The MCU is the single most profitable franchise in cinematic history, bringing fans movie adaptations of beloved Marvel comic books. Debuting with Iron Man in 2008, the shared superhero universe has introduced dozens of heroes and villains throughout its long and successful history. These characters have been incredibly dynamic, and their costumes have seen good on-screen adaptations.
While many fans would prefer to see the comic book costumes get more love, in some cases the movies have produced something even better. This is largely thanks to the use of CGI, which can enhance the look of characters beyond their comic book appearances. Others have seen minor tweaks that made just the right amount of difference. These now iconic looks have helped sell the MCU to fans the world over.
10/10 Mysterio Just Looked Awesome
One of Spider-Man’s greatest and coolest-looking villains, Mysterio made his on-screen debut in Spider-Man: Far From Home. In the comics, Mysterio’s outfit is a basic green suit topped with his classic fishbowl helmet. The MCU gave him a makeover that sold the lie of a superhero from the future.
Mysterio’s design traded in the cushy suit of comics for a superhero suit that would look right at home on Asgard. While it would have been great to see him spend more time wearing his signature helmet, Jake Gyllenhaal’s take on the illusionary villain is one of the MCU’s best comic twists.
9/10 War Machine Is Given A Great And Imposing Design For Film
James Rhodes’ War Machine has always been a fan-favorite hero, even stepping in for Iron Man during the Secret Wars event. Seeing the bulked-up Iron Man-style armor come to life in live-action was one of the highlights of the Iron Man movies.
In the comics, the suit would often resemble only a minor change from Tony’s own suit and would be either sleek or excessively bulky. The MCU nailed the perfect middle-ground, bringing the up-armored look that fits Rhodey’s job as a soldier and his suit’s nature as a weapon.
8/10 Ant-Man Has So Much More Detail On-Screen
Ant-Man initially sported a rather different look in the comics when Hank Pym was in the suit. What was once a metallic, bulbous helmet was compacted and given detail. The MCU went one step further and turned the older super costume into an astronaut-inspired suit that reflects the “cosmic” nature of the Quantum Realm.
The original Ant-Man look may be iconic in its own right, but the Scott Lang version’s high-tech upgrade was perfect for the MCU. The Ant-Man costume is the perfect combination of respecting a traditional design while making it look more modern and detailed.
7/10 Doctor Strange’s Costume Went To Another Level
Doctor Strange always had one of the coolest costumes in Marvel Comics. Strange was created to resemble a Vincent Price character, a role well suited to Benedict Cumberbatch. The costume sports the look from the comics and adds more detail and intricacies, making him seem like the supernatural figure he is.
Strange has an immediately recognizable look in both comics and film, owing to his red and blue color scheme and fantastical cape. The MCU did a great job at capturing the sorcerer’s look and adding detail that was lacking in comics to make Strange the best-looking magician on screen.
6/10 Black Panther’s Costume Has A Much Better Cinematic Presence
Black Panther was one of the most hotly anticipated MCU debuts, finally making his way to the big screen in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. In comics, the costume is great but lacks the visual detail and real-time motion seen on film.
Thanks to the special effects and CGI, the suit in live action could do things the comics couldn’t, namely capture the storage of energy in real-time. With similar effects as the Iron Man nanotech, the vibranium-based capabilities looked great on screen and gave the appearance of a living suit.
5/10 Peter Quill Became The Greatest Looking Space Hero
Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord boasts one of the MCU’s coolest ensembles. He fits in perfectly with his fellow members of Yondu’s crew. His costume is both unique and relatable and does a good job at contrasting his space setting with his Earthly beginnings.
In the comics, Star-Lord’s costume is more of an unoriginal spin on space-based heroes of the early days of comics like Flash Gordon. However, the MCU gave him something that set him apart from these older characters, making him as unique as he is stylish.
4/10 Gladiator Thor Is The Hero’s Coolest Look
Thor always had one of the greatest costumes in all of comics. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee designed Thor as a combination of his mythological Viking look and Kirby’s distinct otherworldly armor look that would be used for his Fourth World. His look in the MCU was always great, but Thor Ragnarok brought him his coolest appearance.
In Thor Ragnarok, Thor lost his Asgardian armor, got a haircut, and was outfitted with the now iconic gladiator costume. The costume was a merger of some of his comic book looks and MCU clothes. When combined with the eye patch, it was just an awesome look.
3/10 Loki’s Costume Is So Much Cooler Than The Comics
Loki began life in Marvel Comics with a campy, dated costume that would soon develop within comics to something better. The villain’s look has seen a lot of evolution over time and the MCU just took this development one step further.
Where the comics had always kept many elements of Loki’s Silver Age design, the MCU gave him a bigger re-imagining. The villain goes between his classic, regal Asgardian look and an Earthly one. Both designs perfectly convey the character’s status as well as his vanity.
2/10 Vulture Got A Great High-Tech Look
One of the best MCU villains to date, Michael Keaton’s Vulture was a tech-focused villain who stole alien technology to make a living for his family. What used to be a Silver Age feathery villain was transformed into a bomber jacket hero with an advanced headset and mechanical wings.
As iconic as the feathered-winged villain was in the comics, the high-tech look and glowing green eyes sold Vulture as a great and imposing villain. The change was very well suited to the MCU and made for a good challenge to Peter Parker.
1/10 CGI Gave Tony Stark His Best Iron Man Suits Ever
Iron Man has a long and interesting history in Marvel Comics that was mirrored perfectly in the MCU. What began as a heavy and cumbersome suit became sleek and robotic before finally being replaced by nanotechnology. As great as this all was in the comics, CGI truly did it justice.
The ability to showcase the Iron Man suit coming together, both in the assembly of robotic parts or the movement of nanotechnology, is one of the coolest uses of CGI in modern cinema. When assembled in full glory, the suit, coupled with the voice of Robert Downey Jr, was incredible.
NEXT: Every Marvel Movie In Phase 4 & Their Impact On The Overall MCU