The suit makes the man (or woman), and we’re ranking the very best superhero costumes of all time. Capes, cowls, boots and super-suits, check out our list and let us know whose getup you think we missed.
10. Moon Knight
Pure. White. His dry cleaning bill boggles the mind. It’s the costume every kid with a sheet can put together. What kind of nut runs around fighting crime in a bright white, look-at-me, head-to-toe, all-white suit? This one. And it’s pretty badass.
9. Black Panther
The opposite of Moon Knight’s all-white getup would be Black Panther’s all-black one. Sleek, smooth, and clawed like the cat he draws his power from, Black Panther’s very silhouette is inspiring.
Sometimes bigger is better. And so is purple and blue. The Fantastic Four’s world-eating nemesis is one of Jack Kirby’s greatest designs. His helmet is so iconic its shadow got fans excited (and ultimately let down) when it appeared briefly in the flawed ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’.
7. Captain America
Red, white, blue and awesome. Whether you’re a round or pointy shield fan (sorry energy shield fans, that thing sucked), Cap’s star-spangled getup was an instant classic when it debuted in 1941. Ole Wing Head has had a view detours (Nomad, Cap Armor, etc.), but the original is still the best.
Chains! Huge cape! Spiky boots! Spiky gloves! Black, red, and white never came together in such an awesome way. Spawn’s costume gave creator Todd McFarlane everything he could ever need to indulge his unique style of comic book art first seen in The Amazing Spider-Man. Did we mention a collar that would make Elvis jealous?
The one that started it all. Taken from the ‘superheroes’ of the day, Superman’s iconic red and blue tights was inspired by circus strongmen (who also wore their underwear on the outside of their leotards). All these years later the big red and yellow ’S’ has become one of the world’s most recognized symbols of strength and goodness.
4. The Flash
Red, yellow and lightning bolts all over! We were always suckers for a costume with a good lightning bolt on it (Black Lightning, Captain Marvel, etc.), but Flash’s logo and kick-ass belt takes the cake. Are those MORE lightning bolts on his ears and boots!? Awesome.
It’s the costume that shouldn’t work, but does. Covered in webs, unusually shaped eyes … webbed armpits? Steve Ditko created a costume for the ages, and broke the cape and cowl mold that had a stronghold on many comic book heroes at the time. The black costume is pretty cool too, but we’ll take the red and blue version any day of the week.
2. Wonder Woman
The white stripe up the boots, the bullet-proof bracelets, the lasso, the vaguely patriotic blue-starred bottoms and golden eagle breastplate … Although she’s also worn a blue skirt with sandals, a white jumpsuit, and for a while even pants, Wonder Woman’s iconic ‘swimsuit’ costume has never been duplicated.
Designed specifically to “instill fear in the hearts of criminals”, Batman’s cape and cowl set a the standard for superhero costumes for decades. The details have changed repeatedly, but the best elements remain the same: a long cape, a cowl featuring a pair of bat-ish ears, a bat emblem on the chest, and the coolest super gadget ever — a utility belt. Black and gray? Blue and gray? Yellow circle on chest or not? Doesn’t matter. Every variation rules.