What Is the Greatest Superhero Costume on TV?

We've got some ranking to do.

By TV Scoop Team Jul 20, 2019 10:00 AMTags
Superhero CostumesThe CW

Need a hero? Are you holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night?

It's San Diego Comic-Con time, which means there's an abundance of heroes, both super and regular, out and about right about now. But which of those heroes wears the best superhero suit? That's the question we're attempting to answer by taking a look at some of the best and worst superhero costumes in current and recent TV history to determine which one's the coolest of all. 

And look, we're probably missing some good (or bad) ones, but we're here to talk about the most memorable. If we don't even remember the costume, does it even matter? We're just going to say no. 

Below, you'll find our ranking of some of the best and worst superhero costumes on TV, beginning with the worst, which is no judgment on the abilities of any superhero or costume designer. In this case, some of these just really didn't work, and that's OK, because as you'll see, there's room to grow. 

WORST: Wonder Woman on Wonder Woman

We know we all agreed to forget this 2011 TV movie ever happened, but how could we curate a list of the best and worst superhero costumes on TV and not award this epic fail the last place spot?! Adrianne Palicki, you deserved so much better than this shiny pleather nightmare that appears to have been bought at a Halloween store. 

Hulk on The Incredible Hulk

Oh man, don't even get us started on the green spray paint or Tina Turner hair. Nope, nope, nope.

The Tick on The Tick

Everything about this is upsetting except for maybe the abs. But do the abs make up for that crotch? No. 

Green Arrow on Smallville

Once upon a time, This Is Us star Justin Hartley was the coolest Green Arrow on TV. Then Stephen Amell picked up the crossbow a few years later, took things a little darker, and made this costume look particularly silly in hindsight. 

Cyborg on Smallville

Is that a hoodie?! 

Impulse on Smallville

Smallville's version of The Flash wasn't actually The Flash. His name was Bart, not Barry, and he went by codename Impulse. Of course, he still rocked the red and yellow colors and lightning bolt-inspired costume, but...it's a hoodie. 

Aquaman on Smallville

This wet suit is truly unfortunate, but orange and green are tough colors to make work in any get up. 

Huntress on Birds of Prey

This just seems impractical in every way even if we kinda want to try to rock those boots. 

Supergirl on Smallville

Although this version of Supergirl's costume was pretty plain, it was very true to the comics. Blue crop top? Check. Red skirt? Check! But she looks more like a cheerleader than a badass superhero, and that low-rise skirt is giving us anxiety. 

The Red/Blue Blur on Smallville

Leather jackets are hard enough to move around in normally, so we can't even imagine how restricting it was trying to save the day in Clark's custom-made red jacket. While it certainly looked cool seeing Clark rock that big S, this actually wasn't his best look on the CW show.

Nyssa al Ghul on Arrow

There's just a lot of stuff going on here. Lots of straps, lots of billowing. Is all of it necessary? 

Black Canary on Smallville

This was a spot-on version of the comic book Black Canary, right on down to the high-collared black leotard and fishnet tights, but...not even comics are always correct. 

Elektra on Daredevil

In the comics, Elektra essentially wears a bright red loincloth. Frankly it doesn't make that much sense, so this TV update was fairly welcome. 

Batman on Batman

This is just so silly but such a classic that we feel unable to judge. 

Batgirl on Birds of Prey

The WB's short-lived show had a pretty true-to-form live-action version of Batgirl's costume from the comics, but that perma-cameltoe was unfortunate.

Diggle on Arrow

We were all thrilled when Diggle (David Ramsey) finally got a costume. Seriously, thrilled. But this is one that definitely looks better in motion than it does when standing still. Seems like that helmet would be awfully limiting, no? 

The Flash on The Flash (1990)

John Wesley Shipp is cool, but after watching so many seasons of the new Flash (where Shipp plays the Flash's dad), it's hard to take this costume seriously. 

Hawkman and Hawkgirl on Legends of Tomorrow

Remember these two? Their helmets are very cool. 

Arsenal on Arrow

There is so much happening here. Why are there so many laces and buckles?

White Canary on DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Caity Lotz can pull off anything and this definitely looks like the costume of a hero who doesn't care about getting dirty, but there's something ever so slightly off about this that we can't put our finger on. The color, maybe? 

Superman on Lois & Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman

1993's version of Superman was pretty hot, and Dean Cain played the part in style. This is what we think of when we picture a Superman costume. 

Guardian on Supergirl

Love ya Jimmy, but your costume looks like a giant boulder. Guess that makes sense when you don't have superpowers and have to protect yourself against those who do, but the costume could have at least been a little less...grey.

Deathstroke on Arrow

Talk about a lot happening! Deathstroke is literally ready for anything at any time, unless he needs to get suited up in a hurry. It's got to take him at least an hour to get ready every morning. 

Speedy on Arrow

We already knew the Arrow costume designers love some laces, but how did they achieve that ombre on that jacket? 

The Canaries on Arrow

Seeing them side by side, Dinah's costume seems much more wearable. We just don't understand why so many straps on Laurel's get up! 

Quake in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

This is a very reasonable costume for some stealthier superheroing!

Daredevil on Daredevil

Matt Murdock looks seriously cool in Netflix's take on Daredevil's red suit, but is anyone else getting a grittier (less gold!) Flash vibe? But A freakin' + for the subtle horns!

Kid Flash on The Flash

Wally West, AKA Kid Flash, was really just wearing a perfectly acceptable shirt and pants and he made it work. 

The Atom on Arrow & DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) spent months building his super suit, and while it's just as busy as so many other costumes on this list, we can at least assume all the little bits and bobs actually do something. 

Black Canary #1 (Canary) on Arrow

The original version of Arrow's love interest/partner, Sara Lance rocked the relatively simple black outfit and bleached-blonde wig like a freakin' bossbefore she was brutally murdered by (SPOILER ALERT!) none other than Oliver's younger sister Thea. Thankfully, she was revived, and now leads a team of Legends who travel through time in an entirely different costume. 

View More Photos From All the Greatest Superhero Costumes on TV—Ranked From Super Tragic to Super Epic!

What can we say? We love a practical super suit. 

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