The Top 10 Superhero Not-Costumes

Superheroes and villains have been known to dress a little garish. This is not a new thing. Ever since Superman’s mom thought he’d look SO CUTE in the little red boots and cape, it’s been the norm.
But some people just have to be different. Some people throw together some crap they had laying in their closet and call it a crime fighting outfit. And in the immortal words of Tim Gunn (himself no stranger to donning a battle suit to kick some ass): They make it work.

Gather ’round and assemble everyone!
So to honor these fashion mavericks, I present
“The Top 10 Superhero Not-Costumes”.
Because modern is the new post-modern.

10) The Captain(Nextwave)
Everyone in Nextwave has that same sweet jacket, but all wear their normal costumes underneath. The Captain (just, “The Captain”) didn’t really have one beforehand.
He’s not really very good at this superhero thing to be honest. He’s made his peace just donning a pair of cammo pants and a shirt with a star on it.
What does the star represent? America? The space aliens that gave him his powers? His sense of self worth? Nah. Ultimately, it just seems to represent his lack of imagination. But say it to his face and he’ll kick your head through a toilet.

9) The Runaways

As a group of people NOT wearing individual logos on their chests, it’s pretty easy to tell the Runaways apart.
Original series artist Adrian Alphona smartly created a super-distinct fashion sense for each character. Nico’s homemade goth attire,Victor’s big honkin’ headphones, and Molly’s collection of silly hats made them all instantly recognizable. Even if just one of them showed up in another book, you’d still know who they were by sight alone! And considering the amount of artists content to draw all civilians in a blank shirt and jeans, this is really saying something.

8) Sailor Moon
Okay, she has something of a costume. Some fancy boots, jewels, a nice tiara, all that razzmatazz. But that’s all it is. Sailor Moon changes into a costume in so much as me ripping my sleeves off and putting on a new hat would be considered a “costume”. A slightly skankier version of her normal school uniform is hardly an Ultraman level change up. But it’s that whole over elaborate transformation that’s the key. It’s classic misdirection. She’s a damn magician.

You’re over here like “Holy crap magic and sparkles and wonder!”and then once it’s done you’re amazed, but she didn’t do anything! Just hiked up her skirt and called it good.

7) Luke Cage (Avengers)
Cage has been minus one costume for some time now, but let’s face it, even when he had one, it wasn’t much of a “costume”. The disco shirt and tiara (again with the tiara…) were really just there to lure you into a false sense of security before he inserted his fist into your spleen.
In recent years, he’s moved into the “t-shirt and decorative belt” thing. Looks like he’s got some sweet gloves now to boot. Still not much of a costume, but are YOU going to tell him any different?


“Sweet Christmas! I’m late for Soultrain!”
6) Superboy (Teen Titans)
Of all the individuals on this list, Superboy is probably the most defiant in his lack of a costume. He’s Superman’s clone, and still he says to hell with the cape! How dare he!? To be fair, Superboy came on the scene in a time not known for fantastic costumes. To be fair, his original look was kind of just a lame Starman, but with tighter pants and minus the irony.

Not surprised he was soured on the whole idea. Now it’s just a t-shirt and jeans. Minimalism is the new jacket on spandex. Thankfully…

5) Araña (Young Allies)
You could probably call Araña “Girl Spider-man”, but that would be mean, and untrue, and also contradictory now that I think of it. Peter Parker sat in his room and sewed himself some tights so he could go on TV. Anya Corazon had a huge secret corporation to make a costume for her, but she still said screw it. Just threw on a t-shirt, a backpack, and some goggles. Done! Maybe I’m a minority in this, but I’m a fan. And with Young Allies on the horizon, I’m sure we’ll see lots more of….


4) Zatanna (JLA)
Okay. So Zatanna does wear a costume. The thing is, it’s not a superhero costume, it’s a magician’s costume. And it’s not like some clever visual gag she has going on, she actually works as a stage magician! It’s her day job. That’s what she wears!
It’s essentially the same as some chick getting off her shift at Burger King and fighting crime in her BK hat and shirt. Not having time to change after work doesn’t count as a costume.
But it does count as HOT. So there’s that.


“Hi, welcome to the Watchtower, may I take your Crisis?”
3) Amadeus Cho (Incredible Hercules)
Now this is a man who knows how to wear what he got. He previously ran about in his green hoodie, most recognizable for the coyote pup sticking out of it. His costume was a dog strapped to his chest! Adorable!
But the boy became a man, and the man because accustomed to expensive suits. That’s100% Tibetan Alpaca son. Not everyone can pull off a yellow tie, but he DOES IT. He’s smarter than you, and he’ll make damn sure you know it just by looking at him.

2) Starman (Jack Knight)
Jack Knight pretty much solidified this whole idea, so he’s gotta be up there. He didn’t even want to be a superhero at all! He eventually gave in to the whole idea but
HEY DAD! I’m not wearing your smelly leotard, okay!?
So what does the guy have? Well, he’s got a fly-ass leather jacket with cool crap on the back. He’s got some sweet goggles he found laying around. (Goggles again, I know, right?) And he’s got a little plastic sheriff star,

1) Casey Jones (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Now we come to the ultimate. The alpha and omega of the rack getups. Casey Jones is the complete personification of this whole idea. His costume entirely consists of some sweats and a Jason Voorhees mask he must have had leftover from last Halloween.
Casey is what you get if you took Batman and took away his money, and allies, and skills…. and common sense. But what puts him over the top is the fact that the concept extends to his arsenal as well as his outfit. He doesn’t have a grappling hook or Batarangs. He has a bag full of sports equipment he hauled out of his closet.

So for being the greatest of all the superheroes more interested in punching people than in having a matching ensemble, I salute you Casey.

Purse grabbing pukes indeed.

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