• 102 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by G-Man (18920 posts) - - Show Bio

Do supervillains really need costumes? This is actually a topic I touched on back in November 2010. Most supervillains don't have secret identities. They tend to get captured and carted off to prison. Wearing a costume announces their presence. If they want to rob a bank, walking in with a full costume lets the guards and tellers know what's going on. If their walking down the street, chances are they'll get noticed by a passing superhero (especially in New York City).

I thought it was time to get the thoughts from some of today's nicest comic book writers. As always, these guys don't have any prior prep time. I ask them question after question as the camera is rolling. Check out what they thought about supervillains and costumes.

(You can check out an HD version of this video here).

What do you think? Do you agree with them?

#1 Posted by Dernman (15813 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it depends on the villain and the costume.

Like if the power you have comes from the costume or if your a villain that wants to hide his identity.

Sometimes it's a rep thing.

#2 Posted by PikminMania (4613 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, it makes them look cooler

#3 Posted by moywar700 (2775 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, they do, it

#4 Posted by leokearon (1785 posts) - - Show Bio

It's all to do with the villian wanting to make a name for himself. The more impact the villian has the better. Also sometimes it helps with the modis operandi or powers. For example, would the Scarecrow work as just Dr  Crane, unlikely

#5 Posted by jayk (25 posts) - - Show Bio

costumes make them more visually pleasing and easier for the reader to recognize them. It also helps show the reader who a villain is, rather then telling them, "oh the riddler is a man that tells riddles" you can show the reader his association with them by the outlandish suites covered in question marks along with his question mark cane.

#6 Posted by AmazingFantasy15 (258 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it makes them more threatening because without a costume they look like a normal person but with a costume it identifies them as a supervillain which makes them seem tougher since any supervillain, even not very good ones will automatically be seen as really dangerous because of the reputation supervillains in general have, plus in some cases it hides their identity so its a win-win situation.

#7 Edited by CATPANEXE (9357 posts) - - Show Bio

A lot of villains, especially many of the more infamous ones have become their costume, much as Bruce actually is Batman. The costume separates them from what society expects them to be both externally and internally, example Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Victor/Dr.Doom or Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. One could add it's not unlike LARP or something where the costume helps one to get into character, or draw that person out from where it was hiding behind themselves, their known identity the actual mask, and into static reality. In short, the villain identity is who they actually are now, and the civilian identity a damaged ghost from their own past, the civilian now the costume and the namesake the real person, and probably it always really was that way as the former was who they were told to be and told they were...

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

---

As to why Mandrill wears a costume...to fit in with the other supervillians? I don't know anymore. V_V

#8 Posted by Deadcool (6755 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, if that suit is also useful then there is no problem with it, like Venom's alien suit, Lex Luthor's powersuit, etc.

#9 Posted by funkyfiction (43 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it depends on how much attention they want and how arrogant they are. The more convinced they are that they are going to win, the more attention is put on the suit so that when they defeat the superhero people around will remember that it was them that defeated (insert superhero name here) and then conquered the world. If they looked like some random guy dressed in jeans and t-shirt people wouldn't remember and tremble in fear everytime they saw you.

#10 Posted by howlett76 (59 posts) - - Show Bio

of course they do it allows them to show themselves in their "true"light when their not playing nice like everyone else like as if for example dr zoom would be dr zoom without his reverse flash gig going on...

#11 Posted by Decept-O (7294 posts) - - Show Bio

Monkey gone to heaven.

Anyhoo, any comic book character, villain or hero, without a costume, just isn't as fun!

#12 Posted by Watcherg6 (263 posts) - - Show Bio

No, but tell them that!

LAdy Gaga, Look at some of her Clothes, Brittany Spears, Paris hilton. Trey parker and Matt stone. All these people dress up.

#13 Posted by Eyz (3042 posts) - - Show Bio

Well..the Rogues? Yes! It's all part of their "gimmick". You know, those wannabee who wanna get the Flash to make a rep, prove they can be an annoyance to that costumed hero and all that.

Some Bat-villains, sometimes, I doubt they need the costumes honestly..

#14 Posted by Paracelsus (1280 posts) - - Show Bio

Sure, why not- what are super villains expected to do, wear ski masks like muggers or bank robbers?

Terry

#15 Posted by ppetrov83 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Ever watched "Megamind"?

"The difference between villain and super-villain is the presentation!"

