The Top 10 Least Fashionable Comic Book Characters

Last week, I praised comic book characters for bringing fashion into my young life, and for influencing real life runway looks when I identified what I thought to be the Top Ten Most Fashionable Comic Book Characters. However, where there is light there is always darkness. Sure, comic book characters can be fashionable, but they can also sport looks that are embarrassingly absurd and ridiculous.

And thus, without further ado, I bring you the Top Ten LEAST Fashionable Comic Book Characters.

 

10. Kang the Conqueror

Ask anyone who is fashion conscious – purple is a hard colour to wear. Purple usually needs to be paired with blacks or grays to neutralize its intense POP. What it does NOT need is to be worn with a green tent sleeved shirt and thigh high boots. This outfit is not even okay if you are a figure skater.

 


9. Shatterstar

Um… dude? Fabio called, and he wants his hair back. Yes you are an ultimate warrior and embody manliness. You are an awesome gladiator and you don't even have parents. You are a MAN'S MAN. Except that hair. And that skin tight, one piece white suit… with gold rings. On your legs.

 

8. Power Girl

I might get raged at for this one, but no matter how good your boobs are, it doesn't give you license to abuse a leotard that should have been retired in the eighties. There is nothing awesome about super high cut thigh holes that give way to folded over boots. This may have been okay if Power Girl had a giant perm and legwarmers twenty years ago, but she needs to take a long hard look in the mirror at something OTHER than her melons and revise her costume. I AM okay with the cape, however.

 


7. Dr. Doom

Tunics are only alright if you are one person, and that person is Robin Hood. Did Dr. Doom read too many stories about the band of merry thieves as a child? Sure he reduces the ridiculous factor of his lack of pants and giant belted green tunic by the fact that he's all metal and badass, but only just barely.

 


6. Robin

Let me be clear here: Christmas colours = NOT AWESOME. I know you may have seen your grandma putzing around in December in her evergreen sweater and red sweatpants, sporting reindeer antlers with a naturally red nose from too much egg nog, and that image has stayed with you through your adult life and now you think that YES, red and green together IS ok… But it's NOT. It never has been and it NEVER will be. Pair that horrible red and green color scheme with spandex panties, a bright yellow cape and a domino mask and you basically have created a wardrobe induced train wreck.

 

5. Star Sapphire/Violet Lantern/Carol Ferris

I really want to know what was going on in DC's mind when they revised Star Sapphire's costume for Blackest Night. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

"You know, Star Sapphire's outfit is just so PURPLE and NORMAL and COOL, what should we do to mess it all up?"
"Hmmm, how about we draw inspiration from Britney Spears going for shock factor at some awards show five years ago?"
"YEAH! That's a great idea! Except let's cut the amount of clothing she wears down by at least half, sound like a plan?"

Do you know what, DC? I like my superheroes in spandex and capes, not purple strips of fabric that cover up the naughty bits (but only barely). And it might even be less absurd if there wasn't that stiff, religious garb inspired collar. Covering your neck isn't making up for everything else that is UNcovered.
So, what have we learned here, children? As a general rule of thumb: Less clothing = less fashionable.

 


4. Mystique

As I mentioned for Star Sapphire's outfit, the less clothing one wears, the less fashionable one is. Sure, nakedness is super cool, but come ON Mystique, at least put a little bit of effort into your grooming process, alright? I understand you're blue and hot, but merely slicking back your hair and stepping out of the house just isn't socially acceptable and its certainly not very fashionable. If I had a body like that I would want to show it off too, but have some class, woman!

 


3. Mr. Freeze

There is only one comic book character that can wear their underwear outside of their suit successfully and still manage to be a badass, and that character is Superman. Mr. Freeze, on the other hand, does not seem to possess this particular skill. If I had to wear a giant fish bowl on my head, I think I would make more of an effort to dress a little bit better. After all, I'm pretty sure cryogenic suits don't just come in the "underwear on the outside" variety.

 


2. Rocket Racer

I feel like I should just let the image speak for itself here, but… come on. First of all, the only way one can pull off yellow and red together is if you are Tony Stark, and second of all… knee pads? Earmuff/headphones/what are those? A… skateboard? Rocket Racer could be a really awesome character and prominent in the (woefully) small pool of African American comic book characters, but instead he just comes out looking like the 80s threw up on him… in a bad way.

