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File:Xmen3.jpg


Wolverine: You actually go outside in these things?

Cyclops: Well, what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?
X-Men 1 (2000 movie)

When superheroes get their chance in the big screen, there's usually some Executive Meddling which ends putting more black and/or leatherish texture in their attires, for the sake of giving them a Darker and Edgier image, or avoiding a campy, non-intimidating look.

Sister Trope to Spandex, Latex, or Leather. Related to Civvie Spandex and Not Wearing Tights. An example of Dark Is Not Evil.

Examples of Movie Superheroes Wear Black include:


  • The big-screen Batman ditched the classic blue-and-gray comic/TV suit for the rubber-molded black one, although the final two sequels went with dark blue and even silver.
    • The Dark Knight Trilogy batcostume is also black but takes things a step further in that it doesn't even have a yellow circle around the bat-symbol.
      • Even in the comics Batman's costume has been quite flexible with the yellow circle coming and going and the coloration changing from blue-and-grey to black-and-grey to all-black over the years depending on the artist.
  • The DVD-only Strong Bad Email "comic book movie" refers to this as "Leatherquest 2000."

 "People may buy that our character has radioactive powers, or is from another planet, but a colorful spandex costume?! Are you crazy?! No audience will accept that! Nope, it's one color, head-to-toe leather for our hero!"

  • The Power Rangers movie didn't tone down the heroes' colors, but gave them padded, techier-looking suits. Interestingly, later series like Ninja Storm, SPD and Operation Overdrive would outfit the heroes in black leather when they weren't in full multicolored Ranger form.
  • Daredevil's movie outfit is oxblood red rather than its red comics counterpart. Elektra in the same movie wears an all-black leather ensemble rather than the red leotard from the comics, and Bullseye doesn't have anything you'd call a costume at all.
  • All the GI Joes in The Rise Of Cobra were put in black spy catsuits for the movie, rather than each having a distinct, unique, and colorful uniform as they have in other adaptations.
    • While each character did get a distinct look in previous versions, the default Joe uniform had always been an olive green army suit. The show's writers even referred to nameless extras as "greenshirts." Snake Eyes was the only guy who got to wear a black catsuit, until the movie.
  • Smallville Superman Blur did the black Badass Longcoat thing for a year or two, along with black pants & shirt with silver logo. (And nobody mentioned that "The Red-Blue Blur" wasn't wearing red or blue any more.)
    • To be fair, they dropped the "Red-Blue" part for the rest of the series, even after getting the red and blue back.
  • Kevin Smith's Superman Lives project from the nineties would've shown Supes in black and silver, because producer Jon Peters thought the blue-and-red suit was "too faggy". The comic book story on which it was based did have Superman wearing a black and silver outfit at the story's climax. It was the Nineties, so there y'go.
    • The Man of Steel movie sees Superman in a very dark rendition of his classic suit.
  • This is pretty obvious in the Watchmen movie, where Ozymandias' purple robes are replaced with a form fitting dark purple and gold body armor (that homaged/parodied the Batman nipple-suits). Silk Spectre and Nite Owl's costumes get a similar overhaul as well.
  • Nick Fury wore a black uniform rather then his traditional blue in the Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD TV movie.
  • Lampshaded in the X-Men 1 film (see quote at the top of the page). And while it isn't the first recorded instance of this, it's certainly the Trope Codifier and is generally what people immediately think of when this trope comes up. Notably, a short clip is on the first movie DVD in which Hugh Jackman runs around the set in a comic-accurate Wolverine costume, and absolutely nobody is taking it seriously.
    • This an Averted Trope with X Men First Class which has the X-Men back in yellow suits, inspired in equal part by the team's uniforms during their earliest comic appearances and the New X-Men suits.
  • Frank Miller's adaptation of The Spirit saw the titular hero swap his blue Coat, Hat, Mask from the comics for a black variation of the same ensemble. Then again, the entire world seemed to have made a swap of a black variation of their ensemble.
  • The Spider Man films also avert this, although early designs had various black and red ensembles.
    • Of course, the third film obviously saw him in an all-black costume which was eventually worn by Venom. Unlike the black costume from the comics, it's literally just the regular Spider-Man costume but black -- webs and all, not a trace of the white Venom symbol to be found.
  • The Avengers movie is pretty faithful to the comics with the exception of Hawkeye who wears a dark leather suit with no mask as opposed to his purple Superhero costume, though this is basically Ultimate Hawkeye's costume anyway. Also, while Thor wears a battle suit, it's still much darker than his comic costume and has the appearance of leather in some places.
    • Oddly enough, while Black Widow is wearing a costume faithful to her comic counterpart, she is still wearing an all black leather catsuit, making this a Justified Trope.
  • The Judge Dredd comic strip had the character in a fairly bright blue bodyglove accessorized with oversized yellow shoulder decorations and badge, along with lurid green boots, knee and elbow pads, gloves and utility belt (complete with a red, white and blue American Eagle buckle). Both movies keep the basic outfit (in a rather darker blue or black) but the accoutrements are transformed into more realistically sized versions in silver metal or black leather.
  • Spectacularly averted by The Phantom.
    • He couldn't escape from the silk-screened skull motifs, though.
    • The other thing about The Phantom's costume in the movie is that it's designed to "change" color depending on the lighting. It can shift from bright to dark purple, red, grey, or blue in a Shout-Out to how various publishers over the world change the color of his costume based of preference.
  • The Meteor Man features its hero wearing a black and green suit (made by his mother). Amazingly enough, it's a comedy. Allegedly.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger averts this, as Cap first wears a faithful translation of his comic counterpart's costume during the USO stage tour sequence, and then gets a more utilitarian version of the familiar costume (which is really just the 616 look and the Ultimate suit combined) later in the movie.
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