Hands down, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love costumes more than your average person, which is probably why I took to cosplay so well when I realized that was a thing. I pride myself on never having purchased a store-bought costume for Halloween and only repeating the same costume once (with different outfits), but I blame my mom for that one.
Since I dress as comic book characters many other times through the year, I try to steer clear of them come Halloween time unless I really don’t have any other ideas. Last year I was Alice from Alice In Wonderland, this year I’m going as Kristy Swanson’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most adults I know don’t have the time, energy or care to dress up for the holiday anymore but what a lot of people don’t realize is Halloween costumes don’t have to be complicated to be awesome. Here are some comic book/superhero characters you could dress as this weekend, hopefully without looking like you threw your costume together at the last minute. Depending on your hair color/style you may need a wig for some of these but those are everywhere you turn this time of year.
Clark Kent – This one is a no-brainer. Throw on a suit, pick up some dollar store glasses and a steno pad at Staples and you’re all set. If you have a Superman t-shirt, throw that on underneath.
Death – The Sandman character is a very easy costume to put together and a fan favorite. Even if you don’t already own a black tank top and jeans they are available pretty much anywhere. The mall should be able to yield an ankh necklace and a black umbrella is also easy to acquire.
Captain Underpants – Ok, you’d have to be slightly daring to go for this one but as last ditch-efforts go, putting on a pair of tighty-whities and a red cape really isn’t that bad. Just make sure to draw little black polka-dots on the cape.
Peter Parker/Jimmy Olsen – “Nerdy” guy with camera applies for either of these characters. Add a fake spider/bow tie where necessary and flash the appropriate newspaper credentials when asked.
Rogue – Rogue has had a few costumes through the years but you can totally go the civilian route with her and cover yourself up as much as possible. Don’t forget gloves and streak the front of your hair white with cheap colored hairspray. This probably isn’t your best bet if you’re going to be indoors at a crowded party all night. Trust me, I’ve done this one.
Scott Pilgrim/Ramona Flowers – This is a cute couples costume if you want to go that route. Actually any Scott Pilgrim character would be relatively easy to pull off because they all wear normal clothes. Hardest prop? Ramona’s hammer. Quick fix? Spray paint a cardboard box silver and close it around a broom handle with some double-sided tape or clay stuck to the end of it.
The Spirit – Red tie, black everything else. His type of mask is likely to be very cheap at any Halloween store. Done.
Gwen Stacy – She’s got one of the most iconic, non-costumed looks for a female comic book character. Tan/green trench coat, purple mini-skirt, black turtleneck and boots and a thick black headband. The best part is if you need to buy any of these items they can absolutely be used in your regular wardrobe.
Connor Kent/Linda Danvers – If you’re a guy or a girl who already has a Superman t-shirt in your closet these are great costumes for you. Of course you need a black Superman tee for Connor but after that all you need is blue jeans. Supergirl only needs a blue skirt and red boots.
The Goon – Sure, the Goon has sort of a craggily face but if you pull your newsboy cap down low enough no one will notice (especially if you’re threatening to beat their face in). You can go for a striped t-shirt, white t-shirt or a white tank, add some regular green cargo slacks and a blunt object of your choice and you’re done. You’re buddy can even throw together a Franky costume to complete your look.
Alfred Pennyworth – If you already have a tuxedo or can rent one on short notice this would be a hilarious costume to do. Carry around a serving tray all night and say, “Right away, Master Bruce” whenever anyone asks you for something. Bonus points for throwing a black cape over your arm.
Sue Storm – This is where you don’t actually go to the party but tell everyone you were there. You can even do some recon on friends’ Facebook photos so you know what to talk about.
Bear in mind, you can most likely get away with a civilian version of most iconic characters. Just brainstorm for a bit about how you can add small props or other items to a normal outfit to get the point across. I always add props to my costumes and it’s that extra touch that everyone winds up remembering. You can also experiment with switching the gender of whichever character you like so that it works for you. Above all, just remember what it’s like to be a kid again and have fun!