Movie Super Heroes Wear Black
My favorite is the one in black leather.
You actually go outside in these things? Cyclops:
Well, what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?
When superheroes get their chance in the big screen, there's usually someone who ends putting more black and/or leatherish texture in their attires, and often simplifying the design while they're at it. This isn't necessarily to make the characters Darker and Edgier
(though it can), but simply because colorful superhero costumes don't always translate well in live action, unless you're not bothered about being serious
. The most oft-cited example is Wolverine
. Badass in the comics, but his standard yellow costume (or the brown one he wore for awhile) would look ridiculous in real life.
Usual justification is to make the suit actually practical or add a sense of realism to it, as spandex isn't known for stopping bullets or providing protection, so usually heroes, even ones who's suits are stated to be bullet proof, will be given something that could reasonably be protective. Sometimes though, its just for the hell of it.
to Spandex, Latex, or Leather
. Related to Civvie Spandex
and Not Wearing Tights
. An example of Dark Is Not Evil
. Related to Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames
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- Yes, this can happen in comics, too, as seen by The Ultimates, which gave several of the characters altered costumes to make them resemble a more realistic, movie-style version of their classic selves. Fitting, given that its written and designed as if its a movie adaptation of The Avengers, and likely why many of the examples in the film section draw from the Ultimates. 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), 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 he 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), and even Iron Man (who retains his colour scheme, but his suit is bulkier).
- DC's New 52 and Marvel's Marvel NOW reboot/relaunch features redesigns for most of the characters in both universes, usually along the lines of armoured suits designed to resemble film outfits (including Superman, who gets a plated armour, despite being invulnerable). Somewhat averted in some cases, such as Daredevil (who retains his usual red outfit due to he popularity of his ongoing series), 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 who's outfits wouldn't need much altering to pass into films.
- The big-screen Batman ditched the classic blue-and-gray comic/TV suit for the rubber-molded black one, although the final two sequels went with dark blue and even 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.*
- The Power Rangers 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.
- Daredevil's movie outfit is oxblood red rather than its red comics counterpart. Elektra in the same movie wears an all-black leather ensemble rather than the red leotard from the comics. This even applies to the movie's version of Bullseye; even though Bullseye's costume is mostly black to begin with, here he doesn't have anything you'd call a costume at all. He apparently wants to get into wearing one though.
- All the GI Joes in The Rise Of Cobra were put in black spy catsuits for the movie, rather than each having a distinct, unique, and colorful uniform as they have in other adaptations.
- While each character did get a distinct look in previous versions, the default Joe uniform had always been an olive green army suit. The show's writers even referred to nameless extras as "greenshirts." Snake Eyes was the only guy who got to wear a black catsuit, until the movie.
- 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 muted blue, with a burgundy cape. Supposedly, the bright red color would have interfered with the digital effects.
- The Man of Steel movie sees Superman in a darker rendition of his classic suit. The trademark red trunks are also removed and some detailing is added to make the suit seem more "alien", though this ties with the current comics, where recently they've been ditched.
- 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.
- Nick Fury wore a black uniform rather than his traditional blue in the Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD TV movie.
- Lampshaded in the X-Men film (see quote at the top of the page). 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 movie costumes still contain some subtle nods to the comics. Wolvie's outfit has yellow highlights, and Storm's has a cape and white highlights.
- This an Averted Trope with X-Men: First Class which has the X-Men back in yellow suits, inspired in equal part by the team's uniforms during their earliest comic appearances and the New X-Men suits. Though, they're made of more practical material than the spandex/cloth look of the comics, and there are no masks. Magneto also appears at the end with his trademark red costume and helmet.
- Averted again with The Wolverine, where the Silver Samurai will be wearing a comic-accurate outfit. Logan of course still wears street clothes.
- 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.
- The Spider-Man Trilogy also averts this, although early designs had various black and red ensembles.
- Of course, the third film obviously saw him in an all-black costume which was eventually worn by Venom. Unlike the black costume from the comics, it's literally just the regular Spider-Man costume but black — webs and all, not a trace of the white Venom symbol to be found.
