Saturday, April 26, 2014

Super-Villain Swag

Doug: It's been quite awhile since we talked longjohn fashion around here, so today -- that's what's happening! We'll focus on the evil baddies that attempt to corrupt society with their general nastiness. I'm going to put forth a couple of goons whose look I dig, and then hopefully you'll follow up with some "likes" of your own.

Doug: First up -- Tiger Shark. I've always liked Todd Arliss's get-up. Seriously -- if you want to scream "I am supposed to menace you while dressed as a large aquatic killing machine!", then this is the look you'd like to do that screaming in. I've pictured Mr. Arliss on my favorite cover that bears his toothy grin; there are others, but I bought this one off the spinner racks, so it's especially loveable in my opinion (plus Namorita...).

Doug: The other nasty whose threads are seriously cool (yet with a dopiness all their own) is Bullseye. I think if I was going to make one improvement, I might remove the concentric circles from around the assassin's neck. Other than that, though, the sleek black and the offsetting white of the gloves and boots make this one a winner for me. Hmmm... Now that I see those covers side-by-side, it's interesting how similar they are. And no, don't read anything into that...

Doug: Your turn!


Humanbelly said...

"The early 80's are on the phone, and they want their hair-styling MAINSTAY back-!"

Do youngsters today even use blow-dryers anymore? Totally gave me a chuckle to see Natasha being imperiled by one. . .

As to the question, MYSTERIO always is at the top of the "cool villain duds" outfit for me. Even though he's a rather lame foe when you get down to it, that completely off-the-wall, unconventional, who'd-ever-think-of-it? costume is always about two steps above any other contender, IMHO. The fishbowl dome, the coach-lamp gauntlets, the ginormous cape, the green & purple color scheme--- it just hits me where I live-! Note that, although the identity's been carried by three or more individuals over the past 50 years, the costume itself has remained very consistently recognizable in spite of efforts to re-vamp the character.


Anonymous said...

I hate myself even as I type this, being the die-hard Marvel Zombie that I profess to be, but dagnabbit, if the Joker didn't just have the coolest getup around. And while I'm on the DC train, Catwoman. I know, she was more anti-hero than villain but a naked lady painted purple with black thigh highs just beats the band till the cows get home. Hey, and the Joker's purple too. Oh good, here's my stop.

Back in Marvel-land, DOOM has a look that's just classic. And what's Juggernaut without his big helmet. Sabertooth is right up there. And the Shocker in his padded pajamas. You just had to love him all the while saying "Bless his heart". Can we include Malice?

The Prowler (if asleep is a look, he's got it).

HB, as the father of two daughters, 20 & 16, the hair dryer is still being used. Boy howdy, and how!!!

William said...

Doug, I dig Bulleye's look as well. But if you take the circles off his shoulders, then he's just wearing a black suit with white boots and gloves. I think that part of his costume design is pretty original and looks cool. At least they didn't just put a big target graphic on his chest.

As for other super villain looks that I really like, I'd have to go with Tarantula. I always thought he had one of the snazziest costumes of any of Spidey's villains. His look is almost like an anti-Spider-Man. If they had given him some decent super powers, he could have made a cool arch-nemesis for the old web-head.

And although he doesn't wear a costume, I always thought Ultron had a really cool and menacing design.

Rip Jagger said...

Tiger Shark is a fave. I was reading Subby when Tiger Shark debuted and he was a striking figure from the start. Sometimes the artists get it right immediately. Those are the costumes which never hardly change, and Tiger Shark is in that camp for sure.

I'd add a few to the list. Captain Cold of Flash's Rogues gang has always looked very nice to me. His costume can be presented a bit too precious, but it's incredibly distinctive and almost always very handsome. Recent changes haven't been for the better. Carmine Infantino doubtless designed him.

A Spidey villain who is a lightweight save for his look is The Shocker. His powers are vague, an Electo wannabe, but his quilted costume is fantastic and it too has never changed that I know of. I'd say John Romita is responsible that one.

Jim Steranko's original Scorpio is a handsome villain too. The costume changed with his second outing, but I've always been partial to the original hooded look.

Rip Off

david_b said...

Hard to distinquish costumes and just how villains are created. Annihilus has a great classic look, as does Doom. Speaking of extravagant headgear you can't do much better than Hela or Big G, ah thank you Mr. Kirby.

Many a villain relies way too much on the fancy headgear.. Great example is Unicorn. Great Silver IM villain, but without the noggin cradle, not much to see there..

