The Marvel Cinematic Universe already left a permanent and undeniable mark on the cinematic landscape. Breaking box office records, setting new standards for the superhero genre, and gaining the praise of critics and fans alike, the MCU movies are considered as a staple of the decade. Thus far, twenty movies have been released within the MCU, and not one of them was a commercial or critical failure. Sure, some fared better than others, but not one of the twenty films actually failed, and that has to count for something. At the very least, Marvel Studios has proven that it knows how to make a blockbuster hit. However, as we saw with Black Panther, Marvel can do so much more. Ryan Coogler's film just got nominated for six Academy Awards, including the nomination for Best Picture, which is unprecedented for a superhero film. It also goes to show how much the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown, not just in terms of the number of movies it now encompasses.
A lot has changed since the franchise's humble beginnings in 2008. And of course, almost without fail, the characters' costumes changed in each movie. Sometimes, and this is normally the case, the costumes change for the better. However, some characters haven't been so lucky and their costumes have actually gotten worse with time. Well, today we're taking a closer look at both the good and the bad costume changes, so stick around and tell us which costume changes you liked or didn't like.
20 BETTER: SPIDER-MAN
The first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home was recently released much to the delight of MCU fans. The web-slinger is back in action, this time taking on Mysterio while on a school trip across Europe. Among tons of interesting details we got to see in the trailer, we got to check out Peter’s new suit.
The new Spidey suit mixes bright red with a darker, navy shade of blue, unlike the bright blue of the previous suit, and the Spidey symbol is more stylish and eye-catching. Overall, it’s a stunning design that improves on the already excellent suit from Spider-Man: Homecoming. And, it should go without saying, it also looks far better than the Iron Spider suit from Infinity War.
19 WORSE: DAREDEVIL
Marvel’s Daredevil may well be the best superhero show in recent history. The writing is on a whole other level compared to most other superhero series, something that has been pointed out by critics and fans alike over and over again. While Daredevil received praise for virtually everything, Matt’s costume often gets the most criticism.
In fact, many would probably agree that the home-made black outfit Matt donned on when he first started his vigilante career was a much better look than the full-fledged red costume. It just worked much better. The red one has way too much tactical gear and looks kind of clustered – a far cry from the sleek design from the comics.
18 BETTER: FALCON
When Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, made his MCU debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier no one expected him to sport the vibrant costume he’s known for in the comics. However, we were expecting at least a trace of red. Instead, we got Anthony Mackie in a bland gray-ish military uniform with an equally boring pair of wings.
Luckily, this design has improved over time. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Falcon got a brand-new costume, this time with at least some small nods to his comic book outfit. Falcon’s new wings are a blend of white and red, the suit has been somewhat improved too, and it looks pretty solid.
17 WORSE: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Speaking of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you know who did look great in that film? Well, pretty much everyone except Falcon, but for now, we’re focusing on Steve Rogers. Clad in his Stealth suit, Captain America looked his best in The Winter Soldier. While he did have some pretty awesome costumes in later films, most fans weren’t impressed with his Infinity War look.
While the all-black, Nomad-inspired suit from Infinity War wasn’t necessarily a bad look, it wasn’t a great one either. Looking at the Captain America suits we’ve seen in The First Avenger, The Winter Soldier, and Age of Ultron, it simply pales in comparison.
16 BETTER: THOR
Thor went through a lot in the last couple of movies. First, we got to see the more comedic side to the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok. Then, in Avengers: Infinity War, his arrogant and vengeful self came to surface. Much like Thor himself changed so did his appearance. In Ragnarok, he donned on a vibrant gladiator outfit, which we still think might be his best look.
However, the awesome black costume we got in Infinity War sure gives the gladiator suit a run for its money. Most importantly, both are vast improvements on all the previous Thor costumes that leaned more towards royalty-like attire. We think the fierce warrior look is a far better suited for the God of Thunder.
15 WORSE: IRON MAN
But you know who didn’t look all that great in Avengers: Infinity War? Tony Stark. Sorry, that Bleeding Edge-inspired armor just isn’t doing it for us. The thing looks great in the comics, but it doesn’t quite translate to the big screen. However, while Iron Man's Infinity War armor isn't our favorite, the one from Spider-Man: Homecoming is by far the worst.
