10 Thrift Store Friendly Comic Book Halloween Costume Ideas

Comic book fans and comic book casuals alike – Halloween is fast approaching and you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE, do you? You’ve been thinking about it all year, you had a million great ideas back in April, but now that push comes to shove and you’re starting to get invited to costume parties or seeing Reddit costume posts you’re quivering in fear. What to do? Of course you can’t buy some lame Superhero suit from the Halloween store with padded muscles – that’s not canon. No, you have to throw together something unique and from the heart (your fandom heart), but you don’t want to break the bank doing so. To your friendly neighborhood thrift store! Time to peruse wracks of shoulder padded suits that would put Agent Scully to shame in a gallant attempt to gather necessary pieces for iconic but recognizable costumes.

Not sure what you’ll be looking for when you tentatively wander into the land of moth balls and bad 80s print? Not to fear, your friendly neighborhood thrifty cosplayer is here! I’ve masterminded – er compiled five costume ideas for the ladies and five for the gentlemen – you know, to get your brain juices flowing! Go forth and overdose on Candy (or candy flavored alcohol – but don’t actually OD on that), iFanbase!

For the Sirs


Tony Stark

What You Need

  • A Nice Suit
  • A glowstick inside of a small tupperware taped inside of your shirt (Arc Reactor!)
  • Smarmy sunglasses
  • Hair Gel
  • Bad facial hair (or eyeliner to give yourself bad facial hair)
  • A raging alcohol habit

 Two Face

What You Need

  • Two suits, cut in half and sewed back together
  • Someone who is good at makeup (or just lots of makeup and youtube tutorials)
  • A coin to flip

 The 11th Doctor

What You Need

  • A tweed suit jacket that would do your college professor proud
  • Skinny pants
  • Doc Martens
  • A bow tie (they’re cool)
  • A mop (optional)
  • A fez (optional)
  • A sonic screwdriver (absolutely necessary)
  • Bonus points for preparing verbose and slightly dotty monologues to spout throughout the night


What You Need

  • Pinstriped Dress Pants
  • A Khaki Trench Coat with a Belt
  • A white ascot
  • Brown leather gloves
  • A white pantyhose that a toddler has taken a sharpie to
  • A hat like frat boys and old men wear
  • A general disdain for the human race
  • A sore throat from trying to sound like you’ve been smoking cigarettes since you were born


What You Need

  • Some hipster’s red flannel shirt
  • Too tight jeans
  • Boots for riding motorcycles
  • Absurd sideburns (if you’re incapable of growing some, just steal a friend’s beard hair in their sleep and glue it to your face)
  • Cigars. All night.
  • Plastic knives spray painted silver, attached to an apparatus that you can hold in your palm.
  • Lust for a married woman and a generally bad attitude


For the Ladies


Black Canary

What You Need

  • A Black Leotard from the 90s. The higher the thigh holes, the better.
  • Fishnets.
  • Stompy boots.
  • Your dad’s leather jacket from the “glory days” that he never shuts up about.
  • Black Leather Gloves, ala Lady Gaga


What You Need

  • Black everything (leggings, crop top, belt, boots, soul)
  • Lots of hairspray. LOTS of hairspray.
  • An Ankh necklace. Direct your attention to your nearest Hot Topic if you are unable to acquire one at a thrift store, due to the management’s religious beliefs.

 Tank Girl

What You Need

  • Your local trashy hipster girl’s cut off denim shorts
  • Torn tights. Take them for a spin in a thorn bush.
  • Boots you have hidden in the back of your closet from that one month in college when you were exploring your goth side
  • Kangaroo ears stuck to a helmet or a fluffy hat of some sort
  • A copious supply of cigarettes
  • Every episode of Daria

 Poison Ivy

What You Need

  • Lesbian tendencies
  • A leotard or old one piece swimsuit with tons of ivy glued all over it, like the kind you find at the craft store or at your grandma’s house
  • Boots. Or not. Depends on how much you trust your ability to summon plants to soften your footfalls.

