In partnership with Warner Bros.
DC supervillains sure know how to rock an outfit. Arkham Asylum must rival the Met Gala. The same goes for their heroes – whether they’re wearing capes or figure-hugging numbers, they know style. As The Flash (in cinemas June 14) gives us another cosplay-ready get-up, NME casts an eye over the best of the best…
10. Aquaman (Jason Momoa)
Aquaman’s big-screen debut did away with the preppy style of yore and updated his outfit for a modern comic book age. Jason Momoa grabbed the trident, first in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, then 2017’s Justice League and finally in his own self-titled movie a year later. His flowing sea-salted locks and ridiculously buff-body resplendent in majestic green and gold Atlantis royal regalia was a sight to behold.
9. Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman)
‘Batman & Robin’ (1997)
Holy wigs, Batman! 1997’s divisive romp Batman & Robin saw Uma Thurman’s beyond-camp performance as eco-terrorist Poison Ivy serving some memorable looks. Botanist Dr Pamela Isley is thrown into a vat of chemicals and receives a glow-up: with a plethora of extravagant crimson hairstyles (including her most-remembered one reminiscent of two upturned Cornettos) and a more-is-more approach to make-up, replete with sparkling leotards, and various leafy accessories, she generally puts the ‘Mother’ into Mother Nature.
8. Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley)
Zack Snyder’s movie version of Alan Moore’s graphic novel gifted us Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorschach who covers his head with a flour bag, with a constantly shifting black-and-white pattern on it which connotes his changing emotions like cards in a Rorschach test (surely the kind of creative imagination that would help him win both The Great British Bake-Off and The Great British Sewing Bee). His taste in tailoring was certainly better than his poker face. Paired with an olive trench coat and Dick Tracy-style brown hat, he’s surely the snappiest-dressed moral-cleanser, with kick-ass abilities that mean you’d never make a ‘resting yeast face’ joke at him.
7. Joker (Heath Ledger)
‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
The late Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for giving us a grungier take on the Clown Prince Of Crime, and was inspired by British rockers like Sid Vicious and Pete Doherty to nail down his appearance. Rather than get bogged down in origin story, The Dark Knight’s Joker lets his costume tell the tale: the scars on his face, the chipped, ghoulish make-up, wild unkempt, greasy, green hair and slept-in purple suit was seriously impressive.
6. The Riddler (Jim Carey)
‘Batman Forever’ (1995)
Jim Carey’s gloriously scenery-chewing star-gurn as The Riddler in the OTT Batman Forever really took the biscuit. Orange-haired Edward Nygma poses impossible conundrums like a homicidal version of Victoria Coren Mitchell from BBC’s Only Connect, but his fashion nous is the only thing not in question, as he capers round in a green question mark-emblazoned bodysuit, twirling a question-mark-shaped cane and bowler hat. With glittery variations on the theme, he makes even Lil Nas X’s wardrobe resemble that of a staid bank manager in comparison. His array of different ensembles suggest that The Riddler’s biggest nemesis isn’t Batman – but his sky-high dry cleaning bill.
5. Supergirl (Sasha Calle)
‘The Flash’ (2023)
Supergirl started out looking like Superman in a skirt (making her resemble an intergalactic cheerleader), but Sasha Calle – the first actor to portray the character on the big screen since 1984’s Supergirl: The Movie gives us a far harder-edged Kara Zor-El and brings us bang up to 2023 date with a killer incandescent, more-functional suit.
4. Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)
‘Batman Returns’ (1992)
Last year, Britney Spears declared Michelle Pfeiffer a “freaking God” for her electrifying performance in Batman Returns, and she wasn’t worshipping false feline idols. Forget 2004’s eponymous Catwoman film, Pfeiffer gives the ultimate portrayal of the role, as she transforms from mousy secretary Selina Kyle into a whip-wielding glamourpuss, knocking up a skin-tight patent leather catsuit (what else?!) on a sewing machine with the dedication of a particularly competitive RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant. It even featured chaotic stitching to cleverly represent Catwoman’s mental state.
3. The Flash (Ezra Miller)
‘The Flash’ (2023)
Ezra Miller’s solo Scarlet Speedster movie sees him prepare for Multiverse madness by delving into their Crimson Closet to give us the definitive The Flash costume, with nippy Barry Allen decked out in streamlined red body armour with his iconic gold lightning bolts and glowing veins. Face it, it’d look good in any universe.
2. Batman (Michael Keaton)
‘The Flash’ (2023)
Director Tim Burton is acclaimed as having put the “goth” in Gotham City, transforming the lurid grey spandex Kap-pow!er dresser of the 1960s TV series into Michael Keaton’s brooding, all-black armoured Batsuit which concealed weapons, accentuated with a yellow chest emblem and utility belt. It was a striking outfit that certainly turned heads – even if the heavy-duty rubber cowl meant that Keaton couldn’t turn his own. Keaton dons a variation of the look in The Flash (one of seven costumes he sports), underlining its timelessness.
1. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)
Margot Robbie’s fantabulous Harley Quinn outfit was influenced by a famous photo of Debbie Harry (where the Blondie legend wears a ripped Vultures t-shirt and studded belt), and saw the designers ditch the antihero’s ’90s animated series jester look in favour of multicoloured dyed hair, a torn ‘Daddy’s Lil Monster’ top and a baseball bat. Bingo! An instant cultural icon was born faster than you can say: ‘Joker who?’
‘The Flash’ is in UK cinemas from June 14