Which is kind of sad considering that in the past Iron Man has had some pretty incredible armors, like the suitcase armor from Iron Man 2, or the ones he wore in Avengers and Captain America: Civil War. The Infinity War armor looks a bit too sleek and fitted, almost completely unlike an armor.
14 BETTER: ANT-MAN
If the Avengers: Endgame trailer is any indication, Scott Lang might well be the key to saving the ones we lost in the Decimation. Ant-Man was last seen in the post-credits scene of Ant-Man and the Wasp when he seemingly got stranded in the Quantum Realm after the Snap.
Speaking of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott Lang sported a brand-new costume in the sequel and it looked absolutely astonishing. The new design improved on the previous two by taking what works form each, mashing it together, and packaging it all into the best Ant-Man suit we've seen in the MCU. Even the helmet looks great.
13 WORSE: BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow’s costume and hair have changed drastically from movie to movie, and in Avengers: Infinity War that transformation was taken to a whole new level. Abandoning her trademark red, Natasha Romanoff sported blonde hair, while her costume can best be described as an all-black tactical suit, which is a step down from her previous costumes.
Black Widow has had several great costumes in the MCU, but the one she wore in Captain America: The Winter Soldier has to be our favorite. It was simply flawless. Unfortunately, the Infinity War costume did away with everything we loved about The Winter Soldier costume.
12 BETTER: SCARLET WITCH
Scarlet Witch needs a proper costume -- that much is abundantly clear. Elizabeth Olsen, who portrays the character, said as much herself. Ever since her first appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda Maximoff’s costumes haven’t been the best of the bunch.
That being said, progress has been made. While the outfit Scarlet Witch sported in Avengers: Infinity War could still use some work, it’s still a vast improvement on the ones that came before. The new suit is definitely a step in the right direction, though we’d love to see that corset go. There must be something better they can replace it with.
11 WORSE: WAR MACHINE
Since his rise to heroism in Iron Man 2, James Rhodes has fallen to the background. Sure, he’s an Avenger and he helps out in battles and what not, but other than that he hasn’t really had much of a character arch. When it comes to his costume, the situation is rather similar in fact. War Machine armors don’t look bad per se, but they’re not particularly interesting either.
They’re just plain boring, and it appears no one knows exactly what to do to make Rhodey look better. In Avengers: Infinity War, the designers clearly tried to make War Machine's armor more exciting, but their efforts didn’t pay off. It just looked bulky and dated compared to all the advanced suits that other characters wore.
10 BETTER: LOKI
Everyone’s favorite Asgardian (sorry, Thor) has had a number of different costumes over the years. Partial to green, gold and black, all of Loki’s costumes blended these three colors. The God of Mischief has always looked sharp in his fancy-schmancy attire, but the costume he sported in Thor: Ragnarok topped everything he's ever worn before.
In comparison to Loki’s previous outfits, the Ragnarok costume was fairly simple in design with much less gold-colored adornments. But beauty often is in simplicity, which was definitely the case with Loki’s Ragnarok look. Suffice it to say, it made our Best MCU Costumes list.
9 WORSE: RED SKULL
One of the biggest surprises from last year’s Avengers: Infinity War was the return of the long-forgotten Captain America villain, Red Skull. The former Hydra leader, whom we last saw being sucked into the Tesseract, appeared on the planet Vormir where he offered guidance to none other than the Mad Titan.
While it was an awesome moment for sure and answered the question of what exactly happened to Red Skull, we weren’t at all impressed with Red Skull’s new costume. Compared to the crisp and stylish Hydra uniform he wore in The First Avenger, the black robes were a big disappointment.
8 BETTER: BLACK PANTHER
Black Panther made his epic MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War and immediately impressed everyone with his advanced Wakanda technology. The sleek, incredibly form-fitting black costume swiftly became a fan-favorite, as did T’Challa himself. It was hard to imagine that suit could possibly get any better, but Shuri outdid herself in Black Panther.
Upon his return to Wakanda, following the events of Civil War, T’Challa was welcomed by his younger sister who presented him with the new and improved version of the Panther suit. With an even smoother design, gorgeous details, new features, and those stunning glowing purple lines Black Panther’s suit is one of the coolest in the MCU.
