Fourteen Top Costumed Characters

The Costumed Hero

The masked hero.
The masked hero. | Source
The green mask.
The green mask. | Source
In the movie serials of the '50s there was a masked costumed hero with the power of flight known as Rocket Man, King of the Rocket Men.
In the movie serials of the '50s there was a masked costumed hero with the power of flight known as Rocket Man, King of the Rocket Men. | Source
The Batman.
The Batman. | Source
Old gods such as Thor were made into superheroes by Stan Lee in the 1960s.
Old gods such as Thor were made into superheroes by Stan Lee in the 1960s. | Source

Costumed Heroes

Costumed heroes and villains have been part of our fantasy lives for well over a century. Picking our fourteen worthy of special honor from the rest was not easy.

I have based my fourteen on heroes that have either spawned other heroes or who have been around so long they have become household names.

Very few reader, for example, wouldn't know about Superman, the Hulk or Tarzan. In terms of female characters most people would know of Cat Woman, Modesty Blaise, and Wonder Woman.

In some instances the villains also require some recognition and there have been costumed characters such as Cat Woman who have, interestingly enough, fallen into the category of sometime hero and sometime villain.

It was once theorized by Australian writer Don Boyd that the tights and cape often associated with costumed heroes has its origins in the colorful costumes worn by American wrestlers and boxers in the 1920s and 1930s.

Certainly some of the early creators, such as Lee Falk, are known to of had an interest in such sports. The early movie serials with their cliffhanger endings, such as The Perils of Pauline, also had their influence.

The masks worn by the costumed hero seem strange in that often they don't seem to hide enough of the face to do much good. Then there is the reverse spin where Superman, for example, does not wear a mask at all but, in his identity as Clark Kent, reporter, dons a pair of classes.

Is it so difficult to see Superman under Clark Kent's glasses? Apparently in the comic book world this is definitely so.

Wonder Woman, likewise, cannot be detected posing as Diana Prince when Diana has her glasses on. All this must seem very odd to newcomers to the comic book scene. It was a running joke in the television series Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

The Ghost Who Walks plus the Warrior in the Loincloth

The Phantom
The Phantom | Source
The bad mark. the death's head ring of The Phantom.
The bad mark. the death's head ring of The Phantom. | Source
The good mark. Only given to those who fall under The Phantom's continued protection.
The good mark. Only given to those who fall under The Phantom's continued protection. | Source
Tarzan.
Tarzan. | Source
Tarzan was known to carry a knife. He could also use a spear and was handy with a bow and arrows.
Tarzan was known to carry a knife. He could also use a spear and was handy with a bow and arrows. | Source

1. THE PHANTOM

Created in the 1930s by Lee Falk as a comic strip hero, The Phantom has managed to survive the great down turn in newspaper daily and weekend adventure strips by moving into other entertainment fields.

In Australia Frew have been publishing The Phantom as a comic book character since the 1940s. The Phantom has also been successfully published in Italy and Scandinavia.

The 'ghost who walks, man who cannot die' is a fists and guns blazing, old fashioned swashbuckler based in part upon Tarzan and also the earlier movie serials with cliffhanger endings.

According to Lee Falk, for over 400 years a masked man (actually the original and his descendants) have ruled over a rather distant and hard to get to jungle as The Phantom. He and his descendants have also fought against piracy and evil in general for over 400 years.

Strangely enough, today The Phantom is more popular in Australia, Scandinavia and New Zealand than in America where he first came into existence.

Arguably, The Phantom stories and art coming out of Scandinavia are superior to The Phantom material originating in the USA. There have been a couple of Phantom stories set in Australia and Australian artists and writers have been involved from time to time in the writing of the adventures of The Phantom.

Outside of comic strips and comic books, The Phantom has appeared in one movie serial and one motion picture. He has also appeared in paperback novels and in cartoon television shows.

2. TARZAN

Edgar rice Burroughs' Tarzan started off in All-Story magazine, one of the first pulps. Then the novels came out and the comic strips. An English boy alone in an African wilderness grows up with the apes, becoming a force to be reckoned with. There have been numerous motion pictures and comic books. There was even a television series, an two animated features plus an adhesive named Tarzan's Grip.

