"Make him more tactical, make him look, uh... let's go with black."Whenever a character is well defined by wearing bright and colorful clothing, there is an increasing likelihood of a more modernized redesign that puts them into darker, if not outright black outfit. Also very popular is to give them a leather jacket or similar heavily texturized clothing. This isn't necessarily to make the characters Darker and Edgier, but because colorful costumes don't always translate well into seeming like practical combat outfits. As the name suggests, this is very common with the movie adaptation of a comic book, or live action material in general. Usual justification is to make the suit actually practical or add a sense of realism, since spandex isn't known for stopping bullets (and the look of superhero costumes originated in circuses and other performance art). Black also looks extremely good on camera (compare Little Black Dress on that) and certain colors are either difficult to maintain consistency under different lighting or would actually make the use of certain Chroma Key effects more complicated. At other times they retain some degree of the original colors but offset it by being darker shades or pairing it with black pants or jacket. Sometimes there is outright tactical redesigns that emulate the original look but looks like armor or otherwise utilitarian rather than strictly a skin tight outfit. It's typically involved with a Pragmatic Adaptation as complete fidelity to the source material often leads towards absurdist imagery, which is fine for works like Kick-Ass or the '66 Batman but can hinder a more serious interpretation of the characters. But this doesn't always happen strictly in adaptations, ultimately it's about black or darker redesigns. Retools and remakes also use it quite often to fit with evolving audience expectations. Almost any brightly colored comic book character of any merit has a "black variant" sometime in their history. The trope has older roots, but the Trope Codifier is the X-Men Film Series, where a very colorful group of comics characters used primarily black leather outfits, while non-X-Men characters usually wore common street attire. The reasoning given by the production is that the X-Men are a team and should have uniforms, and that since few character were Nigh Invulnerable or had a Healing Factor the outfits should look somewhat protective. Subtle color highlights were used as a Mythology Gag to their original outfits, and a joke was made about the oddities of both the movie costumes (while they blended into the night they still stuck out in public) and if they would prefer going into a fight with yellow spandex. Sister Trope to Spandex, Latex, or Leather. Related to Civvie Spandex, Not Wearing Tights, and Marquee Alter Ego. For female characters, this can often lead to Adaptational Modesty. An example of Dark Is Not Evil. Related to Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames.
— Raymond Sellars, RoboCop (2014)
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- The Ultimates gives several of the characters altered costumes to make them resemble a more realistic, movie-style version of their classic selves. Most notable examples are:
- Hawkeye goes from purple and blue suit with mask and loincloth, to a black and red sleeveless outfit that includes sunglasses
- The Wasp goes from a variety of different outfits that are usually brightly coloured, to a black and yellow two piece leather number, which she alters repeatedly over the course of the sequels
- Ant-Man/Giant-Man goes from a brightly coloured outifts that usually include red, black, yellow, or blue with a large helmet, to an orange/oxblood red outfit with a simple mask
- Miles Morales, the second Ultimate Spider-Man, wears a black suit, but this has less to do with resembling a movie costume and more to do with distinguishing him from his predecessor.
- DC's New 52 and Marvel's Marvel NOW! relaunch feature redesigns for most of the characters in both universes, usually along the lines of armored or leather suits designed to resemble film outfits (including Superman, whose outfit looks somewhat like segmented armor). Averted in some cases, such as Daredevil (who retains his usual red outfit due to the popularity of his ongoing series, which is intended to step away from Darker and Edgier territory), the X-Men (with exception of Cyclops' new Uncanny team, they all retain their usual outfits), Hawkeye (who already went through a redesign to be more film like), and a few other examples, usually ones whose outfits wouldn't need much altering to pass into films.
- Notably, during the second wave of Marvel NOW!, Wolverine, who had kept his previous Astonishing era costume during the initial relaunch (largely because, unlike some examples, his suit at the time didn't need updating since it looked reasonable enough as it was), switched to a black and gold armoured suit designed by the Superior Spider-Man in order to compensate for him being Brought Down to Normal.