7 WORSE: STAR-LORD
Star-Lord is not your classic hero, he’s a legendary outlaw who travels the galaxy with his team of misfits in an effort to mostly do some good. He’s obsessed with music and often breaks into an improv dance at the worst possible time. Star-Lord’s costume was designed to reflect his personality, to give him a rock star kind of image, rather than that of a superhero.
While that outfit hasn’t changed much from Peter Quill’s first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, enough modifications have been made for us to notice the difference. And, honestly, the modifications haven’t exactly improved Star-Lord’s look. In fact, we think his costume from the first Guardians film was the best. It had more of that rock star vibe.
6 BETTER: GROOT
While Groot doesn’t have an actual costume, he is still the character who’s gone through the biggest change in appearance in just the span of three movies. When we first met the kind-hearted, giant walking tree he was, for all intents and purposes, an adult. However, after risking his life to save his teammates, Groot was reborn as a baby.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we got to meet the adorable Baby Groot who instantly became a fan-favorite. And while some would say that Baby Groot was Groot’s best look, we’re equally fond of the rebellious teenager Groot from Avengers: Infinity War. Just look at that adorable mischievous face.
5 WORSE: WINTER SOLDIER
When Winter Soldier first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier fans rejoiced at how incredibly accurate and absurdly awesome Sebastian Stan looked as the brainwashed soldier. The metal arm looked fantastic, the costume was on-point -- everything about the Winter Soldier was quite simply flawless.
However, in his subsequent appearances, Bucky’s costume experienced some changes. For his latest appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, Bucky was equipped with a new Vibranium arm and a new tactical suit. While this new costume isn’t bad by any standard, we’re still in love with that stunning costume from The Winter Soldier.
4 BETTER: HULK
The Hulk is certainly not the first character who comes to mind when discussing costume design because, well, he usually just wears a pair of ripped purple shorts. However, for his team up comedy flick with the Lord of Thunder, the big guy got a significant wardrobe upgrade. Clad in his gladiator armor, the Hulk looked better than ever.
Not only did Hulk look awesome in Thor: Ragnarok, but the gladiator costume also paid tribute to one of the greatest Hulk storylines ever written. We loved seeing the Hulk’s familiar gladiator look on the big screen, and we’re kind of sad it’s gone now.
3 WORSE: THE HULKBUSTER ARMOR
The first time we saw the infamous Hulkbuster armor in the MCU Tony Stark had summoned it to subdue an out-of-control Hulk. That was in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Hulkbuster armor quickly became a hit with the fans. The armor made a comeback in Avengers: Infinity War with none other than Bruce Banner as the wearer.
But Marvel couldn’t just use the same design, so naturally, we got a brand new Hulkbuster. Unfortunately, this change wasn’t for the better. The new Hulkbuster failed to live up to its predecessor, let alone surpass it. All the gears kind of make it look unfinished and the new, more round design makes it appear less bulky and imposing.
2 BETTER: HAWKEYE (RONIN)
Poor Hawkeye has been forced to wear some pretty bad costumes over the years. Ever since he first joined the MCU, Clint Barton has struggled with finding the right outfit. First, he went with a sleeveless west, then he opted for a long-sleeve, short coat of some sort, and ultimately decided to mix the two – which happens to be the only decent costume he’s had.
Well, up until now that is. In the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, we caught a brief glimpse of Hawkeye’s new outfit, or should we say Ronin. Unlike his previous costumes, this one got an almost universally positive response. So far, Ronin looks awesome and we can’t wait to see more.
1 WORSE: THANOS
After a couple of brief post-credits scenes appearances, the Mad Titan Thanos finally made his big entrance in Avengers: Infinity War. The long-awaited arrival of the big bad proved to be well worth the wait.
Thanos was a great villain who more than earned his victory. However, if there’s one thing fans didn’t particularly like about Thanos it has to be his costume. While Thanos was previously shown wearing his iconic armor and helmet, in Infinity War he only wore them briefly at the start of the film. The helmet would certainly have made Thanos a far more sinister-looking figure.