Steampunk is first and foremost a literary subgenre of science fiction and fantasy. Sadly, this gorgeous period is purely fictional. Although, it is influenced by an actual historical era -- the technology and aesthetic from the 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. Works that belong to the steampunk genre are often set in an alternative history of the British Victorian era or American Wild West, in an alternative future where steam power stuck around, or in some kind of a fantasy world that uses steam power. Of course, steampunk doesn't only appear in literary works. Over the years, steampunk has become so much more, spreading to other media such as movies, television series and anime. Sherlock Holmes, Warehouse 13, Howl's Moving Castle and Avatar: The Legend of Korra are just some examples of live-action and animated works that incorporate aspects of steampunk. And if you've seen any of these you are well aware of the awesomeness that is steampunk.
It's a unique retro-futuristic style that looks incredibly stylish and, unsurprisingly, steampunk has also become sort of a lifestyle and a very popular look among cosplayers and artists alike. As you may have imagined, a lot of talented artists have decided to give their favorite fictional characters a steampunk upgrade. A great number of Marvel Comics heroes have had their costumes re-designed to look steampunk-ish and the results are breathtaking. We gathered the best of the best for our own superhero universe dubbed the Marvel Steampunk Universe (which should totally be a thing, by the way).
25 STEAM MAN
Thibault Girard is a French concept artist and illustrator who currently works in video game industry and in his spare time occasionally creates fan designs of our favorite comic book heroes. Thibault created a steampunk version of Iron Man for a challenge posted on Facebook.
Unlike many steampunk Iron Man armors one can find all over the internet, Thibault’s design is impeccably clean and surprisingly modern. It’s a stunning cotume which perfectly mashes the steampunk and futuristic elements for a unique experience.
24 STEAM AVENGERS
Brian Kesinger is story artist at Walt Disney animation studios who worked on movies such as Tangled, Bolt and Winnie the Pooh. Brian is a long-time steampunk aficionado who loves re-designing characters in the style that celebrates Victorian fashion with a dash of geekiness.
Among Brian’s many steampunk redesigns, we found his stunning Steam Avengers all dressed up in their best steampunk outfits and ready for battle. It’s a shame Marvel doesn’t have a steampunk universe, because this looks gorgeous.
Denis Medri has created all kinds of fun redesigns of our favorite Marvel and DC Comics characters. As part of his steampunk series, Denis designed everyone’s favorite neighborhood teenage hero and his rogues.
Venom, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and the rest of the villain gang look every bit as awesome in their steampunk outfits as Spidey does. Side note, Tom Holland could totally pull of the steampunk look. Just saying, in case the MCU ever decides to mix things up a bit.
22 STEAM SOLDIER
Winter Soldier’s prosthetic arm looks awesome, but if you happen to be an anime fan and are familiar with a little show called Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, you know there’s a way cooler, steampunk approach to design a prosthetic arm. Steampunk strongly influenced the look of Fullmetal Alechemist, especially the so-called automail.
Polish artist Lena thought Bucky Barnes would look fabulous with a steampunk prosthetic arm, so she redesigned Winter Soldier for a steampunk AU. Turns out, Bucky looks great in any outfit.
21 STEAMPUNKY PUNISHER
The Punisher’s costume is pretty much a black T-shirt with a huge white skull printed on the front. Really makes you wonder how the movies managed to go so wrong with this particular costume. But we digress. Precisely because the costumes is so simple, artists can add all kinds of fun features to make it one-of-a-kind.
Slovakian artist who goes by pappaDiPuppi re-designed Punisher’s trademark outfit by attaching all kinds of steampunk gadgets to it. That gun looks insane, but we're especially fond of the glove.
20 STEAM CAP
Eric Yan is an incredibly talented CG artist who created many awesome characters and re-designed some of our all-time favorites. Judging by this design, Eric thought Steve Rogers could use some protection on the field, so he gave him an armor.
Cap’s armor appears to be very sturdy and has a distinct steampunk feel about it. The goggles make the design undoubtedly steampunk-ish, but the belt and belt buckle and the metal plates complete the look. Certainly, an armor like this would have come in handy during Civil War.
19 ANT-MAN ON STEAM
Julian Wong is a Malaysian freelance artist who creates concept art for video games and animation. His unique style it makes everything look at least ten times more awesome. Case in point, Julian's take on Marvel’s tiny hero Ant-Man.