- Speaking of such, Superior Spider-Man saw this trope played straight twice. First, he's introduced using a black-and-red suit with claws, defined lenses on the eyes, and a more menacing general appearance; as he was a darker figure, it helped to reflect that he wasn't as heroic or moral as Peter Parker. Later, as he descends further into his villainous tendencies, his suit was altered once more, now becoming almost entirely black, save for a creepy red spider-like chest symbol of sorts and his mask, along with spider leg-like mechanical appendages and generally looking more practical, though also more intimidating; as he was, at this point, an actual Villain Protagonist, this helped to make him look more like a villain, so that when Peter Parker returns, his return to the classic, heroic costume would stand out far more.
- Jessica Jones, former Spider-Woman Jessica Drew and Luke Cage all wear plain clothes in the Marvel MAX Alias series. For action sequences, they tend to favor overcoats.
Jessica Jones: Not wearing your costume?Jessica Drew: Made my ass look big.Jessica Jones: I hear you. Thank god for The Matrix huh?Luke Cage: I'm not about the tights and shit. Never was.
- Very briefly after his return from the dead, Superman sported an all black spandex suit with a metallic S-shield, and a mullet. He went back to the trademark blue and red tights before the story's end, although the mullet remained for a couple of years. This led to some confusion (on both sides) when a time warp occurred in the mid-1990s and various Batmans from the character's then-55-year history began showing up in Metropolis. The first Batman that Superman comes across is the one from the 1970s, and at first he doesn't realize this isn't the modern Batman.
Seventies Batman: [looking at Superman's mullet] Not going "hippie" on us, are you?Superman: "Hippie"?!
- Incidentally, there was an in-story explanation for the black suit: it was designed to help him absorb sunlight faster, as he was still recovering from the fight that seemingly killed him at the start of the arc.
- Bucky Barnes, when he became the new Captain America, donned a modified suit that was largely black, with a shiny blue mask and chest piece, along with covering his ears. It was mentioned that the suit was designed In-Universe by The Wasp, as she had felt like Cap's suit needed an update. For the most part, the suit served to distinguish him from Steve Rogers' Captain America identity, but also helped reflect how Bucky wasn't quite a paragon like Steve was.
Film - Animation
- Superman: Doomsday, being an adaptation of The Death of Superman arc, has Superman wearing the black suit from the comics, with the same explanation; that it absorbs solar power, and he's still recovering from his "death". Presumably, he switches back at the end.
- Inverted for Big Hero 6. Honey Lemon wore a black bra and leggings in the comics, with a red leather jacket. The film gives her a more colorful pink number with a skirt over purple tights. GoGo had a yellow and purple costume in the comic but the purple was changed to black for the film (though yellow is still the predominant color). The others wore their comic accurate costumes.
Film - Live Action
- The big-screen Batman is the Trope Maker, ditching the classic blue-and-gray comic/TV suit for the rubber-molded black one, although the final two sequels went with dark blue and silver.
- Catwoman routinely wears black rubber or leather in all of her film incarnations. That includes Halle Berry, too. Prior to the first Tim Burton Batman movie, and for a while afterwards, comic book Catwoman tended towards purple spandex or dresses.
- Chris O'Donnell's Robin wears a suit not dissimilar from Bruce's, with a slightly modified bat emblem (actually the Nightwing emblem from the comics) on the front. His first costume was somewhat inspired by the Tim Drake Robin suit, and would ironically be, sans nipples, the New 52 design for the default Robin attire.
- The Dark Knight Saga Batsuits are also black but take things a step further in that they don't even have a yellow circle around the bat-symbol.note
- DC Extended Universe
- Man of Steel sees Superman in a darker rendition of his classic suit. In some shots it looks almost black, but compared to the invading Kryptonians in black armor he does stand out. The trademark red trunks are also removed and some detailing is added to make the suit seem more "alien", though this ties with the concurrent comics, where they've also been ditched. Also, during an induced hallucination/dream/whatever, Superman wears a black costume with a silver S.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for the first time has Batman wear the black-and-gray suit; as well as black Powered Armor, both of which appear to be heavily influenced by the character's appearance in The Dark Knight Returns. Similarly; Wonder Woman's suit is still red and blue, and her red and white Thigh-High Boots have also been replaced with armored gold boots with red on the sides, but the colors are significantly more muted. Superman's suit was redesigned to be brighter than in MOS, but is still comparatively brighter.