Armed and Dangerous

Some martial arts skills required to get out of this one.
Some martial arts skills required to get out of this one. | Source
Armed and mod.
Armed and mod. | Source
There were female ninjas in The Samurai.
There were female ninjas in The Samurai. | Source
Lady Penelope of Thunderbirds.
Lady Penelope of Thunderbirds. | Source

Costumed Women

Females have a special place in terms of both costumed heroics and costumed villainy.

It is pretty obvious that Diana Rigg added color and excitement to the British television show, The Avengers, with her portrayal of Emma Peel. Where her co-star Patrick Macnee as John Steed was rather conservative and very British, she was out there modern or perhaps we should say Mod.

The costumes Rigg wore for the show were very sleek and undeniably 'with it'. Slinky, feline and feminine sum up Emma rather nicely. Both Rigg and Macnee complimented each other in what they did and, as the show got more and more bizarre, it was obvious to viewers they were having more and more fun with what they were doing and inviting the viewer to join them.

3. Modesty Blaise

Modesty blaise, a rather saucy British comic strip of the 'sixties, made sure the 'sixties did, in fact, swing. She was beautiful, clever and very much liberated and her own person. Like The Saint, her history was rather spotted and only the reader knew for sure she was, in any mission, on the right side. There was a Modesty Blaise movie that came out in 1966. It is best described as an enjoyable outing that had its faults script wise but happens to still be worth watching on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Arguably, Modesty always looked best in shiny, skin hugging black.

In the Japanese television show, The Samurai, the occasional female ninja appeared. In the Japanese television show, Phantom Agents, a feisty female ninja who could hold her own in a fight but every week was admonished for using a gun instead of some less noisy weapon appeared regularly. All in black, she was easy on the eyes.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman | Source

4. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman started her run in the 1940s when her creator, William Marston, decided there weren't any female superheroes around that young women could connect with.

Strangely enough, over the years Wonder Woman has proven to be more popular among male readers than female. This may have something to do with her great physique and skimpy outfit. Possessed of amazing strength and a lasso that compels people to tell the truth, she has graced many a comic book cover.

In the 1970s, she was played by Lynda Carter who turned out to be just the right person to do a really good job in the hit series Wonder Woman. There's talk of a new live action Wonder Woman television series coming out in the near future.

All About Style

Catwoman on the prowl.
Catwoman on the prowl. | Source
Whatever you do, do it with style
Whatever you do, do it with style | Source
Eartha Kitt was a singer and also on one occasion Catwoman.
Eartha Kitt was a singer and also on one occasion Catwoman. | Source
Cats and cat stories are popular.
Cats and cat stories are popular. | Source

5. CATWOMAN

Invented as a foe for Batman in the 1940s, Catwoman has been many things. She's also had many costumes, most if not all of them sleek.

It seems that every decade or so an artist comes along who feels its about time Catwoman had a new look. Regardless, she has always been feminine, feline and dangerous.

There have been times when Catwoman has played the costumed heroine, even the hero's aid or part of a team of super heroines, but she is best at being a very crafty thief with a soul.

Certainly there have been times when Batman has found himself perplexed as to what to do with her, for her and/or about her. And there have certainly been times when Catwoman has luxuriated in having Batman totally confused.

Julie Numar no doubt enjoyed her stint on the Batman television series as Catwoman. Her claws were sharp and she tended to play with Batman the way a cat does with a ball of twine. She also tended to find Batman's desire to reform her rather amusing.

Eartha Kitt also played Catwoman to good affect. She is probably best known for her role in Up the Chastity Belt (1971) or her role on Eric the Viking (1989).

Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry played movie versions of comicdom's favorite feline giving the role heart.

Michelle Pfeiffer had to learn how to use and control the whip in order to give her Catwoman justice.

Despite Yvonne Craig's charming performance as Batgirl in Batman, Catwoman roped in more fans. There must be something about a cheeky, irrepressiable, not likely to reform any day now bad gal that get to people.

To be able to Fly

The out of body, spiritual type of flying.
The out of body, spiritual type of flying. | Source
For centuries the ability to fly like a bird has been a dream.
For centuries the ability to fly like a bird has been a dream. | Source

The Ability to Fly

Not all costumed heroes have had the ability to fly without mechanical aid. Not all costumed heroes that have the power of flight started off that way.

