From the sublime to the ridiculous: Super style for your next comic convention

in Potpourri by

Superhero costumes can be awesome—but they can also be pretty over-the-top. For every iconic Superman there’s a Green Lantern lurking in the corner, all skintight neon and painted-on masks. Women seem particularly cursed with bad superhero outfits. Random cutouts, staggeringly large chests – these ladies are lucky if they get enough fabric to cover their entire stomachs. But of course not all super-heroine outfits stink; some are tasteful, functional and classic. So here are choices for the best – and the most ridiculous – female superhero looks:

The Awesome:

Jean Grey as the Phoenix

As soon as Jean Grey turns into the Phoenix, her costume gets taken to a whole new level. In the movie she looks like she could be fighting in the Victorian Hunger Games (in a good way):

Jean Grey

 

While in the comic book, she’s all red and gold:

 

Jean Grey 2

 

Both versions kick ass.

 

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

 

Wonder Woman is one of those rare superheroines with the same iconic costume year after year. And we’re not complaining. From her red and gold bustier to her high boots and star covered bottoms, she’s like a hot American flag come to life.

 

Silk Spectre

 Silk Spectre

The colors are bright and stark, and while the costume may show a lot of thigh, it’s relatively chaste compared to some of the others on this list. Love the zipper, the belt, the flexibility – this is a great example of a tight costume done right.

 

Poison Ivy

Poison_Ivy

OK, so she’s technically a villain and not a heroine, but who cares? Look at that cape! Poison Ivy has the best color scheme – bright orange-red and every shade of green imaginable. Plus she’s covered in twisting vines. Pure awesome.

 

 

The Ridiculous:

 

Batgirl

 

Batgirl

 

While Batgirl in the comic books is usually in slick black leather, the movie version gets stuck with arm spikes, thigh plates, and a stiff, molded chest. How she can move in this, I have no idea. We hear that the new Batgirl due this fall will get a far better look.

 

Catwoman

 

Cat Woman

 

Halle Berry’s Catwoman looks like Mad Max got into a fight with a jungle cat. She might as well be in some weird post-apocalyptic Gotham, where she’s forced to wear hacked up leather pants and strange holsters that serve no actual purpose. Also, God forbid she cover that midriff. Crime fighting is apparently much easier in a too-small bra and extra long gloves.

 

Emma Frost

 

Emma Frost 1

 

Sigh. Since she’s mostly arm candy in the movie, I suppose it doesn’t matter that she’s only wearing fur and underwear. The comic book version has to be better, right?

 

Emma Frost 2

 

Never mind.

 

Starfire

 

Starfire

 

And I thought it couldn’t get worse. Well, meet Starfire. I would love to know how that stays up while she fights crime. I imagine it involves a lot of two-sided tape.

 

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Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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