From Page to Screen: 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 6:17 pm, This is a list post.

The 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - New Green Goblin Every good super hero film needs a good super villain for the world-saving protagonist to fight - and apparently every super villain needs a good personal wardrobe assistant. After all, who has time to pick out properly contrasting colors and be concerned with how a fabric drapes on their body when there is a maniacal scheme of world domination to plan? Dozens of improperly-clad super villains have made their way from the comic book page to the big screen, and we've compiled our top 15 worst offenders. To make this list, the movie villain must have had a comic book version first - which unfortunately means no ridiculously-dressed Nuclear Man from Superman IV. Let's take a look at the 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes...

Green Goblin - 'Spider-Man'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Green Goblin (Spider-Man) This isn't the worst way to portray one of Spider-Man's greatest enemies of all time, but there is still plenty wrong with this costume for the Green Goblin. While we can't ask for a better recreation of "Gobby's" glider, the suit and mask are ridiculous. The movie does a decent job of explaining why the suit looks the way it does (it's a military flight suit) but it in no way properly represents the original comic book version. Making the mask a helmet was a misstep as well. We're not sure how anyone can properly pull off the original green suit and purple headsock from the comics - we just know that this wasn't a proper alternative.

The Shredder - 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) Oroku Saki is the leader of the ninja assassins known as the Foot Clan, and goes by the nickname "The Shredder" for the armor he wears. The large, sharp, pointed pieces of metal on his samurai-style armor are supposed to instill fear in his enemies. It does that quite nicely in the comics but in the movie...not so much. Nothing about the film version of  his costume is intimidating or cool. Instead of looking like a bad-ass ninja clan leader, he looks silly and uncomfortable. There's a reason why the artists never dressed Shredder in a glittery purple outfit - because it looks pretty dumb. Nothing about the sharp metal pieces on his helmet or armor are practical and he can't even turn his head without fear of lopping off his own ear. If the point of his costume was to drive laughter into the hearts of men, then mission accomplished.

The Russian - 'The Punisher'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - The Russian (The Punisher) Ivan Vassilovitch Dragovsky is a hitman known as "The Russian" who is hired to kill the Punisher. He's a brute of a man who's strength, endurance and durability are quite the match for the anti-hero. The Russian isn't really a snappy dresser in the comics, what with his silly striped shirt - but as ridiculous as it looks on paper, it's looks even more ridiculous on screen. WWE wrestler Kevin Nash doesn't quite match the big fella's height of 8 feet, but Nash is still an imposing man on screen...or he would be if he wasn't wearing thin red and white stripes. All this Russian "Where's Waldo?" is missing is a pair of thick black glasses and a hat.

Sabertooth - 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'

Worst Super Villain Costumes - Sabertooth (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) In the X-Men universe, Sabertooth is the fearsome enemy of Wolverine who has long blond hair resembling a mane, lion-like claws and superhuman strength. For his second film appearance, Victor Creed (a.k.a. Sabertooth) lost almost everything that made him recognizable as the super-powered villain. The vicious beast-like attitude was still there, but the long flowing golden locks had been replaced by a much shorter haircut and all that massive muscle had disappeared entirely. Also gone was the yellow and brown skin-tight Spandex...but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In the comics, when people see Sabertooth, they run. Unfortunately, in the movie, audiences were running for a completely different reason.

Juggernaut - 'X-Men: The Last Stand'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Juggernaut (X-men 3) Cain Marko, a.k.a. the Juggernaut, is an unstoppable force of pure might who received his great power from the mystical Gem of Cyttorak. Once he is in motion the only thing that can stop him is himself...or the Hulk. He wears a helmet to keep his step-brother, Professor Xavier, from being able to psychically mess with his mind. The classic comic version was overlooked for the modern Ultimate X-Men version, but the movie version left much to be desired. With all the muscle-bound actors in the business, the decision to take tough guy Vinnie Jones and swell him up through artificial means (CGI, body suit) seems pointless. Instead of looking like a bad-ass super villain, he looks like a rejected warrior from American Gladiators.

Mr. Freeze - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Mr. Freeze (Batman and Robin) Mr. Freeze received his super powers after spilling cryogenic chemicals on himself while trying to find a cure for his wife's deadly disease. Because of the mishap he needs sub-zero temperatures to survive and built a suit to allow him to get around freely. With his freeze ray, Dr. Victor Fries battles Batman and plunders the good citizens of Gotham City. The movie version of Mr. Freeze's costume was an incredible piece of junk. All the see-through plastic and chromed-out plates on his armor made him look more like a Hasbro toy than a super villain to be reckoned with. This is one outfit that left us...cold. (Don't roll your eyes. You knew it was coming.)

