10 Superheroes Whose Current Costume Design Will Never Appear in a Movie

by William Bruce West

As more and more comic book properties are converted to major motion picture franchises, some amount of straying from the source material is to be expected. We’ve lucked out with many successful comic book movie franchises, but there have been some stinkers and false starts.

When a comic based movie is unsuccessful, fanboys typically cite one of two excuses reasons: A.) the filmmakers strayed too far from the source material, or B.) the visual design was altered too greatly.

We’ve seen it so many times- the iconic, probably colorful costumes worn in the comics are changed to flat black and practical for the film version. This was my biggest gripe with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (yes, bigger than The Baroness being Cobra Commander’s sister and dating Duke), every main character wore all-black gear, thus rendering Snake Eyes’ iconic look ordinary.

gijoe black uniforms

Conversely, it is for this same reason that Batman is a comic book character built to succeed as a movie franchise. He wears all black, so no change is necessary to convert him to the big screen. He’s also human, and can exist in a world exactly like ours (populated with insane people as opposed to Gods and aliens).

As easily as Batman transitions to the movie screen, characters like Green Lantern struggle. I’ll admit it.

Here are ten comic book characters whose current costume design will never appear in a movie- with special thanks to Will West for helping with the list (by “helping” I mean composing the first 8 entries entirely and assisting with the 10th). The guy knows way more about comics than I do.


Martian Manhunter

In the future, the Village People will be forced to take in a token Martian. This is who they will choose. That OR he’ll be working at a strip joint where all he wears are those suspenders and his boots.

martian manhunter vision

Another with the same problem: The Vision



Even though the suit is muy caliente, that won’t translate to film. Comics love to depict gravity-defying costumes, but movie costumes err on the side of practicality.


Another with the same problem: White Queen/Emma Frost



Everything about his design is “comic great”, but I’d hate to see it onscreen.




This is a bit of a longshot, but I almost wonder if Marvel would be willing to go with the traditional red suit for him in a movie. Even if they muted it, it runs the risk of just looking like Heavy Artillery Spider-Man to most of Middle America.

deadpool red gray_opt

They introduced the grey/black stealth suit in Uncanny X-Men, and that color scheme seems to be loved by the X-Men films. If we ever get that Deadpool movie, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went the grey/black route, in leather.


Black Panther

As he’s drawn, it’s just spandex and a cape. A cinematic suit would have some level of armor. If not armor, it would at the very least be black leather.

black panther


Any member of Power Pack

Just look at them.

power pack


Marvel Boy/The Protector

It just doesn’t do anything for him. Underwhelming, and not very marketable on lunchboxes, even if he IS standing between Cap and Iron Man.

the protector


Miss America Chavez

Google it. Nevermind here it is:

miss america chavez


Last I heard, they were going to make a Shazam movie and The Rock was cast to play Black Adam. What ever happened to that? Anyway, whether they follow through with a film, a TV show, or anything live-action, there’s no way Shazam’s suit makes it in as is. There aren’t many actors out there that can pull off a satin yellow sash.

shazam costume


Wonder Woman


Here’s where Will and I disagree a bit. I’ll present both arguments, you decide for yourselves:

Howie Decker: Just like Classick Material said on a recent podcast, every costume is black leather now. There’s no way we’ll ever get a comic-true Wonder Woman costume in a movie, especially based on the fate of that failed pilot.

Will West: You don’t think Wonder Woman’s costume would be used? I think they’d mute the colors, especially after the pics of the porn parody suit put the Wonder Woman pilot suit to shame. Still, I feel the pre-New 52 redesign was meant to be more movie-friendly, her current suit is just a recolored version of the original. That said, she’s NOTHING without that suit.


What do you say?  And what other comic book characters’ costumes will never make it to the movie screen?



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