They say that a superhero is only as good as their villain, and the same applies to the costume that they wear. There are many things that make a superhero movie or TV show memorable, and a well-designed, eye-popping costume can be one of the main things that come to mind when one thinks of such a film or series.
From the iconic minimalism of Superman’s costume in the legendary Superman: The Movie, to the costume that proved that Daredevil could definitely work in live action in Netflix’s Daredevil, many of these famous super suits make the heroes that wear them all the more fun, cool, and memorable.
10 ‘WandaVision’ (2021) — Scarlet Witch’s Costume
Visuals are essential to WandaVision. While paying homage to classic sitcoms and the genre’s evolution over the decades, so too does the costume design evolve with each passing episode. Under the surface, a more traditional superhero story about grief and loss is taking place.
While many viewers didn’t like the way the show ditched the style of its first few episodes in its grand CGI-filled finale, there’s one thing that can hardly be denied: How exciting it was to see Wanda Maximoff in her iconic Scarlet Witch costume. Fully realized in live-action in the visual style of the MCU, the suit looks just as fantastic as fans had hoped it would.
9 ‘Deadpool’ Duology — Deadpool’s Costume
After the fiasco that was Deadpool’s portrayal in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, fans were understandably skeptical about Ryan Reynolds returning to the character. Thankfully, though, 2016’s Deadpool exceeded all expectations, and is still considered a landmark in the history of R-rated superhero movies.
There were numerous things that made Deadpool work as well as it did. The delightfully morbid yet goofy sense of humor of the script, the entertaining story, Reynolds’s captivating performance, and – of course – the protagonist’s awesome costume. Incredibly faithful to the source material yet with the kind of texture and realism that you can only get in movies, it’s no wonder why it’s considered one of the coolest superhero movie costumes.
8 ‘Batman’ (1989) — The Batsuit
Batman has a longer history in live-action portrayals than most other heroes. By the time Tim Burton‘s first Batman movie came along, the game was forever changed, and the superhero movie genre would never be the same again. Most notably, viewers finally started to see the Caped Crusader as a character to be taken seriously.
As Batman films have evolved over the years, so too have the various iterations of the Batsuit, and the one worn by Michael Keaton in his first outing as the Dark Knight is one of the most iconic in the genre. Bulky and imposing, the costume stays true to the Gothic and Art Deco roots of the visual style of Burton’s beloved film.
7 ‘Superman: The Movie’ (1978) — Superman’s Costume
Richard Donner‘s Superman: The Movie was the first-ever major superhero movie, a massive success with audiences, critics, and at the box office. It’s largely the one to thank for the superhero genre having managed to become as prevalent as it is today, and it has aged like fine wine.
The Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeve in this movie proves that less is more. The simplicity of the whole thing, from the limited color palette to the prominence of the logo, set the bar high for what superhero costumes should look like in movies.
6 ‘The Flash’ Season 4 (2017-2018) — Flash’s Costume
Despite having an extremely strong start, the CW’s The Flash is a show that earned as many detractors as it did fans over the course of its run. Season 4 is considered one of the most middle-of-the-road of The Flash‘s many seasons of varying quality, with lots to love but also lots to criticize.
For every memorable action sequence that it had, the season also had a bunch of tone-deaf humor and forgettable episodes. One of the things about it that virtually everyone loves, though, is Grant Gustin‘s Flash costume. Generally praised as the best of the show’s many super suits, season 4’s has the best of both worlds: The hero’s iconic look, and the augmented realism and simplicity of the show’s costume design.
5 ‘Moon Knight’ (2022) — Moon Knight’s Costume
He may not have been one of Marvel’s best-known anti-heroes prior to him getting his Disney+ show, but Moon Knight has always been one of the company’s coolest-looking heroes. In 2022’s Moon Knight, that was translated perfectly to the small screen.
Some loved the show’s grittier style compared to the rest of the MCU, while others couldn’t look past its poor writing. There were two things that were universally loved, though: Oscar Isaac‘s brilliant performance, and the costumes that he dons. Most particularly, the Moon Knight suit looks like it was lifted right from the page, making it one of the best MCU super suits.
4 ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011) — Captain America’s Final Costume
Over the course of the MCU’s history, Captain America was one of the heroes whose attire saw the most changes, from the classic look and feel of his first costume in The First Avenger to the rougher look of his Nomad suit in Infinity War.
The hero’s coolest-looking costume, though, also came in The First Avenger, but later on in the story. Once Cap gets a suit properly suited for combat, the movie’s most memorable action set pieces ensue, and Chris Evans‘ Steve Rogers is right there in the middle of the ruckus, looking his best in a suit that combines the classic look of the comics with the better-protected feel of a World War II uniform.
3 ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008) & ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (2012) — The Batsuit
Christian Bale‘s version of Batman looked amazing in Batman Begins, the beginning of Christopher Nolan‘s beloved Dark Knight Trilogy (arguably the best superhero movie trilogy ever), but the pinnacle of the vigilante’s Batsuit arguably came in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
With much more mobility and slimness than any other Batsuit before or since, the Dark Knight was able to fight and move in ways that fans had only ever seen in comics, videogames, or animation. Much more suit of armor than the traditional super suit, the protagonist’s costume in these final two films of the trilogy is the best that Batman has ever looked in live-action.
2 ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 (2016) — Daredevil’s Costume
Netflix’s Daredevil remains not just the definitive adaptation of the character, but one of the best superhero adaptations of all time. It’s not just a great superhero story, but also a riveting action thriller and an emotionally resonant character drama.
The hero’s look didn’t change much over the course of the show, but if one had to pick the best version of his appearance, it would surely have to be his season 2 suit. The suit itself is visually striking but perfectly equipped for combat, and the mask is iconic. The way it looks broken and haphazardly mended is a perfect symbol of Charlie Cox‘s Matt Murdock’s state of mind during the season.
1 ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004) — Spider-Man’s Costume
When Sam Raimi‘s first two Spider-Man movies came out, the genre was nowhere near what it is today. Largely, they contributed to making it that. Spider-Man 2 in particular is still remembered as one of the best superhero movie sequels ever made, bigger and better than its predecessor in pretty much every way – including visuals.
The costumes that Tobey Maguire wears as Spidey in the first and second movies are similar, but not the same. The hero’s super suit in Spider-Man 2 is slicker, more vibrant, and more iconic than any other live-action costume the Wall-Crawler has yet worn. It’s an awesome piece of clothing that makes it clear why a good superhero costume is so important in a movie.