Julian re-designed Ant-Man’s costume to give it a steampunk flair and the result is stunning. Julian’s steamy Ant-Man costume seems to be a mashup of style elements typical of steampunk and those found in the wild west, a combo that works incredibly well.
18 EARTH’S STEAMIEST HEROES
Why re-design only one character when there’s an entire team of heroes you can tackle. Macedonian artist Mihajlo Dimitrievski took it upon himself to recreate the look of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the style of steampunk and the result is mind-blowing.
Earth’s steamiest heroes include Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and, of course the mighty Thor. It’s a pretty bizarre take on the characters we must say. But the God of Thunder gets our vote for the weirdest looking Avenger.
17 THOR PUNK
Johnny Cheung is a sculptural artist who loves re-vamping his favorite comic book characters in his spare time. Johnny had never drawn Thor before and wanted to give it a shot. Since he happens to be a fan of steampunk (and who isn’t really?), Johnny designed an original look for the Asgardian.
It is undeniable that the steampunk fashion suits the God of Thunder. Thor looks both classy and combat-ready at the same time. If you like what you see, pay a visit to Johnny’s gallery.
16 STEAM MACHINE
With all the steampunk Iron Man re-designs out there, it was only a matter of time before it occurred to someone to give his buddy War Machine the same treatment. Artist Dennis Burke, whose amazing piece was posted by antihero_antics on Instagram, created the perfect steampunk armor for Rhodey.
The steampunk War Machine looks powerful and kind of knightly in his new armor. The smoking orange arc reactor is an interesting detail and the weapons look like they could do some serious damage.
15 STEAM-POWERED SPIDER-MAN
Spider-Man is a fan-favorite character beloved by generations of comic book fans. Some grew up reading Spidey’s adventures and others tuned in to watch the web-slinger on TV. Nowadays, Peter Parker is one of the most popular heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that fan art of the web-crawler is found all around the web, including some incredibly creative re-designs. Here’s an amazing close-up of a steampunk version of Spider-Man fixing up his steam-powered web-shooters.
Easterson Solomon is a UX designer from India who apparently spends his free time designing awesome superhero costumes. The amazing Daredevil steampunk redesign featured above was created by Easterson back in 2013.
The design has become very popular and has been shared on a number of social media platforms by steampunk enthusiasts. And it’s easy to see why this costume is so popular. Easterson created a very detailed costume that incorporates steampunk elements, while at the same time staying true to the original design.
13 CAPTAIN STEAM
We didn’t believe it was possible for Captain America to look any more patriotic given that he’s already wearing the US flag as a costume, and yet here’s a design proving us wrong. James, known also as ecelsiore, re-designed Steve Roger’s boring costume to give it more flair.
The steampunk Captain America costume James created stands out mostly because of the gold elements adorning the Cap’s usual attire. The most impressive piece is, of course, the golden eagle on Cap’s right shoulder.
12 DIY STEAMPUNK SPIDEY
Spidey’s DIY suit from Spider-Man: Homecoming was something, that’s for sure. But, we have to give the kid props for trying -- he is in high school after all. Speaking of homemade superhero costumes, here’s a steampunk Spider-Man suit that may well be a pilot version of the final steampunk Spider-Man costume.
Designed by Matt O’Brian, the steampunk Spidey replaced the red sweatpants with a more neutral pair of brown pants. This Spidey also uses grappling hooks instead of web-shooters, a detail that really sells the look.
11 STEAMPUNK MAN
Robin Thomasson is a digital designer and concept artist based in Sweden. Robin entered a redesign challenge with this stunning steampunk Iron Man. We’ve seen tons of steampunk versions of Iron Man, but each and every one has something that makes it special.
When it comes to Robin’s design, he made his Iron Man armor distinctive and remarkable by designing it to resemble regular clothing from the Victorian period. Tony’s wearing a red cape and the upper armor kind of looks like a vest. Cool concept.
10 THE BIG THREE
Concept artist Axel Medellin Machain, who worked on the Elephantmen series by Image comics, re-designed Marvel’s trinity -- Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Axel gave the trio retro steampunk-ish outfits. The Steampunk Big Three look mighty impressive, especially the God of Thunder who got a whole new suit of armor.
The intricate design of the armors and the heavy artillery make the Steampunk Avengers an imposing sight. Thor’s massive Mjolnir looks frightening and we'd hate to be on the receiving end of his wrath.
