With the constant development of existing comic superheroes and the creation of new heroes all the time, it’s not surprising that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of unique designs for all of their costumes. Superhero costumes have been used by heroes over decades to conceal secret identities, to instill fear or hope into those around them, to protect themselves from harm’s way, or even just to look badass. Unfortunately, heroes can sometimes miss the mark and end up looking completely ridiculous. Whether it be the suits’ wacky design, functionality, or complete lack of thought, all of these suits remain as some of the worst comic superhero costumes ever put to paper.
We know some people love these costumes and that’s fine. All comics and comic creations are completely subjective and you’re not wrong for loving them. However, here are Screen Rant’s 11 Worst Superhero Costumes of All Time.
11 Grifter's Mask
Now, Grifter is an awesome character who has an overall good look, but one piece of his costume throws off his entire look: his “mask.” Grifter’s mask is just a flowing piece of cloth that sits on his face with just one strand holding it onto his head. With the amount of action he partakes in, the mask would definitely be a hindrance in his ability to perform.
The piece of cloth even has the classic white eyes that we see on the masks of other heroes, like Batman, Spider-Man, and Deadpool, but they seem useless on his mask. Since the mask isn’t flush on his face, it would be too difficult to see out of those coverings to make them worthwhile. Hopefully, his mask will be updated one day to something a bit more practical, like the rest of his battle-ready outfit.
10 Hawkeye's horny, purple costume
One of the most divisive costumes in all of comics, everything that Hawkeye has ever worn seems to be criticized by the audience. Despite Matt Fraction’s brilliant run with Hawkeye, his newer sleeker look is still criticized. However, the most disliked suit is obviously his horned, purple costume. Considering that Hawkeye is just a regular guy with a talent for archery, his costume always outshone his abilities.
Hawkeye’s classic purple costume is littered with random ideas thrown together for no reason. First, there's the horns that are on his mask for no reason. Then, like Captain America, Hawkeye has a signature giant “H” on his forehead in case people forget who he is in that ridiculous costume. Finally, Hawkeye has a random flowing cloth that hangs in between his legs and almost down to the ground. This has to be the worst piece of his costume because it can’t do anything but hinder him in any situation. It could be seen as an alternative to the classic underpants on the outside of the pants, but the cloth itself is just so large that it becomes nothing but a distraction.
9 Ambush Bug's green suit
As one of DC’s craziest and zaniest characters, Ambush Bug’s costume may fit his personality, but it doesn’t mean it’s very pleasant. Ambush Bug’s green costume covers him from head to toe and has yellow lines running over his face. On top of that, the costume has long feelers that hang off the forehead of his costume that contain bugs and allow him to teleport. However, he later learned how to circumvent the bugs, so the antennae became basically useless.
While Ambush Bug’s suit is described as protective, it has been shown to rip and tear during attack. Although Ambush Bug doesn’t see as much action as other heroes, he does require protection, and his suit doesn’t seem like the most capable choice for him. Also, the combination of a green body suit with yellow lines and antennae are just plain ugly to look at.
8 Batman's Zebra Suit
Unfortunately, Batman has had a collection of terrible costumes that could have made this list. As bad as some of these other costumes are, the zebra suit has always stood out as the most ridiculous.
Of course, there is a ridiculous reason for Batman to don this suit, just as there were reasons for him to wear his rainbow suit. However, Batman being shamed for looking like a zebra makes this suit even worse. For a hero who uses his costume to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies, the zebra suit was enough to make Batman a laughing stock in all of Gotham.
For readers, this ridiculous shake-up to Batman not only damaged his reputation in Gotham, but in the real world as well. Despite being during a time when campiness filled the pages of Batman, this suit just took things too far.
7 Superman's "casual" look
The New 52 was chalk-full of radical changes to heroes and villains costumes, and unfortunately a lot of these changes were met with negative feedback from readers. The more modern and sometimes even casual looks of these costumes made some of the heroes look either too futuristic or not heroic enough. One of these terrible costume changes came from the pages of Superman. He not only has a shaved head, but he wears jeans, a Superman shield t-shirt, and uses tatters of his cape to cover his hands.
