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Best / Worst Dressed Superheroes

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A few weeks ago I went a little off the rails talking about why people shouldn't be concerned with how Wonder Woman is dressed, they should be more concerned with how she's being written. Plus, there are plenty of other superheroes in the comic book world that we can pick on (or praise) for their fashion choices, instead.

While they can't all be Katy Keene or Millie the Model and change their look every issue, the following group of nominees (some of whom YOU suggested via Twitter and Facebook) top the list of who should find a stylist, and who should keep on keepin' on:

In the Best Dressed Man category, the Nominees are...

01ts.jpg TONY STARK
Carey: Tony Stark always looks good - he's stylish through the ages. Unless it's that Demon in a Bottle cover where he's all unshaven and sweaty and peeing in the suit. But even when Tony's disheveled, or dirty from being held captive by crazy Russians or a skrull queen, he has the charisma to make the chicks want him anyway. Hell even his own suit wants a piece of that ass.
Laura: It's hard to go wrong with Iron Man. Even when I'm not too fond of the character, that's a cool suit.
Brenda: I plead ignorance, unless we're talking about Robert Downey, Jr., and then in that case, Yes Please.

02ck.jpg CLARK KENT
Carey: Superman gets an honorable mention for knowing how to break it down.
Francene: I think Clark Kent wins for classic style.
Laura: I'm not seeing it. I don't even understand why he would be nominated. He just wears boring old suits. The whole point of Clark Kent is that he's kind of a dork. He does not dress well.
Brenda: Well, I mean, I don't recall the comic where he walks in wearing a blue suit jacket with brown pants or anything like that. But if we're including Smallville, immediate disqualification for "The Blur" Look.
Dania: I like a clean-cut man in a suit.

03tq.jpg VIC SAGE
Carey: The Question looks good except he doesn't have a face. That's like giving the best dressed award to a mannequin.
Brenda: What?!? I thought every girl was crazy about a sharp dressed man with no face?
Laura: I fell in love with that character pretty much the moment I saw him on JLU. Fortunately he turned out to be just as interesting as he looked.

04nc.jpg NIGHTCRAWLER
Laura: Nightcrawler is a favorite of mine. You can not go wrong with any of the Dave Cockrum costume designs from Giant Size X-Men. Every one is a classic.
Brenda: Not being a Marvel reader I'm not entirely familiar with anything he wore outside of X-Men 2, but since the X-Men are a team, don't they have matching uniforms? I guess if I were going to vote for anything, it'd be that hair. It's powerful strong.
Dania: I think Nightcrawler is hot (shut it) but best dressed?

05nw.jpg NIGHTWING
Laura: I have on many occasions stated my preference for the original Nightwing disco costume. It makes me happy. The latest incarnation is a better costume though, one of my favorites in comics, actually. It's sleek, elegant, and I think suits the character really well. Dick Grayson shouldn't wear a cape. That's like Power Girl wearing a poncho.
Brenda: Yes. "Sleek." That's certainly not code for... you know... "buttrageous."

Chris McDavid: Regardless of the time period, the answer is Luke Cage. Always Luke Cage.

06lc.jpg LUKE CAGE
Laura: Some people might not think a yellow, silk shirt and tiara could be badass, but Luke Cage always made it work. I have no problem with his current look, but it's basically just jeans and a t-shirt. I understand why they might not want to put him in this costume anymore, as it is very dated, but I think it's great. Luke Cage is one of those characters who could pull off anything in any decade. He's just that cool.

Simon Alexander Praxis from the dc comics the conglomerate. Purely because he seemed to have based his look on Brent Sienna from PVP.

Our winner, by a narrow margin, is Clark Kent. He looks natty in a suit, and on the other side of the spectrum, he manages to make the caped look work for him. You just can't argue with a classic.

In the Best Dressed Woman category, the nominees are:

01bb.jpg BIG BARDA
Carey: I like Big Barda's look for asskicking.
Laura: Love Barda's look. She's got one of those really cool Kirby headdresses and scale-mail. Everything about it is formidable looking.
Brenda: I think the headdress is the thing I like least, just because it's so huge. The rest is very tailored-looking, though: functional for fighting and yet it appears to fit comfortably. The last thing you want to do when you're trying to be a serious crime fighter is pick the thong out of your crack.

