Top 10 Superhero Costume Revamps
Top 10 Superhero Costume Revamps

Top 10 Superhero Costume Revamps

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Craig Butler

Clothes don't necessarily make the man, but they can help re-make him. Welcome to and today we're counting down the Top 10 Superhero Costume Revamps.

For this list, we're looking at superhero costumes that improved upon previous versions, either in terms of practicality or stylishness.

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Clothes don’t necessarily make the man, but they can help re-make him. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superhero Costume Revamps.

For this list, we’re looking at superhero costumes that improved upon previous versions, either in terms of practicality or stylishness.

#10: Black Widow Goes Sexy
Black Widow was always meant to have a bit of sex appeal, but let’s face it: her initial costume didn’t seem ideal for fighting crime. The mesh-heavy outfits were a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t until Natasha discovered the appeal of skintight black leather that the character really came together. The modern suit is equal parts sexy and dangerous, embodying the deadly beauty of this femme fatale perfectly. Her costume has since altered frequently through the years, but the basic tight bodysuit with wristlets and a circular-designed belt has remained constant.

#9: Star-Lord Gets Annihilated
When Star-Lord started out, he had an outfit; he kind of looked like a cosmic version of Night Owl. Formfitting and bug-eyed, it looked like any number of other superhero outfits on the market. But Peter Quill is too stylish a dude to have stuck with that look forever. During the Annihilation: Conquest event, Star-Lord rocked a new look. The color scheme remained pretty much the same, but the sleekness was traded in for a comfortably boxy double-breasted look, a more functional helmet and some kick-ass boots. His subsequent trenchcoat with a mask look is also cool, but there’s something about this retro revamp that sticks with you.

#8: The Serious Aquaman
For years, Aquaman was featured almost exclusively in safe, kid-friendly adventures that were all playful and innocent compared to other heroes of that era. His costume – an orange shirt made of fish scales, tight green leggings and a yellow belt with a big “A” for “Aquaman” buckle – reflected his generally cheerful adventures. His new 90s redesign may have been a little extreme, but it made a statement about the new creative direction. Long, wavy blond hair and a beard accented a shirtless look that emphasized a functional armor plate. Add in a harpoon to replace a recently severed hand, and you’ve got a hardcore makeover fit for the Dark Age of Comics.

#7: Batwoman Leaves the 1950s Behind
Originally, Kathy Kane AKA Batwoman was created to prove to certain critics that Batman and Robin were strictly crime-fighting partners. Her costume reflected 1950s views of women, with an out-of-place purse that didn’t add much in terms of crime fighting ability. The new Batwoman, Kate Kane, is a rejection of the attitudes that made the previous version so outdated, and her look makes that clear at a glance. An ebony bodysuit is slashed with scarlet boots, mask, cape and gloves. The vibrancy of the blood red perfectly accents the blackness of the suit, giving her a distinct look within the Bat Family.

#6: The Ultimate Captain America
Sometimes a whole new look can be achieved with minimal changes – and this is a prime example. On the surface, there’s little different between Captain America’s classic look and the version that was created for the Ultimate Universe. The belts and straps look more military and utilitarian. The basic suit has a more “armored” feel to it, and these boots are clearly created for stomping through rough terrain. Even something as simple as adding small stars on Cap’s massive shoulders gives a new balance to the look. Little changes, but a big impact.

#5: The Golden Age Flashes to the Silver Age
DC launched the Silver Age with an old name attached to a new character and new look. The costume worn by the original Flash, Jay Garrick, owed a debt of gratitude to the god of speed, Mercury. The winged helmet and the boots reflect his mythological origins. And while the red shirt and blue pants combo is nice, it doesn’t scream “speed.” The Barry Allen Flash, however, has a costume that seems to have been made for a runner. Form-fitting, the solid red with yellow accents looks like it was built for speed and emphasizes Barry’s lean muscularity. And stylizing the wings on the hood and boots makes all the difference.

#4: The Boy Wonder Gets Long Pants (Finally)
Poor Robin. For decades, while practically every other superhero ran around with their legs covered, he had to patrol Gotham – a city on the east coast – in short shorts, at night! And that garish yellow capelet didn’t help matters, either. Tim Drake must’ve put it in his contract that he would get a more appropriate outfit when he became Robin – and he did. At long last, tights cover the boy wonder’s legs, and they’re paired with some awesome black boots. The capelet became a real cape, and even though it’s yellow on the inside, the outside is black – making it much easier for him to sneak up on villains and get the drop on them.

#3: Daredevil Delves Into Red
Considering this man has no sight, it’s surprising that Daredevil gave much thought to his visual presentation. But somewhere early in the game, he must have realized that his original costume – a red leotard with matching gloves and boots, over a bright yellow bodysuit – didn’t scream out “devil.” But changing the color scheme entirely to red made all the difference. A few other small touches – shrinking the devil horns slightly, revising the double-D logo and making it all tighter – completed the picture.

#2: Iron Man Loses the Clunky
Considering how obsessed Tony Stark is with perfection, it’s hard to imagine he ever went out of the house in his original suit of armor. Seriously, it looks like Tony threw together a few garbage cans, painted them yellow and rigged them up around his body. No self-respecting billionaire playboy dresses like that. Fortunately, Stark soon came up with a radically more attractive design. Sure, switching to a red and gold color scheme is significant, but making the armor conform more closely to Stark’s body had the biggest impact. That, and making sure it still have a definite metallic look and feel.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Thor Rocks Chainmail
- Wonder Woman Stays Warm
- Drax Ditches the Cape

#1: Spider-Man’s Basic Black
Fans were shocked when Peter Parker’s iconic blue-and-red Spidey suit was replaced with a basic black number. They were even more surprised later to discover that the suit was actually a living alien symbiote, but that’s another story. While the original classic suit eventually returned, the black Symbiote suit remains a stunning design. By reducing everything to a basic black with only a few white spots for relief, artists were able to capture a moodiness and darkness in the character that was stark and tantalizing. And though the black made accentuating the physique more challenging, it also took the character design in a new direction, breathing new life into old Spidey.

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