Bringing the ridiculous costumes of comic books to life is no easy task. The campy, skin-tight and colorful superhero costumes aren’t exactly made to be on the big screen. Superhero costumes were made to pop out from the page, to show that the hero was a symbol, standing out from others as a beacon of hope. But, when that “beacon” shows up on screen as it does in the comics, it doesn’t always look great. Superhero movies have been changing comics costumes to better fit the big screen for almost as long as there have been superhero movies. Standing at the top of the best movie superhero costume design is, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some of the MCU’s greatest designs include Cap’s First Avenger costume, nearly every Iron-Man suit and all of Thor’s armor. However, just because they’re the best at what they do, doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few stinkers in the costume design department. All across MCU films, TV shows and Netflix originals, some designs stick out from the others, and are not up to par with the rest of the MCU. Sometimes it’s too much detail, sometimes it’s not enough, but whatever it is, these 15 costumes are the WORST in the MCU.
15. DAREDEVIL’S MASK
The “proto-costume” that Daredevil/The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen sports during his early days of vigilantism in Netflix’s Daredevil was actually a pretty cool costume. Then, when Matt got a full-fledged costume upgrade, fans were further delighted to see a great screen-version of Daredevil’s signature red duds. Most of the ensemble looks great, an armored red suit with just enough little details to make it translate to the screen perfectly.
However, the first mask featured on the costume, as well as the original gloves, aren’t all that great. The domino-mask-like outline around the eyes is strange and the dark colors make it hard to tell what’s what. In the right light we see that the area around the eyes is black, but it’s still hard to tell what’s going on with the eyes themselves. Luckily, this hard-to-see mask was updated in season 2.
14. THE NOVA CORPS
There’s definitely a lot to like about the designs of the Nova Corps in Guardians of the Galaxy, but there are a few things that don’t quite work. The chest plates are definitely the strongest part of their designs, sporting some military-style straps and a great interpretation of the Nova logo. However, the helmets kind of ruin it all. Not only do the helmets not connect the Corps to the Nova force like the comics — making them just police officers — but they also look doofy as heck.
Of course, an all yellow-helmet would probably look worse, but something about the squarish, somewhat-too-big headgear just didn’t work in the film. Maybe it’s the lenses, maybe it’s the awkward chinstraps or maybe it’s the gold-plated abs, but the Nova Corps could have looked better.
13. AGE OF ULTRON BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow’s suit is pretty simple in the comics; it’s a black (sometimes grey) catsuit with a yellow belt, and yellow armbands. However, since yellow isn’t the greatest color on screen, it makes sense that all of Black Widow’s MCU costumes have been all black/various shades of grey. However, when we get to Avengers: Age of Ultron, the costume gets some color, and it’s not for the better.
The small amount of red that is usually reserved for Widow’s widow belt buckle is moved to her wrists. The red is a bit too much and doesn’t really blend well with the suit, especially with her new gauntlets. In addition to the red wrists, Widow’s whole suit is surrounded in this Tron-like, neon-blue, glowing piping. It’s meant to show the electricity of her stinger/shocker gauntlets, but it just makes the whole costume a bit too busy.
12. ALL THE IRON MAN 3 SUITS
After his near-death experience during The Avengers, Tony Stark holes himself away in his workshop and builds an armada of Iron-Man suits, all of which debut at the climax of Iron-Man 3. While Tony’s Mark 42 is cool and well-designed, the dozens of additional suits are just plain weird. To start with, there are way too many of them, each with a very specific purpose. Further, while they all get some screen time, it’s barely enough to gather exactly what they do or look like.
The Iron armada in Iron Man 3 feels too much like an extended toy commercial to be taken seriously. Granted, it’s a good idea, but it should have been scaled back a bit, and the featured armors should have been given more screen time so we could get a good look at them and what they do.
11. DRAX THE DESTROYER
This entry isn’t so much about Drax’s outfit, since he doesn’t actually wear much, but more about his overall look. In the comics, Drax’s look is pretty similar to how it appears on screen. However, some of the details added to make Drax’s bright color scheme work on film are exactly what make the design fall flat.
Not only is Drax’s skin a much darker green, to the point of being grey (allegedly to differentiate him from the Hulk), but his tattoos are bland. His markings have a nice “raised skin” effect to them, which make them look more like natural markings than just tattoos, but theres a lot of empty space in the designs, making them fade pretty easily into his already desaturated skin-tone. Plus, his human-looking eyes — rather than all yellow — don’t do much to help us believe the destroyer is an alien and not a wrestler wearing makeup.
Some of Drax’s changes might have been made in order to differentiate him from the other green member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora. However, if that was the case, then why were reddish pink hair streaks added to her design when it was never like that in the comics? Further, why were the yellow markings around her eyes replaced with others? Gamora’s design in the MCU isn’t particularly bad (she has the best outfits) but there was no need to diverge from the comics.
One thing that really doesn’t work are her silver facial markings. While they are visible in promotional posters and the like, they disappear in most shots, once again bringing to question why they were chosen in favor of the yellow markings. Though it’s not the worst alien design in Guardians, Gamora’s look could have used some of the comic-book flair.
Anton Vanko was actually the third incarnation of Whiplash in the original comics. Anton’s origin is changed a bit in the MCU, as is his costume. Originally, Anton managed to get a chest-plate from an Iron-Man suit and reverse engineer it into a suit with energy-whips in order to take revenge for the death of his father.
In the MCU, Anton’s father was a man whose career and livelihood were destroyed after Howard Stark conned him out of his arc reactor patent. Using his father’s research, Anton created a reactor and energy whips to take his revenge out on Tony Stark. Unfortunately, he looked pretty dumb doing it. Both in his shirt-less arc-rector armor frame thing in the opening and in his rinse-and-repeat Iron Mongrel ripoff suit in the climax, his look didn’t do much to inspire.
