Poll Position: When badness is so bad, it’s great


Click any image to see it at a larger size. The linked name goes to the original "Bad Costume" entry I wrote.

  1. Angel: "Cap off this sartorial wonder with a hideous yellow-bellied color scheme (seriously, if you fly and have wings you should never wear yellow, or you deserve every “chicken” joke you get) and red stockings with combat boots and you quickly see why he’s closer to fashion Satan than fashion Angel."

  2. B'Wana Beast: "I sense the costume designer had an issue of National Geographic in front of him while watching Mexican wrestlers on TV and enjoying the company of Mister Jim Beam."

  3. Boom-Boom: "Tell me you can look at that costume in those colors and not think something blew up. I dare you."

  4. Deimos: "I say, if you’re a man about to take on the world in a masterful plot of pure evil, why not put on a sexy red velvet, midriff-baring, slit-up-to-the-hips, wide-sleeved dress, with matching pointy slippers? And heck, while you’re at it, get yourself a nice, long-nailed manicure, because if you look good, you’ll defeat good."

  5. Mad Dog: "I suppose if you’re going to name your super-hero self after a cheap and fruity wine beverage, you ought not to be surprised if your costume also looks cheap and fruity, as if you’ve just staggered out of “your” alleyway after a long drunken night of homelessness."

  6. Prince Chaos: "I’m tempted to love the mutton chops, or maybe the fur fringed, plummet-to-the-navel neckline, or even the strange hash marks all over the ruby red outfit. But I’m going to have to go with the tiny “Kilroy” type face peeking up from his crotch as my absolutely favorite bit of this ensemble. I like to think that in some future issue, this tiny man will get his own dialog, which, believe me, will rock."

  7. Bantam: "Here’s a quick tip if you’re considering going into the super-heroing business: Unless your opponent is The Human Casserole, no one is afraid of oven mitts."

  8. Dr. Spectro: "You gotta love DC, the company whose mid-80′s motto 'No idea too ridiculous to publish' still serves as an inspiration to us all."

  9. Dr. Strange's Vampire Brother: Besides the ghastliness of the color scheme, you have to wonder why a vampire — who, let’s not forget, can actually turn into a real bat! — would need to dress up as a bat when in human form. Because if he wanted to look like a bat, wouldn’t he just, you know, turn into a frigging bat?! The giant fake ears, the giant fake wing/cape, it’s all unnecessary. It makes you wonder if, in his bat form, he wears a tiny little tuxedo and Count Dracula cape. “Look at me!” he would squeak, “I’m a human!”

  10. The Harlequin: "But then again, since her power is in her super-hypnotizing glasses, maybe the whole point of the outfit is to be so horrifically bad that onlookers are momentarily stunned, giving her a chance to slap the ol’ googly-eyes on ‘em. If so, it was brilliant, because I frankly can’t look away."

  11. Killraven: "That’s Marvel Comics’ “Killraven“, sporting a San Francisco Gay Pride Parade-worthy outfit featuring leather suspenders AND leather hot pants AND leather thigh boots AND a mini-corset string set AND an Eighties workout headband AND a mullet AND roll-top gloves.

    That’s a lot of suck to go into a costume that contains a total of, at the outside, three square inches of fabric."

  12. Living Monolith: "Marvel has had some “interesting” costume models over the years, but had you told me they could combine the likes of the Shoney’s Big Boy, with German lederhosen, by way of a super-powered S&M fetish and a glowing, creepy, vaguely obscene mouth-hole in order to give us this, I’d have said the only thing that’s a Living Monolith to is Bad Fashion. Youch!"

  13. Manhunter: "To start with, why does he have those unbelievably long ties flying out of the back of his head? Are they trying to tell us that all the teeth and the glaring and the eye mask bits and the neck — sweet fancy Moses, the neck! — are actually part of a hood and not his head? But if it’s a hood, why does it have ties like a half-mask? Why isn’t it stretched back towards the ties? How in the name of Top Model does it stay that tight across his face, to the point that we can see the sad-face frown lines creasing his worried brow?

    Whatever, the important part is that the white flyouts match the equally ridiculous red flyouts on his biceps. Why does metal armor on your arms require a cloth sash, you might ask? Clearly the answer is STORMS ELECTRICITY FIRE METAL CLUB HAAAAA!"

  14. Captain Ultra: "So just to be safe, budding super-hero sidekick (dare you go with “Captain Ultri-mate”?), take a page from your mentor’s book and go with blue and red and yellow and orange and green and black. Because Superman might have more powers, and Batman more balls, but nobody wears more colors than Captain Ultra!"

  15. Atlas: "There’s a reason Pampers doesn’t make leopard-skin diapers, and besides a complete lack of absorption that reason is this [costume]. Because even babies wouldn’t be caught dead looking that ridiculous."

  16. Looker: "Given this bizarre melange of magpie-like thievery and eye-bleeding color choices, you’re hard pressed to pick out just one element as “the worst”. Luckily Looker has thought of that, and helped us out by thoughtfully having gigantic white nipples sewn to her breasts. That kind of altruism will go far in your heroic career, Ms. Briggs."

  17. Shriek: "Because, you know, boobs mean girls when you’re a boy. OK, or a grown up male as well, let’s be honest. Also, just in case those gender stereotypes haven’t sunk into their young brains yet, it’s important to name the only female something shrewish, like “Shriek” because those girls just won’t shut their yappers, amirightguys!?"

  18. Slipknot: "He’s got one rope lassoing his face, and the other about to ensnare his package. One can only assume this outfit was designed and stitched by his passive-aggressive wife, too afraid to outright tell him to keep both his mouth (and everything else) zipped, and so reduced to this subtle yet menacing textile rebuke."

  19. Cosmic Boy: "Now, maybe in the future it’s cool for men to run around looking like half-naked ladies of the night. And I’m down with whatever gets your jollies, at any point in our timeline, but that’s just flat-out bizarre. In a group that has Giant Bondage Lad, a guy whose super power is to eat stuff, and a chick in bell bottoms, it’s really saying something when you draw the biggest laugh when entering a room."

  20. Iron Skull: "He was much better off when he just wore a suit and tie and tried to taunt his enemies into only firing at his head. Although apparently he took one too many slugs to the ol’ noggin and switched to this outfit instead. Pity."

Choosing just one is a tough challenge. I was really tempted to go with Prince Chaos' tiny little costumed penis, but I can't in good conscience vote for something Hugh Hefner is likely to be wearing on any particular day.

Many of the others are awful, but no quite well-known enough to qualify in my back of "Worst Ever." I think you need to achieve a certain level in the super-powered world to be the "Ever" of anything. And so my vote is going to go to "Boom Boom", for a costume that's almost literally an assault on both the eyeballs and good fashion sense. Not only is the costume bad, but the accessories and hair are even worse. I mean honestly, who goes out to fight crime still wearing their headgear? I'll tell you who -- the kind of person who needs to write their name on their pants leg in neon yellow so they don't forget who they are. It's humiliating.

But that's just the opinion of one fashion-challenged bald guy. The overall Worst Costume Ever winner (?) is really up to you. So cast your vote and make your case in the comments! If I left anyone out, let me know that too.