 Mary Jane Watson

What You Need

  • Jeans that ride your waist so low your mother wouldn’t let you out of the house
  • Tight sweaters – the kind that hide everything but absolutely nothing
  • A perky girl next door attitude with an intense fondness for nerdy guys
  • A Spider-man mask to tuck in your back pocket


So, there you have it: five awesome suggestions for your identified gender of choice. Or not. I’d personally love to see a lady Tony Stark, bad facial hair and all.

If you’ve already decided your Halloween costumes, what are you going to be?


Molly McIsaac is being Dana Scully for Halloween, likes ice cream and unicorns and laughs at herself while she writes articles. You can follow her weird stream of consciousness on twitter, or check out her flavor of the day madness on her blog.


  1. Hey you leave Tony Stark’s facial hair alone!
    Otherwise it’s a pretty good list and amusingly written.
    I’m not exactly sure I’d call The Doctor a comic book character, although he does appear in comics, but at least you didn’t call him Doctor Who so I’ll give you that.
    I would go as him this year, but as I live in the UK it’s one of the least original costumes ideas, along with Superman and James Bond. Also, as much as I fucking love tweed, I don’t think I could stand being incorrectly called Doctor Who for an entire night without resorting to justifiable homicide.
    I’ll probably try and go for Rick Deckard again, I gave up last year as finding a coat that looks right on the cheap is almost impossible.
    I honestly didn’t realize it was approaching Halloween (boy this year seems to have flown by) probably because shops starts advertising holidays so far in advance I become desensitized and just ignore them.

  2. I was Tony Stark a few years ago. I had one of those round LED tap lights, but now you can get official toy versions of the chest piece in any Target. Tricky thing was getting it to stay on.

    Last year I was Barry Allen. Lab coat with a basic business casual suit beneath (and tie), Flash ring, and hastily whipped up Central City PD ID badge.

  3. Some of my fav’s are T-shirt Superboy and Riddler. Riddler you can do just about anything with. I like the traditional dark suit and shirt with purple tie, green bowler hat and cane. Or hipster it up a bit. Green bowler, a crutch, green converses, dark jeans, open shirt and T-shirt underneath with a ‘?’ scribbled on it (white shirt with green T, or green shirt with purple T). If you have facial hair trim go clean for suave Nygma or go with sideburns and soul patch for slightly loopy hispter Riddler. And carry a Rubix cube with all green sides. Maybe one has a bat logo scribbled on it. Maybe one with a giant ? and one side with each square featuring a little ?. Something I did was to draw tattoos on my arms. So I did a collection of ?’s going in a circle so that they all shared the same dot. I also wrote ‘Riddle me this’ and ‘Who is the Batman?’. People liked it, it wasn’t traditionally canon but was fun and with a character Riddler it doesn’t matter too much.

    Someone else went as Harley from the girls side of things. Its really easy. Face paint, hair in pig tails, mix and match some red and black clothes, get a rubber gun from a store or online and paint one half black and the other red. Maybe knee high converses (one black on red) and same with gloves if you fancy (though not so much on the knee high).

    Or Batman Begins Scarecrow.

  4. How about John Constantine ?

    For John you need a trenchcoat (naturally, I got mine from Value Village).
    An old suit you that still fits (old is good to show how much it’s used from a bunch of adventures).
    If you don’t have a problem smoking then smoke like a chimney.
    And if explaining who John is to long for some people buy a plastic shotgun, paint it gold and say your ConstanTEEN from the Keanu movie.

  5. i was Tony Stark a few years ago and for 2 bucks at the local dollar store i bought some cheap-o Tap lights and sink drain cover and boom!


  6. hahah “lesbian tendencies” XD…..surprised joker wasnt on here, he is pretty easy too.

  7. Just wondering who drew that Mary Jane? I can’t read the signature. Thanks in advance!

  8. lol’ed at “Lesbian Tendencies”