Dracula - 'Blade: Trinity'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Dracula (Blade III) In the dark world of the Nightwalkers, Dracula is the king and is the number one enemy of the vampire hunter Blade. The comic version of Dracula and the movie version of Dracula are so far apart that, while it's implied the character onscreen is the King of the Vampires, his name was completely changed to Drake. For most of the film he dresses like a Serbian gangster/club owner instead of a slick and deadly vampire. At one point Dracula...Drake...Dagon...The, this guy trying to kill Blade, appears wearing a sleeveless leather vest and armor that only protects one arm and the neck while sword fighting. This concept is lifeless and generic and could have been so much better.

Two-Face - 'Batman Forever'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Two-Face (Batman Forever) District attorney Harvey Dent became the villainous Two-Face after being splashed in the face with acid at a trial. The incident caused Dent to develop multiple personality disorder which led to an obsession with duality. In the most typical comic form of his costume, Two-Face is in a suit and tie with the outfit occasionally being half "normal" and half "wild". The first movie version of this costume went overboard on the wild part, mixing four different types of animals skins - jaguar, cheetah, leopard and tiger. His bad makeup job aside, the black finger-less glove adorned with metal studs was hip during the eighties - too bad this movie was made in the nineties.

Bane - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Bane (Batman and Robin) Bane is supposed to be this imposing, super-strong, super-smart, highly resourceful and deadly super villain that battles Batman mano-e-mano. He was born in a prison called Peña Dura and his father was a world-renowned mercenary called "King Snake." Eventually Bane would defeat Batman by breaking his back. While the late WCW wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson matched the physical build of the comic version of Bane, the movie version of the mask and outfit were corny. Ignoring the fact that the hulkish brute only communicated in grunts and growls onscreen, he looks more like a Mexican Luchador hopped up on human growth hormone than a powerful and merciless super villain.

Poison Ivy - 'Batman & Robin'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Poison Ivy (Batman and Robin) The beautiful and deadly Poison Ivy used to be a intelligent and promising young botanist named Dr. Pamela Lillian Isle, until she was poisoned with an ancient Egyptian herb. Instead of killing her, the poison rendered her immune to all plant and animal-based toxins. She also developed the ability to release pheromones that allow her to control weak-minded individuals, usually males. In the comics, Poison Ivy's skin has become green in a process not unlike photosynthesis - but in the movie, her green skin was replaced with an awful and plain Spandex suit. Her characteristic flaming red hair remained, but they didn't try very hard to make it NOT look like a wig. We've see better hairpieces on Barbie dolls. How do you make Uma Thurman not look attractive? The people involved with this movie figured it out.

The Riddler - 'Batman Forever'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - The Riddler (Batman Forever) The cunning and puzzle loving Edward Nigma loves to taunt his enemies - especially Batman - with deadly riddles, hence his nickname, "The Riddler." What he lacks in physical prowess he more than makes up for in intelligence and can make or solve any puzzle in the world. Funnyman Jim Carrey seemed like a perfect casting choice to play the mad trickster onscreen, but his outfit wasn't really a match. On paper, an all-green unitard dotted with question marks works - but in real life, all that tightness...well, it leaves very little to the imagination. At least the signature question mark cane looks good. There's a reason why you rarely see this outfit worn by cosplayers...

New Green Goblin - 'Spider-Man 3'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - New Green Goblin (Spider-Man 3) After watching his father Norman Osborn die, seemingly at the hands of Spider-Man, Harry Osborn took up the mantle of the New Green Goblin. He battled Spider-Man countless times - not knowing he was trying to kill his best friend Peter Parker until amnesia wiped his memories and they reconciled. The second comic version of the Green Goblin saw only slight changes to the outfit worn by his father. The green color, while "scalier", remained but the purple clothing was replaced with a darker, more midnight-blue color. However, in the film they went in a completely different direction. His glider was replaced with a snowboard-inspired hoverboard and  his entire outfit was made to look like a member of a S.W.A.T. team. As if those changes weren't bad enough, they decided to give him a ridiculously inept mask that didn't even cover his head for protection while flying. We wish we too had amnesia, so we wouldn't have to remember this costume.

Bullseye - 'Daredevil'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Bullseye (Daredevil) The marksman known as Bullseye is one of Daredevil's deadliest foes. He has no real "super powers" but has the uncanny ability to almost never miss a target. Most costumes look better on paper than they ever could onscreen, so Bullseye's dark blue skintight outfit with white gloves would look plain silly in a film with a more serious tone; however, changing him into an Irish metalhead wearing a snakeskin trench coat wasn't the right way to go, either. The bullseye tattoo branding on his forehead was supposed to make him appear cool and intimidating, but it just looks like a weird Botox mistake. This costume misses the mark by a mile.

