Fashion isn’t the first thing one thinks about regarding superheroes, but it is what makes them recognizable. Along with a visual representation of their personality, their outfits can provide a practical means of space travel, battle, and concealing their identity. Of course, as with all fashion, some outfits age better than others. Let's take a look back at some of the most cringe-worthy super-suits of the DC Universe.
POWER ARMOR BOOSTER GOLD
History: After breaking away from the Justice League, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and a handful of other heroes formed their own team, called Extreme Justice. The title served as the poster child for '90s excess accentuating an abundance of muscle, chromed-out armor, and way too many pouches. Although it only lasted for 19 issues, Extreme Justice has burned a lasting image into our retinas.
Wardrobe Malfunction: No one in 1994’s Extreme Justice is winning any fashion awards, but one of the worst offenders was Booster Gold’s power armor. Turning the sleek, fame-seeking hero into a metal-clad war machine, Booster Gold looked more like an iron avenger than a man from the future. Created using parts of Skeets, the armor brought Booster back to his old power level and restored his missing arm. Although the power armor protects Booster from head to toe, it leaves his golden locks exposed to the elements of humidity. What the shiny armor lacks in the stealth department, it makes up for with the ability to reflect light into his adversary’s eyes. Hopefully it’s smudge resistant!
History: In Detective Comics #275, the Dynamic Duo encounter the striped Zebra-Man. A machine gave him the powers of -- you guessed it -- magnetism! When Batman gets caught in the crosshairs of the same machine, he gets the power to repel solid matter, taking the form of Zebra-Batman!
Wardrobe Malfunction: Let’s ignore the fact that the machine completely changed what his costume looked like and focus on the weird Zebra pattern that a magnetic machine makes. This suit has the exact opposite purpose of Batman’s regular suit. It sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of Gotham City. Repelling everything in sight is also not an ideal situation for any type of clothing. The yellow utility belt over the zebra costume is most definitely a fashion faux pas as well.
GUY GARDNER: WARRIOR
History: In the '90s, Guy Gardner decided to reinvent himself with a new image and a new name, Warrior. Trading in his power ring for tribal tattoos, Guy discovered that he was a descendant of an ancient race of warriors known as the Vuldarians.
Wardrobe Malfunction: With the ability to form weapons and armor from his body, Guy doesn’t need much armor, but it wouldn’t kill him to put on a shirt. The tribal tattoos mimic old war paint, but nothing about him says “Guy Gardner.” He looks like a whole new, generically 90's character. Eventually, he put his blunder years behind him and rejoined the Green Lantern Corps. Green is definitely a better color on him.
History: After losing her title of Wonder Woman to Artemis during a contest, Diana was relegated to wearing her street clothes. Her biker outfit debuted in 1994’s Wonder Woman #93 when she decided to fight crime as Diana. A PR team touted Artemis as the new Wonder Woman who would succeed where Diana had failed, but the Justice League still only wanted Diana.
Wardrobe Malfunction: Ditching her Amazonian armor for hotpants and a leather jacket, Diana looked more like Xena goes to the city than Wonder Woman. Despite looking like a Street Fighter character, Diana still fought with honor alongside the Justice league. The new outfit didn’t serve any purpose other than being radically different looking. At least her Amazonian armor was infused with magic! Soon Wonder Woman took back her mantle and her wardrobe, hanging up her buckled biker shorts for good.
History: In 1985’s Detective Comics #554, Black Canary ditched her leather jacket and fishnets for cuffed boots and baggy sleeves. This was of course after the original Black Canary’s (Dinah’s mother) memories were implanted into her body. Talk about a Freaky Friday!
Wardrobe Malfunction: If history has taught us anything, it’s that 80s fashion was not kind to anyone. The baggy sleeves weren’t doing her any favors, especially when engaging in fisticuffs, especially with awkward birdwings that would inhibit Dinah's martial arts mastery. Want to redesign a character? Put a bird on it! Her flashdance pirate look quickly fled but not after she burned it on the cover of Action Comics #609.