HB, nice comments on the covers.., I remember Gregory House exclaiming that at his buddy Wilson on 'House'. 'Who uses hair dryers anymore..??'

You mean, telephones had cords..?

Anonymous said...

If I could just remember the things I forget I'd never forget the things I wanted to remember.

Two words: Lo-Ki!!! Now that's a look.

The Prowler (I forgot to type that earlier).

Pat Henry said...

Dormammu. Classic.

All interdimensional tyrants should have a head wreathed in flame

Teresa said...

Porcupine. There was a trimmed down design later. Still awful.

The absolute worst villain costume is the Invisible Woman "4" Boob Window.

Humanbelly said...

As an off-shoot thought-- has anyone else noticed HOW MANY major villains choose green as their go-to central color? It's almost a visual short-hand for "Bad Guy". I actually noticed it when playing Ultimate Alliance (maybe it was UA 2?) a few years ago-- there's a cut-scene where the major baddie head-honchos are convening-- let's see if I can recall the cast:

Dr. Doom (green cape)
Baron...Mordo, is it?
Mandarin, I think.
. . .aaaaand Ultron (token shiny metal member).
And there may have been a couple of others.

Spidey's classic rogues gallery?
Doc Ock (usually a doofy green jumpsuit)
Green Goblin
Mysterio (Green & Purple)
Sandman (that polo shirt was usually green, right?)

Good grief!

And green's my favorite color!

(PS- Prowler. . . You GOTTA tell me that it gets better soon! HBGirl is 15-1/2, and it's like an extended Katie Kaboom short from the old Animaniacs cartoon! Am I at least APPROACHING a point where I might actually once ever please be RIGHT about even some tiny, inconsequential, factoid or opinion or issue or decision EVER again???? Oh please assure me there's a light ahead somewhere-!)


Anonymous said...

Yes, HB, there is a light ahead most certainly. The headlights of a vehicle driven by an 18 year old. He'll be dreamy. And polite. And just oh so. And your world will never be the same again.

The Prowler ( ).

Doug said...

I always thought Power Man looked as bad as Swordsman did good.

Kang's look is awesome.

HB, my wife uses a blowdryer, and it may be some dude like my sons who shows up someday.


Humanbelly said...

Okay-- you guys are talking me down pretty well. Thanks much.
(I'm actually not too worried about her regarding the approaching boys in her life-- she does have an EXTREMELY solid self-image, and her taste in guys at the moment runs VERY hipster/cool-geek. No leather-clad bikers on the horizon as far as I can tell. . . )

I did want to point out The Sentinels as an example of a classic design that has really stood the test of time. They were so unconventional when first created-- lots of round, heavy, smooth curves. . . very non-mechanical looking for that time. And although they've been tweaked-- they are always completely recognizable as being basically the same units. Well, except for that Nimrod model from the future, which was confusing and conceptually weak.

There are so many forgettable "least" favorites out there-- but I think a once-major player that never looked less than stupid to me was Apocalypse. His outfit seemed to have little to do with his vague powers (shapeshifting, I think?), and the whole unexplained gear on his bottom lip (and eyes?) made it impossible to take him seriously. How do you tremble before a foe who's wearing his night-wire dental retainer all the time?


Anonymous said...

I'll go for the unoriginal choices here -

1)Doc Doom in his medieval-looking armour. His grey armour contrasted with the green hood, tunic and cape is classic and has stood the test of time. Still the best baddie outfit out there.

2) Magneto - great costume with the most distinctive helmet in all of Marveldom (OK, Loki and Galactus get honourable nods here).

3) Was gonna mention Porcupine here but Teresa beat me to it! The original bulky quilled costume is the best version.

4) Nearly all of Spidey's rogues' gallery - Kraven, the Vulture, Rhino, Shocker, the Scorpion, Molten Man, the Jackal, Tarantula and any other type of beast from the animal kingdom that I might have missed out!

5) For the D-list villains out there, there's only one name that comes to mind - Leapfrog! Stan thought a guy dressed up as a human sized Kermit the frog with springs in his flippers was gonna strike fear in Daredevil?

- Mike 'I ain't no fashion plate' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Sorrow. Brrr
Black Manta, too. That big helmet of his is creepy as heck!

Humanbelly said...

Ooo-- Johnny Sorrow, GOOD call on that one!


Goldenrulecomics said...

Bullseye's costume works very well, especially since it is similar in some ways to Daredevil's (not in color but in sleekness at least). As for Tiger Shark, I've always had a soft spot for the costumes that don't use the popular colors like blue and red. His color scheme is unusual enough that he really stands out!

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