Captain America Avengers Costume

Over the last few days, several sites (NewsRama and SuperHeroHype among other) have released sneak peeks at the new Captain America uniform from the upcoming Avengers movie. If you're not wanting to spoil the joy of seeing it for the first time on the big screen, do not read further!

So I'm just going to post a bunch of the images, after which I'll give you my impressions. I look forward to hearing whether you think this should qualify as a "Bad Super Hero Costume" or not.

First, the good.

  • Overall I think this looks pretty darn good. It's close to the original Kirby design, while getting rid of some of the more ... implausible bits like the floppy wings and pirate boots. It's definitely modernized in some good ways, especially in the boots and shoulder/chest pieces. I like the detailing you can see in some of the shots with the pant zippers and boot straps. Particularly in the action scenes, he looks mobile, quick, and cool.
  • The first images I posted yesterday on the HeroMachine Facebook page showed a few things that bugged me, especially in the area where the neck joins the chest. It looked like he had a cloth cowl that was pulled down over a raised collar, which looked ... weird. A few others, though, look like maybe the cowl will be tucked under the collar, which I think looks a lot better.
  • I like the detailing in the shoulder pads that you see when he's crouching on top of the police car (while ordering two double lattes, apparently).
  • The design of the tunic, which pulls over from left to right to fasten that you see in the image where he's just standing around without his helmet, is awesome. It reminds me of Picard's off-duty "smoking jacket" from "Star Trek: The Next Generation". And anything that brings to mind the baddest-ass bald guy since Kojak is OK in my book.

And now, the bad.

  • If the silver stripes on the shoulders are supposed to be cut-outs that show a white tunic underneath, I like them. If they're supposed to be actual silver stripes, though, I hate them with a white-hot intensity that will burn you. BURN you!
  • I feel stupid even bringing it up, but like the "Superman Returns" European-style bikini briefs, I think Cap's chest symbol is too small. I'd like it to be maybe 20% bigger.
  • The helmet wings ... I'm glad they're present, because it's a pretty iconic part of the design. But the helmet needs more detailing along the lines of the shoulder pads for it to work, in my opinion. Something like the Hitch design, with seams and some separation. Now, in some shots it looks like there's maybe a silver helmet-like part beneath the blue mask, which is pretty neat. But the wings still look like someone spray-painted them on with a template. Buddy John Hartwell had a good idea when I was discussing it with him, that maybe making the wings more rectangular in shape and putting them on a slight bulge in the helmet, at the depth of maybe half a pack of cigarettes, would look good. It would give the helmet some dimensionality, and could plausibly serve as the housing for some sort of communication gear.
  • Personally, I like his ears sticking out of the helmet rather than sealed in.
  • I really don't like the belt pouches being blue. You need some kind of separation there between the tunic and the pants. Making them a canvas beige would have been a better choice.
  • Facebook commenter Lydia Weatherbie had some good points about the ears being too vulnerable to shrapnel if not enclosed, and that the boots look too much like regular sneakers on the bottom parts. So I wanted to put that out there too even if I don't necessarily agree because I think they're valid points.

So there you have it. Overall I give it a thumbs-up, with the usual caveat that it's very difficult to judge a live-action super-hero movie costume just from stills, or even from surreptitious fan videos from the set. You have to see it in context, in motion, with all the effects going, to know if it works or not.

We are, however, geeks and cannot -- will not! -- let reason get in the way of a good trashing. So have at it in comments and let me know what you think!

32 Responses to Captain America Avengers Costume

  1. Joshua says:

    Y’know, I like it. They went with a more Ultimates design for the WW2 outfit, so for them to go with a classic appearance for “The Avengers” is only right.

    Speaking of Captain America– Jeff, will you be gracing us with a review?


  2. TOOL says:

    Ok now thats just aweful, I love the Cap and liked the old school feel to his costume in the last one. I like that they made the wings attached or a print on the helmet instead of sticking out though.

  3. Hairwhip says:

    The helmet, don’t know what it is, but it’s off.

  4. Shade2075 says:

    I’m going to say its too soon to call. these are all rough cut pictures so I can only guess at what there intentions are for a final view of the costume.

  5. Dan says:

    I think it’s fine. It looks like Cap, and that’s all we can ask for. He doesn’t have a plastic shield, or a motorcycle helmet, or I’m cool with some of the little details being off.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Dang, I never did a Cap review, did I?! Idiot.

    Short version, I loved it.

    Long version, I really really loved it.

  7. Trekkie says:

    Hm, not bad. It does look more like the comics version, but I do like the loose gloves and pirate boots. Also the little wings aren’t as noticeable now, which makes the helmet/mask look a bit plain. I just hope the movie’s good, too.

  8. Zaheelee says:

    I live near Cleveland (where they are filming the Avengers), and I think it is sooooooo cool that we have this big of a production here! However, I wouldn’t expect too many more photos like this, because they are being very secretive and I have heard that it is almost impossible to get within 2 blocks of the set unless you are an extra. Also, I have never seen so many taxi’s in Cleveland before! They really do go the extra mile to make sure people think that it is New York and not, well… Cleveland.