8. WINTER SOLDIER FALCON
The Falcon suit we see in Captain America: Civil War is a huge improvement on the original shown in The Winter Soldier. To be fair, the original EXO-7 Falcon was an experimental air-force suit, so appearance wasn’t a major concern. Regardless, the first time Sam Wilson dons the wings, it’s not very impressive, mostly due to lack of color.
The black and grey appearance of the Falcon suit is just plain boring, especially when standing next to the red, white and blue of Cap’s suit. Not to mention there are far too many straps, buckles, holsters and screws that make the suit overly tactical. Thankfully, Falcon got an upgrade, which first appeared in Ant-Man and later showed up in Civil War. The new suit had a lot more red to it than helped balance out the overuse of grey in the original.
7. SCARLET WITCH
While we weren’t expecting the full cape and headdress to make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Scarlet Witch costume we got in it, as well as the Civil War costume, wasn’t too great. Her brother got an awesome costume — a cross between athletic-wear and superhero design — but Wanda wasn’t as well off, sporting what seems like the result of her first trip to an early 2000’s Hot Topic. The outfit is both generic and, at the same time, doesn’t look like it’d be available in Sokovia.
However, the bland costume is forgiven when we get an awesome costume in the post-credits scene of Age of Ultron. However… that is the last time the costume is shown. This awesome tactical but stylish costume disappears in favor of yet another leather victorian goth look, but this time with more laces.
6. IRON PATRIOT
The Iron Patriot we got in the MCU was not, in fact, Norman Osborn parading around as a hero, but is instead a repaint of War Machine, meant to sell better to Americans. While the base of the armor is the same (with some minor tweaks), the Iron Patriot paint job is unimpressive, at best. The red, white and blue is kind of spread out in strange ways and the star on the outer edges of the square chest piece doesn’t translate very well.
In general, the color balance of the whole suit is its main issue. While the over design is a bit better than the Norman Osborn comics counterpart, the latter is better balanced. We still get the stripes going across the abdomen, but everything else is just a bit too scattered.
There’s a lot of impressive VFX and makeup work done to make Paul Bettnay look like he’s made of metal, but the overall design of The Vision leaves a lot to be desired. Obviously, the comics version of Vision wouldn’t work on screen, but the MCU version isn’t much better. The overuse of purple definitely comes to mind first, since it’s used on nearly every part of his design.
While the gloves might work somewhat, the purple on Vision’s head doesn’t really do the design justice. The character’s color scheme is already so strange that mixing them together rather than using the purple as a contrast to the green doesn’t really make the design flow. Furthermore, there needs to be something more in the center of his outfit to break up all the green. The overly detailed and grossly desaturated yellow cape isn’t doing him any favors either.
Oh jeez, what’s even going on with this one? Marvel’s TV ventures don’t exactly have the same budget as the films do, but more of Luke Cage’s should have definitely gone into Diamondback’s power suit. The suit was designed to resemble Willis Stryker’s look in the comics, a green suit with yellow underneath to appear like the underbelly of a snake. However, while the suit is comics-accurate, it’s not great to look at on screen.
The suit is apparently made of a material that can absorb and store kinetic energy, but the material used for the costume looks more like a cheap fabric. On top of that, the all-green suit doesn’t really work that well, no matter the detail or seams added to it. Lastly, the helmet, which is designed to look like a snake head (?), only succeeds in making the whole getup look rather goofy.
3. POST-FIRST-AVENGER CAPTAIN AMERICA
The suit featured in Captain America: The First Avenger is, without a doubt, one of the best examples of page-to-screen costume transitions in all of comic book movies. However, every Cap costume from The Avengers on can’t seem to capture the same magic.
The Avengers costume is probably the worst offender, the soft-felt-looking material and the all-blue cowl are just plain silly. As is the Winter Soldier costume, which, while it did use some of the look from TFA, still watered down the outfit in favor of taking a page from Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier. The Age of Ultron costume would have redeemed Cap’s look, were it not for the weird markings around the star, the cut-short middle stripe and the overly detailed pants. Lastly, the Civil War costume threw off the entire suit’s color balance by taking out the white sleeves.
2. INFINITY WAR THANOS
Of all the exciting news about Avengers: Infinity War that came out of San Diego Comic Con (as well as D23), Thanos’ new look was the most, shall we say, surprising. Up to this point, all the cameos we’ve seen of the mad titan showed him in full comics-accurate getup. But the new art for Infinity War shows a different Thanos, one without armor, and boy does it change his look.
First off, the bald look does not work for Thanos, and the exposed arms aren’t really much better. Marvel has said that the lack of armor has to do with the fact that in Infinity War, he will have control over the Infinity Gauntlet, so wearing armor would be pointless if he controls all reality. However, this minimalist Thanos might consider going back to his old duds.
1. THE INHUMANS
There’s a lot to pick apart with the first image we got from The Inhumans, specifically the costumes. The designs themselves aren’t all that bad — they have a modern take on classic comic book costumes/characters — but these designs clearly worked better on paper. The execution is where the Inhumans lost some design luster.
Of the costumes, Black Bolt and Medusa are perhaps the worst of the bunch. Bolt’s signature mask is missing, which isn’t totally bad, but the cheap-looking jacket doesn’t help make up for it. It’s disappointing that one of the greatest costume designs in comics history doesn’t get as great a screen interpretation. Medusa is far worse, sporting way too much purple and a wig that looks like it was bought at a discount halloween store. Not to mention the fact that her spandex-looking dress doesn’t seem all that suited for combat.
Which MCU costumes do you think could use a redesign? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!