Or at least through the age, considering that their centennial anniversary still lies in the future. Nevertheless, in celebration of the release of Avengers movie (finally!), I thought we could examine at the many looks of the core characters over the years.
Now for many of us life-long fans, this movie is a dream come true; and way beyond time, too. It is nice to see that the first movie is in plot very similar to the original beginning of the Avengers, something to satisfy the purists among us. However, we cannot expect another six hundred-odd movies to follow the original history (more’s the pity), so I thought we could have a look at the many incarnations that we may never see.
Of course, the Avengers have gone through as many changes through the years as they have had members, and let’s face it, in recent years the definition of membership has seemed more than a little hazy. Still, looking at the core team of Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and the Hulk, alongside the forever-fated to be second stringers Hawkeye and the Black Widow (pun intended), there have been more than enough changes to sate us, and provide content for a few more films at least.
Thor’s look has remained pretty consistent throughout the years. If you compare the above image with the next one, you’ll notice that other than tarting his outfit up to make it look a tad more authentic, not a great deal has changed.
There is one main variation on this theme – the bearded era. Thor suffered a loss of power for an extended period of time, and was forced to don a girdle of power to achieve his previous strength.
Yes, you read it right. Girdles are not reserved purely for Amazonian Princesses! It’s real myth as well, sometimes a rarity in the Marvel version of Asgard.
Now there have by my count, been more people wear the uniform of Captain America, than Steve Rogers has had costume changes. From year to year, all that seems to vary is the size of the chain mail that makes up his jerkin. It started large, shrank, and now is large again.
However, there are two times that he has abandoned the costume for another identity. One time, he became disillusioned with the U.S. government after it had been infiltrated by agents of the Secret Empire.
On a second occasion, the government agency known as Commission on Super-Human Relations (no cosy acronym on that one) forced him out of uniform, after he refused to do their bidding and act as their agent, and thus he took the simple identity as the Captain.
This costume later adorned the U.S.Agent, who had been the choice of the Commission to replace Rogers. Wouldn’t you like to have been at that wardrobe-swap party? The identity of ‘The Captain’ is NOT to be confused with the drunken loser who worked with Nextwave, the agents of H.A.T.E, a short-lived but very funny title.
Now, we all know the Hulk. Big, mean, green……
…except when he isn’t.
….except when he isn’t
The myriad personalities that have arisen out of Banner’s subconscious are all reactions to the abuse he received as a child and the general anger at the world he feels as a result. It was once thought that he had melded all of these identities into one, known as the Professor, but it soon transpired that the Professor was but one of many more personas.
For all of his suave and somewhat egotistic nature, in the early days Iron Man easily deserved the nickname of ‘Rustbucket’, as his original armor seemed little different to a dustbin with eye holes, or some cheesy 1930’s style robot.
However, this soon evolved into the red and gold version we all know and love.
When he retired due to alcoholism briefly, and passed the armor over to his friend Rhodey, he returned in a stylish red and silver number, which happens to be this writers favourite.
Yet, maybe inspired by the excessive fashion designs of his team mate the Wasp (who we do not see in the movie, unfortunately), Tony Stark seems to have an armor for all occasions, whether it is his own Fantastic Voyage through the bloodstream of Captain America,
Or operating in high orbit and deep space, facing the many alien critters that plague the planet.
Of course, the beautiful Natasha Romanov embodies the leather catsuit look of Mrs Peel, and may that never change.
The most that has changed about the Widow in years is her hair. Even when she launched out in a different costume, the sultry ‘I’m not a ninja, honest’ spy merely chose to lighten the tone a little.
But then again, what is she expected to wear, when she spends her life skulking in the shadows?
Now, Hawkeye is a walking fashion disaster. In the image above, we see the best rendition of his costume, but that evolved from this, his first appearance with the Avengers.
This costume is the first, and best for our fashion victim. It degenerated over the years into this….
… which are allegedly the same outfit. (The second being far better.) Go figure.
Yet I couldn’t finish this article without showing Hawkeye’s worst EVER costume, in a shot showing nearly the whole movie team (and guest-starring the Vision). Who on Earth would ever wear this?