The 10 Worst Redesigns of Iconic Superheroes

superman red superman blue

When you think of Superman, Spider-Man, Captain America and other popular superheroes, you have an idea of what they look like in your head. Sometimes they go through small revisions over time. A helmet may change or colors or logos may go through minor modifications, but there’s certainly an iconic version. And then sometimes, to shake things up, a superhero gets a cool new uniform. Rarely, that can be popular. Spider-Man’s black suit was radically different from his traditional red and blue suit but was a fantastic design. Other times, you end up with characters in cyber armor or sporting awkward hairstyles or something even more embarrassing. The below images and stories are about those looks.

Zatanna

zatanna terrible costume

Zatanna’s magician look is ostensibly sexy. So what was DC thinking in 2011 when they just put her in this prostitute gear?!

Daredevil

daredevil armor

Daredevil’s costume is fantastic. It’s simple and recognizable. But in the 90s, he briefly decided that he needed armor. Lots of armor. It must have been a real hassle for him to suit up since he’s blind and this looks to have a million interlocking pieces.

Fate

fate 90s costume

Dr. Fate has a great helmet. It’s mysterious! But then they decided to turn him into a low-rent Punisher full of knives and armor and tattoos and long hair. I guess in a way, that is the way magicians were starting to go.

Guy Gardner

guy gardner warrior

Guy was a Green Lantern. Green Lantern has a great outfit. Then DC decided there didn’t need to be a backup Green Lantern. Fair enough. But why did he become this roided out tattoo monster?

Superman

superman jeans and t shirt

Who is more iconic than Superman? But on the other hand, he’s been around a long time and sometimes you need to freshen things up. That’s fair. When he became Superman Red and Superman Blue, made out of electricity, it was radically different but we also knew it’d be temporary. His mullet look was never flattering and dropping his red shorts doesn’t look right but they are minor changes and sometimes those stay and sometimes they go. No, the worst was deciding he’s now a guy in jeans and a t-shirt. That’s his look. Not that inspiring.

Invisible Woman

invisible woman 90s costume

The first lady of Marvel Comics at one point just decided she needed a boob window. Sure. That’ll help you be a better scientist, mother and superhero explorer. And I’m not slut shaming the character. I’m questioning what was in the head of the men who wrote and drew the character to act so out-of-character.

Wonder Woman

wonder woman 90s costume

Wonder Woman’s costume probably doesn’t make 100% sense. Why would she wear red, white and blue when she’s an Amazon, for instance? She’s not from America. But it is still a strong look and artists have slowly found ways to make it more Greek and more armor-based. What was not a cool look was when they just decided she’d dress in black leather like a biker. What a mess.

Thor

thor 90s costume

Thor is a god. He needs to look regal. Putting him in latex bondage gear and a doofy sparring helmet was the dumbest look he could possibly have.

Captain America

captain america cyber armor

Captain America does not need a mechanical suit of armor. And if he does, why can’t he at least borrow an Iron Man suit and give it a repaint? This was well before Iron Patriot was created. He looks like a kid made his own sci-fi costume out of leftover parts and aluminum foil.

Batman

batman 90s costume

If there’s a second-most iconic superhero look, it’s Batman. DC tried to test the waters of remaking him as more extreme. Good story idea. Weird costume. It got armored up, which, okay. Sure. But only on top. And then he added leg pouches which I seriously doubt he could reach in that gear. Finally, they added blades everywhere. If he doesn’t stab himself and bleed to death in his first fight, he’s certainly going to wound any civilians he’s trying to help. It does not look functional at all.

 

  • I’m literally the only person that likes that Daredevil outfit.

  • Pete Pfau

    To be fair to the Jeans and T-shirt Superman outfit, it was very specifically meant to be a proto-costume, before he got his real one. And the Knightfall one was deliberately bad, it was done on purpose!

  • Chris Piers

    Well aren’t I the asshole of the day?

  • Chris Piers

    Yup. You’re the only one. So go to hell.

  • Pete Pfau

    I always liked it!

  • Pete Pfau

    Of the day?

  • Jesus 2016

    And almost every one of these is from the 90’s -an exceptionally bad time for superhero comics in general.

  • Julian Perez

    Man, I’m not sure if this is intentional or not, but the guy who designed the Sue Storm window died last week of cancer. Paul Ryan. RIP.

    People often point to the boob-window Sue Storm outfit and say “lol what were they thinking?” It’s interesting to me because there actually was a very good in character reason for the costume:

    At the time, FF had a slow burn subplot about how Malice, the evil aspects of Sue Storm’s personality, were being unleashed by the actions of the Psycho-Man. The fact the boob-window FF costume “felt wrong” was the whole point, it was a sign something wasn’t entirely right with her. It was supposed to be a merger of her FF outfit with the Malice outfit.

    I can understand how, people watching FF from the outside must have seen the new costume on covers and Marvel trading cards and thought, “man, what were they thinking?” There was a method to the madness.

  • Chris Piers

    It wasn’t intentional but I was aware. And I read the FF throughout that run. I don’t think the story exactly justified the fetish look. A new look, sure. But not what they used. It’s certainly no slight against Paul Ryan who had a great run. Second longest artist on the title after Kirby, I believe.

  • Big Jim

    Exactly. It wasn’t really Batman, anyway. It was Azrael in that costume.

    I’ve always thought THE DARK KNIGHT RISES would have been better if they’d borrowed more from Knightfall than just Bane beating Batman. After Bane beats Batman, have a new Batman take over, but when he goes off the rails, and ends up corrupting the symbol, Bruce Wayne needs to return to take make things right. Climax of the movie is Batman vs Batman (the incorruptible symbol vs the corrupted symbol).