6. Hawkman

Certainly the two that come readily to mind when it comes to artificial flight but with style are D. C. comics Hawkman and Hawkgirl (Hawkwoman nowadays). Law enforcement agents from another planet, they came to earth to study our methodology when it comes to law enforcement and to generally help out. Many of the early adventures of this duo are not only unique in the way they are able to use their artificial wings but their use of antique earth weapons against criminals and super villains.

Angel of the X-Men is a Marvel comics mutant with genuine wings who came into existence in the 1960s. He was, in fact, one of the original X-Men. He has been in many comic books and one motion picture.

KRYPTONITE

Comic book readers were urged to buy kryptonite to save Superman!
Comic book readers were urged to buy kryptonite to save Superman! | Source
There has been a Superboy television show.
There has been a Superboy television show. | Source
Under a red sun Superman isn't so super.
Under a red sun Superman isn't so super. | Source

7. Superman

Superman began his run in the 1930s as a comic book hero. It is said that he was the first of the genuine superheroes.

Over the decades he has been more popular on radio, in movie serials and movies and on television than in the comic books. In the beginning Superman didn't have the power of flight but could leap tall buildings at a single bound instead.

In the beginning Superman was literally the man of steel but, by the early 1940s he was pretty much invulnerable to conventional weapons.

Weaknesses for Superman had to be created to make the stories more interesting to the reader. Thus kryptonite came about.

In the 1970s it was possible to buy green kryptonite to keep out of the clutches of the bad guys and also away from Superman. In real terms this was like collecting pet rocks or, if you were a Star Trek fan, toy Tribbles. In any event, it was all in good fun.

Superman is also weak under a red rather than a yellow sun and, if he remains away from a yellow sun for too long, this may also weaken him.

Superman's final major weakness that took a while to surface is that he really doesn't have any defense against magic.

Dark Avengers Abound in the Comics

Characters that have been through bad times can become costumed heroes.
Characters that have been through bad times can become costumed heroes. | Source
During the 2nd World War German submarines were a menace.
During the 2nd World War German submarines were a menace. | Source
During the 2nd World War the Submariner took to destroying German submarines.
During the 2nd World War the Submariner took to destroying German submarines. | Source

Dark Avengers

Not all costumed heroes got a great start in life. Bruce Wayne's parents, for example, were gunned down by a robber in front of him when he was just a lad. This made Bruce want revenge on the criminals of the fictional Gotham City and revenge on the criminal who had done the evil deed in particular.

Bruce became The Batman. He did eventually find the killer and he did deal with him. The boy who came to partner him as Robin also had his parents killed by criminals and they, too, were dealt with.

Wolverine was experimented on and given a super strong metal skeleton which included claws. Since as a mutant he had extraordinary healing powers he was able to survive what was done to him but the pain was great. It changed him in mind as well as body.

8. The Submariner

Prince Namor, the Submariner was born half human and half Atlantian.

Able to breathe under water and fly through the air, he was anything but earth bound. When surface dwellers attacked under water Atlantis and other under water cities, this incensed Namor to act against the surface dwellers. Since he had incredible strength he posed quite a threat.

During World War 2 he was told that the Nazis and the Japanese were mainly responsible for the undersea devastation and so he came to fight for the USA as well as his own under water people. In the '60s Namor, the Submariner became the Marvel superhero closely connected with issues such as conservation and the need to protect the oceans from over use.

Protector of Gotham City

Gothic Gotham City
Gothic Gotham City | Source
THE BATMAN!
THE BATMAN! | Source
The Joker has become a favorite bad guy of The Batman.
The Joker has become a favorite bad guy of The Batman. | Source

9. THE BATMAN

Created in the 1930s, The Batman started off as a rather violent caped crusader. He thought nothing of machine-gunning gangsters. Then Robin arrived on the scene and The Batman's adventures became somewhat less brutal and his dealings with criminals less homicidal.

When the comics code authority came into power the adventures had to be toned down even more for the comics to pass inspection. By the early 1960s very few readers cared about Batman. It took the rather offbeat and whimsical Batman television series to revive interest.

By the mid-1970s, the comics code had weakened enough for The Batman to become more aggressive in his actions and his place of business, Gotham City, to become darker, more sinister. During Frank Miller's stint on The Batman the caped crusader became rather a grim night dweller and Gotham City a very gothic and troubled place to dwell.

