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The Comics 8 Ball 12.16.13: Top 8 Worst Costume Re-Designs
Posted by Anthony Kennedy on 12.16.2013


Welcome back to the Comic 8 Ball in the Movie Zone folks! Before I delve into the very best of the very worst in comic costumes, wanted to address Bad Robot team guiding the future of Sony's Spider-Man franchise. You didn't think Sony was going to let Bryan "Don't Steal My Shine" Singer have the last word on comic book films. They finally announced the worst kept secret that they would be expanding the Spider-verse with two more planned Amazing Spider-Man sequels, a Venom film and a Sinister Six film. Again, as with my write-up on this in last week's column, I wasn't going to go all Debbie Downer and take a wait a see approach. But that was before I learned that Star Trek screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and Lost producer Jeff Pinkner had been tapped to guide these future films. I don't think I have enough words to describe my disdain for anyone associated with those two properties. While achieving commercial success Into Darkness and Lost suffer from some of the worst writing flaws while accumulating a high number of unanswered plot holes. Those guys are just awful. Look no further than the mess that was Prometheus, another Bad Robot screenplay. Much like my apprehension on how the Star Wars films will turn out, I now have my doubts about the future of the Spidey series with these guys at the helm.


CMWolf: Not for nothing, each and every item listed are reasons I read comics in the FIRST place. Its called ESCAPISM! If I wanted real life, I wouldn't be reading comics. Do you guys REALLY want fat or flat chested superheroines? I sure as hell don't. If they actually kept dead ALL the characters they've killed over the years, we wouldn't have many comics to read would we? I understand the reasoning for all of them, truly I do. However, I also LOVE each and every cliché that comics have built their foundations upon....and wouldn't change a THING. Its also what keeps the true morons out there from cluttering up our cons and favorite comic shops. =) MORE FOR US!!! =)

No denying, clichés are fun (for the most part) that keeps us reading and have us debating on message boards across the web.

Shads: Overall a nice list even if I don't agree with all of them. Number 5 sticks out most to me however. I think that this happens all the time because it HAS to happen. It's sort of an arms race. I could not even imagine a team having no big guy on it and I suppose that`s the reason for including it. Still the issue is that the big guy is often generic and on the team for no other reason than NOT having a big guy is a one way ticket for having a team wipe due to the presence of the enemy's big guy.

Good point about needing to make the big guys less generic, but the fact that the bad guys have a strong guy is a cop out. There are ways to neutralize a super strong guy and actually make for a more compelling battle as they try to figure it out.

-i understand comics need to attract new and younger fans. but if you are following a story/character for years. then one day, they are back at the beginning. essentially saying, "everything you've been following for the last 3, 5, 10, 20 years DIDNT HAPPEN!!!!"

Not sure about retconning as some writers come up with a storyline that requires a change to the continuity of a character, and some are good. The reboot, however, is definitely becoming a comic book cliché. Is it a real requisite to restart the numbering of a comic series to inform fans this is a new era/writing team? Where's the petition to have the DC Comics returned to their original numbering at?

D2Kvirus: One that gets me more and more these days is preparing for a new story arc by killing off the strong supporting characters. The Walking Dead is particularly bad for this (Tyreese, Dale, Abraham and Glenn being the main examples, all of which buying the farm before a long-term arc started), as was Gen13.

Ah, that is a good one! In the new century, writers have been over reliant on the end of story arc major character death. Might have to redo my list on that one.

MJ: You forgot time/inter-dimensional travel.

More specifically, time/inter-dimensional travel to explain/show/fix a story that a writer wants to tell.

CyberVenom: Awesome list this go around! Here's mine, in no order:

10. This story will change EVERYTHING!!!
9. Resurrection of the newly dead.
8. Brand new #1 collector's issue!
7. Hero A holds the limp dead body of Hero B. (ie: Crisis on Infinite Earth's Superman holding Supergirl)
6. Teen version of characters
5. The New Costume
4. The Doppelganger villain.
3. Crazy large, impractical gun
2. How many pouches and zippers can we fit? (Hello, 90s)
1. This is the biggest threat the hero has ever faced!!!

