Since her debut in Marvel Comics, the mutant Psylocke’s willingness to show some skin has turned just as many heads as her psychic blade. So when X-Men: Apocalypse put Olivia Munn in basically the exact same outfit, some eyebrows were raised. Munn made sure the character’s costume wasn’t just meant to get fans drooling, and with the addition of some flesh-colored latex covering the edgier areas, audiences can make decide for themselves.
Steve Rogers got a clever costume during his World War II days, recreating the color scheme and red and white stripes without actually looking too silly. But that changed with The Avengers, with Cap’s colorful mascot outfit justified by claiming that the public might need a hero who was old-fashioned, and a bit cheesy. Fans were fine with it, since the movie itself was a hit. But the costumers clearly heard the criticism, since every single Cap costume since has been an update of the original style – basically asking all of us to forget the Avengers look ever happened.
Almost every practical comic book costume gets a little tweaking thanks to digital artists, whether it’s CG capes, added effects, or tech. But with Green Lantern, director Martin Campbell made a bold choice: to go with nothing practical, and make the entire suit a digital creation. The idea that the Green Lantern ring makes the suit from pure energy IS faithful to the comics, but the end result turned off almost everyone – especially the mask. And when your star actually HAS the body of a comic book superhero, why waste it? As an added bonus, Ryan Reynolds has claimed that the mocap suit was so hot, it must have been “made of actual woven misery.”
No movie superhero proved you can’t judge a book by its cover like Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox). Where the Marvel version of the character (Avengers: Age of Ultron) stuck to the slick style of the comics, Bryan Singer went… a different direction. The metallic jacket might have fit the 1970s setting, but from the moment the silver wig and goggles hit the Internet, fans went crazy, claiming it to be the dumbest design of the entire franchise. Even actor Evan Peters wasn’t sure it would work, but the character wound up a fan-favorite – goggles and all.
Having already teamed up with Batman and Superman, and with a solo movie on the way, it’s hard to believe Wonder Woman was going to appear on TV played by Adrienne Palicki, instead. Enough people thought the pilot episode was worthwhile to actually get it filmed, but once fans caught sight of the new costume, jaws dropped. A reminder: this costume was designed in 2011. Fans would have debated even a perfect Wonder Woman costume, but the spandex pants and glittering gold left no doubt: the pilot would wind up not going to series, and basically embarrassing everyone associated with it.
Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman might be seen as brilliant now, but following on the heels of the Bat-nipple-suit, a Batsuit that was actually practical and realistic seemed like a risky move behind the scenes. One by one, every feature of the suit, from the grappling gun to the wings, had to be justified – to the director, and in the movie. For Christian Bale, the commitment to realism meant he still couldn’t turn his head while in the suit, and the materials left with with intense headaches. Who knows? Maybe that rage is what made Batman Begins such a hit.
The Joker’s girlfriend has usually courted controversy with every one of her outfits, showing more and more skin in cartoons, comics, and video games every year. With Dc’s Suicide Squad, the filmmakers designed a new look keeping her modern blue and red color scheme intact – and sticking with the short-shorts and stilettos, too. Actress Margot Robbie mainly complained about being soaking wet in just a t-shirt and shorts, unlike her co-stars, but claimed the sexy style was part of what made Harley tick. Whether the audience will buy it… remains to be seen.
We couldn’t discuss some of the most hotly-criticized superhero costumes without addressing the mother of all mutant mistakes: Deadpool, from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Even now, it’s hard to know what the filmmakers were thinking, giving Wade Wilson optic blasts, retractable swords, and the ability to teleport without even giving him a suit – or a mouth. Ryan Reynolds got to set things right – and then some – but there was a time when this take on Deadpool seemed like it had killed the character on film for good.