English: Cosplay: Sinestro Corps, Larflize, Red Lantern Corps vs. Star Saphire, Green Lantern Corps. Dragon Con 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Superhero costumes get redesigned all the time, for any number of reasons. There are story reasons, trademark reasons, merchandising reasons and, once upon a time, it used to drive enough interest to change it for sales reasons all on its own.
While it’s unclear what motivation, exactly, there is for adding a new Green Lantern–an apparently-Arab one with a tattoo and a pistol in his hand–or for redesigning his costume to look more like an S&M gimp suit filtered through Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass, that cover jumps right out at me as one of the worst of the 55 mainstream superhero titles DC will publish in September.
Here’s the thing about superhero redesigns: good ones will often stick with you for a while, but then just fade into the background of the character’s look and stop being something you really think about. Because of the cyclical nature of mainstream superhero comics, no change tends to take hold for long and so the bad ones are forgettable. It’s only the truly atocious ones that remain a part of the conversation forever.
So here’s a look at some of the worst, most misguided and hideous superhero redesigns of all time. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an authority on the matter–the last time I talked about some awful hairstyles, almost all of the readers disagreed with me, and I actually have a soft spot in my heart for a couple of the looks on this list, which are included for the simple reason that they’re objectively bad in the opinions of the broad majority of the audience.
Keep in mind, by the way, that this is just about the actual design aesthetic, not about whether or not the stories worked. Something like the ghost/angel Punisher doesn’t count, becuase frankly while it was the worst idea ever foisted on a character who had seen his share of bad ideas, it didn’t look sufficiently different from his regular outfit to really stick out on the shelf as monumentally ugly.