?Last Thursday, DC ditched Wonder Woman’s traditional outfit for a new look that was only somewhat woman-y, and not particularly wonderful. The design’s biggest problem is undoubtedly the jacket. Once nearly as ubiquitous on superheroes as pouches, most jackets were tossed in whatever the Marvel and DC equivalent of the Salvation Army donation bin is by the end of the ’90s. This was okay with just about everybody.
Not to say all jackets look crappy. But not every comic book hero can be Hellboy, and by that, we mean, not everyone can rock a jacket well, especially in 2010l. It’s not an easy look to pull off. Wonder Woman’s new Jim Lee-designed costume may be a swell form-following-function look, but that jacket… well, the jacket looks like it came from that same Salvation Army bin mentioned above (she probably got a helluva deal on it, though). At any rate, we figured it’s a good a time as any to take a walk down comics memory lane and call out the worst jacket costumes in comics. We guarantee, it gets much worse than Wonder Woman’s. Much.
?Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge fans of Garth Ennis’s bullet-ridden masterpiece Hitman, but damn that’s an ugly jacket good ol’ Tommy Monaghan wears throughout this series from the mid-to-late ’90s. John McCrea did his best to draw the hell out of it, but it’s still a big, brightish green jacket with those weird metal clips on the popped collar. Plus it bears an uncanny resemblance to another cool killer’s duds: Grifter from WildCats.
9) Alex Elder
?This star of the Image/WildStorm/Cliffhanger/DC vampire book called Crimson got couched with a generally terrible wardrobe early on in his series. Not only was he forced to fit into every vampy goth stereotype by wearing bondage gear, but the best he could find to cover himself up with was a thin trenchcoat with short sleeves. It wasn’t a good look for Static, it’s not a good look for you, dude.
?Superboy’s costume seemed so cool at the time. Leather jacket! Belts! Circle shades! Then again, many of us were 9 at the time and such things didn’t seem ridiculous. Now, well, times have changed. That hasn’t stopped this costume from returning in the form of a DC Universe Classics figure from Mattel though. Apparently it still has its fans.
7) Invisible Woman
?More derided for the 4-hole cut out to reveal her cleavage, this costume of Sue Storm’s has been the target of ridicule since it first appeared in 1993. On the contrary, we dislike the soon-ditched jacket because it covers up the goods!
6) Mr. Terrific
?Whether you’re talking about the Golden Age version with the bell-shaped “Fair Play” slogan on the green jacket or the current one with the words running down the arm and his name on the back, neither is a particularly good look for either man, which is too bad because they’re both pretty badass heroes.
5) The ’90s Avengers Team Jacket
?It’s no secret that adding a jacket to a costume was the thing to do in the ’90s, whether it looked good or not. Just look at the Avengers in the ’90s, when everyone from Black Knight to Crystal to Black Widow to Sersi started sporting khaki-colored jackets with the Avengers “A” logo on it. Really? Putting a slinky spy in a jacket just doesn’t seem all that functional, not to mention a goddess, a modern knight or Inhuman.
4) Diana Prince
?Hey, look, it’s a Wonder Woman costume that’s worse than the new one! Yeah, lots of people have already called this one out, but the black jacket with the weird bra-shirt-thing and the biker shorts is just too much. To be fair, Wonder Girl’s original costume was so much worse, but it doesn’t make the list because she wore a vest. Along with goggles, bicycle shorts and a black wig, making herself the only teen hero who looks more awkward in her gear and not because it’s riding up in all the wrong places.
?We can picture the ’90s X-summit that spawned this one. Editor: “Kitty Pryde’s getting kind of old, we need someone younger for Wolverine to look out for.” Writer: “How about a teenager with huge earrings who shoots mostly useless fireworks and wears a bright yellow trenchcoat all the time?” Editor: “Make it happen!” Either that or some drunken escapades led to Jubilation Lee’s design and no one wanted to admit they were wrong. Or take her out of the cartoon.
2) The Beyonder
?You’d think with so many fashion crimes being committed in the ’80s, what with the rolled up sleeves and the shoulder pads and all, that there would be more bad jacket costumes from the time period, but comics must have been behind the times. Except for the Beyonder, of course, who used his reality-warping powers to give himself a Jheri curl, a popped white collar jacket and matching white pants which he TUCKED INTO HIS BOOTS. Which were also white! Even an entity with the power of a god can’t make that look anything other than ridiculous.
1) The Justice League Task Force Jacket
?After shying away from the pretty fantastic concept of picking specific heroes for specific missions, the Justice League Task Force morphed into yet another team book with a bunch of also-rans like the Ray, Gypsie and Mystek (who?) led by Martian Manhunter. But that’s not all; they also would up with red and yellow costumes partially covered by yellow and black jackets. With stripes. And shoulder pads!