#16 Posted by Inverno (13292 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes they do.

#17 Posted by Deranged Midget (17974 posts) - - Show Bio

@ppetrov83 said:

Ever watched "Megamind"?

"The difference between villain and super-villain is the presentation!"

Lol!

Moderator
#18 Posted by Shotgun (900 posts) - - Show Bio

Lex Luthor works the 'no-costume' thing pretty well.

#19 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

They need Mask but whether or not they need costumes varies

#20 Posted by Grandmaster_Fro (44 posts) - - Show Bio

Supervillains should. The right costume can inspire fear and display an attitude that they want to make known. But there are others who don't need a costume. Lex Luthor, Kingpin, and the Penguin, to name a few, makes the no costume look work.

#21 Posted by Lurkero (238 posts) - - Show Bio

If you are going to be a "super" villain you need a "super" presence. A costume doesn't have to be a full outfit, but it certainly needs to distinguish the super villain from the typical bad guy. Even something like a bright red scarf could help.

#22 Posted by Joe Venom (1275 posts) - - Show Bio

Palmiotti nails it again! lol most movie villains/terrorist take advantage of looking like your average Joe, so why wear a costume unless you plan on pleading temporary insanity when you get caught!

#23 Posted by Superguy1591 (3965 posts) - - Show Bio

No.

Online
#24 Posted by LordRequiem (1323 posts) - - Show Bio

I think a lot of it is to do with what the villain wants to acheive, and their abilities. And their personality.

#25 Posted by mattiebatslayer (30 posts) - - Show Bio

Do they need it in all cases? No, but it can make a character cool, more memorable, etc. However, in some cases, it is a must. Take Magneto for example: He needs his helmet to prevent Prof X from getting into his head, but he doesn't necessarily need the cape and the whole costume but it makes him more badass.

In Batman & Robin #5, Damian is told to take off his cape because it serves no other purpose than to be flashy or stylish.

#26 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

If a villain's goal is fame and they want to be remembered then yes, a costume will make them more recognizable. However if a villain doesn't want to be known then it is much more efficient to run around in whichever clothes are the most comfortable and less obvious for doing evil things.

#27 Posted by Sammo21 (700 posts) - - Show Bio

lol Occupy Wallstreet.

#28 Posted by feargalr (1157 posts) - - Show Bio

Good point about disappearing into the crowd.. but I think a supervillian could easily look as evil in a suit... though you can't have em all in suits... that being said some suits have practical reasons

#29 Posted by Kairan1979 (16926 posts) - - Show Bio
@ppetrov83 said:

Ever watched "Megamind"?

"The difference between villain and super-villain is the presentation!"

#30 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (35162 posts) - - Show Bio

You should totally listen to The Pixies 

#31 Posted by Spydey (404 posts) - - Show Bio

Um, chyeaw? Just like how a modern day crook needs a mask or alias. Okay they need costumes until they get caught, because after that their identities out there. Unless they changed costumes every time they were released. These villains better not move to a state that is pro death penalty though.

#32 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

It really is a very S&M thing...why isn't there a comic on that? (or is there)

Moderator
#33 Posted by AskaniSon295 (429 posts) - - Show Bio

I allways thought super-villians wore costumes because they percieve themselves as heroes they think there criminal activity is justified. most super-villians don't try to hide their crimes they are proud of what they have done and the costume symbolizes thier pride and their lack of fear of capture. They are like Momar Kadafi or Sadamn Hussien they don't fear justice they believe they are justice.

#34 Posted by pspin (894 posts) - - Show Bio

They certainly do. They need something to separate themselves form not only run of the mill bad guys but other supervillains as well, they might not need a costume as much as something iconic about them. Think about it with out his armor Dr. Doom is just one more egomaniac trying to take over the world, if Joker didn't have his white face, he would be just another crazy guy in Gotham, if Magneto didn't have the helmet, most people probably wouldn't recognize him as easily.

#35 Posted by Grand_Supremor (47 posts) - - Show Bio

@Grandmaster_Fro said:

Supervillains should. The right costume can inspire fear and display an attitude that they want to make known. But there are others who don't need a costume. Lex Luthor, Kingpin, and the Penguin, to name a few, makes the no costume look work.

What he said.