- Suicide Squad features an inversion with Harley Quinn. She is best known for her black and red harlequin costume, which is seen briefly but for most of the film she wears a tattered white t-shirt (saying "Daddy's Little Monster" on it) with sparkly blue hot pants, and uses bright pink and sky blue for her make-up and Girlish Pigtails.
- Wonder Woman has her outfit be more of an ethereal blue and red, deliberately contrasting BVS as Diana is fresh faced and the armor brand new.
- Justice League includes a number of examples. Batman's previous grey and black costume becomes more of a uniform black like prior Batman movies. Flash wears bright red and yellow armor, but has a black undersuit. Cyborg has greater emphasis on his black and silver body and red lights, but little to no blue like in the comics. Superman will be wearing his traditional black and silver suit for a portion of the film. On the other hand, Superman's blue and red suit and Wonder Woman's armor is brighter than they were in prior DCEU films.
- Power Rangers
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie movie didn't tone down the heroes' colors, but gave them padded, techier-looking suits. Interestingly, later series like Ninja Storm, SPD and Operation Overdrive would outfit the heroes in black leather when they weren't in full multicolored Ranger form.
- The 2017 Power Rangers movie retains the colors, but with darker shades. Also, the suits now look like advanced body armor instead of spandex.
- The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk TV movie features Daredevil in a black costume and this was around the time Batman hit the cinemas
- All the GI Joes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra were put in black spy catsuits for the movie, rather than each having a distinct, unique, and colorful costume as they have in other adaptations.
- Kevin Smith's and later Tim Burton's Superman Lives project from the nineties would've shown Supes in black and silver; early concepts, show it more of a bluish-silver because producer Jon Peters thought the blue-and-red suit was "too faggy". The comic book story on which it was based did have Superman wearing a black and silver outfit at the story's climax. It was the Nineties.
- Superman Returns changed the suit color to a darker blue, with the red cape and trunks more of a burgundy. Supposedly, the bright red color would have interfered with the digital effects. Also, when we first see him in his space ship, he's got a silver uniform that looks black.
- This is pretty obvious in the Watchmen movie, where Ozymandias' purple robes are replaced with a form fitting dark purple and gold body armor (that homaged/parodied the Batman nipple-suits). Silk Spectre and Nite Owl's costumes get a similar overhaul as well. However, The Comedian's outfit still has quite a bit of yellow in it.
- X-Men film franchise:
- Lampshaded in X-Men when Cyclops quips that Wolverine might prefer "yellow spandex" instead of his black leather. And while it isn't the first recorded instance of this, it's certainly the Trope Codifier and is generally what people immediately think of when this trope comes up. Notably, a short clip is on the first movie DVD in which Hugh Jackman runs around the set in a comic-accurate Wolverine costume, and absolutely nobody is taking it seriously. The leather suits turned out not be so good at moving around in however; James Marsden has stated that the cast hated the tight leather suits and there are a blooper scenes where he and Hugh Jackman can't scale a short concrete barrier because the suit refuses to move as much as they need to.
- Averted in X-Men: First Class - with justification, given it's a Origin Story. The X-Men wear kevlar-like yellow and blue suits reminiscent of the comics, The villains (aside from Emma Frost) do wear black, even if Shaw has a white tux at a certain point. Magneto adopts his red and purple costume for the ending (but this was changed for the next film due to a Narm reaction from fans).
- Averted and played straight in The Wolverine. Harada (Silver Samurai in the comics) wears a practical black outfit for most of the movie, but Yashida dons a suit of silver Powered Armor in the finale.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past:
- Deadpool's title character averts this, as he wears what's pretty much an exact replica of the classic red spandex costume he has in the comics. He straight up lampshades this trope in both the actual movie and this test footage/trailer:
Deadpool: "Oh, hello there. I bet you're wondering why the red suit? Well that's so bad guys can't see me bleed. Let's hope these guys brought their brown pants!"
