Summary

  • Marvel has a chance to redesign iconic X-Men costumes for the MCU, preserving the characters’ spirit while maintaining functionality.
  • Fox’s X-Men franchise shied away from colorful costumes, missing opportunities to showcase the characters’ iconic looks.
  • Unique X-Men costumes help establish character relationships and personalities, aiding in audience understanding and engagement.

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With the X-Men likely to soon enter the MCU, Marvel has a chance to redesign the costumes for the live-action versions of these characters. Marvel has proven they can effectively translate a character’s most iconic comic book costume to live action in a way that keeps the spirit of the original while also being functional. A great example would be how Captain America’s cowl was reworked into a helmet, preserving his classic look without having to put Chris Evans in a hooded jumpsuit.

Although many of the X-Men have already appeared in live-action through the Fox franchise, a lot of them never got to wear their most iconic costumes. Fox seemed pretty reluctant to give the X-Men overly colorful costumes early on, falling back on generic black jumpsuits. Even when they started to come around in later movies, very few of the costumes truly captured the characters’ iconic look quite as well as Marvel has managed with the MCU timeline. The MCU version of the X-Men will hopefully correct this trend, and create the looks that helped make these characters so beloved.

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10 Sabretooth’s Fur-Lined Yellow And Brown Jumpsuit

Sabretooth Previously Appeared In Fox’s X-Men Series Played By Tyler Mane & Liev Schreiber

Sabretooth smiling with blood on his claws and teeth in Marvel Comics

In Marvel Comics, Sabretooth wears a yellow and brown jumpsuit very similar to Wolverine’s. The main difference is that Sabretooth’s costume also has large amounts of fur, creating something like a mane around his neck. Having Sabretooth look like a slightly more wild version of Wolverine plays perfectly into the relationship between the characters. The two are very similar in many ways, but Sabretooth is far more reckless and allows himself to give into his baser instincts.

Preserving this visual connection between the characters will help audiences more quickly understand the relationship between the two. Sabretooth’s hulking form and exaggerated costume also help him look more intimidating, helping establish him as the more villainous of the two. These types of easy visual shortcuts can be very helpful when trying to establish an ensemble cast, which the MCU X-Men movie will likely have to do.

9 Wolverine’s Classic Yellow Jumpsuit With His Cowl

Wolverine Will Appear In Deadpool & Wolverine Played By Hugh Jackman

Since X-Men came out in 2000, fans have been wanting to see Wolverine in his classic blue and yellow jumpsuit with his cowl. So far, it looks like Deadpool & Wolverine will at least be delivering on the jumpsuit, though the cowl has still yet to be seen. Given how positive the reaction has been to this costume, Marvel would be smart to stick with a similar design when they introduce the MCU’s Wolverine.

What makes the continued absence of Wolverine’s mask even more frustrating is that it was teased years ago in a deleted scene from The Wolverine. However, the rest of the Fox X-Men movies largely shifted focus away from Wolverine, meaning he never actually put on the costume or the mask. When Hugh Jackman returned for Logan, the costume wasn’t used once more, because it didn’t fit the tone that the movie was going for.

8 Rogue’s Green And Yellow Jumpsuit With Her Jacket

Rogue Previously Appeared In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy Played By Anna Paquin

Apart from her hair, the previous live-action version of Rogue might have been the biggest departure from her typical comic book costume. Rogue essentially just wore a black jumpsuit in the X-Men movies, which was swapped for an all-white one in the final cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past. This is a far cry from her bright yellow and green costume of the comics.

Apart from being a memorable look, Rogue’s loud colors in the comics go well with her big personality. While Rogue was far more reserved and somber in her previous live-action appearances, hopefully the MCU’s Rogue has a chance to be a bit more fun both in appearance and personality, like she has been in the comics.

7 Mystique White Robes With The Skull Emblem

Mystique Previously Appeared In Both Fox X-Men Franchises, Played By Rebecca Romijn And Jennifer Lawrence

Mystique X-Men in white costume with skull headband

Both live-action versions of Mystique – one played by Rebecca Romijn the other by Jennifer Lawrence – spent a lot of their screen-time not wearing clothes. This might have led those who only watched the movies to believe this is how the character typically looks, but that isn’t the case. Mystique often wears clothes in the comics, and has her own costumes just like any other character.

Giving Mystique her classic white clothes in the MCU would be a good way to separate her from the previous versions of the character. It would also save whoever plays Mystique from having to go through as many hours of SFX make-up as her predecessors had to endure. This would make it easier for the MCU actor who plays Mystique to commit to more movies without getting burned out from spending too much time getting into costume.