  9. Zaheelee says:

    Oh, and I like Caps gloves and boots. They just seem like something a modern superhero would wear.

  10. borntobealoser says:

    I know there is going to be several very good and obvious answers to this question, but what is wrong with the outfit used in the First Avenger? I mean, that was really cool, I thought it was quite cleverly made. It looked more sensible, like it could offer some protection. Don’t get me wrong, the photos above look pretty darn good, but the First Avenger proved that Cap is bad-ass, I think it’s only right that he should wear a costume as equally bad-ass.

  11. ams says:

    In my opinion, I think we have to look at it up against the other characters (Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury) Cap’s costume in this film is very clean and streamlined. It contrasts against the darker costumes of the other heroes from what I’ve seen on the net.

  12. Patriot_Missile says:

    I agree that the First Avenger Cap costume looked like a bodysuit version of a flak-jacket. Then again, Stark Tech can make that smaller, lighter, and the comm gear inside that, um, headbutts-only helm thing. The pouches better get computer colored because it’s a distracting thing unless they’re red. And he’d better reach into one for a Power Bar or something… The boots seem purely designed for patenting purposes. And the small star may have been an idea to make his chest look bigger (such as it is), but it just doesn’t shout “Star-Spangled Sentinel of American Patriotism” to me. But what’s up with the upper thigh zippers?

    I’m just happy a live-action Avengers film is being made.

  13. Michael says:

    I think the ears sticking out look stupid so I approve of them changing that. I agree with you on the silver shoulder straps.

  14. Myro says:

    The shoulder stripes (and in the bottom picture, it looks like stripes on the shoulder pads) look horrible. And I’ve never been a fan of the mask portion of the helmet, even in the first movie. Yes, it’s supposed to look like in the comic, but in real life, it looks goofy. The painted on wings look cheap, if the helmet had the wing detail in raised bas-relief it would have given the helmet more detail. I mean, there is raised detail on his chest star, for purely aesthetic reasons I would approve doing the same to the helmet wings. I’m undecided on the ears sticking out.

    And, as impractical as they might be, I miss the floppy-topped pirate boots.

    I’m not calling this an ultimately bad costume per-say. But the designers dropped the ball on making this a good one.

  15. Worf says:

    Ok, quick go from bottom to top:
    Boots: very good. A little evocative of the Iron Man armor. (but as I’d guess, Tony helped with it….) Even the “sneaker” sole looks right.
    Pants: good.
    Belt: the shape is good. Looks realistic. The color is amazingly bad. It get’s totally lost in the pants. Should be brown.
    Gloves: very good. Same as boots.
    Torso: Abdominal area: I wish the divider was straight like in the comics. I can’t put my finger on it but something about that curved division doesn’t sit right with me.
    Upper torso: Not a fan of either the silver stripe OR that gray part on the inside arm. Wish there was more of a texture on the top (like the original scale mail) and that the sleeves were white.
    Helmet: Looks a little too much “vacuformed”. Like someone shaved his head and stuck it into a blue paintcan. Heres an example of a better helmet:

    There, I’ve said my piece.

  16. Danny Beaty says:

    What are those silver things on his shoulders, does he dare people to knock them off?

  17. Jeff Hebert says:

    Like I said, my hope is that the silver shoulder bits are actually slits in the shoulder pads, allowing the “white” undershirt to show through. If they’re just surface elements, though … blech.

  18. Jessica says:

    Wow! I love this costume! I do agree that the wings on the helmet would have been better if they were raised a bit but other than that, I love it. The boots have a really modern feel to it and the “smoking jacket” look is definitely a plus. I do think that the belt pouches could have been a different color but I love the stripes on his shoulders. Makes me think of a soldier’s stripes. Overall, I’d say this is gonna be a good look for him.

  19. LeftyFPB says:

    I like the costume. The boots seem much more functional than the pirate boots, and the pants should have more room for mobility when running. I’ve never been a big fan of the brief look. I was a competitive swimmer in the 80s, before the newer bodysuits came out. We all wore Speedos (sorry for that image). Speedos were fine for the limited range of motion your legs moved through while kicking. But the few times I ran or biked while wearing one were very uncomfortable.

  20. Dan says:

    Look at it this way guys, if all we really can say is we don’t like little cosmetic things about the costume, like the silver stripes or the ears, I’d say it’s a pretty damn good job. It’s not black rubber or leather, they kept pretty much all of the classic elements, and hey, at least he doesn’t have visible toes.

  21. punkjay says:

    I liked the boots and the star was a good size. I think for live action the big star we all know and love on his chest would bend funny and look stupid. I do not like the mask, it is too bulky. I think a blue leather mask would have looked more like the original. Ilike the fact they painted in the wings and not attempted to attach wings to the mask wich would, in live action, flop around in an undignified manner. The only other thing is I would have used a lighter blue, more like the original costume, but over all I think they did a great job!