- Negasonic Teenage Warhead plays this straight and averts it. As a goth, her civilian gear consists of black leather, but she also wears a yellow X-Men uniform that looks like it came straight out of a comic book. It's probably the most comic-accurate X-Men uniform since the ones seen in X-Men: First Class.
- Ajax and Angel Dust play this straight. Weasel even jokes about how they look like they're going to a midnight showing of Blade II.
- X-Men: Apocalypse plays both sides. In some cases it averts it altogether, particularly in the case of Psylocke: Betsy's costume is practically a right-off-the-page recreation of the 90s Jim Lee Thongkini. Likewise, Jubilee gets to wear wear her classic bright yellow coat, jeans, big hoop earrings, and pink sunglasses, while Apocalypse is blue and draws inspiration from his classic look including tubes running along his head. Both averted and played straight with the X-Men themselves. They start off in black body armor similar to the uniforms from the original movies (actually flight suits they take from a military base), but the final scene shows them all in colorful costumes straight out of the comics. Nightcrawler even has his trademark red outfit.
- Frank Miller's adaptation of The Spirit saw the titular hero swap his blue Coat, Hat, Mask from the comics for a black variation of the same ensemble. Then again, the entire world seemed to have made a swap of a black variation of their ensemble.
- Miller is known to prefer the black and white reprints over the original color comics. Some think it adds an extra bit of noir to the more dramatic stories.
- Spider-Man Trilogy:
- While Peter does wear his red-and-blue webs, the colors are darker and more muted than in the comics. In the third film he has a very dark grey version of his regular costume, instead of the pitch black suit with big, bright white spider on the chest and back from the comics.
- In Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn as "the New Goblin" is primarily black, with only a few very dark green highlights.
- In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Electro wears a black and blue outfit◊ rather than his colorful green tights◊ from the comics.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Captain America: The First Avenger:
- The HYDRA troops wear green and yellow uniforms in the comics, but had black body armor in the movie.
- And of course, Bucky wears military gear instead of the colorful red-and-blue uniform and Domino Mask he wore in the Golden Age comics. Notably, though, its still coloured blue rather than look like traditional military colours, so it still looks, for the most part, like the Bucky costume.
- Captain America's comic outfit (complete with the funny-looking wings on the sides of the head) is used as Steve's USO costume. When he's actually on the job, his outfit is still patriotically-themed but far less gaudy (his helmet being a modified soldier's helmet and his clothes being combat gear complete with various pouches and holster straps).
- The Avengers (2012) movie is pretty faithful to the comics with the exception of Hawkeye who wears a dark leather suit with no mask as opposed to his purple Super Hero costume, though this is basically Ultimate Hawkeye's costume anyway. 616 Hawkeye started wearing something like the movie costume shortly before the movie's premiere, although it's still pretty purple. Also, while Thor wears a battle suit, it's still much darker than his comic costume and has the appearance of leather in some places.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
- Cap ditches his colorful costume from The Avengers (2012) in favor of a darker suit reminiscent of his Commander Rogers outfit◊ from Secret Avengers. This eventually turns out to be subverted; the dark outfit was just for the nighttime stealth mission at the start of the movie and a later chase. For the climactic battle he steals a replica of his World War II outfit from a museum.
- The Falcon wears a black and gray outfit similar to his Ultimate look, rather than his classic red and white costume (which Anthony Mackie, who played Sam Wilson in the film, was actually disappointed by. In a rare change, he was looking forward to wearing the red and white spandex). The Winter Soldier himself has a more practical face mask and goggles rather than his Domino Mask from the comics.
- Guardians of the Galaxy:
- Ronan's robes have changed from green to black.
- When the team gets their matching suits, they are a dark red.
- Drax's skin is almost grey, rather than bright green.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: Hawkeye once more doesn't wear his classic purple duds, but does wear a Badass Longcoat that greatly resembles his Ronin costume from the comics, and incorporates some details from his classic suit. It also comes with giving him more purple, despite being largely black. Similarly, both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver ditch their costumes from the comics, and instead wear Civvie Spandex that evokes their usual costume aesthetics. However, Scarlet Witch dons a full superhero costume of red leather reminiscent of her Ultimate look at the end of film after joining the Avengers.
