual white suit, but we can expect it in the upcoming episodes of the series. However, we still like James Holland’s version of the white suit, since he really managed to make it work with the actor’s appearance.
If we had to choose between the two versions, we’d go with the second one, since the purple pinstripe pants balance the overall look a bit more and are more comics accurate whereas version A looks more like something Mr. Negative would wear. Regardless, we’re starting to think Holland should design for Marvel!
4. ARMORED DAREDEVIL CONCEPT ART
Last but not least, we have another official piece of concept art from Marvel designer Josh Nizzi. This is another would-be version of Daredevil that we think has some interesting pieces that should have made it to the final version.
Specifically, we prefer how these boots look to the final version of the costume, as well as the plating on the chest and the arm guards. The mask isn’t exactly the best interpretation of a realistic version of Daredevil’s costume (though, we love how scary the eyes look), but this is still a solid design that should have influenced the final product.
3. CHRIS SAMNEE’S DAREDEVIL MASK
Starting off, we have a wonderful piece by Chris Samnee, the Eisner-award-winning artist behind Mark Waid’s legendary Daredevil comic run. When the Netflix series was first announced, Samnee posted what he thought the mask might/should look like in a more realistic setting, and we really dig what he did with the design.
There are a few seams and lines added to make the mask look a bit more like a protective head-piece, and we especially love the collar with the D-shaped buckles. The best part, however, has to be the mesh-covered ear openings, a design element that has never been used in an official version of the character, despite it making a lot more sense than covering his ears completely.
2. HUY DIHN’S RED PROTO-SUIT
When Daredevil’s red suit was revealed, some were disappointed at how generic and armored it looked, so much so that most fans prefer the “proto-suit” from the first part of the first season. Heck, they’re even bringing back this suit for the upcoming third season, so it goes without saying that fans appreciate the “low-budget” suit.
This is exactly why we love Huy Dihn‘s idea for a Daredevil suit based on the proto-suit. With just a few changes, Dihn turned the black suit into a properly themed version of it that fits Daredevil’s demonic name and reputation. We especially love the way the mask fits over his brow and casts a shadow over his eyes.
1. INFINITEXNIGHT’S MCU IRON FIST
Next up we have a fantastic piece by Reddit user InfiniteXNight, who presented us with a very mystic version of what Iron Fist’s costume should look like when it comes time for him to actually suit up in the Netflix series. There’s a lot to love about this design, since everything about it looks like it could perfectly belong in the MCU.
Perhaps the reason this suit would work so well in the MCU is because it sort of looks like a martial arts version of Doctor Strange’s costume, which would be appropriate since both characters are mystic arts masters in some form. Hopefully, when Danny Rand finally suits up, it looks a little something like this great concept.
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