This week, Marvel debuted even more of its All-New, All-Different titles that will hit shelves in the wake of <i>Secret Wars</i>, and with the new titles come a swath of new looks, including a whole group of new uniforms for the young stars of All-New X-Men. <p>And while it’s hard to judge the new costumes from just a few small images, the X-Men don’t exactly have a long legacy of great fashion choices. From disco rollerskates, to wall-to-wall leather, to a whole pile of cybernetic limbs, the X-Men have more than a few disastrous duds in their closets. Here’s our look at the ten worst dressed X-Men of all time.
Jean Grey suffered the sting of '90s fashion sense worse than almost any other X-Man. Despite having one of the best costumes of the '70s in her Phoenix uniform, she somehow wound up looking like a cross between a Jazzercise instructor and a desert marauder. To be fair, this look shows remarkable restraint in some ways, but between the shoulder pads, the head sheath, and the superfluous junk on her hips, Jean Grey hasn't looked worse. And that's not even mentioning the yellow footy pajamas or that weird bandage strip thong apparatus she's sporting. That's gotta chafe.
More than most franchises, the X-Men have suffered terminally from the forced inclusion of topical reference characters. The '80s had Longshot, a be-mulleted frat alien from the TV dimension, the '90s had every character introduced in the '90s, and the disco era had the Dazzler, a rollerskating disco mama who was originally conceived as a crossover character meant to appear in television and film as well as comics. <p>When the character inexplicably failed to appeal to TV and film executives, she became a mutant, and started hanging around the X-Men. A bona fide musical superstar, Dazzler was bitten by a radioactive disco ball (no, not really), and thus possesses the power to turn sound into light. <p>She's admittedly a fan favorite, but modern characterization has yet to wipe away the stains of time on her bedazzled v-neck jumper, or subsequent "Longshot's girlfriend" uniform combo of blue leotard, headband, and leather jacket. Someday Dazzler, those rollerskates are gonna take you right out of this town.
Before Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely cemented Emma Frost as one of the premiere X-Men of the modern era by exploring her many facets (get it? 'Cause they gave her diamond skin), she was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. And like all queens, she wore the practical and effective combination of a fur cape and the Victoria's Secret Angel collection. <p>With the regal and commanding bearing of a sorority girl dancing her way through veterinary school, Emma Frost was the right hand woman of the Club's Black King, Sebastian Shaw. While she has grown into a character possessed of her own sexuality and more than in charge of her physicality, she spent her first few years fighting the X-Men clad only in lingerie and spike heels, like a parody of female superhero fashion.
Longshot is like a "what if Joe Elliott from Def Leppard had played Rick Deckard in <i>Blade Runner</i>?" kind of character. A creation of Mojo, a giant pile of man-boobs and broken coffeemakers from a dimension where television ratings equal political power, Longshot escaped the confines of the dystopian Mojoverse to come to Earth and make everyone remember why it sucked to be alive in the 1980s. <p>Like the Fonz on acid, Longshot has the power to be really lucky all the time, and to wear as much leather as his frame will hold. Longshot is a popped-collar on the neck of the X-Men, forever inviting them to ride around in his mini-truck and go huck knives at fence posts. Like an older brother who dropped out of college and stayed at home, who you once looked up to but now can't stand, Longshot was recently hanging out with X-Factor and his genetic successor/progenitor (it's complicated) Shatterstar, who somehow manages to out-mullet and out-dance-wear even Longshot. <p>He was the recipient of a makeover for his own mini-series in late 2013, <i>finally</i> taking away the mullet. But we'll never forget, Longshot. We'll never forget.
In the '90s, nothing in comics was sacred. Everyone was getting new battle armor, stupid electrical powers, and more shoulder-pads than shoulders. Nightcrawler, the X-Men's beloved, elf-like acrobat was no different. While he always had swashbuckling elements thanks to his swordplay, this look walks way off the plank. Instead of his classic circus tights, Nightcrawler threw a red towel around his neck, strapped on a couple of pouch belts, and wrapped it all up with a handsome blue codpiece. To make sure everyone knew he was just like a real pirate, he also pierced his ears and grew a terrible goatee, making him look less like the Dread Pirate Roberts and more like Fred Durst in a budget Halloween costume. <p>Funny enough, the 90s also saw one of the fan-favorite alternate looks for Nightcrawler, the Age of Apocalypse style, which had him in a simple black body suit with a few red armor splashes.
Cable is the all-you-can-eat buffet of nonsense '90s cliches. When it comes to cyber-arms, shoulder-pads, buckles, guns, pouches, and crazy eyes, Cable is patient zero. The progenitor of all the terrible para-military, hyper-futuristic trends of what some fans consider comics' worst (yet most successful, go figure) decade, Cable is a walking treatise on how more is absolutely not always more. <p>It's almost fitting that he wears an entire battleship worth of guns and armor at all times, considering he's the cyborg son of a clone who was raised in the future. <p>Of course, Cable was slimmed down over time, but almost always retained at least one straight-up goofy element to his look, whether it was wearing Cyclops's visor around his neck (albeit as a tribute), or a giant transformers arm in his most recent style.
When Jubilee was first introduced, she dressed like a human My Little Pony. And since friendship is magic, she was quickly paired off with Wolverine, making her not unlike a pastel colored Robin with no relevant life skills. Granted, that banana colored rain-coat and those high-waisted shorts would be right at home in some parts of Brooklyn nowadays, but even in the '90s her b-boy starter costume made fans wretch like a mall babe who has eaten too many chili fries.
Shatterstar is technically a clone of both Dazzler and Longshot (he's also, genetically, Longshot's father… it's complicated). He managed to get the worst of both worlds, and still somehow also carve his own niche in the world of embarrassing superhero costumes. Honestly, almost any of the early X-Force characters could make this list merely for being products of their time, but Shatterstar is the worst offender of them all. <p>Shatterstar woke up one morning, went to his closet, and poring over every possible combination of garments at his disposal, he settled on a poofy shirt with sleeves capable of doubling as flotation devices, a pair of the pants David Bowie wore as the Goblin King, and leather headpiece that would frame his wonky eye <i>just right</i>. Pulling his long mullet into a lush, whipping ponytail, Shatterstar wrapped his three fingered hand around his twin double-bladed swords, fluffed the curls on top of his head out of his headgear, looked right in the mirror and said, "Shatterstar, you're a winner. You dress like a winner, and people like you." Wrong on all counts, Shatterstar.
Are you ready to get <I>X-Treme</I>??? Adam X, a.k.a. X-Treme, is what you get when a snowboarding Juggalo is molecularly fused with a Mountain Dew can full of battery acid. From his backwards cap, which fails to shield his painted eyes from the fiery sun, to the plethora of razor-sharp blades adorning his leather chaps, Adam X is the collective unconscious of a million Hot Topic frequent shopper cards given horrible, nightmarish physical life and set loose on an unsuspecting world.
This is what happens when you let Kitty Pryde dress herself. Everyone had that moment as a child when they finally convinced their parents to let them pick their own outfits. For Kitty, that moment came around age 15 when she attempted to prove to Professor X that she was capable of designing her own costume. <p>Naturally, as a bastion of taste and restraint, she went straight for gold lamé and rollerskates. This outfit looks like Kitty was bitten by a radioactive bag of skittles and dropped in a vat of sunshine. Thankfully, this get-up only lasted for a few panels, sparing the rest of the X-Men the dizzying vertigo of having to look at the entire contents of a wardrobe flying around and fighting sentinels.