A follow-up to my previous article Some of the Best Superhero Costumes, and Why They Are so Cool! This time around we have some of the best super villain costumes, and why they are so evil, sinister, scary, villainous, heinous, etc.
Just like my previous article, I understand that taste and art is subjective but these are, I think, the best super villain costumes. For super villains, the costume really has to portray what makes them evil and powerful. This may be intimidation, overwhelming power, the suit matching the personality (or lack thereof) or simply a look of “I’m the bad guy and you better get out of my way.” It may be because of the colors, the pattern, the physicality, or just the best representation of the villain. Let’s start!
I am going to just go ahead and say that this one is a little bit biased, but I can’t not put Venom on this list. Growing up, I always thought Venom was one of the creepiest and coolest villains out there. I love him due to the fact that he is this perverse version of such a “good guy” superhero – Spider-Man. Now, Spider-Man was the #2 pick in my previous post so how could the antithesis of him not look equally kick-ass, right? There is just something so clean and perfectly scary about Venom. It’s the black suit with the blue highlighting accentuating his muscles and the white spider design on the chest that makes him awesome.
Of course, the real piece that sets Venom over the edge is the eyes and mouth. The torn apart look of the Spider-Man eyes is so unsettling. Couple that with his tooth-filled grin, slobber, and long, dripping tongue, and you get something truly terrifying. It’s so simple, but it is really all it needs to be.
Loki has a really gaudy costume but I think it works great for him. It’s classic comic book villainy at its finest. It has no subtlety whatsoever with its bright green and gold colors, overly detailed crown and cape, and magical staff. It fits this sort of high-tech yet medieval look that Thor has in the comics. He doesn’t feel out of place in a fantasy sci-fi world such as Asgard and also fits in well with modern architecture, if not looking a little outlandish in both worlds. But hey, he’s Loki. He can do whatever he wants.
The two pieces that really set him apart from others are his “accessories,” – the giant horns and his staff. They really fit into his devilish and tricky nature, but they don’t necessarily make him feel like a complete bad guy. Yes, Loki is often the villain, but he is still a Norse god, and the opposite of his jock brother, Thor. He exhibits a sorcerous and intellectual threat to Thor’s brute strength and warrior mentality. I think it’s the fact that he is such an opposite to Thor that really makes this costume stand out.
#3 DR. DOOM
I will admit, I never really liked the Fantastic Four or Dr. Doom a whole lot but it can’t be denied that Doom is one of the most iconic and awesome looking villains in all of comic books. I always say that he is the Darth Vader of comic book villains. He has a metal, stoic, emotionless face, robotic looking body, dark cape, and crushing destructive powers. And it all hides an equally terrifying and messed-up person underneath. This is what super villains are. He almost has a medieval Dungeons and Dragons villain feel to him and that makes him equal parts cheesy and awesome, which I think is perfect for a comic book villain. (yes I am aware D&D came after Dr. Doom, but you get what I mean).
The one downside of his look is the simplicity of his cape and robe. I think that perhaps a special pattern or symbol could have gone a long way to making him more iconic. Then again, in the Fantastic Four universe, there isn’t really anything like him, so he stands out. Not much else needs to be said. He’s a classic.
One of my personal favorite characters / villains of all time. Magneto is a complex character but I feel classifying him as a villain is most appropriate. So, on to his costume. Right off the bat, Magneto has a very striking color scheme which doesn’t immediately scream “evil” but it does scream “powerful.” The red and purple combined with the cape and metal helmet really give the sense that Magneto is a truly formidable foe. Whether he is a villain or a hero is irrelevant. Magneto is dominant and his costume lets you know it.
I think the most important part of his costume design choice, and it is brilliant, is the fact that you can see his face. This adds to the emotion and rage of the character. As we all know, Magneto / Eric has some serious emotional issues and these allow him to be as powerful and as sinister as he is in the comics and movies. Allowing us to see his mouth and eyes helps portray his power and intentions, and adds to his villainous appeal. He’s not some faceless bad guy. He’s not some crazy deformed mutant. He looks like a normal man but possesses extreme power, which makes him so terrifying in the context of the X-Men universe.
I firmly believe the Joker is the best villain ever created. This fact is exemplified by his costume. It is insane and perfect for the character. Everything Joker does is some mad twisted version of what a regular person would be. He wears a suit, but it is purple and has pinstripes. He has a coat but it is an old-school coat with tails. He has a clownish but serious look and it is only exemplified by his insane personalty and face. It’s like he is something from a different time, yet it still works in modern context.
More importantly, I think, is that he is the arch-enemy of Batman. In a way, you’d expect them to be reversed – the good guy is a shining exemplar with bright colors and the bad guy is a dark brooding terror. Not so. Joker is the creepy clown. He is happy, crazy, and energetic, which only makes him more terrifying when put in the dreary context of Gotham. I could go on and on about this, but I think you get the point. Joker’s costume perfectly sums up what he is in the greater context of the DC universe, and he is easily one of the most iconic characters every created!
Galactus – I really struggled with not including Galactus. I think his costume is super unique, the colors are striking, and he is definitely powerful looking. There’s just something I don’t like and I can’t put my finger on it. I think it’s his hat. It’s a little silly for a planet-eating super villain and the it makes him look sort of clunky and top-heavy. Maybe it’s just me, but despite all the cool things about him the helmet spikes knock him down a few pegs.
Harley Quinn – Along the same lines as Joker but just not quite as interesting. Mostly due to the fact that she’s stuck playing second fiddle to someone like Joker. I think her costume is great (the comic one, not the slutty modern one) but it just doesn’t stand up when compared to someone like Joker.
Deathstroke – I really don’t like Deathstroke as a character in the DC universe, but dammit, he looks really cool! I always equate him as the DC Punisher, but he has some extra sinister qualities that make him better. The black and orange mask, the ammo pouches, the armor, and the swords and guns. It all makes him look like a total badass. However, he just lacks a lot of the creativity of the other villains. He’s a bit too modern looking to be a ‘classic’ villain. Maybe in time he’ll make his way onto the list.