 


1. Ragman

Despite what Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen think, dressing like a bag lady has never been and never will be in style. This includes wearing shredded, patched clothes made out of RAGS. Yes, I am talking to you, Ragman. The comparisons between he and Batman are entirely unjustified. Black, awesome, scientifically enhanced suit > rags. Seriously, all I really needed to say here was "His costume is made from rags".

 


Molly McIsaac points her camera at everything and enjoys fictional characters with green hair. You can stalk her to your heart's content on Twitter.

Comments

  1. While her costume is pretty bad, Power Girl generally seems to dress pretty well when out of costume (if I recall correctly).  Same with Carol Ferris.

    I would replace one of them with Jubilee.  Maybe throw in Dazzler. 

  2. Frankly, this list lost all credibility by including Doctor Doom. The medieval look suits him in context, and he looks too iconic and awesome overall.

    If you’re looking for the least fashionable costumes, look no further than Baron Zemo. Going from the cool Citizen V outfit to THAT was a outrageous downgrade.

  3. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Captain Cold > Mr. Freeze

    In fashion and everything else.  

  4. I realize Superman’s costume is iconic, but can we agree to include just about every character who wears his underwear on the outside?

    Also, I’ll give speedo Namor a pass since he lives underwater but the Hulk (aka Mr. Purple Pants) should really try snazzing it up a bit with a bowtie or suspenders once in a while.

  5. How is Batroc the Leaper not on this list? Was it one of those "too obvious" kind of things? Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything on this list (except for Doom… I just like the costume, I guess)

  6. I’ll give it to you on all of them except Ragman. His name is Ragman and if that’s your name you kind of have to wear Rags. If a guy shows up calling himself Ragman and he’s not wearing rags I’m gonna call bullshit.

  7. Hmm I could name a few really bad ones myself. But none of them come to mind now. They were so bad I suppressed them out of memory.

  8. Don’t diss Zee Leaper!

  9. I doubt anyone will agree with me, but Wonder Woman tops my list. I was ranting about how awful her costume is on Twitter the other day, but I got crickets.  I just can’t her seriously in that star spangled swimsuit.  All they would really need to do is basically take the Xena outfit, alter the colors, and bang, not too much of a change and huge credibility boost.

  10. YES! THANK YOU!! What a fantastic list, made all the more fantastic by the inclusion of Power Girl. I don’t care how good her book is or how Amanda Conner always draws her in an "empowered" position, she looks like a stripper. Or a hooker… a stooker. Throw in Star Saphire’s embarassing non-costume and Robin’s tighty-greenies and this list knocks it out of the park.

    … except for Kang. That dude looks awesome. Look at him, lounging there like a pimp on his invisible fainting couch. Daddy of the mack-daddies.

  11. The fact that Power Girl gets so much crap while no one says anything about Phantom Lady is a travesty.

  12. Hey. Hey. Hey. HEY!

    Kang looks cool.

  13. Good as time as any to link to Tim Gunn critquing superhero outfits — he actually likes Power Girl!

  14. @slockhart – Fair enough, but when was the last time anybody, anywhere, gave a poop about Phantom Lady? Power Girl’s in our face all the time… well, parts of her, anyway.

    For what it’s worth, I still think it’s really weird that no one seems to have a problem with the fact that Supergirl flies around all day in a pleated mini-skirt. Pedophiles in Metropolis must camp out on their roofs all day just looking up.

    And yeah, gotta agree about Wonder Woman. Hey, remember that awesome WW costume that Donna wore at the beginning of Heinberg’s arc? They really should’a kept that around for a while.

  15. The recent upgrade Shatterstar got in X-Force is a massive improvement. Biggest plus was the haircut.

    I love the idea behind Ragman but I despise that costume. Like most on the list of bad costumes though, it’s hard to improve or change it. I have sketches of redesigns I did of Powergirl and Ragman sitting around somewhere. This list makes me want to post them. Maybe I’ll throw them up on Tumblr.

  16. I’m with Molly on Kang.  Conquerors should not wear F-me boots.  It’s one of the first things they teach you in Conquering School.  Bad form old chap.

  17. @CaseyJustice: I always figured she wore short under her skirt like a cheerleader.  There’s no way Clark and Martha especially would allow her to do so otherwise.

  18. How is Kang on this list and NOT Hawkeye?

  19. Come on now. Gambit is left off the Most Fashionable and the Least Fashionable list? I cry foul. Ron, where are you? Back me up here!

  20. @stuclash, I think Dazzler is pretty fashionable. She pulls off sparkles and catsuits better than Lady Gaga. It’s all about ATTITUDE.

