The Great Super-Costume Poll: Iron Men
Costume design is one of the great strengths of the superhero genre, a way to establish distinctive visual shorthand for a character and reveal key details about concept, purpose, and personality. But which is the best superhero costume of all time? This month, we’re asking you to decide, by voting up your favorites and voting down the rest. When we have your votes, we’ll compile a list of the greatest super-costumes of all time.
Today we're voting on one of the best-known costumes in superhero comics, because in this case the clothes really do make the (iron) man. Tony Stark and his heirs and imitators may put function first, but that doesn't mean they don't look have to look good too. So let's assess some of the best-known and most influential of more than 50 different Iron Man armors!
Standard disclaimer: Each poll is a simple binary choice. If the costume is a 10/10 perfect piece of design, vote ‘perfect’. If it’s anything less, vote ‘flawed’. Many of these costumes have been tweaked and re-worked by different artists over the years. When in doubt, assume you’re voting for your favorite version.
Note: The original Iron Man armor was designed by Jack Kirby; the first red-and-gold armor was probably designed by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Also, the mark III and mark IV are the two longest-published armors, so we've included both; we know that the variation between them is relatively minor.