There have been a whoooolotta superheroes swanning about since Superman debuted in June of 1938, each one theoretically different from the rest, with their own fashion sense.  Honestly, given the sheer number of people to put on tights to fight for truth, justice and the almighty buck over the years, it’s really surpriseing that we haven’t had more duplicated costumes, like the darn-near identical Golden Age suits for The Sandman and The Tarantula.  Tarantula’s eventual redesign resulted in one of the most beautiful superhero costumes of all time, but not all heroes have been so lucky.  Nearly all the Justice League members found themselves wearing the same weird collar as of their 2011 revamp, and recent redesigns for He-Man have fallen prey to the same cut-and-paste design issues, but none have had it as bad as Peek-A-Boo Invisible Woman, Atlantic Camouflage Aquaman or the horrifying ’90s Armored Daredevil chase figures uniform revamps…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always kind of preferred Hawkeye in his peek-a-book harness Goliath costume, though the one with the skirt was a scream as well, asking: What do you consider the absolute WORST costume redesign in history?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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28 Comments

  1. May 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm — Reply

    Part of me wants to say “Electric Superman”, but the truth is I actually liked the costumes (I’m using plural for the whole Superman Red/Superman Blue thing), I just didn’t like them for Superman.

    There are a lot of bad “variants” of Batman from the old early 90’s Batman toy line (where you got 10 new variants of Batman each series, plus one or two villains or allies). Most of them didn’t even add a new sculpt or anything, just a repainting of the same figure and maybe add an accessory or two.

    But absolute worst? I’m going to go with a makeup redesign, Beast from “X-Men: First Class”. After the absolutely amazing job they did turning Fraiser Crane in to Beast in X3, I was shocked by just how horrendus the younger Beast looked in First Class. It was like they decided to skip trying and just use some leftover Halloween makeup from Walmart.

  2. Antonio Sanciolo
    May 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    The time Captain America got armour built by Tony Stark.
    He looked ridiculous.

  3. May 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    Are you kidding? Nothing is more off than the blue aquaman suit.

  4. May 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm — Reply

    Timberwolf, (After he was Furball) when he became more werewolf than human. Unfortunately I think that was an attempt to distance him from Wolverine who was in fact more popular but a copy of Timberwolf himself.

  5. B.V.K.
    May 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm — Reply

    The game may be awesome but the Injustice costume redesigns for the Regime characters are awful. Just about all of them are stinkers with Flash being the worst. I am choosing that just because of the sheer multitude of bad ideas. Ironically if you look in the sketch book section of the extras, they show all the other ideas they had, most of which were better than their final selections. At least there are multiple skins so you only have to see them in story mode.

  6. Disassembly Required
    May 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    Wonder Man has a long history of horrible costumes. It’s hard to believe he never was mentioned.

  7. Derek
    May 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    Where did you find that picture of all the 90s redesigns lined up?

  8. May 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    Pretty much every Nightcrawler costume after his original. You simply can’t improve on perfection.

  9. Gary
    May 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    Iron Spider

  10. Bob
    May 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm — Reply

    Far too many to list them all.
    I didn’t like anything for the Legionnaires around and after Zero Hour. And yes, that means I preferred the 70’s outfits for Phantom Girl and Saturn Girl over the 90’s stuff.

  11. SmarkingOut Adam
    May 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm — Reply

    If you have read my comments on here, you know I look to put Kitty Pryde in a positive light as often as possible, but that blue ruffly outfit was ridiculous.

  12. May 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm — Reply

    Cosmic Boy. Grell. WTF.

  13. AllenBT
    May 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm — Reply

    For me, its a tie between two Avengers D-listers. Demolition Man and Rage.

    (And I know D-man’s dorky costume was intentionally a knock off of Wolverine and the early Daredevil, but still, yuck…)

    • May 5, 2013 at 11:18 am — Reply

      Remember we’re talking about REdesigns, not just bad designs.

      And D-Man, while not particularly original, was DESIGNED to be a knock-off, that was the joke… He didn’t look half-bad when Keiron Dwyer was drawing the book.

  14. Luis Dantas
    May 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm — Reply

    Hey, Camouflage Aquaman was great.

    Worst redesign? Something from the 90s, most likely. The Iron Man armor from The Crossing was definitely atrocious; every single panel was painful to look at. Still, given how they actually gave him a book while he had that redesign, I suppose Keith Giffen Timber Wolf does get the cake. That was an awful, awful looking LSH – and the writing wasn’t really any better, either.

  15. kaptaran
    May 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm — Reply

    Oh man… which 90’s X-Force costume should I pick? Boom Boom with the shoulder pads and the retainer I guess poking into her mouth? Shatterstar with the shoulder pads and the oh-god-not-in-the-face boxing mask? Cable with the shoulder pads for the shoulder pads?

    So hard to decide

    • May 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm — Reply

      So am I to understand you don’t like shoulder pads?

      It is kinda sad how many things in the 90’s really worked for one character, so suddenly people decided EVERY character had to have it. Shoulder pads, leather jackets, “dark and gritty”, those leg strap belt things, etc.

      • May 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm — Reply

        Don’t forget that weird nun’s wimple mask thingy that Jean Grey kicked off…

  16. Allen
    May 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm — Reply

    Black Canary in the Justice League International.

  17. Oldcomicfan
    May 5, 2013 at 6:29 am — Reply

    I can’t think of one right now, but whatever it might be, it was probably designed by Rob Liefeldt.

  18. May 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm — Reply

    I agree with the above any character created by Rob Liefeld. The horrible pouchies, and the ridiculous oversized weapons

  19. Luis Dantas
    May 5, 2013 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    To be fair, Liefeld wasn’t so much bad with costume redesigns as with drawing in general… I think.

    • May 6, 2013 at 6:58 am — Reply

      Given his penchant for drawing off-model, EVERY SINGLE PANEL is a costume redesign for Rob…

  20. May 6, 2013 at 8:12 am — Reply

    Shocked that no one has mentioned the Speedball/Penance “re-design” (aka travesty)

  21. Solid Muldoon
    May 6, 2013 at 10:25 am — Reply

    Zatanna’s 1980 JLA horrible tights, red cape and huge ponytail look.

  22. JoeM
    May 6, 2013 at 10:54 am — Reply

    Cosmic Boy has had the worst luck in costumes.
    The bustier costume was truly awful.
    The Polestar costume was pretty bad, but now that I look back at it, that may have had as much to do with the pencils and coloring as the costume itself.

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