6 Best and 6 Worst Male Superhero Halloween Costumes

We are living in a golden age of dressing up as a superhero for Halloween. The success of the superhero film industry has made them the #1 choice for any Halloween party-goer or trick-or-treater. Heck, The Dark Knight alone had to have raised the Joker costume quotient by 2,000%! And I would hope to see a ton of Avengers costumes this year.

Exactly right

I did a List of Six last year about the best and worst female superhero costumes, and it’s been a pretty popular list this fall. So I decided to revisit the idea and do a list of the best and worst male superhero costumes. Being the nerd that I am, the list is based on two things: costume quality and accuracy. This isn’t about the most popular costumes. The girls’ list was also judged on sluttiness, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for men. Superheroes should be an obvious Halloween costume, because the heroes are wearing costumes themselves. So one would think that designing a Halloween costume should involve just recreating the superhero’s costume as accurately as possible.

Apparently not. But sometimes they get it right. All of these costumes were found online available for sale.


6. Batman

Make no mistake, there are crappy Batman costumes out there, but the success of the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy has led to some quality costumes. Take the above outfit, which does a fine job molding the black into a nice approximation of Batman’s costume. The mask is also pretty top notch, though it almost looks more based on the comics than the movie. And it looks a little lumpy. The old Tim Burton Batman cowl, completely sculpted out of leather, was often a popular Halloween choice, but it was too stiff and too obvious. This costume at least has its own style. High marks as well for the real gloves. Too often, these superhero costumes stop at the wrists or ankles, and it looks absolutely ridiculous on superheroes. Why give Spider-Man bare hands? So kudos to this costume for making accurate Batman gloves, along with a pretty kickass cape.


5. Captain America

Surprisingly, there are a lot of really good Avengers costumes. Even Iron Man has some great costumes, at least as far as using fabric and plastic to recreate his armor. And the Hulk doesn’t look half bad with the green muscle suits. But the best of the bunch is Captain America, in my opinion, with costumes based on both his old-timey look from the first film to his more modern Avengers style. Both of these costumes are based on The Avengers, and both are full-bodied with snazzy masks. The lack of boots and gloves annoys me, but the one on the left clearly makes up for it with some cool boot covers and the obvious inclusion of your own red gloves and boots. I especially like the work they did with the torso on both. It doesn’t look like they just painted the costume onto the fabric. Both of those torsos actually look layered and pieced together, like the actual costumes. And you can’t go wrong with Cap’s shield as an accessory. I tried one out at my local Halloween store the other day, and it was solid enough to wield, but not so heavy or cumbersome as to get in the way.


4. Kickass

Considering Kickass’ costume is supposed to be something that a high school kid threw together, it probably wasn’t hard to duplicate. And whereas a slipshod effort to a Batman or Superman costume might look terrible, it actually works for Kickass. The character himself isn’t perfect, so this costume has that nice, amateur feel to it. The boots are a nice touch, though I bet the wearer has to provide them on their own. Shouldn’t be too hard to pick up a pair at the shoe store. The Kickass costume is also spared the apparent need to add a muscle suit to every superhero costume. Big, foamy, padded muscules are on everyone from Superman to Spider-Man, even when they don’t need it. The overly muscled Spider-Man costumes almost made this list. Kickass, fortunately, was just a punk kid without any muscles, and the costume absolutely nails it.


3. Punisher

That is an amazing Punisher costume. Hands down, that is probably the most well-put together and accurate costume on this list. It’s also the prettiest. Even with the fake muscles, it works. I especially like the teeth on the skull connected to the belt, exactly how they were in the comics in the 90s. This is Punisher’s old ‘superhero’ outfit, but let’s not hold that against the costume. The bright white gloves and boots would definitely work on Halloween, when you don’t need to take yourself too seriously. I especially approve of the fact that they actually gave him full white gloves and boots. Personally, I’m partial to the modern Punisher, but all that would require would be a normal Punisher T-shirt, black pants and a big, badass black duster on top. But to each their own.


2. Hellboy

His movie franchise may have ended four years ago, but somebody still cares enough about Hellboy to make an awesome costume! Just look at those head accessories, and that Right Hand of Doom! Just carrying that fist around on Halloween has got to be a lot of fun – though you’d probably have to use your left hand for everything. They even gave him a great coat in the name of accuracy. That is just one well-put-together costume, thankfully not relying too much on a full face mask. At least I’m pretty sure that’s not a full face mask. One shouldn’t be too afraid to apply face paint in the name of a great Hellboy costume. Ron Perlman went through much worse to play the character in the movie.  Though he also had an entire puppeteer team to operate his Right Hand of Doom. Lucky bastard. On the bright side, though, I bet it could be hollowed out and used to store candy.


1. X-Men: First Class

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. That Cyclops costume is a work of art. And that Beast mask is possibly the best rubber mask I have ever seen, especially for a licensed character. What’s even more impressive is just how obscure that Cyclops costume really is. While the Beast costume comes from the popular movie X-Men: First Class, that Cyclops costume is taken from the comic book X-Men: First Class, which had absolutely nothing to do with the movie other than the name. By all accounts, the First Class comic was a blip on the overall X-Men radar, lasting only a handful of issues. Yet someone somewhere took that comic and sculpted the finest superhero costume I could find. It’s full bodied, complete with appropriate boots and gloves. The material looks shiny and eye-popping, with a brilliant yellow chest piece. The muscles actually work for this costume. And the visor, man, that is an amazing mask and visor. That costume is perfect.