02z.jpgZATANNA
Dania: I always liked Zatanna's outfit when I was little.
Carey: I'm not a fan of Zatanna's look. It's a little too stripper - like the jacket is a tear away and she's about to go all boobalicious.
Laura: I always thought Zatanna looked exactly right for what she is, a stage magician. It's not my favorite superhero costume, but it's good, and works for her.
Brenda: I think this look is okay for a cheesy magician, but when she goes out to fight bad guys, it's kind of silly. The fishnets look has been done by way better characters. I wonder if Dinah has ever brought that up with her before? It seems like a no-brainer.

03st.jpgSTORM
Laura: Storm always looks cool. Her original costume is the best, but whether she's punk, or has crazy 80s shoulder pads, she pulls it off.
Brenda: Her mohawk is cool, but I for the life of me don't understand wearing a jacket with capped sleeves. Just wear a vest!



04bb.jpg CASSANDRA CAIN / BLACK BAT
Laura: I'm not seeing the appeal here. It looks like her old costume with a domino mask and a tattered cape. Boring.
Brenda: Actually I think it is her old costume with a modified cape. It was hard to find a really good screencap of it. I think if she's going to continue the Black Bat thing, she should do something wild with the bat logo to set her apart.

05dz.jpg DAZZLER
Brenda: I nominated Dazzler because I love that there's a character with disco powers.
Francene: I do love the Dazzler outfit, it is very Velvet Goldmine.
Laura: She's so shiny, like a human disco ball. Like Luke Cage, it's a dated look, but it's still great. They've given her different costumes - there's a blue one that comes to mind - but I just don't think they work as well. This is the perfect look for this character.

06cn.jpg CINDERELLA (Fables)
Brenda: I guess technically she isn't a superhero, she's a super spy... but she's just so awesome. And always looks damn good.
Laura: Cindy is a spy and therefore has to look amazing at all times. That seems counter-intuitive, since you think a spy should blend in, but it's the way it is. This especially is a good look. Dangerous and sexy.
Carey: She consistently looks good no matter what she's doing. She's like the Scarlett Johansson of superhero fashion - her look can do no wrong.

The winner in this category, again by a narrow margin, is Dazzler. Her sequined jumpsuit may scream Fat Elvis to some of you, but she's a character with a lot of chutzpa, which lends itself to reinvention. In fact, artist George Gozum has done a very young, fun version of Dazzler.

00rd.jpg We had to create a Best Dressed Miscellaneous category, entirely because we needed to include Ragdoll.
Laura: Everything about Ragdoll is stylish and amazing.
Brenda: His look inspired this real world interpretation, which is really slick and modern looking, so clearly he blazes a trail. A very sticky trail, probably.

And now that we've covered the saints, we must move on to the sinners.

Matt Spicer Easier just to google "drawn by Rob Liefeld."

In the Worst Dressed Man category, we have:

01bcb.jpg CABLE
Laura: Nineties Liefeld. Please make it go away.
Carey: I don't really have a problem with Cable except for the yellow banana hammock. Is that a thong in the back?
Brenda: Again, is his just a variation on a team uniform? Because frankly all those go in a "not applicable" category for me.

02bpm.jpg PLASTIC MAN
Carey: Does his outfist stretch and shrink with him? Maybe he has to look like that to keep from being naked all the time.
Laura: It seems pretty standard, nothing too egregious. It's not the most attractive thing, but it's OK.
Brenda: It's your standard strong man unitard. It could be much worse, and occasionally he does try to accessorize.

03brb.jpg ROBIN (O.G. STYLE)
Laura: Robin's so cute. How could I say anything against this costume?
Carey: Childhood nostalgia forbids me from even considering Robin as worst dressed. Burt Ward as Robin was probably my first crush when I was about 7.
Brenda: There have been better versions of this costume, though. Even Damien gets to wear pants, and he shouldn't be allowed to wear anything that's not completely embarrassing for him.

04bgb.jpg GAMBIT
Carey: I hadn't really considered Gambit as poorly dressed until now, but I guess I've always had a problem with his weird collar chest piece thing. Has his costume even had an update in the last 20 years?
Laura: It's just ugly, busy and stupid. He should wear the scarf all the time, because it just adds to the stupid, makes it undeniable.
Brenda: I can't argue with his color choice, because I like purple. But I am assuming he wears the overcoat and scarf to detract from the "team uniform" thing. It just doesn't work.