6 Jean Grey’s Blue and Yellow Jumpsuit With A Headpiece

Jean Grey Previously Appeared In Both Fox X-Men Franchises, Played By Famke Jenssen And Sophie Turner

Jean Grey using her powers in Marvel Comics

Jean Grey is another X-Men character that never quite got to look like her own unique superhero in the previous live-action movies. The closest she got was when both adaptations of the Dark Phoenix saga put her in all red, but it still wasn’t a very memorable appearance. The MCU thus could try to stick closer to Jean’s classic look from some of the comics, and also X-Men: The Animated Series.

This costume is yellow and blue like many X-Men outfits, but has enough unique elements to make Jean look like her own hero. Her large shoulder pauldrons and metal vambraces, for instance, add more to her costume than the flat yellow jumpsuit that some film versions have worn. Her headpiece can also be an effective way to help visualize her mental abilities, as it often glows in the comics. This could be a good way to make Jean look more distinct and show her powers in a new way from previous versions.

5 Cyclops Dark Jumpsuit With Yellow Harness

Cyclops Previously Appeared In Both Fox X-Men Franchises, Played By James Marsden and Tye Sheridan

Unlike many of the other X-Men costumes, this iconic Cyclops look has previously appeared in live-action. However, the version from X-Men: Dark Phoenix failed to effectively capture the look. For one, the yellow was significantly toned down, so it didn’t have the same strong contrast as in the comics. The jumpsuit itself also had a lot of lines and different colors going on. While it makes sense not to want to look too simple, the simplicity is kind of the appeal to Cyclops’ costume.

In a lot of ways, Cyclops is one of the more straightforward X-Men, being generally characterized with a straightforward sense of morality that defines him as both a hero and a person. As such, the simplicity of his appearance plays into this persona, visually signifying to the audience that Scott is a morally good hero with a strong sense of right and wrong.

4 Magneto’s Red And Purple Suit With The Armored Collar

Magneto Previously Appeared In Both Fox X-Men Franchises, Played By Ian McKellen And Michael Fassbender

Magneto in Marvel Comics

Magneto has come very close to sporting this look in live-action. However, he has yet to have the full armored collar of the comics, which is a unique element that gives Magneto a very strong warrior-like appearance. This helps enhance his intimidating demeanor and indicates his willingness to use more aggressive methods to defend the rights of mutants. By leaving out this element from the version of the costume Michael Fassbender wore, Magneto’s appearance was somewhat softened. Magneto will likely be a big player in the MCU, and so going with this more dramatic ensemble at some stage would likely benefit his characterization.

3 Kitty Pryde Yellow Shoulder Pads

Kitty Pryde Previously Appeared In Fox’s X-Men Trilogy Played By Elliot Page

A Marvel comics image showing Kitty Pryde Costumes Through the Ages

Kitty Pryde has had a lot of interesting looks in the comics, but at least for her first MCU appearance, it would be nice to see her sporting her classic yellow shoulder pads. The look is simple but very recognizable, and the yellow will give Kitty a nice visual tie to Wolverine. As the two share a strong bond in the comics, it would be nice for them to have some visual cohesion on screen.

The previous version of the character, played by Elliot Page, was another victim of Fox’s reliance on black jumpsuits for all the characters. Even in X-Men: Days of Future Past, when they started to allow for more visually interesting costumes, Kitty was simply wearing all black. The MCU now has the chance to give Kitty her first distinct superhero costume.

2 Gambit’s Purple Jumpsuit With A Headband

Gambit Previously Appeared In X-Men Origins: Wolverine Played By Taylor Kitsch

Marvel Comics' Gambit

Gambit is a character that is designed to be cool. Unfortunately, this led the costume designers for X-Men Origins: Wolverine to think they had to dress Gambit to be their approximation of what was cool in 2009. Trying to make a character like Gambit trendy will only serve to date the character, instead of giving him a timeless look.

Gambit’s attitude should be what carries his cool factor, while his costume should be a more iconic superhero look. With this in mind, Marvel is likely best sticking with Gambit’s classic purple jumpsuit and brown coat from the comics, as these colors set him apart from most other X-Men, which also works well given his often tenuous loyalty to the team.

1 Bishop’s Blue And Yellow Suit With A Red Scarf

Bishop Previously Appeared In X-Men: Days Of Future Past Played By Omar Sy

Bishop from Marvel Comics holding a gun

Bishop only appeared briefly in X-Men: Days of Future Past. While the movie gave him his iconic red scarf, it put that scarf over drab gray combat gear. The MCU‘s Bishop would be better served by having his typical blue and yellow suit along with a scarf, as the blue and yellow help give him some visual ties to the X-Men, while the scarf still allows him to stand out as his own distinctive hero. His costume should also look more like a uniform, since it is tied to his background as a member of Xavier’s Security Enforcers.

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