iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #115 – Superhero Costumes

Show Notes

When creating a superhero, there is perhaps no element more important than the garb they wear. In comics, the costume is the first thing people see, and the quickest way to make an impression. The creator’s responsibility is to create a suit that’s both eye-catching and reasonably functional looking. Done right, a design can last decades and become an essential part of the cultural fabric, like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man have become. Others can become jokes that create laughter for years to come.

Josh Flanagan, Ron Richards, and Conor Kilpatrick talk about the best and the worst costumes out there, as well as their favorites, and what goes into making a great superhero costume, and what didn’t work about the worst.


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  1. Was just about to go to bed too, but had to watch this.  Quite possibly the funniest intro you guys have done.

    Favorite Costumes-Black Bolt, Invincible and Doctor Strange

    Least Favorites-Jive, Etrigan and Mister Sinister

  2. I believe the how does a superhero go to the bathroom question was adressed in watchmen.  Also, Ron owes New X Men a re-read.

  3. New drinking game: take a shot every time one of these guys says "iconic".

    I kid because I love!  Great episode, gentlemen.  One of the more fun/playful entries in awhile, and those are always my favorite.

  4. Great episode! 

    Favourites: Spider-Man (both classic and black), Thor’s current look, and Nova

    Don’t Like: I’ll second Alexander Luthor, pretty much all of the 90’s redesigns, and if we’re allowed to use movies… any Batman costume that has nipples.

  5. i have a terrible secret, i liked the azreal batman costumes.


    and maybe the scarlet spider costume is why i exclusively wear sleaveless hoodies

  6. I like Taskmaster’s costume as well, but I prefer the UDON redesign.

    And I’m not sure, but I think Rogue has had more costume changes than anyone on the X-Men.  Seems that way, at least. 

  7. I also like being able to see the seams in the costumes.  Lee Berjemo’s(?) depiction of Superman and Batman were very realistic in that their costumes looked like actual clothing.  (Also Batman on the cover in Final Crisis).

  8. Some Favorites:

    Moon Knight = http://tinyurl.com/d75fru

    I also like most of the Iron Man armors. Not the skin tight ones so much though. = http://www.cinecon.com/frontimages/2071-iron_man.jpg

    Huntress = http://www.transbuddha.com/images/uploads/2009/01/huntress-year-one-1-198×300.jpg

    Vic Sage = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c8/Question_34.jpg

    Least favorites:

    Huntress = http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z121/fabmartin64/Huntress02.jpg

    Hawkman = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/87/Hawkman1.jpg

    Other great designs:

    Manhunter / Kate Spencer
    The Maxx
    Catwoman (pvc and goggles. It works in real life too! =http://www.gothampublicworks.com/images/gallery/catwoman-warehouse.jpg)

  9. besides the obvious ones like batman and superman


    the question

    deathstroke the terminator

    modern catwomen (with goggles)


  10. The "iconic" drinking game is all Ron, I think you’ll find.

  11. My favourite is probably the shiny Wally West Flash costume but it’s hard to go wrong with the classic costumes for Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man.

  12. I always thought it was weird that people wouldn’t recognize Clark Kent as Superman just because of the glasses, then last year happened. I work as an EMT in Lewiston, ME and so see ER Doctors a lot on calls or in classes and stuff. So for most of last year I kept seeing this one doc and one medic on most of my calls, where I don’t where glasses. One day, I walked into a convenience store (wearing my reading glasses) and saw both of them and they didn’t recognize me, so I guess it does happen…

  13. I’m also a big fan of many of the Bruce Timm costumes. Also, Captain Cold has an awesome costume.

  14. Good show, I am glad to see someone else love the Taskmaster costume. Not only does he have the cape, boots, and hood thing going on but he also a bow and a freaking sword.

    Some one my personal favorites include Madrox current costume and Constantine’s look. I know John doesn’t have a costume per se but his general appearance is so recognizable.  

  15. ‘Oh and never forget guys; you gotta have pouches, lots and lots of pouches. Right Rob?’-Deadpool

    ‘Who’s Rob?’-Skrull


    Hands down the best if Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, and Captain Marvel

    Worst? Anything Two-Face wears, Invincible, and Prankster

  16. I really like icons

  17. @Ron  I think Grant Morrison is an icon.