    @slockhart, I hate Wonder Woman’s costume ALMOST as much as I hate Captain America’s. Maybe we just both don’t like America? 😉

    @CaseyJustice, I like Supergirl. She is one of the few classy dressing ladies left in comics who doesn’t feel the need to flaunt her midriff/boobs/whathaveyou.

  21. @caseyjustice They’ve shown before that Kara wears red shorts under her skirt. They look like biking shorts. so no panty shots for perverts

  22. @RoiVampire: It depends on the artist. Some draw her in shorts, others… don’t.

  23. @Molly – But… She is showing her midriff. Also her underpants. I realli like the overlong sleeves, though.

    Y’know who’s a snappy dresser? Amanda Waller. Say what you will about curvy ladies, but she can pull off a suit like no other gal in the DCU.

  24. @Conor i seem to remember DC making a big deal out of the shorts. It was mentioned on newsarama sometime right before the New Krypton crossover. I think the deal is that she’s officially supposed to wear shorts but sometimes artists "forget" i.e. don’t bother looking it up

  25. @CaseyJustice, in the new costume yes, but before now she didn’t. I am annoyed by the new one >.< I mostly read older Supergirl anyway, because I LOVE COMIC THE SUPERHORSE OMG PONIES

  26. @RoiVampire: I don’t remember them making a big deal out of it (doesn’t mean they didn’t, I just don’t remember it), but I do remember during that brief glorious time when Renato Guedes was the artist he made it a point to show she was wearing long(ish) shorts under her skirt and then they pretty much imediately disappeared when he left the book.

  27. Doom looks awesome…

  28. Can we all agree that Robin’s costume has gotten way better over time? Really dug the post infinite crisis redesign, plus I love Damian’s look.

  29. Also, forgot to say that Batman wears his underwear on the outside, but he’s still a badass.

  30. @RoiVampire:They did make a big deal about it but only because of the artist switch. They were trying to push how Guedes drew her in an age appropriate manner. Sadly, just like Conor said, that pretty much went out the window when he left the book.

  31. @Molly – Ponies=great. What was the Super-Monkey’s name?

    I fear I may have gone off topic.

  32. @MollyMcIssac – I’ve only read Dazzler from the Clairemont era, so I can’t speak to her current fashionability. 

  33. umm… where’s the Beyonder? White pants have never looked good on anyone ever. Add a white jacket with a popped collar…. well, then it’s kind of awesome, but deffinately not fashionable.

  34. What, no Hulk?  I guess purple pants never go out of fashion!

  35. I don’t know–Ragman’s outfit is made of souls.  I think the value of the material should be evaluated accordingly; after all, I don’t have anything made of souls, and I bet there are people who would pay top dollar for the novelty, no matter what it looked like.

    Besides, I saw some ridiculous designer thing at a Nordstrom not long ago, and it was made entirely of mismatched rags and patches.  Its "one of a kind" design made it worth like $3000 (to some lunatics anyway).

  36. I gotta call shenanigans with the lack of Hawkeye on here.  It could be argued that some of these costumes at one point were fashionable but when has Clint’s trainwreck ever been good looking?  I also don’t think he has the clout to really be called iconic, he just looks too ridiculous.

  37. @Spoons: I think Hawkeye has one of the cooler looking super hero costumes.

  38. @conor  When I look at him in a group shot of The Avengers, he seems out of place.  Others might find him unique, but for me he seems more like a sore thumb.  I’m evaluating him in the context of his universe and the costume just doesn’t seem very functional in comparison to the others.  If he were in DC relatively speaking he would seem less out of place. 

    Actually, didn’t he start out as a bad guy?  That would actually give him a pass on quirks of the costume IMO.

  39. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    He wasn’t just a baddie. He was a circus freak!

  40. re Shatterstar, in addition to all the other fashion faux pas you listed, what’s the deal with his headgear thingy?  Is that thing leather?  Metal?  Is it there on the off-chance that a bullet or blade hits the 32% of his head that it covers?  What is the point?  Sure, maybe he’s got bluetooth in there now, but they didn’t have that back in the 90s!  The people want answers.

  41. I gotta throw Creeper in the mix…

  42. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    My favorite costumes: Wildcat, Crazy Starman (Thom Kallor), Doc Mid-Nite, Hellboy, Vision, modern Sinestro, Captain Cold, Batgirl (Babs), Zatanna, Green Arrow, Liberty Belle

    Least favorites: Mon-El, Trickster, Jesse Quick, Cable, Darkseid, Kraven

  43. Doom’s fashion is very much in vogue in Latveria, you know.

  44. @Paul – Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!  Darkseid is beautifully attired in his blue boots, gloves, and unitard ensemble. 

