CBishop, Hey buddy. So my reply isn't really to you but the whole topic, but yeah 5 pages of comments?
Supes said he chose a bright costume so people would see that he's not trying to hide anything. He's out there, you'll immediately recognize him, and hopefully, trust him. In a universe where costumes mean recognition and fame, I think the supervillains wear the costumes so people know who they are.
1) The few times I have seen it tried in comics, the artist wasn't good enough to make distinctive characters, and often drew them in the same colored suits, trenchcoats, or whatever. It made it hard to tell which character was which, when the action actually happened. NO, I don't want to read that.
2) On the other hand, I think as long as there is a good story going, people won't care whether there are costumes or not. I also think no costumes lends to the sense of threat level, because anyone in the scene could turn out to have superpowers
@G-man said: There are some case where the costume serves as part of the supervillains' schtick like with Rhino or Mr. Freeze
G-Man nailed it all, AND CB makes a good point, like even in Dragonball i got confused, cos sometimes they wear the same thing but you're supposed to tell them apart BY HAIRCUTS (which change when they go SSJ) That's actually one of the GOOD examples, and this weekend i bought this book (which included) Mr Parker goes to Washington, (part ONE of three) where for the first time i saw...A BUFF PETER PARKER. I'm ok with the idea, but this was a SUPER BUFF picture, but around his wife and employer Stark. But in PART THREE, Parker looks like a hobo, which i think IS the best peter parker image, but these 2 pictures were like TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Artists CHANGE and whatever the one before tried to do, the next one MAY or MAY NOT follow, that if not for the S-symbol or bat we could not tell the character.
I think costumes go for heroes as well as villains. Spidey has a reason to cover his face, to protect his identity and thereby protect his loved ones. Now, although it may not be so noble, villains may have a similar reason to cover their face. At least it let's them stay active for slightly longer and i know Hobby, thanks to your (G-Man's) 3 minute enlightenment did just that. Also like you said, some villains (and heroes) are nothing without the suit, like The Mask. Venom HAS to be in costume, or he's either Brock/Gargan or a symbiote. And as Batman used the symbol of a bat to SCARE people, villains could do that. SOMETIMES the villain's face is scarred, (Dr. Doom, Deadpool although we HAVE seen him without a mask in Wolverine Origins) BUT some like Joker (who had a deadpool incident,) milk it. The car, the planes, the hideouts,...almost every batman villain, i mean NO WONDER they called batman gay. (Dont forget Luthor though) Originally these stories were meant to be THEATRICAL, or to catch the reader's eye with a) images or b) catchy names. And in creating characters, isn't designing them the fun part? giving them something that SAYS i'm me?
And finally costumes are viewed as immature by "society" but when in X-Men (the first movie) Cykes asked Logan if he was expecting yellow spandex, GUESS WHAT? I WAS