  18. it’s ironic, that i find Ron liking of icons to be iconic

  19. You know what? Call me crazy but I love that Greyish costume Spider-Man had on:


    No idea what it was for, nor do I know when it was from. I just remember playing a PS1 Spider-Man game and I was young….possibly drunk (as these stories go)….and I just loved the alternate costume. I know it’s up there with Daredevil Armor as being the worst costumes ever.

  20. I like the disco Nightwing,too. No mention of the orange shirt Aquaman? For shame,

  21. I’ve always hated Havok’s costume.  Those three ring-like things going around his head.  Awful.

  22. Oh, I don’t know. Conor was a big contributor to the iconic talk this time, too.  I’m trying this next week with whiskey.  Wish me luck. 

  23. Orange Aquaman costume is one of the worst of all-time.  It’s like "costume by Eddie Bauer." 

    Is "iconic" a euphemism for "dated"?  Superman’s costume could stand a little modernization.

  24. Oh, and Havok’s costume is one of the greatest ever.

  25. Aquaman’s orange and green costume is iconic.

  26. And Bud Light has "drinkability".  I love euphemisms!

  27. guess im the only one who hates task masters costume. it looks like he got dressed in the dark

  28. I’ve always wondered why so many scientists in the marvel universe wore purple slacks. Hulk and The Lizard have both always featured ripped up purple pants.

  29. Speaking of costumes…

    I was just talking to my girlfriend about the new Star Trek movie and told her I wanted to buy her a Star Trek uniform.  "Set phasers to hot!"  Yes, I actually said that to her and she asked, "what are phasers?"

    Should I break up with her?

  30. Right away.

  31. If anything, that’s grounds to keep her around.  Relationships work really well when interests are like a venn diagram.

  32. How could I not love her?  She watched the Army of Darkness trilogy in one long marathon session.  I’ll just have to teach her about phasers…

  33. You know what is a bad costume? Mr. Terrific’s

    Was he drunk and thought: ‘Hey I got an idea……I’ll paint a huge T on my face….then have some floating balls around so maybe I’ll get some action…’

  34. Avatar photo JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    I did not expect to see Santo and Blue Demon on iFanboy.  My day is made.

  35. Alan Scott Green Lantern has always been a favorite of mine.

    I don’t know why exactly. It’s one of those designs that I’ve great empathy for. Sure, the colors clash, and Alan is so rocking the pirate shirt. But there’s a real Errol Flynn vibe to the piece, perhaps more so than (ironically) Green Arrow’s costume. I might also have a fondness for it since he isn’t in spandex, much like Jay Garrick, as you guys pointed out.

    Anyway, great show.


  36. The Guardian has my Favorie Costume, just becase of the simplicity of the costume.

  37. My Least, Wonder Woman Biker, or Wonder Woman’s Iconic Costume. I always thought that Wonder Woman showed too much for bein a woman of her class, but hey The Wonder Family has never really had a Good Costume.

  38. I love Mr Terrific’s costume!  If that jacket existed, I would wear it.

  39. @horatio: If he didnt have the big T painted on his face he’d look like another regular somebody

  40. 1990s biker Nomad. ’nuff said.


    Oh, one more thing. Iconic.

  41. I think Ben Edlund of "Tick" fame (talk about a comic that never seems to come up) wrote a story hypothesizing that everyone at the Daily Planet knew Clark Kent was Superman under those glasses but acted like they didn’t because they were terrified of him.

    In terms of impracticality, the Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel is tough to beat with her flying squirrel sleeves. Submitted for your approval:


  42. @Jimski: Isnt that a SNL skit? Although replace terrified with mocking and you got the same idea.

  43. If I was walking down the street and I saw Cosmic Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes ( Silver Age ), I would fight him! I dislike that costume……. A good one is Metallo from the Superman/Batman comic, where he has the big shovel arm. I also like Cyborg Superman!

  44. Wow  this is the second most exciting show topic so far! (First being Top Cow) I understand that Superman IS Iconic (And I’m a DC Girl!!!) but it doesn’t make it a great costume! 

    Favorite girl costumes: I love Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl costume & Black Canary. On the Marvel side Rogue’s green and yellow body suit.





    Male costumes: Night Crawler, Cap America!  