The Batman's most colorful foes include The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin, Two-Face and, of course, Catwoman.

The Batman has appeared in numerous comic books, paper back novels, at least two movie serials, movies, and television shows.

See the rise of the Gotham bad guys in the new TV show Gotham.

Vampire!

THE UNDEAD!
THE UNDEAD! | Source
Night to Dawn.
Night to Dawn. | Source

The Undead

Originally vampires, European style, were generally female. That changed in the 19th Century.

For a very long time the undead have graced our screens. Just when you think they really are down and out they manage to make a successful comeback.

Likewise, vampire slayers such as Van Helsing and Buffy are hard to put down. If they leave the screen it is only to appear in paperback novels and in comic books.

Nosferatu may have been the first on screen vampire but Dracula is the best known followed, no doubt, by Spike and Angel.

The Night to Dawn magazine, put out by Barbara Custer (USA), deals with creatures that go bump in the night including poltergeist, ghouls, walking mummies and, yes, vampires.

For wandering spirits, werewolves and, yes, vampire action check out my novels Disco Evil and Ghost Dance.

DRACULA!

Dracula and the full moon.
Dracula and the full moon. | Source
Slaying a Vampire.
Slaying a Vampire. | Source

10. DRACULA

Since the 19th Century novel by Bram Stoker that launched him came out, Dracula has been with us in printed form, on the stage, the screen and in various comic books.

Usually dressed in 19th Century gentleman's garb with opera cape, he has been anything but unrecognizable. Universal Pictures (USA) did their thing with him then Hammer (U.K.) took over.

In the 1970s, Gene Colan (artist) and Marv Wolfman (writer) made Marvel's Tomb of Dracula comic book series a real winner. Here Dracula was always the blood sucker prince but not always the lead bad guy. Sometimes he had to join forces with those hunting him in order to destroy a greater evil that was endangering them all.

Dracula still makes the occasional television or movie appearance and there is always a novelist or comic book maker keen to make use of his services.

Tampering with Nature

Laboratories can create the strangest forms of evil.
Laboratories can create the strangest forms of evil. | Source
Some chemicals should not be tampered with.
Some chemicals should not be tampered with. | Source
The television Invisible Man of the 1950s was the result of an accident.
The television Invisible Man of the 1950s was the result of an accident. | Source
Two-Face.
Two-Face. | Source

Reinventing the Werewolf

Near the tail end of the 19th Century, Robert Louis Stevenson created Mr. Hyde. He was in essence the evil that lurked inside the genteel Doctor Jekll only given form and substance.

Doctor Jekyll wanted to rid humanity of evil and make humans angels on earth. He experimented on himself but, instead of becoming an angel with no evil intent or desire remaining, things went terribly wrong and he became a force for evil. Simple malicious desires emerged but also sexual wants that a proper 19th Century British gentleman tended to keep a very tight lid on.

For quite a long time, fiction man into fictional beast occurred through supernatural means. For Stevenson's Doctor Jekll, the the transformation happened through a unique chemical cocktail.

Now very few readers in late 19th Century England were willing to believe in the possibility of evil in a bottle or beaker. They could, however, suspend their disbelief with the knowledge that certain drugs could and did affect the brain. Doctor Jekyll became a convincing addict to his evil concoction because Stevenson knew first hand about addictions.

In the 1960s, Stan Lee thought of man into monster due to radiation as an up to date take on both the werewolf and also Stevenson's Doctor Jekll into Mr. Hyde.

In the D.C. comics universe, a battling lawyer became demented Two-Face thanks to acid being thrown in his face. It was thus that Gotham City lost a good mouth-piece and The Batman gained one of his deadliest foes.

The Hulking Superhero!

