Top 10 Alternate Superhero Costumes

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A superhero’s outfit is their calling card, make them recognizable or cool enough so kids around the world will beg to look like them for Halloween so hard, you’ll need to buy two or more costumes, just to be sure.

But here’s the thing. A lot of the more famous superheroes out there have two or more costumes, that are way cooler, or more functional, than the ones they normally wear. Costumes like …

10. Iron Man’s Hulkbuster

Hulkbuster

Iron Man has more suits than James Bond, and each of them is probably at least 30 times more deadly. The Hulkbuster armor was Iron Man’s attempt to build something capable of fighting the Hulk, during the World War Hulk story arc, where Hulk fights the entire world. This suit upped Iron Man’s already considerable fire-power, and allowed him to stand toe-to-toe with the Hulk, the strongest being in the entire Marvel universe … well, for awhile anyway. There was only so long it could stand up to the same guy who can explode the Earth by squat-thrusting too hard.

9. Ronin

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A Ronin is a masterless, wandering samurai. In the Marvel universe, it’s an identity taken on by several heroes. It doesn’t give you any extra powers, but it does come with a kick-ass ninja outfit that makes you look like something monsters would check under their bed for. And when it really comes down to it, doesn’t the world need more ninja superheroes?

The easiest way to see how cool this outfit is, is to see how much more badass Hawkeye looks while wearing it. Never the most threatening of heroes, the ninja garb suddenly makes it look like he’s going to stab your soul straight through the face, which is basically the finest first impression a superhero can hope to make.

8. Spider-Man’s Future Foundation Outfit

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The future foundation was created by Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic,) as an attempt to get all of the smartest heroes on Earth to team up for the betterment of mankind. Spider-Man joined because, well, he was asked to by the Human Torch. Nothing to do with brainpower, really. Screw the betterment of mankind!

Upon joining, Spidey was given a swanky new Future Foundation suit that never gets dirty. Ignore everything else this suit can do, such as changing color at will, and looking so sharp it gives your eyes paper cuts. None of that matters, because it’s shiny! You’re on a team whose purpose is to make the world a better place; you could probably start by sharing the secret of clothes that don’t get curry stains on them, Spidey. You jerk.

7. Maestro

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Maestro is the Hulk from an alternate future. After a war on Earth almost killed everyone else, wise man Hulk took control, and began ruling with a comically oversized iron fist. Although this is technically an entirely new version of the Hulk, opposed to a new costume, considering the Hulk only ever wore purple pants, we’ll let this one slide. Also, because it highlights that you really can rock a Santa beard, tattered boots, and bright orange beads, if you’re strong enough to throw people into the center of the Sun. If you can’t, people will probably just throw garbage at you and call you names.

6. X-Force Wolverine

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The X-Force are a group of mutants who strive to take a more proactive (AKA face-punchy) role in dealing with threats to mutantkind. Of course, to have the most face-punching team of all, they needed Wolverine, the Marvel hero who stabs you with his fists.

And, when brainstorming a new look for Wolvie, Marvel evidently turned control over to a ten-year-old boy:

“Ok, we need to re-design Wolverine’s costume, what should we do son?”

“Make it alllllll black.”

“All black? That’s not very original but sure, lets make it all black.”

“No, actually, put some grey on there. No wait, silver!”

“Ok, erm, this seems a little bland, do you want any color? This is a comic where a man can explode metal claws out of his hands; people don’t expect realism.”

“Yes, put some red on it!”

“Red? Now we’re getting somewhere, where should we put it?”

“On his eyes!”

“You want Wolverine, to have … red … eyes? You do know that, that makes no sense right?”

“Yes!”

“Red eyes it is!”

Luckily Wolverine is a stone-cold, ultra-badass pimp. Even when he’s wearing garish yellow spandex, no one ever comments on it. This is probably because they know that if they did, Wolverine would make sure they tasted his fist for the rest of their life (both seconds of it.) The man could realistically wear nothing at all and still be terrifying. Now that we’re requesting that ever happen ….  OK, maybe a little.

5. Thunderstrike

Thunderstrike

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) is an off-shoot of Thor. When he was gravely wounded, Thor merged their bodies to save his life. Why he couldn’t use his magical God powers to bring him back to life, or punch his soul back into his body, is anyone’s guess. It’s OK though, because the end result was the most metal Thor has ever looked, ever. Which, for a guy who shoots lightning out of his eyes, and smashes things with a giant hammer, is pretty impressive.

Sure he wouldn’t blend into a crowd but, at the very least, he could fool people into thinking he was WWE’s Triple H, which is a damn sight easier to explain than “I am Thor, the God of thunder.

4. Batman’s Suit Of Sorrows

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The Suit of Sorrows is an ancient suit given to Batman, that grants him superhuman strength and speed. It also does something far more impressive than that: it makes Batman, a guy able to turn a criminal’s face into raw meat, even more terrifying.