    Least favorite: Raven’s Bodysuit or skank dress in her recent incarnations. Her 80’s look is so alluring that the new looks don’t compare. Arowette and Superboy have had some of the dumbest costumes, even now. Almost every single 


    But the worst, and many will agree…. Is Robin and his spankies.  Even Modern Robin, I’m sorry. How can anyone take hero seriously if he dresses like one of Santa’s Elves?!?!?!?!

    On a side note, Magdalena has a kick ass costume to!  


  45. ….there are so many!!!



    Flash, Batman (I even like the Redson Batman & Green Lantern for that matter), Captain America (new/bucky), Wesley (wanted), Elijah Snow, Spiderman, V, ……this could go on.


    Spiderwoman……I’m sure there are more


    HEY HERE’s A THOUGHT – How about doing a sequel to this and just do Villains this time? Why not?!? 

  46. Favorites: Spider-Man, Deadpool, Green Lantern


    Least Favorites: Deathstoke, Galactus, Mister Sinister

  47. it looked like you guys were dressed in the iFanboy "version" of a costume. blue jeans and a brown top (black for the rebel of the group)

  48. How could anyone not pick Dr. Fate w/Gold helmet–absolute FAv

    worst—–Havok with his jewel and crown & Power Girl(love to hate it)

  49. Some of my favorites –  Wolvie in Brown (the one I grew up with), Deadpool, Black Lightning

     – also maybe a weird choice but I always thought the 80s punk rocker Storm was cool when I was a kid


     Least Favorites – The Beyonder – I want that jacket for my next 80s night

    The Vulture – he would need a walker if he couldnt fly

     Mr Sinister – looks like someone from a KISS tribute band 


  50. A very interesting and highly subjective topic for this week’s installment.

    I agree with Josh that Taskmaster has a great costume, a pirate meets Batman kinda’ vibe. But as much as I like the classic Taskmaster suit, I much prefer the re-designed mercenary/combat suit he sported in the 2002 ‘Taskmaster’ limited and Agent X series.

    I however respectfully disagree with what the boys said about the ’90s Ben Reilly/Spider-man redesign. I thought the revamped suit maintained the classic elements but also breathed some new life into an otherwise perfect design. They didn’t re-invent the wheel, but they damn sure gave it a new spin! 

    My bottom 5 costumes (in no particular order) are: the original Pied Piper, Puck from Alpha Flight, Morbius the Living Vampire (and his pimp collar), Storm’s ‘punk’ look from the ’80s and the white Vision.

    My top 5 (Again in no order) are: Superman, Spider-man, Batman (with or without the yellow oval encircling the bat), Iron Man’s Heroes Return "Renaissance" armor and Danny Ketch/Ghost Rider – original ’90s version.



  51. This show is like a clarion call for fans of the Ben Reilly suit.

    Both of you.

  52. @JamesH…Damn, that’s right !! Storm with the mohawk was effin awesome and caused a sort of uproar in the title and among fanboys/girls

  53. Fantastic show, guys.  I especially want to second Ron’s love of Cyclops’ cowl-less costume.  Scott Summers has great hair and should ALWAYS show it off.



  54. My favorites are

    Nightwing’s current


    I loved it when the X-men wore the street clothes.


    on the other hand…..

    I can not stand Iron Fists open collar. looks way to 70’s and i wish more people would pick up the aja redesign

  55. It took me a long time to have it hit me, but the worst character design ever (I don’t even look at his costume, his head is just so bad on its own) is Adam X the X-treme!(!!!)!

  56. Awesome Coustumes:

     For Men: Sandman (Wesley Dodds, in the Mystery Science Theatre costume), and Captain Marvel (DC). I like old school mystery men and the gasmask just adds to it. As for Marvel, he is ICONIC, without having to wear spandex. His costume has a clasp on it, that means its a jacket.

    For Women: Power Girl and Black Widow. It’s not because of their ample *ahem* assets. Their costumes more than say that these women are strong, take charge women. They also say "Look at me. This is what is going to beat your ass."


    Terrible Costumes

    For Men: Nightwings Disco costume and Starmans Red Condom Costume. Need I say more? A costume that looks like soemthing out of the "roller disco" era is retarded, and as much as I like the golden age, I can’t take anyone who wears a gigantic red bodysuit seriously.

    For Women: Star Sapphire and Spider Woman. With Star Sapphire, there is proof that too much skin is bad, power ring or no power ring. With spider woman…seriously? Red and yellow? Never cares for the character anyway, but the damn 

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