The birth of the Hulk.
The birth of the Hulk. | Source
HULK SMASH!
HULK SMASH! | Source
The Hulk started off as a grey monster vulnerable to gun shots. This did not last long.
The Hulk started off as a grey monster vulnerable to gun shots. This did not last long. | Source
There was talk of making the Hulk red instead of green for the television series but Stan Lee was against this idea.
There was talk of making the Hulk red instead of green for the television series but Stan Lee was against this idea. | Source
Strong emotion became the trigger for Banner's transformation into the Hulk.
Strong emotion became the trigger for Banner's transformation into the Hulk. | Source
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first came up with The hulk the Cold War heating up was a real threat.
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first came up with The hulk the Cold War heating up was a real threat. | Source

11. The Incredible Hulk

In the 1960s, Stan Lee writer and Jack Kirby artist wanted to create a creature that was reminiscent of their earlier monster run but could fit into the then developing Marvel universe of superheroes and villains.

Stan Lee came up with the Hulk, a creature that came about through the strange whims of the atom.

Originally, Doctor Robert Bruce Banner, a scientist, was accidentally exposed to the radiation from a gamma bomb explosion and, during a full moon, changed into a rampaging night creature.

The Hulk was meant to be gray but, as it turned out, green at the time was an easier color to maintain. The first Hulk comic book was short lived. When the Hulk was brought back, it was decided that the change from Banner to Hulk should either occur due to more exposure to gamma rays or when Banner is upset. A change brought on by emotion was good for both artist and reader.

In the TV series, how banner first became the Hulk was altered and his first name was changed to David.

Not all the movies made about the Hulk have been winners. There was one that dealt with how Banner first became a monster in such a convoluted way that most viewers were fast asleep by the time the transformation occurred and the action began. This was a pity because the lead actor was Eric Bana, an Australian with talent who definitely deserved a better script to work with and a director who understood the meaning of the word pace.

It should be noted here that only in the world of Marvel are there gamma bombs. Hence it is perfectly all right and quite reasonable for a fictional man to be bombarded by high concentrations of gamma rays from the explosion of such a bomb and thus become a creature not altogether human. It is, after all, up to the creator of a fictional atomic style bomb to dictate what the bomb is capable of doing.

In the '60s and '70s, the Hulk was Marvel's answer to D.Cs' Superman. The Hulk couldn't fly but he could leap great distances. As he got angrier the Hulk got stronger. Whereas kryptonite was a real problem for Superman, the Hulk's major weakness was his clouded brain. He could easily be conned by bad guys but, once he understood he'd been conned, his revenge could be awesome.

So what was the Hulk's costume? In the '60s and '70s in the comics, it was usually a torn pair of purple pants. Why purple? Possibly Jack Kirby and the artists who came after him thought purple worked best with the Hulk's green skin.

THE LITTLE GREY CELLS RULE!

POWER OF THE MIND!
POWER OF THE MIND! | Source
THE ABILITY TO READ MINDS!
THE ABILITY TO READ MINDS! | Source
THE SAINT!
THE SAINT! | Source

The brain Trust

There's something to be said for the power of the mind. Certainly there have been heroes whose knowledge of the mystic arts or just plain slight of hand have won the day. The examples that come readily to mind are Lee Falk's Mandrake the magician and Stan Lee's Doctor Strange.

In terms of mutants with high IQs, there's Charles Xavier from the X-Men and the ill-fated Marvel Girl/Phoenix.

Detectives seem to crop up every now and then with noticeable eccentricities in wardrobe as well as methodology. Hercule Poirot with his trade mark waxed moustache, for example, or Columbo with his ratty looking cigar and slovenly coat.

Past gumshoes of note that are colorful include The Thin Man, Charlie Chan, Blackie Boston, The Saint, The Baron, Doc Savage, Tin Tin, and Johnny Quest. It might be possible to throw in Asterix but maybe that's going too far.

Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel must rate as a brain bordering on genius. He certainly masterminded more than his fair share of escapes from the guillotine during a time in their history when the French peasantry had gone mad with blood lust. A fictional and somewhat romantic character, the Scarlet Pimpernel did his best work while in disguise.

The Man of Bronze

Doc Savage.
Doc Savage. | Source
On one occasion in the D.C. comics Doc Savage battled The Shadow.
On one occasion in the D.C. comics Doc Savage battled The Shadow. | Source
Tough guys with guns were a part of Pulp fiction in its heyday.
Tough guys with guns were a part of Pulp fiction in its heyday. | Source
Mysterious bad guys and strange dangers were a part of the world of Doc Savage.
Mysterious bad guys and strange dangers were a part of the world of Doc Savage. | Source

12. DOC SAVAGE

Being an expert in every field of human endeavor, Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, started his fictional life as a pulp magazine hero adventurer. It was the '30s and mobsters were getting into new electronic devices to foil the authorities. Hell, some of the more ambitious among them even had plans for world conquest.