  22. knight1192a says:

    “Buddy John Hartwell had a good idea when I was discussing it with him, that maybe making the wings more rectangular in shape and putting them on a slight bulge in the helmet, at the depth of maybe half a pack of cigarettes, would look good. It would give the helmet some dimensionality, and could plausibly serve as the housing for some sort of communication gear”

    I was just thinking along the lines of communications gear. I was thinking have the wings stick out a little so as to act like minature antenna and maybe some sort of controls. Not a lot, maybe an eighth to a quarter of an inch. Give ’em a purpose so you look at them and think there just for decoration then you find out they have a function to ’em.

  23. Timespike says:

    They should just keep his WWII combat uniform costume. That looked PLENTY cool, and wouldn’t look out of place among other superheroes.

  24. Steve M. says:

    I like the look, except for the close-ear portions of the helmet. It throws me off for some reason. I’m sorry to say this, Jeff, but those silver portions on his shoulders look like they’re on the surface, and not showing a tunic or anything underneath. I did get to thinking that they may be a variation on the vents you see on the back of motorcycle jackets and racing suits. As for why they would extend all the way forward, it may be due to Cap’s fighting style, that he’d need the flexibility. Don’t rightly know.

  25. Worf says:

    Oh, and let’s all be very thankful for post-production magic these days. If you look at the shield on the last photo you can see by the way the light hits it, that it’s a plastic stand-in. We’ll only get to see the beautiful vibranium one in the movie.

  26. Wulf says:

    He’s still damn skinny. And the silver bar’s a bit odd. Especially considering that a single silver bar is the US Army insignia for a Lieutenant, not a Captain.

  27. Jeff Hebert says:

    That bugs me too, Wulf. If they were going for a military rank slash kind of thing, that totally blows it.

  28. hobbit4hire says:

    OMG that is so gay!!!! Do they only have the budget of 1970’s tv show? It’s worse than the nipples on the bat suit in “Batman and Robin”

  29. hobbit4hire says:

    The zipper on the tunic/smoking jacket ensemble isn’t even lined up with the thick white stripe so it looks like there’s a thin red line then a thin white line then back to the thick red stripe! Seriously disappointed!! And ya what’s with the silver shoulder slashes? A friggin’ Captain America t-shirt and jeans would look better! Good thing Bucky’s not alive to see this, he would give Steve so much crap! His USO stage suit from the movie was better! This one looks like some cheap k-mart halloween costume! Haven’t been this bummed about a super-hero franchise movie since… since… Damn I have never been this bummed about a super hero franchise movie!

  30. Worf says:

    Even worse, if that’s supposed to be reminiscent of military rank, there’s no stripe like that in the US Military. The closest you can get with a stripe like that “V” is upside down, and that would denote a private 2 and that’s a non-commissioned officer. Captain is two vertical stripes and many ranks above that.

  31. DarthDraco says:

    ok this costume is at least 75% better than the one in the first movie. Lets start with the head. Ok I hear all of you who think that the spay painted wings are good. Have you never seen a Captain America comic? The wings need to be put on the mask. Yes mask, the helmet is to bulky if you ask me. Wow I said those things about it in the first movie. Now for the upper torso. Where are the scales? Ok ok before you all start yelling yes I know that Cap hasn’t always had them, but he mostly has. The star is way to small. and the zipper in the red stripe, Well lets just say thank God for CGI. Moving down, the belt needs to be a different color baddly. Now to the legs. What is up with the zippers on the legs? Is that so they don’t rip when he gets angry? Oh sorry wrong guy. I don’t think they need to be there. As for colors The only thing I see wrong here is all the silver in the costume. Cap as far as I can remember has never had silver in his costume. I noticed it in his sheild in the first one and didn’t like it and the have carried it over and added to it in this one. The sheild should be Red, White, and Blue not Red, Silver, and Blue. as for the colors being to dark. I don’t see it. I do remember a time when the bottom half of his costume was black. Now you see I haven’t said anything about the glove or the boots. This is because I have never liked them in the first place. Where in American lore has anyone worn Pirate boots? That’s right never. so the only thing I really like (and I think the comics should fallow suit) are the gloves and boots. They are more what you would think of on a super hero.

  32. jewperhero says:

    I agree with many of your points. I don’t know what the silver things are. Here’s some possibilities: it’s a less padded area of the costume to allow for easier arm movement or it could just be where the torso-armor ends and the arm padding begins. I don’t mind them: since they left the arms mostly blue, they needed some more silver/white on the costume to break it up a little, and balance out the colors. Without the silver things, i think the suit would look too plain. I also agree about the star and the belts. I don’t mind the helmet. If you look at the first shot, it looks like it may have some of the detailing you were talking about. I don’t mind the wings, but I kinda wish they were straight not slanted. I don’t have a problem with the leg zippers, although I wonder what he’d put in them. He would put things like a gun or knife in his belt, not thigh zippers, because it’d look weird with the bulge. So I don’t know why he needs the zippers, but I don’t mind them. Overall, I like it. I kind of wish he had stars on his shoulders too, a la Ultimate/ Bucky cap