Blackheart - 'Ghost Rider'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Blackheart (Ghost Rider) Blackheart is the "son" of Mephisto. He is an all-powerful demon with supernatural powers such as super intelligence, speed, strength and telekinesis. He also has control of the armies of Hell and possesses no soul, which makes him a dangerous enemy for Ghost Rider. In the comics, Blackheart stays mostly in his demon form with large black quills on his head, piercing soulless red eyes and a huge, muscular body. Because he can shape change, he occasionally turns into a human form. The movie version of Blackheart stays human most of the time and only changes to a demonic appearance a few times,  but never truly reaches his awesome potential. Instead, the filmmakers opted to go with the generic (read: lame) all-black European clubber look. In their defense, most of the SFX CG budget was used to give Nicholas Cage hair as Johnny Blaze (ZING!).

Cobra Commander - 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra'

Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes - Cobra Commander (G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA) Cobra Commander is the leader of the terrorist organization COBRA and is widely considered to be the most ruthless, dangerous man in the world. He kidnaps the world's top scientists and researchers, forcing them to give up their secrets in order to aid his goal of world domination. Cobra Commander is severely disfigured and hides his face behind either a chromed, flat-front battle helmet or a simple hood in the comics. For 95% of the movie version he isn't even known as Cobra Commander, instead going by the name "The Doctor" and wearing a custom respirator and eye piece.  At the end of the film, he is given an "upgrade" to a full clear plastic facemask with, what we assume are air holes. Whatever they're called, it looks ridiculous and nothing like the great comic book version. On the plus side, it appears they may have nailed the appearance of Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe Retaliation.

The 15 Worst Super Villain Movie Costumes

Worst Super Villains Movie Costumes - Juggernaut Those are our picks for the 15 Worst Movie Super Villain Costumes but there are plenty of super villain costumes we didn't mention that look absolutely ridiculous onscreen and nothing like their comic book versions - Callisto from X-Men: The Last Stand comes to mind. Are there any other super villain costumes that you would add to this list? Be sure to check out our Best and Worst Super Hero Movie Costumes as well. Follow me on Twitter - @MoviePaul.
TAGS: batman, blade, daredevil, ghost rider, gi joe, spider-man, teenage mutant ninja turtles, the punisher, x-men


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  1. I disagree about NEW GREEN GOBLIN. In the comics, he was a villain for a bunch of issues. The movie included his redemption, and since it was only a little over 2 hours long, they needed the audience to connect with him. That lame suit worked because we didn’t see him as a true villain.

  2. I’d like to think Sabertooth grew his hair and gained muscle after the events of X-men Origins: Wolverine.

  3. creed was the only good thing about the wolverine movie.

  4. Half of this list is stupid
    People come up with their own designs, and also if a comic was written in the 1920s, how are you gonna expect that the costume designer isnt gonna change the costume so that it looks as if it belongs in 2013

  5. I have a problem with your comparisons for The Russian, Bane and The Riddler. You should understand that the real world and comic book world are different ie the real world has limitations.

    The Russian: You’re not going to find an 8′ tall person who can act and play a role in a movie and Nash is wearing the same shirt that the character is wearing. What’s the problem?

    Bane: This one is ridiculous. You say the on screen version looks like a mexican luchador hopped up on growth hormone. Bane in fact looks like a mexican luchador, you have the picture right there. Bane literally takes what can be considered a human growth horomone for all intensive purposes its called Venom. Not sure what you were thinking with that one.

    The Riddler: The only differences in the costume from the picture you provided are the missing belt, the color of his “mask” and cane and the addition of the bag. There’s nothing really wrong with the outfit that is how the riddler looks. What’s wrong?

    • I don’t think they are including on the list because they weren’t faithful to the comics – but that they WERE faithful, too much so, so they look out of place in a live action film. Just my take on it.

    • I’m really just hoping that the next time Riddler does make it to the big screen, someone looks back at Frank Gorshin’s suit and bowler outfit and sees how cool that is compared to the damn leotard (I know, Carrey tried it, it didn’t work on him any more than the tights did. I blame everything but the hat)

  6. Okay, anything from those 80s era Batman movies should never be mention in any article ever. We try to forget they existed. It seems, though, that you nit pick costumes for not looking enough like the comic version but when they do (The Russian) you still complain about them. Are you ever happy?

    • *nineties. Only the first Tim Burton Batman movie came out in 1989. The other three were 1991, 1995 and 1997.

