16 Incredibly Impractical Superhero Costumes

By Rob Bricken in Comics, Daily Lists
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 8:00 am
8) Cyclone
Listen, we love you Cyclone. Your adorable personality and youthful exuberance really brings a smile to our otherwise constantly scowling face every time you grace the page. We even understand that as a theater geek you drew your influence from the play "Wicked" and want to show the world your own unique style, but, seriously -- if you have wind powers, wearing a skirt is a horrible idea. And frankly, we're not at all certain you're even wearing underwear.

7) Stryfe
Stryfe apparently lost some brain cells during the cloning process because that metal armor of his, complete with pointless spikes, even more pointless face blades and an apparently totally necessary cape, spits in the face of all things practical. What purpose do the spikes serve? Located solely on his shoulder and thighs, they provide no offensive capabilities -- unless he tackles everyone shoulder first or, well, we're not sure how he'd get someone close enough to his thighs, and frankly, we don't want to know. And lord knows how often that cape must get caught up on those spikes, especially while spinning about during battles. Heck, if the X-Men waited long enough they'd win the fight by default after he ends up wrapped in a cape cocoon crying about his own idiocy.

6) Catwoman's Tail
Throughout her nigh seven-decade long comic career, Selina Kyle switched things up regularly with constant costume changes. While she practically always looks drop dead gorgeous no matter what she wears -- except for when she wore a giant cat's head as a mask and freaked us the fuck out -- every now and then Catwoman decides to embrace her inner furry and throws a cat's tail onto her costume. This cute little addition sort of fit in earlier in her career, back when she acted more like the scheming, mastermind sort. However, the '90s fully established Selina as building hopping, ass-kicking femme fatale. Besides being a serious disadvantage during a fight (yoink! Got your tail!), did it never occur to her that she could easily trip on that thing right before a jump and, you know, fall to her death.

5) Jay Garrick's Hat
Jay Garrick's hat makes his costume look undeniably awesome. However, Mr. Garrick makes the sound barrier his bitch every time he goes out for a jog. A thin aura generally protects the super speedster's skintight costume from disintegrating under friction, which saves him the embarrassment of accidentally showing off his junk. But that shield of shame doesn't extend to headgear like the one the Golden Age Flash wears. Even if it stayed on at first, one stray gust of wind could catch that thing, launching it off his head at 300 miles per hour. God forbid you're in the way when that happens. "What happened to Bob?" "Well, the Flash's hat flew off and freaking decapitated him."

4) Penance
Fittingly, the poster child for the emo scene looks just as ridiculous as the people who dress accordingly with the emo scene. Robbie Baldwin's Penance suit features 612 internal spikes, which constantly slice him open in order for him to activate his powers. But before we even get to the ludicrous nature of that little bit of nonsense, take a look at that mask. Penance wears a completely solid metal faceplate --no eyeholes. How does he see? What keeps him from walking into the nearest wall or allows him to aim when he uses his highly explosive powers? And those spikes constantly puncturing his flesh -- what keeps him from bleeding to death? While it's technically possible he strategically placed those spikes where they wouldn't puncture any vital organs, what ensures the suit not shifting during an intense fight and one of those spikes nicking an artery? He should just stay home and cut himself like the rest of the emo kids.

3) Red Sonja
In comics, female characters tend to gravitate toward the overly sexy as opposed to the practical when it comes to their costumes -- sometimes going so far as to reach the point of complete absurdity. With that, I give you Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a sword and the world's most bugfuck ridiculous set of armor: a chain-mail bikini. Obviously, armoring only your bikini suit area is akin to washing only the passenger side rear window of your car -- why even bother? Furthermore, chain mail pinches. Bikinis cover the most sensitive areas on a human body, the nipples and gentials. If you actually walked around wearing nothing but a chainmail bikini, you would be in more pain than Penance after three steps.

2) Codpiece
Jesus Christ, look at him. If you can't tell what's impractical about this costume, you're either not a guy or don't live in a place we like to call reality. This bazonkers costume traces back to Codpiece's even more bazonkers origin story; basically, when this dude was in high school he asked out a girl who rejected him on the grounds that he wasn't "big enough." Now, she meant his height, but he took it as a blow to his manhood, which drove him crazy because there was no way for her to know that he was a few quarters short of a dollar. This self-conscious attitude continued to haunt him his entire life, to the point where his doctor suggested he get counseling and he took offense to getting his head "shrunk." Instead of investing in an expensive car, he decided to hell with subtlety and went straight for blatant overcompensation. He turned to villainy, created a super-suit complete with a huge gun... and attached said gun to his groin. There is one vulnerable spot on a dude, and this genius didn't just paint a giant fucking target right on it, he forced all superheroes to attack his junk. Not surprisingly, this all ended in the exact way you'd think: a superhero used their dissolving powers on the weapon and melted his dick off. Seriously, this shit is for real. Google it, then go cry and rock yourself to sleep.

1) Supergirl's Underpants
We're happy to report that Supergirl currently wearing biker shorts under her skirt in current DC continuity. Unfortunately, from her return in Superman/Batman until Sterling Gates recently took over the series, Supergirl wore the world's shortest skirt, no bike shorts and thus has essentially been a flying panty shot. If Supergirl was a sexy villainess, it would at least be understandable, but Supergirl is 16-years-old and ostensibly a hero, and heroes don't make other people inadvertently break child pornography laws and inspire thoughts of statutory rape wherever they go. It doesn't matter that some artists tend to over-sexualize superheroines and thus feel free to draw her with the figure of a much older female. The "she didn't look 16" argument doesn't hold up in court and it certainly doesn't hold up here.
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