9 HULK STEAM
In Thor: Ragnarok, we caught up with Hulk who had been stranded on planet Sakaar and became a contender in gladiator fights organized by the Grandmaster. While in the movie Hulk didn’t have a beard, concept artist Ryan Meinerding shared alternate designs that depicted a bearded Hulk with long hair.
Julian Wong the artist behind this awesome steampunk Hulk also gave the big green guy a beard and we must say it looks fantastic. Especially when it's coupled with the hip new haircut. But, our favorite thing about this costume are the checkered pants.
8 IRON PUNK
Krystian Denisiuk is a Polish artist whose gallery is brimming with amazing fan art of our favorite fictional characters. Back in 2014, Krystian re-designed Iron Man’s armor steampunk style for a challenge, which we would argue he passed with flying colors.
Krystian's Iron Man armor looks unusually smooth and light for a steampunk costume. We love the tubes clock and pressure gauges on Tony’s forearms. And the transformer-looking helmet with the flaming eyes works well with the steampunk elements.
7 STEAM PANTHER
When you think steampunk, the sleek Black Panther suit is hardly what comes to mind. Yet, we have found proof that it is indeed possible to make a steampunk Black Panther costume that still looks smooth.
French artist Johann Lacrosaz succeeded at creating a steampunk costume for Wakanda’s King that comes equipped with goggles, clawed gloves, a gas bottle and prosthetic panther-like feet. And as an added bonus, Johann threw in a robot panther to serve as a sidekick to our hero.
6 STEAM MAN WITHOUT FEAR
Matt Murdock seems like the kind of person who’d be able to fit right in no matter which period you place him in. Fans have given Daredevil all kinds of re-designs and the Man Without Fear looks handsome every single time.
Denis Medri, an Italian artist, re-designed Daredevil’s costume to give the Devil of Hell's Kitchen a brand-new steampunk suit. The whole outfit looks very stylish, but we must give special props for the awesome red vest. Steampunk Daredevil should be an official design.
Hawkeye and Black Widow are always a fun pair to invent stories about. The artist behind this amazing piece Emily used this challenge as an opportunity to draw the two in fancy clothes. But aside from designing these gorgeous costumes, Emily gave us some information about the awesome features of the costumes.
The pipe that goes from Hawkeye’s arm to the quiver allows him to choose between the different arrows and Black Widow’s gun used to belong to Catherine the Great. One thing is certain, Clint and Nat have never looked this elegant.
4 GENTLEMAN STARK
Concept artist Anthony Jones created a gorgeous steampunk look for Iron Man with an incredible background story as an added bonus. Here's how it goes: Tony donates his heart to his son Jarvis to save his life. Jarvis devoted his life to bringing his father back. He spent ten years engineering a mechanized suit that uses steam power to literally breath life to his father.
Tony’s new armor, or should we say body, is fittingly elegant and modern. The top hat and the monocle make Tony look like a true gentleman.
3 FRIENDLY STEAMPUNK SPIDER-MAN
Gustavo Valencia is a Colombian artist who loves cats, video games, animation, dinosaurs and wants to be a robot -- and this is a direct quote. Oh yeah, and he obviously loves to draw. Gustavo’s gallery is jam-packed with all kinds of fan art pieces.
The steampunk costume Gustavo designed for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is incredibly detailed and it looks simply magnificent. Just look at those awesome goggles, the gloves, the boots and the spider symbol on that belt buckle. It’s just perfect.
2 STEAMPUNK RACCOON
Raph Lomotan is a freelance artist from the Philippines whose impressive gallery contains breathtaking fan art of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, the MCU and so on. Being a huge fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, Raph decided to give his favorite character a steampunk redesign.
And Raph did an awesome job creating a steampunk version of everyone’s favorite trash panda/rabbit/triangle-faced monkey/puppy -- alright, alright that’s quite enough. Raph’s steampunk Rocket looks fancy with his new and improved goggles, guns and legs.
1 ROCKETEER MAN
Jesus Blones is a Venezuelan freelance concept artist whose remarkable designs will leave you speechless, just like this stunning steampunk Iron Man. Iron Man is probably the most likely Marvel Comics hero to get a steampunk re-design because of his armor. Duh!
However, in the vast sea of steampunk Iron Man redesigns, we’ve never seen quite anything like this one. Jesus drew inspiration from Rocketeer's costume and created a captivating masterpiece. Who could have known a puffy T-shirt and a cane would one day make it into an Iron Man armor.