- In Ant-Man, the titular suit is recolored mostly black with red highlights on the torso. This is even referenced in the film proper when Scott at first thinks the costume is an old leather motorcycle suit. The helmet has also been redesigned to cover the entire face, and the cartoonish antennae are now reduced to a pair of small prongs protruding straight up from the sides of the helmet. When Hope's Wasp armor is unveiled at the end, it's shown to have black leggings but a lot of yellow and some red as well.
- Captain America: Civil War is a mixed bag. Captain America once again dons a red, white and blue outfit similar to the one he wore in Avengers: Age of Ultron, however the white from the arms is removed. Falcon's outfit has been redesigned to include more red and silver, while Hawkeye now has a completely new costume that's mostly covered in purple and appears closer to his original 616 comic design. Scarlet Witch also has a red costume now. This trope is surprisingly inverted with Black Panther, whose costume is given silver detailing that actually makes it look more colorful than what he usually wears in the comics.
- Thanos plays with this trope as well, since he is the Bigger Bad of the whole MCU. While he does retain his blue and gold color scheme from the comics, it's much more muted than it is in the comics. In addition, Thanos' costume is much more armored than it is in the comics, possibly because his blue and gold spandex costume looks too ridiculous on live action.
- Averted with Doctor Strange's costume, which is blue, red and gold as colorful as the comic book version.
- Both averted and played straight in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man himself once again looks straight out of a comic book, but the Vulture's wing suit has many black accents along with the green, and he wears a brown bomber jacket instead of a green bodysuit like he does in the comics. He also wears a black helmet, which he didn't have in the comics.
- Captain America: The First Avenger:
- In Kamen Rider: The First and Kamen Rider: The Next, the original three Riders' costumes go from cloth to leather, and use more subdued colors overall; compare the original 1973 version◊ of Kamen Rider V3 to "Hopper Version 3"◊ from 2006. The same happens over the course of the two movies, as Hongo◊ and Ichimonji◊'s suits faded in the two-year interim, becoming much◊ darker (with Hongo's suit outright changing from dark blue to dark green.
- The Judge Dredd comic strip had the character in a fairly bright blue bodyglove accessorized with oversized yellow shoulder decorations and badge, along with lurid green boots, knee and elbow pads, gloves and utility belt (complete with a red, white and blue American Eagle buckle). Both movies keep the basic outfit (in a rather darker blue or black) but the accouterments are in silver metal or black leather.
- The suits in Fantastic Four (2015), which are not unlike the black bodysuits from the original X-Men movies. The movie had the misfortune of coming out in an era where colorful superhero outfits were now much more common in movies, which just gave the detractors even more ammo.
- The Meteor Man features its hero wearing a black, grey and green suit (made by his mother).
- Justified with Ghost Rider and Blade, both of whom were wearing black leather in the comics around the time the movies came out. Though, Blade's original costume was a hideous red and green ensemble, and Johnny Blaze's biker jacket was arguably blue.
- The 90's live-action Cat's Eye movie had the sisters wearing black vinyl outfits (influenced by Catwoman from Batman Returns) rather than their colorful leotards from the anime.
- RoboCop (2014) has the title cyborg go through a redesign, from chrome color similar to the design from the first film to a black coloration.
- None of the characters wear their video game outfits in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Big Bad M. Bison even wears a black business suit instead of his red costume and cape from the games.
- The Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer had Racer X wear a black leather suit in lieu of the white and red one he wore in the anime; in a move highly similar to the X-Men movies.
- This is discussed in the novel New Avengers: Breakout, which is partially inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Spider-Woman all wear colorful outfits, while Black Widow, Luke Cage, and Hawkeye all either wear black leather or S.H.I.E.L.D. gear. When Black Widow sings the praises of black Spy Catsuits and wonders aloud why superheroes even bother with colorful costumes that make stealth impossible, Iron Man retorts by saying that the colors help with "branding"; the heroes want the bad guys to know exactly who is coming to kick their asses.