Doc was only ever as strong as a man can be with the right training and physical exercise. In no other sense was he a superman though the crims and crackpots he went up against might strongly argue against such a view. He got his money from patenting inventions and from a gold mine he owned.

From the 1930s right through the '40s Doc managed to accrue a submarine, a helicopter (not hid name for it) and a penthouse suite with all sorts of electronic protective devices. Based in New York, Doc Savage and his men could and did go anywhere in the world on various missions.

Doc's magazine came to an end in 1949 but this was not the end of him. In the 1960s his old adventures were packaged into paperbacks with excellent and rather dynamic covers. On the covers of these paperbacks he was often depicted with torn shirt, skull cap and skin and eyes the color of bronze.

In the '70s Marvel comics put forward Doc Savage as a comic book character. This had been done in the 1940s but not with this much style and certainly not with such a great sense of nostalgia.

Later on D. C. comics took their turn at depicting Doc and they also did a grand job though they dumped the nostalgia angle. There were new writers in new Doc Savage novels in the 1980s and '90s. There was a Doc Savage movie made in 1975 but it wasn't very good. Doc Savage was also, for a time a radio personality. It has been a while now since anyone has done anything with Doc and his comrades but you never know what the future may hold.

Captain America fought the Nazis in World War Two

BATTLING THE NAZIS!
BATTLING THE NAZIS! | Source
THE RED SKULL - NAZI BAD GUY!
THE RED SKULL - NAZI BAD GUY! | Source
AGENT OF A. I. M.
AGENT OF A. I. M. | Source
THE RED SKULL WITH THE COSMIC CUBE.
THE RED SKULL WITH THE COSMIC CUBE. | Source
During WW2 Captain America teamed up with the android Human Torch.
During WW2 Captain America teamed up with the android Human Torch. | Source

13. CAPTAIN AMERICA

A young Steve Rogers who is a 4F reject is experimented on by the US army. He is given the super soldier serum and becomes as strong as a man can be. Later on, due to the masked villain Viper's poison reacting wildly with the super soldier serum, Steve Rogers becomes a true superhero.

Steve Rogers, as Captain America, fought the Nazis and the Japs during WW2. Due to a rather strange accident he ended up suspended in ice to be revived in the swinging sixties. It was in the '70s that Captain America fought the Viper and had his strength enhanced.

The good captain's best known foes are the Red Skull, the forces of Hydra and the forces of A. I. M (Advanced Idea Mechanics). Then there's Baron Zemo and Batrok the leaper to consider. Possibly the Superadaptoid came closest to ending the captain's life though the Red Skull could have done it easily when he had his hands on the cosmic cube. He failed because he, quite frankly, gloated too much when he should have simply got on with it.

During WW2 Captain America fought alongside army mascot Bucky Barnes. In the '60s he teamed up with the Mighty Avengers, a group of superheroes.

Over the decades stories written about Captain America have touched upon the meaning of patriotism and honor in various time periods.

By the late 1960s and early '70s, anti-war feeling toward the Vietnam War had made its way into the pages of Captain America's comic book. Could someone who would not take up arms and fight in a war he did not believe in still have courage?

How was America changing during the era of the Vietnam War and beyond and was it change for the right reasons? Could Captain America continue to represent in his way a highly diversified nation that was and is becoming even more diversified?

Captain America's original shield was not round. Legend has it that Stan Lee came up with the idea of the round shield that could be expertly thrown and would return to its owner. Anyway, from shield to tiny wings on the sides of his face mask to his red gloves and boots it cannot be argued that the good captain wasn't and isn't extremely colorful. He was and is red, white and blue with stripes. What could be more American?

SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man!
Spider-Man! | Source

14. SPIDER-MAN

Created by Stan Lee in the swinging sixties, Spider-man is very much a product of that decade. A lonely science student is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers. One of his powers is the ability to swing from roof top to roof top on his own webs.

In the comic books, Peter Parker (Spider-man) invents his web-shooters. In the latest batch of movies, however, the webs are part of his super abilities.

