Why do superheroes get new costumes for every new movie?


  • Superheroes in Marvel and DC movies are often given new costumes with each project, reflecting their growth and stories.
  • The sale of toys and merchandise plays an important role in the decision to change the costumes of the superheroes, generating more income for the studios.
  • The trend of changing superhero costumes in each new movie is a more recent phenomenon, with earlier comic book movie adaptations emphasizing continuity and consistency.

superheroes in both Wonderful and DC movies are often given new costumes in every project they appear in. Several live-action film and television franchises have emerged from the pages of Marvel Comics and DC Comics, bringing to life dozens of iconic superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Universe, Sony Spider-Man Universe, and Fox. X Men franchise, among others. These franchises allow the heroes to develop their stories over multiple years and a variety of projects, giving audiences the chance to watch them grow and change over time. This also means that with each new project, the superheroes tend to get a new wardrobe related to each particular story.

After Iron Man Kicking off the MCU in 2008, virtually every hero from Marvel Studios’ franchises has walked into every project in a new and improved suit, and the same can almost be said for every character in the DC Universe. The likes of Iron Man, Batman, Captain America, Flash, and Spider-Man have updated their superhero suits many times, and this will continue in 2023. the wondersas new images posted by entertainment weekly confirms that Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Ms. Marvel will be getting new outfits. While many might wonder why live action heroes need to change their costumes so often, there are clear reasons that support this pattern.

Related: The 20 Best Live-Action Superhero Costumes Of All Time, Officially Ranked

New superhero costumes help sell more merchandise and toys

In the 1990s, the Marvel Entertainment Group bought percentages of toy companies, including the Fleer trading card company and the ToyBiz toy company, allowing Marvel to mass-release toys based on characters from Marvel Comics and various film adaptations. MEG and ToyBiz merged in 1998, creating Marvel Enterprises, later Marvel Entertainment, and toy production became an important cog in the Marvel machine. In fact, the sale of toys helped raise enough revenue to establish Marvel Studios, allowing the MCU to be born. It’s easy to see why so much emphasis is placed on selling toys and merchandise, only helped by changing the costumes of the heroes with each new project.

For DC Entertainment, Mattel, the company behind Barbie and Hot Wheels, has produced the majority of DC toys, after reaching an agreement with Warner Bros. in 2000. The fact that superheroes go through many costume changes in their respective franchises means that even more toys and a greater variety of merchandise can be developed, generating even more revenue for the studios. Production companies have sometimes come under scrutiny for allowing their toy ranges to affect storylines and costume choices in live-action franchises, but the symbiotic relationship between the two is hard to ignore, and it turns out that the MCU and DC Universe it might not exist without the toys.

New Superhero Costumes Show Character Growth In Various Movies

Peter Parker's new suit in Spider-Man No Way Home

Perhaps the main reason superheroes in various live-action franchises change their costumes so frequently is because their costumes reflect whatever stage they are at in their career, or whatever story they’re embarking on. This is most evident in the MCU, as Marvel Studios’ heroes have seen the most costume changes of all franchises, and these changes are often implemented as key elements to the franchise’s storylines. This is also the case with DC Studios movies, though it’s less prominent as older, more established heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman don’t typically see major changes to their costumes.

At MCU, Tony Stark designed several Iron Man suits of armor as a coping mechanism, each developed with new and futuristic technologies in mind. Peter Parker also went through similar changes to Spider-Man, taking him from his civilian Spider-Man costume, to his Stark tech suit, to his handcrafted suit in Spider-Man: No Way Home. These changes marked significant moments in the lives of the characters, such as when Stark destroyed his suit in iron Man 3or when Parker made his own suit in no way home to signify his newfound anonymity and isolation, or when Steve Rogers stripped his Captain America costume of its star when he became a fugitive.

This pattern extends to basically all superheroes. Doctor Strange saw changes as he became more confident in wizardry, Batman’s suit developed according to his needs, the Guardians of the Galaxy acquired uniforms in vol. 3Thor’s costume became more vibrant and Scarlet Witch’s costume became darker in Phase 4. However, sometimes these changes don’t make sense, as in the case of Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen, who was given a possibly worse costume in The flash than the one they wore League of Justice. Costume changes for the next the wonders It also seems unnecessary, although Marvel Studios has put more emphasis on giving its heroes more comedic costumes in recent years.

New superhero costumes for every new movie is a newer trend

Fox's X-Men had the same costumes.

Although superheroes changing their costumes seem to be a regular occurrence in recent live-action movies, this is still a relatively new trend. This pattern really only began to pick up after the start of the MCU and DC shared universes, and hadn’t been seen regularly in previous comic book movie adaptations. Before the UCM was born in 2008, fox X Men franchise ruled the roost, having already developed three projects before Marvel Studios’ Iron Man. In X Men, X2: X-Men Unitedand X-Men: The Last Standthe main X-Men team retained the same, or at least strikingly similar, superhero costumes, sporting black leather suits on every adventure.

This was also seen on Fox Fantastic four and its 2007 sequel, The Rise of the Silver Surfer, in which the starting team wore the same blue suits on both projects. Wesley Snipes’ Blade had also clung to his trademark black suit in each of his three appearances between 1998 and 1998. Blade and 2004 trinity blade, and even in the 1970s, Christopher Reeve’s Superman sported the same costume in his early movie appearances. For Sony, both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield retained their Spider-Man costumes in each of their sequels, but the emergence of shared major franchises has changed this trend significantly.

In the early days of comic book film adaptations, it was probably more beneficial for superheroes to have a semblance of continuity and consistency, which meant that their costumes needed to stay the same in order for audiences to become attached to the characters. The MCU and the DC Universe took great strides to change this, allowing characters’ costumes to play out in the same way that their personal lives, emotional states, and high-stakes adventures did. Marvel Studios certainly led the charge, and this was copied in the DC movies and the X Men franchise. Costumes in franchises of both Wonderful and DC it will surely continue to change, especially as more heroes are introduced in the coming years.

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