We’ve all been there: Off out on a date, important errand or to save the world, and you just can’t decide what to wear. And sometimes, when you make your decision, it doesn’t always come out right. Well, you’re not alone. There are times when one of your favourite comic characters ends up wearing a get up so ridiculous you can’t help but cry and question whether you should never pick up a comic again. The following are a few examples when our faith has been shaken, and it’s taken us a while to get it back:
5. Spider-Man’s bag outfit
So Spider-Man lost his costume. Twice. He’d managed to make his previous one pretty quickly and without too much trouble, you’d think he’d be able to cobble something together from the outfit the Fantastic Four gave to him, a snip here, a thread there, even a touch of piping might have made it a bit more 80’s, but instead he just puts a bag on his head. He could have just asked someone for a balaclava, or even a scarf, but he spends the better part of a few issues running around with a paper bag on his head. Good job it never rained.
4. The Thing’s swimming trunks
Yes, even the gruff, rock hard skinned Ben Grimm has been forced to wear, above once, the world’s biggest pair of Speedos. We just find it stupid that someone would choose to draw the biggest, meanest member of a superhero team with a pair of underpants on. Thankfully this is remedied in later volumes and alternate timelines with a proper pair of trousers, and sometimes boots. Maybe it’s just us, but when we see The Thing is his undergarments, it just looks like he’s not bothered to get dressed that morning. Boxers would probably be a better alternative. Or Heaven forbid he doesn’t get any trousers at all (paging Mr. J. Trank).
3. The Riddler’s catsuit
Jim Carrey. Joel Schumacher. Please listen. We know Frank Gorshin was good in Lycra, but did we really have to do endure that as well as a film where Batman got nipples on his Batsuit? I know Carrey’s portrayal is over the top even when it’s dialled down, but merciful Heavens, the man goes from green spandex catsuits to a flashing neon jacket. There’s such a thing as over the top, and then there’s going so far over the top you’re paying homage to Thelma and Louise. The Truman Show seems a long way away sometimes doesn’t it Jim?
2. Mr. Freeze’s ice cream cone
But we’re not finished there folks. Mr. Schumacher also ruined one of DC’s most tragic characters by turning into a cliché spouting ice cream cone. Virtually every incarnation of Victor Fries has managed to make him look like a technological genius, surround by several inches thick impregnable armour, and also show you the tragic centre of the character. Everything from Batman: The Animated Series, to Arkham City, has got this right, so how did Schumacher get it so wrong? We suspect it was the same way he got Bane wrong, taking the essence of the character and flipping it on its head to make it “different”. Sometimes, if it ain’t broke Joel, don’t fix it.
And so we come to perhaps the greatest travesty in superhero outfits ever. Let me say at the outset, We’re huge Punisher fans, and can forgive some of the character’s (and his writers’), biggest mistakes. When Rick Remender decided to give Frank a makeover after Dark Reign though, we took exception. For those of you not familiar, Frank’s failed assassination attempt on the newly appointed Head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Norman Osborn failed, leading Osborn to dispatch his Dark Wolverine, Daken, to chop The Punisher up into little pieces. When he’s been turned into minced beef, Castle’s bits were taken into the New York Sewers and rebuilt by the Legion of Monsters into “FrankenCastle” an undead hybrid of bits and bobs that’s about as far away from the essence of the character as you can get. If you contrast that with Garth Ennis’ MAX version, you can see why we dislike the outfit, and the depiction of the character at this point.
So there you have it, a good old moan, we promise to be a little more upbeat in our next column, after all, we don’t want to end up with a bag over our heads…