The Evil Geeks Top 5 Favorite Costumes (Redux)
Many moons ago we brought you a Top 5 list of our favorite costumes across various mediums. This time Biff and Martian Luthor Kang revisited the idea with a keen eye and a finer toothed comb.
5) Iron Man Armor (MK III)
Iron Man’s well known red and gold armor is a masterwork of sleekness and simplicity, but it never stood out to me. Maybe because it has existed for the entire time I’ve been alive. Yet when I dove back and saw him for the first time with that armor and the oh-so 1960’s horns on it, I knew I was looking at something special. Designed by the legendary Steve Ditko the horned look didn’t stick around long, but man do I wish it did.
Bonus: The original giant silver armor (MK I) and the original giant gold armor (MK II)
I completely get why these were redesigned especially since they seem so incredibly bulky, but I just love that vintage 1960’s Sci-Fi B-Movie look.
4) Green Lantern (Alan Scott)
The Golden Age Green Lantern is something I stumbled into. I don’t know much about the character and haven’t read any comics he’s been featured in, yet as soon as I saw his costume, I fell in love. It perfectly straddles the 1940’s line of super hero and pulp vigilante. I like that green isn’t the prominent color, but rather red. In some cases the insignia on his chest is actually a lit lantern too which is a nice touch. He wears a cowl like the latter day Green Lantern, but the cape and the Ming the Merciless style pop collar really transforms his image.
3) Voltron Force
I’ve already discussed my passion for Voltron at length but not as a fashion critique. Never mind that on the show they were somehow able to find pilots outfits that were tailored to their precise measurements and just focus on the design. What always struck me even as a kid was the bold primary colors but also the uncomplicated design. (Although, it was a little confusing that the outfits color didn’t correspond the color of the lion they piloted but whatever). I just love that even though this was the 1980’s they have a strong 1950’s Japanese feel to them. The boots, the ray guns the helmet design it’s all there. Speaking of those helmets, was it on this day that Mega Man was born?
This one’s a twofer based on the similarity of the costume design. First up is the marvelously designed villain Labyrinto created by Evil Geeks favorite, Francesco Francavilla for his pulpy film noir (and tragically short-lived) comic series The Black Beetle. You only got glimpses of his costume throughout the four issues but it was so striking that I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
Spellbinder comes from the world of Batman Beyond. Ira Billings is a high school psychologist turned villain who controls his victims via hypnosis. Crafting a costume that would both represent and assist with his skills resulted in what we have here. Both functional and fashionable! It helps stick out and become instantly memorable which is of course the best and worst thing a villain can do.
1) Char Aznable
You may not be familiar with my #1 choice but Char is the main villain/anti-hero of the original Mobile Suit Gundam animated series as well as the reimagined (and far superior) Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga series. I won’t get into the character’s history, but he’s easily one of my all time favorites across any media. He’s Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader all rolled into one and his costume is equally as fascinating. It’s one part British solider in the Revolutionary War and one part futuristic space pilot. The sword and the cape can’t help but add an air of regalness to it as well. Looking at his costume I think tells you everything you need to know about him for a first impression.
Daredevil (Yellow Costume)
Not particularly revered in Daredevil history but his original yellow costume lasted a mere 6 issues before being replaced by the more famous all red design. Yes, the classic red costume was clearly the better choice but I can’t help but share some fondness for this one. Yellow, red and black don’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of criminals but when you find out it was made from Matt Murdock’s father’s boxing robe it makes a little more sense. Who actually designed it is a bit of a grey area. The penciler for the first issue Bill Everett is usually given credit but it has come to light recently that it may have been based on an original Jack Kirby design. My money is on Kirby, that guy was a goddamn machine and is responsible for so much of the visual language of the Marvel Universe.
Captain Marvel (Golden Age)
Somehow this particular iteration of Captain Marvel’s costume lasted less time then Daredevil’s yellow costume. We’re talking Captain Marvel’s golden age costume WITH the chest flap on the front. Although his costume hasn’t seen many variations over the years that chest flap was gone in the matter of 2 or 3 issues after the character premiered. Like the golden age Green Lantern above this is a distinct costume of its time but it focuses less on the pulp aspects and more on the traditional superhero. I love that he has basically a glorified pirate’s sash around his waist but the key design element in my eyes is the white cape. Not only is a white cape highly impractical in his line of work but it’s also badass and on some level suggests majesty.
Martian Luthor Kang
This first one’s gonna have a little bit of back story, so try and keep up.