Over the decades, Spider-man has appeared in many comic books and has even appeared in a Japanese comic book salute.

On thing about Spider-man's costume is that his face is completely hidden. He can out of the eye pieces but no one can see in. This is sensible and at the same time highly unusual.

IN CONCLUSION...

I have limited the number of costumed characters to what I felt I could successfully handle. I have taken you, the reader, from the early years of the 20th Century to the present in terms of costumed cut-ups. I have also touched upon ideas and characters in the 19th Century that still have some relevancy for today. I hope you have enjoyed the journey.

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Comments 13 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

As a kid I was a fan of Superman, batman and Lone Ranger. Asa an adult i was a fan of The Avengers. There are a number of heros listed here that I read occasional, heard iof but never read and some I never heard of.Good job on this hub.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Thanks dahoglund. Yes, The Avengers were really something.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Oh I love a man in tights. Funny, when I was a very young child I use to be fascinated with male ballet dancers...I actually thought they were naked because on b & w TV the tights looked the same colour as their skin!

Emma Peel is terribly cool..my role model..;)


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Yes, Jane, Emma Peel was great. You might also care for Modesty Blaise. She was sleek and ultra modern too.

I have never had an interest in male ballet dancers. Women in tight outfits like Morticia Addams as portrayed by Carolyn Jones or Emma or Modesty are a different matter. Don't you reckon there's something about a woman in black? Cool!


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Rod, both men and women can look great in black - that's 'cause it's dramatic I suppose. I'd get a bit bored with it on a daily basis though.

If you like tight and black I guess you'd have to be pretty taken with cat woman then? You'd couldn't get much tighter than Michelle Pfeiffer in that outfit. I did like Julie Numar's version in the old Batman.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Jane, you're right. Never on a daily basis unless you were living with Carolyn Jones in the swinging 'sixties!

Yep! Michelle Pfeiffer was really something in that outfit. Not sure about the whip though. Somewhat intimidating.

Yes, I reckon Numar was the best of the Catwomen of the old Batman television series.


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

I think the Green Lantern should fit in there somewhere. I always liked that one. Nice informative hub and very enjoyable reading.

God Bless


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Thanks vietnamvet68, Yes, the Green Lantern would be a good choice.


limpet profile image

limpet 2 years ago from London England

Modesty Blaise arrived on the scene right at the stage of my adolescent years. The problem for me at that time was not being able to get a girlfriend so after borrowing the first Modesty Blaise novel to come out in 'paperback' i took a deep interest in this Lady for a number of reasons. Modesty Blaise was truly awe inspiring in the sense that all of the superheroines who were forerunners seemed to be helped in getting out of danger where as Modesty Blaise ran headlong into situations fully confident and able to complete Her objective. Ms Blaise also did all the decision making at a stage where Women's Liberation was only beginning to become vogue Furthermore Ms Blaise had a reportoir of skills in the execution of Her missions.


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Rod Marsden 2 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

Yes limpet Modesty had a lot going for her.


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limpet 12 months ago from London England

Was wondering if uniforms rate as costumes. I recall in a James Bond film 'Diamonds are forever' Miss Moneypenny portrayed by Lois Maxwell going undercover as a uniformed Customs official. She looked more authoritive than in her demure secretarial role. Occasionally in the T.V. series Wonder Woman donned a Women's Army Corps uniform (or was it Navy?). Can't remember the title of a 1966 spy film where the Hollywood actress Jill St John infiltrates an air base disguised as a W.A.A.F. corporal. The uniform must have been tailor made just for her, stunning to say the least.


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Rod Marsden 12 months ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia Author

As for Wonder Woman, in her guise as a military secretary in the TV series, it would have been an air force uniform since her boss was an ace fighter pilot. Yes. Uniforms can rate as costumes.


Lantokey 6 months ago from Olde London Towne

Hard to believe Modesty Blaise arrived in print and comic strip some 57 years ago. With regard to costumes M.B. tended to wear the local attire of where ever she travelled in the world. Additionally she had the body shape to to enhance her figure when wearing her skin diving wet suit. Although not mentioned in the article it was Honey West a T.V. female detective played by the glamorous Ann Francis whose trade mark was a slinky body stocking.

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