America the Beautiful1 of 12
The United States just celebrated its 242nd birthday as a nation, and while the country itself is beautiful, the champion of American liberty Steve Rogers has often chosen some questionable attire.
Here are the ten worst Captain America costumes from across time and space (we're not discounting alternate realities or future timelines here). These are ten bomb pops that fizzled on launch.
Commander America2 of 12
Steve Rogers V is the Captain America of the future – and for Captain America, the future is shoulder pads.
Secret Empire3 of 12
The only way this costume makes sense is if it was supposed to make us like Hydra Steve way less than if he wore his original costume.
Yeoman America4 of 12
As much as it hurts to criticize a design by the legendary George Perez, this goofy treat was worn by “Yeoman America,” a Medieval version of Steve Rogers’s identity which he assumed while under the spell of Morgaine LeFay.
All of the Avengers (and we mean all – basically everyone who had been an Avenger up to that point) were given these fantasy-esque redesigns for a brief arc set in an altered reality. Hawkeye even mentions in the story how much he dislikes his own clothes.
We should say, even though this look (and some of the others) were better left in that off-beat timeline, the story itself constitutes one of the more fun alternate reality twists on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Captain America 20995 of 12
In the year 2099 Steve Rogers will be cloned with a constructed personality based on a mythologized version of Captain America to serve as a replacement for former president Doctor Doom.
This is the only future.
In this unavoidable, inevitable future, this clone Steve will receive a new, improved wardrobe consisting primarily of something Crusher Creel would have worn to a boxing match with an inflatable car dealership mascot.
Again, this is the only future.
Paradise X6 of 12
If you’re not picking up on it, the future is never kind to Steve Rogers’ wardrobe. Sadly, the first outfit he wears in the alt-future story Earth X was pretty cool – mostly it consisted of a torn American flag wrapped around the shredded remains of his classic suit. It was a powerful metaphor for the fate of the ideals Captain America has often represented.
Then he turned blue and got wings. Because he turned into an angel along with the rest of the Avengers.
Just another normal day in the Marvel Universe.
Nomad7 of 12
The first time Steve Rogers left the American government (and his identity as Captain America) behind, he went a little nuts and put together this amazing set of clothing decisions so he could keep fighting crime.
Calling himself “Nomad,” Steve decided it was time to put the demure, dull Captain America of the past aside and rock an open-to-the-naval bare-chested disco pirate blouse and a yellow cape.
This costume gets weirder the more you look at it – and even the creators knew it. In his first outing as Nomad, Steve tripped on the cape and let the bad guys get away. The whole thing is even weirder when you consider this whole episode was not far off from the time Steve himself was working as a comic book artist. Design is a muscle, folks.
Still, we’re confident that if, say, Chris Evans wore this costume for Avengers 4 a good segment of the population would be even more likely to pay full price for 3D.
Reb Brown8 of 12
Back in the swingin’ 70s, Marvel was having a bit of a TV moment with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno’s Incredible Hulk and Nicolas Hammond’s Spider-Man series gracing the airwaves. Maybe that’s why they decided to shoot for the moon and give good ol’ Captain America a pair of straight-to-the-smallscreen features just in time for the bicentennial.
And in these “lost classics,” Cap himself is played by Reb Brown, wearing this dazzling doozy of a star-spangled mistake.
Granted, we get this was playing off the popularity of Evel Knievel at the time, but is there any reality in which Captain America looks cool wearing a straight-up motorcycle helmet and carrying a clear plastic shield into battle? Certainly not in whichever world these films took place.
Of course, we’d be remiss not to point out that making the leap to film doesn’t usually fare so well for Steve in general. His early 90s direct to video film featured a relatively faithful version of his classic suit – but with painted rubber ears on the sides of his mask. And who could forget his funky bulky look from Captain America: The First Avenger?
90s Armor9 of 12
Listen, you’ve all seen this hunk of junk before.
Back in the 90s, a lot of superheroes started looking kinda, well, dull in comparison to the more intense creations of the time, so publishers started slapping on new costumes, and in many cases, new armored costumes.
And in Cap’s case, he got this cool, sleek, in no way bulky or overwrought masterpiece of a look.
It’s like someone looked at Cap and thought, “What if Cap WAS the shield?” but instead of “No, no, better call it a night,” their immediate next thought was “better grab a pencil.”
Mutant X10 of 12
In many ways, Mutant X is an unsung 90s gem that offered one of the quirkier looks at an alternate Marvel Universe through the lens of Havok from the X-Men.
In other ways the Captain America of this world wears this costume right here.
Like the best worst costumes, you can see where some of the design elements come from – the horizontal stripes on Cap’s chest later became a recurring motif in some very cool looks.
But this garb, worn by an anonymous mutant who took up Cap’s identity after Steve Rogers died, goes off the rails somewhere just below the mask and then keeps rolling.
What If Punisher Became Captain America?11 of 12
What if the Punisher became Captain America?
Well, if Frank Castle became Captain America, Steve Rogers would be a cyborg and he’d wear this ugly piece of $%.
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