5) Mr. Freeze (Batman: The Animated Series)
Imagine you’re a young boy in the late 80s/early 90s. So far so good? Now imagine that the bulk of your exposure to Batman’s rogues gallery comes from the 1960s series and the lackluster assemblage of toys available in those days. Naturally, your concept of Mr. Freeze would be an amalgam of these two images:
So in your opinion, Mr. Freeze would be pretty goddamn lame, right? Even the acting chops of the legendary Eli Wallach couldn’t add depth to the character! And what was the deal with those weird dick guns on the toy? And the thing is, it wasn’t just my perception of this character, it’s pretty much universally agreed that there wasn’t much going on there. While he did first appear in the comics, he was better suited to the world of the 60s TV series, he was a one-note character.
Then came the Animated Series, and Bruce Timm’s redesign of the character:
That trademark art deco style minimalist style turned this (Mister) Zero into a Hero (the kind of hero that freezes people solid and breaks them). Add onto that the terrific backstory by Paul Dini and you’ve got one of the best villains in Batman’s top-notch rogue’s gallery. Don’t worry, though, DC has since ruined everything cool about the character. He now wears a suit more in line with the Schwarzenegger version and is more or less a serial killer with a freeze ray.
4) Invincible (Black and Blue costume)
Invincible is a great comic, and while I love Ottley’s art, I’ve never been a huge fan of Invincible’s costume. It’s far too busy for my tastes, and while that never detracted from my enjoyment of the comic, it certainly didn’t hurt when he started wearing the more subdued black and blue (or white and gold, depending on your perception) costume that debuted in issue 51. It was not long for this world, but it made an impression on me.
3) Quicksilver (Original Green)
I feel like this one isn’t very popular, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Jack Kirby’s original green design for Quicksilver’s costume. Sure, his better-known blue getup is the same design with only the colors swapped, but this one is more pleasing to my eye. I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (and I’ve heard that ink costs are supposedly partly to thank for this) that green and purple were very commonly used in Silver Age Marvel comics. So many of the villains of the day wear either green or purple, and very often both.
Plus, this reminds me of a more innocent time where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were not yet aware of their parentage (which has recently been retconned away in the pages of Axis) and their strange overly affectionate ways with one another were very possibly accidental. Later, in the pages of the Ultimates, Mark Millar would very strongly hint at an extrafamilial relationship between that version of the twins. And then Jeph Loeb went and overtly said it was the case…
2) Captain America (Bucky Barnes)
Alex Ross’ redesign of Captain America’s costume wasn’t his best-received, to be sure. It was a very dark iteration of what many idealize as bright, hopeful design. But I believe that was in keeping with the mood of Bucky’s tenure as Captain America. He wasn’t a sentinel of liberty, he was a spy (who’d only recently gotten over more than 50 years of brainwashing) out to uncover the truth about his friend/role model/predecessor’s disappearance and to carry on the legacy as best he could. He was back to carrying a gun, and while they caused a bit of a stir, Bucky did so both as a child sidekick and as the Winter Soldier, and Steve Rogers very often did so himself in the Golden Age.
So, in point of fact, I think the black bodysuit against the extremely reflective armored shield is sort of symbolic of the character’s duality. Which is good, because if pouches are being ADDED to costumes designs in the 2000s, there had better be a damn good reason.
1) Doctor Doom
Arguably, nay probably Marvel’s strongest villain is Doctor Doom. Everything about the characters is pure evil – his name, after all, is Victor Von Doom. For Christ’s sake, the man doubles down in evil preoccupations by being both a mad scientist and a dark sorceror! And while that combination is highly irregular, one need look no further than his wacky getup to deduce it. The combination of high-tech armor and medieval fashion catches the eye, for sure. A man who can both summon demons AND surreptitiously launch his nemesis’ home into outer space? I cannot even fathom what sort of fiendish plans he has in mind…
Oh yeah, he’s also batshit crazy.
Did we miss your favorite costume (again)? Drop us a line below and let us know.
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Posted on April 28, 2015, in Clothes, COMICS!, Geekology, Top 5 and tagged Alan Scott, Alex Ross, Anime, Batman Beyond, Bucky, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Char Aznable, Clothes, COMICS!, costumes, Daredevil, Dark Horse, DC, Doctor Doom, Fashion, Fawcett, Francesco Francavilla, Golden Age, Green Lantern, Image, invincible, Iron Man, Jack Kirby, Labyrinto, Marvel, Mobile Suit Gundam, Mr. F, Mr. Freeze, Paul Dini, Quicksilver, Robert Kirkman, Shazam, Steve Ditko, The Black Beetle, Voltron, Winter Soldier. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.