For a long time, Hollywood was almost afraid of comic book costumes, because they often do not translate well to live action. Let’s take a look at the times the Marvel Cinematic Universe has tipped it’s hat to it’s comic book roots.
Who would have thought that overly patriotic, shield-throwing do-gooder Captain America would work well on film, have a cool costume and become everyone’s favorite superhero? No one, ever! Though his suits post-Avengers are usually regarded as his best, Cap started off his career donning the beautifully ugly classic costume from his oldest comics. Before joining the military, Steve Rogers served as their mascot, performing shows across the country in his classic cloth stars and stripes.
Mike Colter was initially apprehensive about taking the role of Luke Cage, fearing that the show would be a neo-blaxsploitation, that he would have to say “sweet Christmas”, and most of all – that he would have to wear the yellow V-neck with a silver tiara and gauntlets. Unfortunately for Mike, all of these predictions came true. Fortunately, they weren’t nearly as bad as he thought they would be, resulting in an important and enjoyable Netflix-breaking show. Fitted with a tiara and gauntlets in the experiment that gave him super-strength, Luke escapes prison and throws on the nearest clothes on a clothing line. Upon seeing his reflection, he remarks that he looks “like a damn fool”.
Everyone knows that Iron Man co-built his first metal suit with a box of scraps while he was held prisoner by terrorists in Afghanistan. What many might not know is that the suit (later known as the Mark I) actually closely resembles the original Iron Man suit from his comic debut in 1963. This costume didn’t last long however, being painted gold and eventually coming to resemble the red and gold suit we know today, all in under a year. Stan Lee has remarked that even the Mark I in the film is much better and more detailed than what was envisioned when he was originally created.
For the most part, Deathlok doesn’t resemble his comic counterpart; the biggest difference being that he isn’t missing half his face to cyborg robotics. However, late in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., he is seen through the backscatter X-ray technology, revealing metal plates just under the surface of his skin. This image is much closer to the sinister-looking Deathlok comic fans know and love.
There are more instances of this in the MCU, so keep an eye out for Part II!