    I actually prefer the Red Robin costume to Doc Mid-Nite’s.  They are very similar, but Red Robin’s is a more modern take. 

  45. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Hmm. That’s probably why I prefer the Doctor Mid-Nite version. 

  46. That makes sense.

  47. @Paul – I totally agree with you on Mon-El’s new Clark-lite look, but there always seemed something classically cool about his other costume, with the tunic. Very simple, tasteful, yet carrying that primary color look that works so well for the Man of Steel.

    Y’know what’s another good one? Terry McGuiness Batman. What a cool, simple updating of a classic. It even get’s the Joker’s endorsement!

    "Hmm… ears are too long and I miss the cape, but otherwise not too shabby. Not too shabby at all."

  48. What does it say about my sense of fashion that I would have put Dr. Doom and Mr. Freeze on my BEST dressed list…

  49. @devildog-Exactly what I was thinking.

    I would have loved to see the 1990’s villian/anti-hero/gray area character of Cardiac included.  He had two BIG vertical stripes patterned after ECG WAVE!  

    Also in the ‘So bad that it is good’ category, Vartox!

  50. No, Taskmaster. Really?

  51. How can we have gotten this far down the page and not seen Wonder Man? His outfits on the whole are terrible.

    Hawkeye’s Goliath costume was pretty terrible. I like his regular Hawkeye suit, though.

    Wasp is one who could appear on both Most and Least Fashionable, but there’d be too many variations to go through.

    Shortpacked had a great strip about the "underwear on the outside" issue. Let’s see….here.

  52. I think you could pick a lot of comic book characters for this one, must have been hard to only pick ten.

  53. HOW did GALACTUS not make this list????

  54. I’m surprised Mr. Freeze made the list when Mysterio didn’t, considering Mysterio basically has the same helmet, only non-transparent, AND he wears purple and green.

    Also, come on, Molly, cut Robin some slack. He was a child acrobat. He lived in the circus. He saw his parents die and then had to live with one crazy motherf***** who clearly isn’t the most concerned with style. The most fashionable influence in the first couple decades of his life was almost certainly an elderly Englishman living a life of forced servitude. (I’m not saying Alfred can’t rock a suit, but I’m sure Bruce forces him to wear one at all times. Even while sleeping. Just in case Bruce needs a glass of water in the middle of the night and he refuses to see his butler in "regular people clothes.") And besides, I doubt Dick even had any say in that outfit. Bruce just probably threw it at him and said, "I hear children wear things like this. Put it on." And Dick wore it for years because he was too frightened of Bruce beating the holy hell out of him if he ever actually voiced his preference for pants. 

  55. If you think Mr. Freeze looks bad now, you should see his Golden Age costume. *shudders*

    Ragman confuses the hell out of me. What is his powers? Why does he have to dress like that? Was Quilt Man taken?……*reads wikipedia* Huh I guess it was. 

  56. And yet, Carlos Pacheco made Kang look awesome in "Avengers Forever," not to mention he was one of the coolest figures ever in the Secret Wars line from Mattel.

  57. I have no sense of fashion, but I have two comments about Kang: (1)  I always wondered how that mask worked, or is it makeup? and (2) I think that invisible bean bag chair is the grooviest.

  58. I kind of have to disagree about half of those.

    Have to agree about Shatterstar, though. PAD gaying him up and giving him respectable clothes and a haircut was the best thing to ever happen to him. 

    Doom is a very odd one to put, because really, Doom is a badass no matter what he wears. He could wear a tutu, and it would only just make crystal clear that the guy is batcrap insane.

    With Kang–isn’t he from the future? Maybe that’s what they wear in the future? I mean, ask people 40 years from now whether baggy pants hanging below a guy’s ass would be fashionable and they’d say, "Hell no, are you insane?"

    I would agree about Carol–where it not for that she has said in-story that she hates the costume.

    Ragman’s deal, if I remember right, was that all the rags contain the souls of people he killed, or something like that.

    Power Girl’s costume, while ridiculous, fits her to a T. It also doesn’t help that all the other attempts at redesigning her costume were horrendous.  

    Mr. Freeze, I think, had a retro-chic thing going with that costume. It also implies that while Superman pulls off the undies, Batman can not.