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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.)
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 Beast…er, 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.
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 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.
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 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…
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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