  7. You forgot hawkman from smallville

  8. Some or those are bad.

    But Bullseye was good. I’m glad he did’nt look as stupid as the comic.
    He was well done.

    Victor Creeds look was good. Sabretooths a iffy looking villain. You can’t tell if his skins stipy or it’s bad spandex.
    He looks cartoonish. It does’nt really convince.
    Making him a understated, stylish, black dressed, but very menacing, man, was far better. He looks like his skills are not all in his powers. Which is good.

  9. I disagree about bane he looked better than Tom hardy

    • i think that tom hardy’s Bane is more creepy, even if it’s less faithfull

  10. That awkward moment when Kevin Nash appears in the list multiple times…

    • Nash was the Russian, but who else was he on this list?

      • I think he may be referring to Shredder but he’s incorrect. Nash only played Super Shredder, not the regular one which is listed in this article.

  11. x-men has some of the worst comic-to-film costume adaptations. really, almost no one has a costume. it’s like they are trying to play down the idea of them being super heros. why should they blend in? their costumes should remain somewhat classic. can you imagine batman fighting crime in a leather jacket and jeans instead of his patented batsuit. DC stays true to its fans. Why does Marvel feel the need to stray when it comes to X-Men. All the Avengers keep their costumes, so what gives? And why did all the post-Keaton pre-Bale Batman characters have fake boobies and defined crotches?

    • marvel didn’t make the choices on x-men, that was fox

  12. whats wrong with poison ivy i love it lol

  13. Sorry, no… opinion piece or no, you’re still just wrong about many of these.

    The movie version of Shredder was accurate enough and about as close to the original design as anyone could expect in 1990. It only got ridiculous when the slapdash sequel brought us the muppetacular “Super Shredder.”

    Kevin Nash in a that striped shirt was the most iconic image in the whole Punisher move. It was quite a transformation of his appearance, as well. He looked better than most artists have ever drawn the character.

    Liev Schreiber as Wolverine did not seem an obvious choice, but even before seeing what turned to be a great interpretation of the character it was easy to label him an improvement over the sickly- and disgusting-looking Tyler Mane version of the character from the previous X-Movie. Origins only really started sucking when the rest of the X-verse showed up at the end btw; all the whines of disappointed Deadpool fans don’t have much to do the rest of the film. In spite of that hot mess of an ending sequence, Origins was still the best X-Franchise film up to that point.

    The cartooniness of Shoemaker’s costuming was overwrought in some ways, for sure, but I would hate to see what you think is a proper Riddler costume. The spandex on Jim Carrey was spot on.

    Jeep Swenson had the legitimate largest arms in the world: Bane could not have been cast better, and Shoemaker’s brainfart of a directorial effort just meant he wasted an amazing casting choice there. Nolan’s version of this character is what was awful.

    The rest I’ll give you, though aside from the Goblin (an especially moronic costume choice given the actual casting of Willem Dafoe, who of all actors in the world had the best chance of pulling off an amazing Goblin make-up job) I can think of worse. Truth be told, you could have just listed most of the characters from the first three X-Movies and called it a day.

  14. Kevin Nash was super shredder

  15. Look, I can agree with some of these, Juggernaut being one of them, but some make it seem like you’re making up rules as you go along to suit a top 15. You’re mad at Bane from Batman and Robin but not with Azazel in First Class? How does that make any sense when Bane is a more faithful rendering(everything is identical to the comic in COSTUME which is your parameters, whereas azazel is a redfaced British mod from the 70’s with superpowers…). You get mad at Kevin Nash being an identically dressed villain but even AFTER naming off numerous inconsistencies with Lady Deathstryke(namely the fact that the ONLY thing right is the fact she’s got adamantium claws)you put her on the best??? You also clearly missed the idea of what Venom looks like in 99% of continuity, in that he’s physically bigger than Spider Man both in size, but weight. He’s bulkier, and way more imposing of a figure, vs Venom in the movie being Spider-Man size with crazy teeth, eyes and a black suit… Also…Skeletor on BEST DRESSED? He looked more like a badly crafted action figure with a glowing skull than imposing. His costume was changed entirely. Also you have beef with Shredder wearing purple but not Red Mist looking NOTHING like he did in the comic…? This is woefully inconsistent writing.

  16. Victor Creed isn’t called Sabertooth not once in the Wolverine movie.

    The actual Sabertooth is the one from the fist X-Men movie, and I guess his screen outfit is even better than the one on comics. I’d guess Logan’s brother on Wolverine: Origins movie was dressed away from this character to show us they’re not the same.

    I.e.: Victor Creed is not Sabertooth in the S-Men movies’ universe.

    • *** X-Men