- Though if you look closely, the spider symbol does gradually grow more aggressive looking - while its still not the venom symbol at least they still stuck to the general interpretations (spidey symbol = good, changed spidey symbol on black suit = bad)
- The third movie also has Harry Osborn as "the New Goblin." All black, no green to be seen.
- The Amazing Spider-Man has Spidey wear a suit with darker shades of red and blue and made of a rougher material, as part of the film taking more cues from the Ultimate continuity. In its sequel, though, the colors become brighter and the eyes become larger.
- Captain America: The First Avenger averts this, as Cap first wears a faithful translation of his comic counterpart's costume during the USO stage tour sequence, and then gets a more utilitarian version of the familiar costume (which is really just the 616 look and the Ultimate suit combined) later in the movie.
- Also played straight. 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.
- The Avengers 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.
- Oddly enough, while Black Widow is wearing a costume faithful to her comic counterpart, she is still wearing an all black leather catsuit, making this a Justified Trope.
- This trope is outright defied for Captain America. Rogers asks if his original stars-and-stripes costume is too old-fashioned. Coulson replies that with the current situation, people might need a little "old-fashioned." However, his suit is more armored than the comic counterpart. It also ditches the buccaneer boots, and head wings cling to the surface of the helmet instead of extending outward.
- The production stills and concept art for Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks to be going more this route. The directors have ditched Cap's colorful duds from The Avengers and given him something closer to his Commander Rogers outfit◊ from Secret Avengers.
- The Falcon wears a black outfit similar to his Ultimate look, rather than his classic red and white costume. The Winter Soldier himself has a more practical face mask and goggles rather than his Domino Mask from the comics.
- The upcoming Gatchaman movie looks to have retained the basic elements of the costumes, but the actual color schemes are very muted. Jun's pink skirt◊ has also been replaced with a more practical-looking set of dark purple armor◊.
- 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 accoutrements are transformed into more realistically sized versions in silver metal or black leather. It's possible the accessories were downsized to avoid problems moving in the costume (see also: Batman).
- Spectacularly averted by The Phantom.
- He couldn't escape from the silk-screened skull motifs, though.
- The other thing about The Phantom's costume in the movie is that it's designed to "change" color depending on the lighting. It can shift from bright to dark purple, red, grey, or blue in a Shout Out to how various publishers over the world change the color of his costume based of preference.
- The Meteor Man features its hero wearing a black and green suit (made by his mother). Amazingly enough, it's a comedy. Allegedly.
- 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.
- Averted by the Fantastic Four movies, where the costumes looked a great deal like the comics, only a bit darker.
- Entirely averted by the Incredible Hulk in all his movie incarnations. Of course the Hulk rarely, if ever, wears any sort of costume in the comic books anyway, so there's really not much to change.
- The purple britches only showed up as a single gag in the Continuity Reboot, and since then it's just been whatever pants Bruce happened to have on when he hulked out; in the climaxes of both The Incredible Hulk and the The Avengers, they happened to be black.
- Leaked photos from the upcoming RoboCop remake have him in what appears to be a generic black suit of angular pads—the helmet even replaces the iconic slot-visor with a black droplet-shape that covers the top two-thirds of his face. A leaked script even claims that "Robocop 1.0" is shown to be pretty close to the original... but is scrapped after focus groups compare him to a "toy from the 80s".
- 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.
- The Green Hornet averts this, since their original clothes are a green suit and a black chauffeur's outfit, but with masks.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, Superman wore a black Badass Longcoat for a year or so, along with black pants & shirt with silver logo.
- On the same series, 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.
- In Arrow, Deathstroke the Terminator has his trademark blue and orange costume changed to black body armor. His mask however keeps the orange markings.
- 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.
- The short-lived Birds of Prey TV series had Huntress wearing a black leather trench coat 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.
- In keeping with its attempts to look like a Hollywood movie, DMC Devil May Cry replaces Dante's classic white and red colors for his hair and trench coat with black. His classic color scheme does however return when he enters his Devil Trigger form.
- 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.
- 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.