Teen versions of characters and Hero A holds the limp body of Hero B should definitely get an honorable mention. Artists love recreating that image.

Thanks to everyone for all of your comments and look forward to hearing your feedback each and every week.

Top 8 Worst Costume Re-Design

Honorable Mention:
  • Harley Quinn: I'm all for giving a character an edge, but that punk makeover was a extremely bad idea.
  • Ms. Marvel: Why mess with perfection and even worse cover up so much skin and give her a Captain Marvel knock off outfit.
  • Polaris: Not like her original green costume was great, but that horrible purple witch outfit thingy was HORRIBLE.
  • Wolverine: They redesigned the best there is at what he does into man's best friend with his new, post adamatium feral look.

    #8 Guy Gardener


    I was never a big Guy Gardner fan, but I at least liked his GL costume that they put him in. But he didn't deserve this. The writers believed it was time to introduce his Vuldariana bloodline as a member of the Warriors leading to a horrible design complete chaps and body painting/tattoos?!?!? That's the best they could come up with.

    #7 Thor


    C'mon Son! Thor is a Norse God, with an iconic costume. You can't do this to him. Unfortunately, artist Mike Deodato decided to give a typical 90's costume makeover to the Son of Odin. Belly shirt, giant chains, thigh and wrist straps, and capsules on the chest, but what was with the God of Thunder having flowing big 80's metal hair?

    #6 Storm


    I'm tempted to play the race card on this. I mean, what else can explain why they would take a regal looking, perceived African Goddess from her initial attire to something this monstrosity? Her costume, while revealing, was a brilliant design from Dave Cockrum, so when they decided to give her a harder edge, it became necessary to make her over into some punk rocker wannabe. Cape gone, two-piece bathing suit gone and high knee boots, all gone. Instead, we now had leather clad Storm rocking a dog collar and Mohawk?

    #5 Bat Azrael


    Ah the Bat Azrael. It wasn't bad enough that they chose Jean-Paul Valley as the replacement in the cowl when Bane broke Bruce Wayne. They upped the ante by giving him an Iron Man-esque makeover to the second most iconic comic book costume. What they came up was prototypical 90's excess with bladed wings, pouches, spikes, and tons of armor. We can thank Joe Quesada for this, yet another reason to hate that guy.

    #4 Magneto


    I was all in for Magneto seeing the error of his ways and deciding to fight for the betterment of mutantkind alongside Professor X, but if it meant replacing his super cool, classic outfit with these pansy ass duds, then no thank you. They ditched his iconic helmet and outfitted him with a purple onesie with a giant lavender M on it. His second redesign was no better as they lightened up the color and gave him white gloves and boots. Not a good look. Thankfully everything changed for the better and we got our classic outfit back.

    #3 Electric Superman


    I would ask is anything sacred, but they killed the Man of Steel already so all bets were off. Yet another redesign to invigorate new life in Superman, instead they generated hordes of eye rolls as we got the Superman Red/Superman Blue. The costume gutted all of the iconic imagery that fans had grown to love about Kal El. Epic Fail DC!

    #2 Modern Wonder Woman


    What was the key lesson learned by DC's late 60's redesign of Wonder Woman? That if you want the Amazonian's sexualized physical features downplayed, you get a character with no powers or the classic outfit that everyone was accustomed to. How's that for the advancement in women's representation in comics eh? Denny O'Neil not only gave the most boring take on Diana but one of the worst costume re-imaginings as well.

    #1 Aquaman


    Admittedly, Aquaman's original costume wasn't much better, but this, this SUCKED! Some have dubbed this the deep blue sea camo suit, which I can actually get behind that making sense to do battle underwater. But for it flaws, the original costume looked more regal and befitting of the King of Atlantis. Logic aside, this thing is hideous and deservedly earns it's place as the worst costume re-design.

    Well that's my list. Agree, disagree, did I miss someone that deserved to make this list? Let me know! Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don't forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! I'm done.

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