In comic books, one of the most important things to have, aside from powers or a crapload of gear, is a good costume. The proper costume can strike fear in people’s hearts. The wrong costume, well, that makes you look like a douchecanoe.
This is by no means the first (or the last) list of crappy comic book costumes, but I hope I got a few of the lesser-known heroes and villains. And just so I didn’t have a thrombo, I focused on DC Comics characters this time. Wonder Man and X-Force alone would take a few days.
Not everyone can be a costume designer; it’s a knack you either have or don’t. Adding to that, imagine having to design costumes for multiple characters on a deadline tighter than an ant’s ass. In that situation, you’d have some clunkers, too. But still..
10. Superman 2: Electric Boogaloo
In a 1998 story, Superman loses the powers everyone knows him for and became kind of a blue electrical energy being. To keep from dissipating, he had to don a containment suit that looked nothing like the classic togs. DC lied that this was a permanent change (dramatic license) but everyone knew it was going to return to normal, which pissed people off even more because it took so long, including splitting into both blue and red electric Supermen.
The costume itself wasn’t horrible, but for being a Superman costume, everything is going to pale in comparison to the original. Sure, the underwear is on the outside, but that’s just how he roles.
Holy shitballs. Are you seeing this? It’s like a super-villain version of that picture floating around the Internet where the guy is giving his car’s exhaust pipe a not-so-deep dicking. There were a lot of things I loved about Steve Englehart’s late-80’s run on Green Lantern, but Truk was not one of them.
It also poses the question, “Why do they bother to give creative spellings to characters when it’s never written down in-universe?” Truk sounds just like truck; who’s going to know the difference? Does he have it spelled that way on his ID or something?
8. Calendar Man
Calendar Man, alias Julian Gregory Day (oh, the coincidence), is the Wonder Man of the DC villain community. He has had not one but multiple shitty costumes. My favorite, of course, is the one that served as my introduction to the character: the calendar-page costume featured in his Who’s Who entry. I was 10 and even then I thought, wow, that’s um, weird. But when I saw some of his other costumes, the calendar-page getup started to look good.
And seriously: Calendar Man? Is that really a thing? He couldn’t come up with a good gimmick? Did he just decide to be a villain one day at work then looked around his desk for ideas? I guess it could’ve been worse; he could’ve based his character on that stupid “Hang in there, baby” cat poster.
7. Big Sir
Yet another villain. This time, though, he’s also a bit special, so at least we’ve got a bit of diversity going here. Dufus P. Ratchet (I shit you not) had a soft spot for animals, and in a series of events that would sound really weird if I explained them, he ended up in a suit of futuristic armor that Flash’s rogues gallery got from the Monitor. Amazingly, the armor fits him. Go figure. The rogues have convinced Big Sir (guy just can’t win) that Flash killed a mouse, which puts him in a rage.
Big Sir tracks down the Flash, who was in the middle of a murder trial, and bashed him in the face with an energy mace. Flash gets a little elective plastic surgery and figures out that Sir is just a pawn. In fact, he’s even cured by the advanced scientists of Gorilla City and becomes a genius. How much of a genius? check out what he says to Flash:
Just call me D.P.? Sounds like he has a specific career goal.
6. Clock King
You know, everyone has an origin story that tries to explain why a person would willingly wear a costume to fight crime or contribute to crime. But there really is no excuse for someone to wear this. Among other things, a giant clock face for a mask seems a bit impractical. I guess at least that way he couldn’t see the rest of his costume. Let’s just hope the news articles never had typos with his name.
5. Wild Dog
Hockey mask? Check? College mascot shirt over body armor. Check. Camo pants? Check. A crap-ton of firearms? Oh yeah. Technically this shouldn’t count since it was supposed to reflect a thrown-together disguise concocted by a regular guy, but jeez louise, late 80’s much?
You know, I’m not exactly sure which division of the armed services all these captains and majors belong to. Maybe it’s like the same way Colonel Sanders was a colonel. At any rate, this Aussie boomerang enthusiast (hey, it was either that or dressing like a kangaroo) has what I consider a hideous costume. And this guy hung out with the friggin’ Rainbow Raider.
3. Crazy Quilt
A lot of these characters I learned of from reading the first Who’s Who that DC put out in the mid-80’s. That was the case for this bag of dicks. I know what a crazy quilt is, but to make that your thing, well, that’s just weird. Not to mention the costume looks bad even to someone who is colorblind (trust me on this one). He’s crazy, all right.
I wonder if the villains had deliberately poor costumes so the readers would already want to cockpunch them every time the villain showed up. Look at Chronos here. Did he not change out of his pants from his job at Foot Locker before putting on a bunch of green and yellow? The clock hands on the mask are a nice touch, but how the hell do you wear a mask that has that much definition for your face? Is it really facepaint? Good God, is he a mime who works for Foot Locker? That would send me into a life of crime for sure.
The first time the Atom battled Chronos, I bet he peed a little laughing so hard. And since he’s tiny, no one could see the wet mark.
1. My No. 1 choice isn’t actually a DC character, but hey, my list, my choices. Besides, I have a particular interest in this character for reasons that will become obvious. Behold the SPARK MAN!
This costume made Baby Jesus cry.
There’s the fin on the head, the weird color scheme, giant belt, bigass yellow gloves with a reservoir tip design in each index finger, jodhpurs, for shitsakes, and of course, his chest emblem. What the hell is that? Is he Equalsman? You hear his battle cry: “Yo, you got a problem, I’ll solve it!”
It’s an equals sign with an energy burst surrounding it. It looks like an energy bar. I could come up with a better costume using Fashion Plates.
His costume changed a few times, but they were still pretty shite. You know how much it pissed me off when I finally tracked down a picture of this putz? I was excited when as a kid I learned that a superhero and I had the same name. And then I saw that costume.
Well, that’s all 10. I know there are tons more; feel free to leave them in the comments. Or if you think one of these costumes is actually not crap, chime in with your misguided and totally wrong opinion.