When it comes to character designs, comic artists - and writers, for that matter - will change things up every once in a while, both to signal tonal shifts and potentially create mile markers for new eras.
Needless to say, a number of impractical superhero costumes have arisen over the years, often to generate buzz - and sometimes only in retrospect will readers look back with fond memories and cringe. These costumes run the gamut from only "kind of impractical" (Hawkman), to downright absurd (everything Emma Frost has ever worn), and this is just the tip of the iceberg. At the end of the day, these heroes put on their ridiculous footwear and risk their lives saving the world from the powers that be and everything in between, and if they want to look like they just walked out of a Party City, that's just fine. Vote up the costumes least suited to superheroics.
Emma Frost's Entire WardrobePhoto: Marvel Comics
What can one say about Emma Frost? Nothing, because she'll read your mind and end you if she feels like it. One of the best antiheroes churned out by Marvel, Frost has never really had one of the traditional costume modernizations outside of January Jones's live-action incarnation in X-Men: First Class.
As such, a number of her costumes can really be described as one of two things: underwear with a cape or underwear with a fur. Everything about her wardrobe says "I'm vulnerable," which is exactly why she is so dangerous.636122Is this impractical?
Iron Fist's Peripheral Vision-Blocking CollarPhoto: Marvel Comics
Apart from one singular glaring issue, Iron Fist's costume isn't that bad. Okay, two issues. That collar, and the sheer amount of yellow highlighting the limbs he uses to strike, which is just tactically stupid. Yes, his hands glow, but there's no reason he should be wearing bright yellow slippers when he's on the hunt for bad guys to kick in the face.
Let's talk about that collar. In addition to being something foes can grab on to, it blocks his immediate line of sight on both of his peripheries! Yes, you're the Immortal Iron Fist, Guardian of yada yada yada... but that doesn't mean you're omnipotent.466117Is this impractical?
Starfire's 'Bodysuit'Photo: DC Comics
A gem from the brilliant Marv Wolfman and George Perez run of New Teen Titans, Starfire's costume makes sense in terms of how she sustains her powers (absorbing ultraviolet radiation), but it does nothing for her in terms of combat protection.
In combat, Starfire will usually take the role of a ranged fighter that utilizes energy blasts that keep her from sustaining any dangerous melee blows. Her power set does not include invulnerability, which means ranged projectiles may still pose a problem, so a little armor wouldn't be entirely unwelcome for the Princess of Tamaran.484146Is this impractical?
Huntress And Her Sports Bra And Panties/Thigh-High Boots ComboPhoto: DC Comics
Huntress has had a few really awesome, tactical costumes - taking a page out of Batgirl and Catwoman's books - but some of them have just been plain inexplicable, with this pairing of panties and thigh-high boots taking the first-place trophy. This iteration of Huntress's costume looks like the weird love child of Hawkeye and Starfire with a pair of boots literally 8 inches from just being a pair of pants.
The exposed flesh offers no tactical advantage whatsoever for this vigilante hero, but that doesn't make her any less lethal.419146Is this impractical?