The Arrowverse has attempted to adapt many different characters to live action, to varying degrees of success. It’s sometimes difficult to completely capture the spirit of a costume from comic to screen.
The costumes in the shows have been really well made but some of the designs really don’t work. They could look amazing on-screen or perhaps work much better in the comics. The Arrowverse is proof positive that a direct translation from the comics is not always great. Here’s 5 that are better in live-action and 5 that are better on the page.
10 Stuck To The Comics: Elongated Man
The Elongated Man has never had a great costume but the TV show really didn’t help matters. The initial costume created was more like a pair of pyjamas rather than a superhero suit that can be worn in battle.
Although this design was then changed, it was extremely generic with only the Elongated Man logo really giving it any personality. Even the choice of colors is terrible to use in live action.
9 Better On Screen: Supergirl
Supergirl’s costume has changed a few times over the series, but whether it includes the original skirt, or perhaps the armored version of the design, all of them have been fantastic adaptations of what’s in the comics.
The costume needs to be a symbol of hope and that’s exactly what it is. The colors really pop and even the version of the logo that has been used is one of the better versions of the super S that has been seen on screen.
8 Stuck To The Comics: Atom
The Atom has a distinctive look in the comics, but clearly the designers of the Arrowverse wanted to change it drastically, with the suit becoming one of the worst from across the CW.
Feeling like an Iron Man rip-off and look like it was made with very little budget, it’s odd that there have not been any changes to the suit over the years. It never even featured the distinctive Atom logo!
7 Better On Screen: Batwoman
The Dark Knight of Gotham has had her own modified Batman suit created, complete with red hair and logo. The look really works well and demonstrates how dangerous this hero can actually be.
It’s a suit that has some of the practical elements of other Arrowverse costumes, but also takes inspiration from the comics as well. It may be one of the better Bat Family costumes that has been put to screen before.
6 Stuck To The Comics: Flash
The fastest man alive probably deserves one of the best costumes in the world. Unfortunately, the original costume created for the character didn’t really work and the suit has looked a little odd ever since.
It’s a strange material and often frames the head and mouth weirdly. It’s moved from leather to various other materials but the design will probably be changed a few more times before they finally settle on an iconic look.
5 Better On Screen: Killer Frost
Killer Frost has had a variety of costumes in the comics but the screen has somehow managed to update her look to something more heroic while maintaining comic accuracy and producing something unique.
In fact, the costumes for Killer Frost have been so good that it appears as if the comics have taken some cues from them and reflected them in many ways. It’s a great piece of design, complete with a killer logo.
4 Stuck To The Comics: Hawkman And Hawkgirl
Hawkman and Hawkgirl have really intriguing costumes in the comics that are built around the mythology of the characters. With ancient Egyptian inspiration and beautiful details, the source material produced a great blueprint for the shows.
Unfortunately, in live-action these costumes come off as tacky and with very few interesting design choices. Even the color palette has been muted somewhat and it lacks the charm of the comics.
3 Better On Screen: Black Lightning
Black Lightning isn’t a well known comic book character to a mainstream audience, so he had to have a design that explained who the character was, as well as looking great and being practical.
The choices made ensured that a fantastic costume was put together; one that certainly rivals many from this list. It takes what the original art had set out and manages to elevate it further!
2 Stuck To The Comics: Vibe
Vibe falls short in live-action, in part due to having a complex costume to adapt. The Vibe costume in the comics is very much of its era and would be a nightmare to replicate.
Unfortunately, the show took the leather jacket approach, giving the character quite a generic look. The googles and gauntlets were added but neither managed to save the look.
1 Better On Screen: Captain Cold
Captain Cold somehow works very well on screen. Despite just being a big coat and some goggles, the look overall actually works rather than looking silly. It’s difficult to do with such a stylized costume.
There are elements that could be improved, but the cold gun was something they had to get right and they managed to do this successfully. Alternate versions of the character also had great designs.
The Arrowverse features a lot of comic-accurate costumes for heroes like The Flash. But which look better on-screen vs their DC Comics originals?