While it was interesting to see Superman struggle with becoming de-powered and outed as Clark Kent, the costume change made him too similar to Superboy. While knocking down Superman as a man was an interesting story, the costume change was a bit too much for readers to get behind. Even though he had the powers similar to a regular human being, his look was indicative of a high school football player.
6 Thor's crop top
The 90s were a weird time for comics and their illustrations. Many heroes became barrel-chested monstrosities with long flowing hair. Thor was no exception to this new wave of heroes, and the God of Thunder looked like he became the lead singer of a metal band. He may have had the usual hammer and blonde hair, but the rest looked odd, to say the least.
Thor may be a god, but even this look was too bulky and muscular for him. He had more muscles than even seemed possible. Then the illustrators literally gave him the exact face-surrounding apparatus that Gambit from the X-Men would wear. The whole costume was also covered in leather straps that seemingly did nothing. Thor’s actual costume consisted of a crop top, waist-high tights, half-sleeves, shoulder pads, and an awkward cup looking covering his genitals. Perhaps one of the weirdest parts, however was the giant chain attached to Mjolnir. It just made no sense to even have chains on the hammer that only the worthy could wield, and it made it even more cumbersome than a giant hammer already was.
5 Starfire's skimpy outfit
Female comic characters have unfortunately been subject to male desires when it comes to the design of their character and their costume. One of the most egregious designs came in the form of Starfire’s old and New 52 costumes. Both barely covered the breasts and genitals of Starfire. Not only are these costumes obviously impractical, but potentially even offensive.
While some of the costume redesigns have reeled her costume in a bit, she continues to be hypersexualized and drawn with costumes that do nothing to protect her. For a character that is actually very layered and complex, she can’t seem to get a costume that is as layered as her personality. Unlike many others here, her costume design seems to be pretty consistent and not subject to much change, regardless of the illustrator or time period.
4 Bulleteer's helmet
For someone covered in the durable smartskin, Alix Harrower, the Bulleteer, has one of the many other oversexualized costumes in comics. Even though there is no need for her to even wear protective clothing, it seems ridiculous that she wears nothing but a very revealing top and extremely tight pants. The top she wears also has no straps, yet it stays on despite her soaring through the wind at high speeds. While the clothes are weird, considering her abilities, the funniest part of her costume is on her head.
Even though she may be the Bullleteer, her bullet-shaped helmet makes her look incredibly laughable. Worse, it doesn’t serve a purpose other than to exemplify her Bulleteer persona. Instead of having some sort of bullet emblem or necklace, she just wears a giant bullet on her head.
3 Vibe's parachute pants
Unfortunately for Paco or Cisco Ramon, depending on which version of the character you are referring to, the costume for their alter-ego Vibe has always had one of the most flamboyant and funny costumes in all of DC. Vibe is often shirtless with a multicolored, large collared vest that is usually sprung wide open. Unlike a lot of superheroes, Vibe doesn’t have invulnerability, so he is constantly exposed to injury, yet he has always had costumes that maintain this ridiculousness.
Vibe also had parachute pants for years in the comics, paired with his sunglasses that he still wears to this day. He has always been drawn as if the illustrators thought he looked really cool, but his attire has continuously made him the comic relief. For a character with cool and interesting powers, Vibe has been robbed of a costume that not only protects him, but makes audiences take him more seriously.
Kill-Cat's suit is just a rip-off of one of Batman’s worst suits. Kill-Cat looks eerily similar to the especially pointy Bat-suit that Azrael used during his tenure as the Dark Knight. It’s odd that they chose to rip off one of the worst Bat-suits rather than one of Batman’s more classic outfits, as it does an even further disservice to the character.
While Kill-Cat’s suit is functional, much like a Bat-suit would be, the fact that it looks just like Batman completely negates its look. Instead of having a bat on his chest, he has jarring yellow letters that are the initials of his superhero name against the white and black coloring of the rest of the suit. The eye slots on his cowl are also awkward since they span far out onto the sides of his face. Also, without the utility belt to complete the complete Batman look, Kill-Cat looks like an unprepared hero with nothing to offer but his natural abilities. Unfortunately, even his regular abilities aren’t that great.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this collection of hideous costumes and have had some good laughs when examining these ridiculous costumes. Surely there are plenty that we left off the list, so be sure to let us know in the comments below, which ridiculous superhero costumes did we leave off the list?