Live Action TV
- Superman wears a black Badass Longcoat for a year or so, along with black pants & shirt with silver logo. He switches to a red jacket with blue shirt the next season (also the last season), as a way of showing Clark is both getting closer to becoming Superman, and also to show he's moving past the anger that prompted him to briefly abandon his identity of Clark Kent that lead to the black coat in the first place.
- Green Arrow wears a jade-colored vinyl hoodie and sunglasses instead of the usual tunic. It goes without saying that he wields a military-grade composite bow.
- Green Arrow himself wears a very dark green suit that could be mistaken for black at times. The arrows he uses have more of a bright jade green coloring for the tips and quivers.
- The show plays with this concerning Deathstroke. When he first appears, his trademark blue and orange costume has been changed to black body armor, though his mask remains half-orange. However, it turns out that this isn't Deathstroke, but rather his former partner, Billy Wintergreen. The real Deathstroke, Slade Wilson, at first wears gray and black fatigues, but when he becomes Deathstroke later, he switches to dark blue armor with orange markings and a more metallic mask, similar to his costume from the comics.
- Deadshot typically wears a black sneaking suit instead of the red and silver in the comics.
- Huntress also wears a black catsuit rather than her purple and white costume from the comic books. The purple is kept, and she is shown asking for it specifically when Ollie designs it.
- Black Canary wears black leather, just like in the comics, but she notably wears more, as she wears leather pants instead of fishnet stockings.
- Cupid wears a black catsuit as well instead of like green in the comics, where she invokes herself as a Distaff Counterpart to Green Arrow.
- Thea Queen's prototype costume is a black and purple version of her counterpart Mia Dearden's red and yellow. Her proper costume is a muted red which was given to her by her lover and predecessor Roy Harper.
- Ray Palmer / The Atom wears a black and red Powered Armor instead of the blue and red suit from the comics.
- The Flash (2014)
- The Flash's suit is more of a burgundy red with a dull gold lightning bolt highlights instead of the bright red and yellow from the comics. A glimpse into seeing the future Flash has Cisco comment on some color changes such as a brighter red and white around the insignia, the white insignia gets included in his season two design.
- Firestorm wears an all black Civvie Spandex in favor of his red and yellow in the comics. The comics outfit is later worn by the second Firestorm during Legends of Tomorrow.
- Similarly, the metahumans in the show have primarily worn casual clothes or black tactical gear. The actual costumed villains Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Pied Piper have at least worn costumes of sorts, albeit Civvie Spandex that resemble their comic book attire, with the latter switching from green and black to just black.
- Played straight with Lisa Snart aka Golden Glider. As her supervillain monicker suggests, she is wearing a white outfit with heavily golden accents. In the show, she wears an all black outfit.
- Played completely straight with Zoom, the Big Bad of Season Two. However, this likely has less to do with thinking his comic outfit looks too silly and more to do with wanting to differentiate him from the Reverse-Flash, who, like the comic version of Zoom, wears a yellow costume.
- In Legends of Tomorrow, Chronos wears a black and dark green suit of Powered Armor instead of the comics' green and gold, thus making him more of a Malevolent Masked Man.
- The short-lived Birds of Prey TV series had Huntress wearing a black leather trenchcoat rather than an actual costume and mask.
- Played with heavily in The Gerosha Chronicles:
- The series Blood Over Water inverts this. The videos have Sleet Mountain employees wearing some awfully civilian-like clothes. They are given more-standardized business-casual uniforms for the Cataclysmic Gerosha book adaptations, consisting of black tops and khaki pants with black shoes. Keep in mind...Sleet Mountain workers are the villains.
- Ciem in Cataclysmic Horizons keeps the orange outfit, though orange hues are dimmed a bit from previous adaptations and the accent colors are given a little more emphasis.
- Emeraldon's suit between adaptations goes from a near-all-green traditional Flying Brick suit to a tougher material that is black - with a sort of green "Matrix" pattern accenting it.
- The Earwig is justified in this, as her outfit has always been black with red trims.
- Mukade averts this, keeping her Japanese flag red-on-white scheme. (Even though she's moved to Toklisana from Japan, and has never been a Captain Patriotic.)