Beast is a little less so, but not by much. The costume commits the sin of stopping at the hands and feet, but then you remember that’s how Beast actually wore his costume! His mutant agility power included larger hands and feet, so he often wore them bare. All you’d then need to do would be to find some fuzzy blue gloves and boots, or at least some blue fuzz to glue to your own boots and gloves. The torso isn’t as well-made as Cyclops’, but the design still looks great, and the muscles definitely work. The uniform isn’t exactly what he wore in the movie, but it’s close enough. These are two stellar costumes, and if I had the build and the money, I would gladly order that Cyclops suit just to wear on my own time. It’s stunning.

If only all the X-Men were so lucky…


6. Magneto

The worst thing about this costume are the pants. They did pretty OK above the belt, but below it just looks like they gave him an uncomfortable pair of red slacks. And the lack of real boots just kills it, with the model putting on plain black dress shoes instead. Is he headed for a gaudy staff meeting? I said everything above the belt was pretty OK, and by that I mean at least the costume is accurate. He’s got the colors, the helmet and the chest piece, but it all just looks so clumsy and awkward. The helmet is probably rubber, ready to bend out of position. The chest piece is a little too dull and the cape is comically short. This is no fearsome Master of Magnets, this is a color blind guy in an ugly business suit.


5. Ghost Rider

The flames, why did they even bother with the flames? And was that really the best flames they could do? They look like a giant fin on top of his head, though admittedly the skull looks pretty good – until you see the bare neck, utterly ruining the look. But the silly flames aren’t even the worst part. That is an absolutely hideous leather jacket. While the spikes on the arms and the shoulders are a nice touch, could they really think of nothing to put on the front? It’s just blank black leather, and it makes him look like he’s dressed in some kind of gimp tube. Not to mention the same slacks and dress shoes  that Magneto suffered from. Ghost Rider’s ‘costume’ is basically just normal clothes anyway, and a normal leather jacket. But they couldn’t even get that right. Honestly, you should probably just go out as Nicholas Cage. That would be much scarier.


4. Wolverine

So much for all the goodwill built up by the Cyclops and Beast costumes. The most popular character on the X-Men gets the ugliest costume, with a lumpy, uncomfortable looking ensemble, a warped mask and claws so silly that you’d be better off taping plastic silverware to your hands. And don’t get me started on those silly attempts at boots. At the very least, the torso looks well-painted, but then everything else is just falls apart. The muscly arms look incredibly awkward, especially when you consider that Wolverine doesn’t usually wear sleeves in the comics. And God forbid giving him actual gloves with the claws attached, but then that probably looked worse. Cool, accurate Wolverine claws already exist in the world. Just use those. Even the model looks embarrassed and uncomfortable to be wearing this get up. I don’t blame him. One look at this and Wolverine would swear off superhero costumes forever.


3. Green Lantern

One costume based on the movie, one costume based on the comic, and both look ungainly and cumbersome. Was there something the matter with designing an accurate and comfortable torso for the Green Lantern costume? The one on the right looks like he’s pregnant, and the one on the left just looks ugly. No wonder the GL uniform in the movie was completely CGI. All those lights and blended green coloring do not translate well to actual clothing. It especially doesn’t help that the shirt and pants don’t match, let alone are split at the waist. They should have gone with a fully body costume. Not that it worked out so well for the costume on the right. The white cuffs (when it should have been white gloves) just look silly. But at least that costume comes with the actual ring. I can’t even see a ring on the movie costume. Did this costume simply forget the most important part of the entire character!?


2. Deadpool

Oh Deadpool, I bet you would love this horrible attempt at a Halloween costume. You’d probably even wear it as your actual costume for awhile, even with the bare hands and red socking feet. Deadpool, the Merc with a Mouth, has become incredibly popular in recent years, so a Halloween costume makes sense. But they really messed this one up. Let’s start at the top: the mask is just No. It looks pinched in the front, and the eyes make him look like a bewildered chipmunk who just saw Bea Arthur naked. The chest piece looks puffy, and the material is far too shiny and leathery. Plus they make the mistake, it seems, of painting the straps and the belt onto the costume. Would it really be so hard to add that kind of thing second, as an accessory? The lack of gloves is repugnant, and don’t get me started on those socks. A pair of black dress shoes would have been better than red socks. But I suppose it could be worse. They could have made a costume for movie Deadpool…


1. Robin

Never has the mocking phrase ‘Boy Blunder’ been more apt. I realize the intricacies in making a Robin costume look cool in the first place, but these outfits didn’t even try. The one on the left looks like his mom made it, but was too afraid to let her little boy go out with bare arms or bare legs. Why even make the original Robin costume? It looks bad in any form. The one on the right at least tries to be more modern, but it flops just as hard. The belt and the details look like they were drawn on with magic marker, and the green sleeves completely miss the point of everything. And those have got to be the crappiest masks on this entire list, not to mention stupid capes. I understand that I am in the minority with my Robin love, and I know he wasn’t in Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but if you’re going to do such a good job with Batman, at least offer a shred of care when making a Robin costume.

At least now I know I’ll have to start from scratch when I make a Robin cosplay costume someday…

Those are my choices for the best and worst superhero costumes, were there any I’ve missed? Have you seen some absolutely horrendous options out there on the web? And are any of you going out as superheroes for Halloween? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on October 24, 2012, in Avengers, Batman, Comics, DC, Lists of Six!, Marvel, Miscellaneous, Robin and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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