#36 Posted by GuruOfFunk (441 posts) - - Show Bio

It makes sense if its something functional like Freezes suit or Dooms and Luthors armour but looking at someone like Deathstroke and his costume you'd think that he doesnt really need something that flashy. The majority of them seem acceptable though like when its functional or when their costume IS who they are (like when he said the Joker dresses like the Joker.)

#37 Posted by Ice Zero (41 posts) - - Show Bio

@Grandmaster_Fro said:

Supervillains should. The right costume can inspire fear and display an attitude that they want to make known. But there are others who don't need a costume. Lex Luthor, Kingpin, and the Penguin, to name a few, makes the no costume look work.

Indeed. You know it makes me remember of Sinestro Corps. The idea of the color and the uinform is meant to strike fear into people's heart. Who wouldn't be scary to see a clown with a green hair and a scarred grin, or when you see a man ina armor only usin a hooded green cape. But in some cases like Luthor and Kingpin they wouldn't work because they are bad guys, but they manipulate people to not know of it.

#38 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

THEY TOTALLY NEED COSTUMES

#39 Posted by RedR0bin (73 posts) - - Show Bio

Supervillains egos do not allow them not to be noticed, that is why costumes are necessary. They have to be noticed or the crime they committed does not matter.

#40 Posted by sladewilson30 (207 posts) - - Show Bio

Sometimes, but either only because they wanna look bad ass, or they want to conceil their indentity, like Bloodaxe, then again, there are those who want their faces to be known, like Arcade, or the Penguin.

#41 Posted by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, for many of the same reasons super heroes need to wear costumes.

#42 Posted by cosmo111687 (1463 posts) - - Show Bio

@CATPANEXE said:

A lot of villains, especially many of the more infamous ones have become their costume, much as Bruce actually is Batman. The costume separates them from what society expects them to be both externally and internally, example Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Victor/Dr.Doom or Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. One could add it's not unlike LARP or something where the costume helps one to get into character, or draw that person out from where it was hiding behind themselves, their known identity the actual mask, and into static reality. In short, the villain identity is who they actually are now, and the civilian identity a damaged ghost from their own past, the civilian now the costume and the namesake the real person, and probably it always really was that way as the former was who they were told to be and told they were...

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

---

As to why Mandrill wears a costume...to fit in with the other supervillians? I don't know anymore. V_V

Beautifully said.

#43 Posted by capfan80 (348 posts) - - Show Bio

Comics are a visual media. The costumes the villains wear are a physical manifestation of their unhinged minds and reflect their bizarre sense of self image and megalomania. It allows a reader to understand with one glance what the villains are all about. Plus they look cool. Of course they need costumes.

#44 Posted by crusader8463 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a visual medium so if the characters don't have wacky costumes it would be an extremely boring thing to look at.

#45 Posted by JonesDeini (3501 posts) - - Show Bio

Sure, wouldn't be cape comics without the silly professional wrestling elements.

#46 Posted by Emperormeister734 (819 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes cause wearing business except for Lex Luthor, The Mandarin, The Joker, The Penguin, Ra's Al Ghul, Norman Osborn, Bane and Hugo Strange

#47 Posted by EugeneSaxe (227 posts) - - Show Bio

What's the point of being a super-anything if you don't get a cool costume?

#48 Posted by SpidermanWins (3963 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, they might be more effective without them. They should make clothing that looks normal but with special abilities and hidden enhancements, etc.

#49 Posted by Mega_spidey01 (3078 posts) - - Show Bio

@CATPANEXE said:

A lot of villains, especially many of the more infamous ones have become their costume, much as Bruce actually is Batman. The costume separates them from what society expects them to be both externally and internally, example Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Victor/Dr.Doom or Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. One could add it's not unlike LARP or something where the costume helps one to get into character, or draw that person out from where it was hiding behind themselves, their known identity the actual mask, and into static reality. In short, the villain identity is who they actually are now, and the civilian identity a damaged ghost from their own past, the civilian now the costume and the namesake the real person, and probably it always really was that way as the former was who they were told to be and told they were...

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

---

As to why Mandrill wears a costume...to fit in with the other supervillians? I don't know anymore. V_V

catpanexe said it best.

#50 Edited by Outside_85 (10313 posts) - - Show Bio

Villains commonly have the 'F*you' attitude regarding whats practical and wears costumes because they want to wear it and be noticed. Some however just assume that they are on the brink of taking over the world and wears what they find fitting (like old days Magneto).