- Jackrabbit normally hops around in civilian form. But his Cataclysmic Gerosha form has been shown to occasionally wear a black hat and sunglasses on more-dangerous missions.
- The 60's Batman series had Catwoman in a black leather catsuit. In the comics at the time (and indeed for decades afterwards), the character usually favored purple outfits. It wasn't until the 21st century that she adopted black as her primary color scheme in the comics.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (again):
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
- Mike Peterson, the only vaguely "superhero-ish" character from Season One , wears a black SHIELD-issued bodysuit before switching it.
- Blackout's "costume" is basically a black shirt with a black duster.
- Most of the superpowered characters in general either tend to wear dark S.H.I.E.L.D. bodysuits like the rest of the cast, or just don't have any costumes whatsoever.
- In the first season, the title character wears various black outfits, usually including civilian clothing and a black hood. This is based a black outfit designed by John Romita Jr during his and Frank Miller's influential Daredevil run. He's frequently referred to as "the man in black." At the end of the season, he gains his trademark suit and name, though his suit has noticeably more black in it than his comic version.
- Wilson Fisk is fond of wearing black suits rather than white like he does in the comics.
- Elektra in the show also wears black and burgundy-with-muted-black outfits instead of red.
- In Jessica Jones, Jessica turns down a suit that looks like Jewel's from the comic (Jessica being Jewel for a short time) because of its colours. She ultimately chooses no super suit, but a leather jacket. However, Kilgrave wears bright purple, likely as a stand-in for the fact he doesn't have actual purple skin.
- Luke Cage generally uses the Not Wearing Tights trope for most of the characters, but Diamondback zig-zags this. He's introduced wearing dark combat gear, but in the Season 1 finale, he dons a green and yellow suit of Powered Armor that looks extremely similar to his snake-themed costume from the comics.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
- Tokumei Sentai Go Busters was the first Super Sentai series to feature the heroes in leather outfits instead of the traditional spandex, though the costumes do still contain a lot of color in addition to the black. Allegedly, this was done to appeal to American audiences when the show was inevitably adapted into a Power Rangers installment, though in a twist of Irony, it turns out that Go-Busters was passed over, due to low toy sales in Japan.
- In Supergirl (2015), J'onn J'onzz's costume is almost a Batmanesque black suit with armour plates instead of the Martian Manhunter's traditional blue shorts and red belt, which would look ridiculous in live action. It does, however, have a bright red X-like pattern on the chest, referencing the crossed red chest-straps of the original costume.
- In keeping with the game's grungier style and the protagonist's rougher origin and personality, DmC: Devil May Cry replaces Dante's long white hair and bright red longcoat with punkish shaven black and battered black leather with red lower sleeves, lining and collar, respectively. His old color-scheme returns super-saturated when he's in Devil Trigger form, and at the end of the game his hair has turned white.
- The DVD-only Strong Bad Email "comic book movie" refers to this as "Leatherquest 2000."
"People may buy that our character has radioactive powers, or is from another planet, but a colorful spandex costume?! Are you crazy?! No audience will accept that! Nope, it's one color, head-to-toe leather for our hero!"
- The Beware the Batman cartoon has taken a nod from the films and given Batman an armored black costume. Katana as well (though she has since adopted a black costume in the New 52 continuity. At the time the show began production however, she still had her old red and yellow color scheme).
- Dick Grayson's Robin suit in Young Justice has all of the green parts colored black instead. This goes for Tim Drake as well, though he at least does have several red and black costumes in the comics.
- Avengers Assemble has Hawkeye wearing his black leather outfit from the movie, rather than his traditional purple costume.
- X-Men: Evolution had most of the cast in black or dark-blue uniforms. Justified though in that the X-Men usually go back and forth between dark uniforms and colorful costumes. Wolverine is notable for starting off in his classic orange costume and then transitioning to a black, maskless outfit in the later seasons. Magneto notably also sports a darker outfit. Instead of his traditional red and purple, he now has a mostly black outfit with red plates over the torso. Mystique starts off wearing her traditional white costume, before switching to a skimpier black one in Season 2.