The Phantom (Image via King Features Syndicate)
1. The Phantom
Poor Billy Zane. Not only did he have to star in a mediocre – at best – film adaptation of the Phantom comics, but the costume designers decided to put him into a skintight purple suit that skirts dangerously close to Grimace territory.
Now, to be entirely fair, the character of the Phantom isn’t a recent superhero. He first appeared in 1936, when people generally seemed less concerned about costumes or superheros in general. The Phantom, who effectively inherits his title from the previous holder, is also granted his predecessor’s costume. It consists of a black domino style mask and the unmistakable purple bodysuit, oftentimes accentuated by some striped underwear.
Some of the sting of this costume is taken away by accessorizing. The Phantom sports a skull belt and a set of “Phantom Rings”. One hand sports “The Good Mark,” a pattern of four sabers which he leaves on people under his protection. The other ring has a skull-shaped “Evil Mark” which he just sort of punches into bad guys. It kind of makes you wonder just how he imparts the Good Mark to his friends, and whether or not the Phantom goes around punching everyone he meets.
Anyway, the rings are cool in concept, though some rings and skulls don’t quite make up for the leotard and underwear craze that plagued many a 1930s superhero and beyond.