Just look at this thing; it looks like someone took everything people are afraid of, and covered it in knives. You may be thinking, “why didn’t Batman use this thing all the time?” If you’re not asking this yet, you should start, because it was superior to every other suit he had at his disposal. Turns out, Batman felt the suit was making him too violent.

Just read that again: a man, a borderline psychotic one at that, who once sentenced an immortal to die in horrible agony for eternity, felt this suit was making him too violent. Could it be any cooler?

3. The Punisher As Captain America

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In one of Marvels “What if?” comics (where they show various hypothetical out-of-canon situations,) the Punisher becomes Captain America. Punisher, who is best known as one of the more, erm, pragmatic Marvel heroes, quickly used his new-found power to beat half of the criminals in New York to within an inch of their lives. And he did it all while wearing perhaps the most awesome version of the Captain America outfit since Captain Canada. Virtually eliminating the crime rate overnight; that’s how you get results people! It’s the message you want to send to other countries. You’d get all the oil that way.

2. Anti-Venom

Anti-Venom

Venom is one of Spider-Man’s most enduring enemies. He’s so enduring, that he even survived the third Spider-Man movie. He certainly took his licks near the end, but he still fared better than Tobey Maguire’s career has.

Anti-Venom is an alternate version of the Symbiote that infected both Spider-Man and Eddie Brock (Venom.) It has a list of abilities so powerful, it makes Spider-man look like Squirrel Girl (yes, she’s real. Click the damn link if you doubt us.) Anti-Venom is able to cure almost any disease, and grants Eddie Brock the strength to lift 70 tons, become immune to fire, and avoid detection by Spider-Man’s spider sense. How did this thing lose again?

1. Superman’s Godfall Outfit

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Superman is easily one of the most well known and recognizable superheroes ever, as well as the most powerful. He’s capable of easily lifting millions of tons in weight, shattering entire planets with a single punch, flying through the Sun with no consequence.

As such, any change in outfit for Superman is purely superficial, since there is literally nothing an outfit could add to Superman’s repertoire that he couldn’t accomplish simply by punching existence hard enough. The Godfall outfit is noted as one of Superman’s more popular attire changes, and it’s not hard to see why. Just look at it; it couldn’t be any cooler if it was the cool side of Samuel L. Jackson’s pillow. Superman’s old red-and-blue outfit is iconic to be sure but, unlike the Godfall outfit, he couldn’t wear it to the club when he wanted to get his drink on. And if any superhero deserves to look cool all the time, it’s Superman.

To read more from Karl, you can check out his profile at Gunaxin, or read about the book he wrote.


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16 Comments

  1. I haven’t read comics since the 90’s (thanks a lot speculators) but I’m pretty sure that’s the standard Captain America outfit. And isn’t Spider Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, a scientific prodigy/genius? Kinda explains why he’d be asked to join a group of super smart heroes.

    • I think the reason reed allowed peter parker into the group was because he is a prodigy, and maybe tone in the human torch

  2. I don’t know where to begin…..
    Best alternate for Spider-Man is probably the black costume
    Best alternate for Captain America is probably the Captain black costume, or Nomad for the symbolism associated with it (Watergate)
    Most obvious Iron-Man would be the War Machine armor who was an alternate iron-man to begin with
    weirdest alternate for Hawkeye would probably his Giant Man phase….

    Also there are stronger alternates in my opinion, Angel vs Archangel; John Byrne’s Iron Fist vs David Aja’s Iron Fist (much cooler BTW).
    For batman i would have chosen the Knightfall era costume/ armor.
    For Wonder woman the debate between leggings and classic costume was loud enough within the community to be mentioned…..

    those are the 1st examples that come to mind, you made interesting choices but they are far from the top 10 in my opinion

  3. Its not heroes but I always loved the Super Powers versions of Braniac and Lex Luthor. Luthor had a green and purple power suit and Braniac was a metal robot with a slighltly exposed brain.

  4. In MY OPINION, I think that the symbiote spidey suit should have been on here instead of the other spiderman costume. If i am not mistaken, it looks about the same as the suit you have on this list, but with reversed colors. The eyes and spider are white, and most of the rest is black. But I am not the author.

  5. I’d just like to point out that Superman’s solersuit increased his energy obsorshan rate by 20% (PS I know that I have bad spelling)

  6. The anti-Venom make spiderman weaker,not capable of take down everybody in marvel universe(she is a joke, but she is canon joke

  7. What about Thomas Wayne’s Dark Knight of vengaence suit from the alternate universe in which bruce died and not him that one is awesome and it is a super hero that doesn’t believe criminals can ever become good i mean he just straight up kills them with no super powers at all

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