05bss.jpg SHATTERSTAR
Brenda: This... I... what? What is happening here? And how do we make it stop?
Laura: More Nineties Liefeld, and probably his biggest character design offense. My hatred of Gambit aside, this is the worst. (Of course, he's gotten a pretty decent redesign in X-Factor, while Gambit still looks stupid.)
Carey: No one except Emma Frost looks good in all white, and that hair is enough to make Billy Ray Cyrus circa 1989 cry.

The clear winner, or loser (depending on how you look at it) in this category is Shatterstar. His newest costume is not as offensive as this look, but the choices made here are so hideous as to defy the usual "it was popular at the time" defense.

In the Worst Dressed Woman category:

01bgy.jpgGYPSY
Laura: This isn't the worst thing I have ever seen, but it's not good. Not good at all.
Carey: I'm also giving Gypsy a pass because comparatively, she's not bad.
Brenda: For some reason my brain is trying to tell me it's cooler to have a gypsy-like look if you're not, you know, actually friggen named "Gypsy." And maybe the pants, hair, accessories, and jacket are okay together, but you have to go and throw in the bra shirt, and that's just a no.

02bcf.jpg CRIMSON FOX
Brenda: Is it okay to say her costume looks like a poop? Because it does.
Laura: Why isn't her costume crimson? It's ugly and nonsensical. I hate it.
Carey: What I have learned from Crimson Fox: never, ever search for tapeworm on Google images. Take my word for it - she looks like a brown one with boobs.

04bps.jpg PSYLOCKE
Dania: Sweet Jesus.
Laura: Since I started reading X-Men comics in the early 90s, one question has plagued me above all others. WHY DOES SHE HAVE BANDS AROUND HER LEGS? If they drew the costume so it actually covered her ass, which they never ever do, it wouldn't be so bad, except for those stupid leg bands. I will never forgive Jim Lee for them.
Carey: I agree with Laura in regard to Psylocke's weird leg shit. Plus, her unitard really rides up, which seems not only uncomfortable, but grounds for a constant Brazillian wax - but maybe shaving down there with her psyblade doesn't hurt so bad?
Brenda: I'm not familiar with the character, but it does seem a tad on the whorebag side of things. If the look is supposed to be "Sexy Ninja," then I guess it succeeds. Maybe this is just me, but if my mutant power was anything I could do from the couch, like telepathy or whatever it is that Phoenix does to disintegrate people, I'd probably wear pajama pants and a tank top and not shower, because I could just stay at home and kill you wherever you were with my mind powers.

05bvp.jpg VAMPIRELLA
Brenda: I think this one was nominated just because it's mostly a not-costume. It's strategically placed swatches of fabric.
Laura: You know, I just don't really have an opinion on this one. I know nothing about the character, and the costume isn't so much ugly as non-existent.
Carey: Vampirella's look wouldn't be so awful if her boobs didn't look to be screaming in pain. Sometimes, more coverage is okay - for the sake of those poor mamaries, she needs to put them in a sling.

06bbc.jpg BLACK CANARY / JLI
Laura: Is she going skiing? I always thought she looked like she was going skiing...in a 1980s John Cusack movie. (And now I kind of like the costume better by association.)
Brenda: I don't care who you are, the ski suit look is never flattering. I like the white boots, but they need to start over with this one. Unless they were specifically trying to mock Euro-trash, and then points for satire.
Carey: It's not good, but take away the chest piece and headband and she's okay. Bearable, at least.

Strangely enough, though we had plenty to say about Psylocke's costume, when the votes came in, Crimson Fox was #1... for looking like #2 (I'M SORRY THAT JOKE SEEMED OBVIOUS BUT COULDN'T BE PASSED UP.)

00sw.jpg And because there was a Best Dressed Misc., we must make a Worst Miscellaneous category. Carey would like to add her pick for most egregious accessory: Scarlet Witch's headgear.
Carey: I like her. The hat has got to go. It's like one of those foam animal masks with a hole cut in it for your face.
Laura: Fun fact: The Scarlet Witch image search took me to porn quicker than any of the other characters.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted at us or commented on our Facebook page. Let us know here whether you agree with our choices, or maybe point us toward someone we left out.

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Comments (3)

Dazzler is the only disco superhero to battle Galactus and look good doing it. That should speak volumes.

Carey:

I laughed really hard at the Crimson Fox poo joke.

Carey:

P.S. We should do a villan one. Also, I have a late nomination for Lilandra of the Shi'ar Empire. Sweet baby Jesus... What the hell was Professor X thinking?