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Wonder Man – the King of Bad Superhero Costumes!

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Wonder Man – the King of Bad Superhero Costumes!

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).

Reader Jeff S. wanted me to spotlight how awful Wonder Man’s costumes have been over the years. Your wish is my command, Jeff!

Wonder Man opened up with a pretty decent costume, really, by Jack Kirby in “Avengers” #9…


But since he was ostensibly killed off in that issue, that was it for that costume until Wonder Man turned out to be alive in “Avengers” #151…


He wore that costume for the next nine issues until he was given his first new costume, designed by George Perez and…well, wow…


I love that it was designed by the guy who just runs around in a pair of blue underwear. That guy totally knows good costumes!

John Byrne quickly got rid of the costume just four issues later in “Avengers” 166…


And Perez tried again the next issue, with one of the craziest superhero costumes ever, the safari jacket outfit! Initially intended to look like Doc Savage’s outfit, the jacket was instead colored red rather than khaki-colored.


By all normal standards, it is a bad superhero outfit. However, it is SO out there that it almost sort of works despite itself. It’s a freakin’ safari jacket! For no reason! That’s just kind of awesome.

He wore the safari jacket for the next five years or so, until he joined the West Coast Avengers. So Bob Hall gave him a new costume and it is probably the best costume that Wonder Man ever had.



So, of course, soon after the “West Coast Avengers” started, artist Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott gave him a crazy-awful costume…



It was so bad that they eventually ditched it, with writer Steve Englehart even addressing how much people hated the costume…


His new costume was basically the Bob Hall costume again, which is good, because it is a good costume…


To celebrate the 25th issue of his own ongoing series, exiting artist Jeff Johnson gave him a costume that was a perfect example of an early 1990s costume. Pouches!! For Wonder Man!!


The costume was so icky that they killed him off a few months later in “Force Works” #1.

During “Heroes Reborn”, he got an ugly variation of the Kirby costume…


When he returned in Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s “Avengers” run, Perez went with the basic Bob Hall outfit…


In the years since, he has basically alternated between the Safari jacket look, like in “Mighty Avengers” #1…


and the Bob Hall costume, like in “Uncanny Avengers” #5…


So things worked out okay, but boy, he had some baaad costumes!

Thanks for the suggestion, Jeff! If anyone else has ideas for things that you’d like to see repeated, drop me a line at!

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