Superheroes and costumes go hand in hand, especially in the DC Universe. Since the Golden Age, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have been running around defeating evil in tights. Costumes not only serve as an in-universe method of instilling hope in civilians or fear in criminals, but also serve as packaged publicity for a character.
Who doesn’t instantly recognize Batman by the bat symbol on his chest, or Superman with his iconic family crest? However, as the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes and some don’t wear costumes. There are several heroes who prefer to fight crime or demonic forces in their civilian outfits, or without any outfits at all.
ten John Constantine is a pioneer of hell and fashion
Hailing from Liverpool, England, native John Constantine is the DC Universe’s premier resource for dealing with all things occult and demonic. While he can’t stand a traditional spandex outfit, he wears his signature brown feather duster over a white button-down with a loose tie too often for it not to be considered his definitive style. John Constantine is rarely seen without a cigarette in hand, hinting at his anti-hero nature. He’s more violent and antisocial than most heroes, but that serves him well when dealing with darker forces.
9 Swamp Thing prefers its natural look
When a scientific accident killed Alec Holland and transferred his consciousness into sentient plant life, he became the Avatar of Green and protector of nature. Since that day, Swamp Thing has roamed his swamp and the rest of the DC Universe, without even a pair of bathing suits to maintain his modesty.
Because Swamp Thing is instantly recognizable with his green skin, giant body, and plant-like appearance, he never fashioned himself a logo or jumpsuit to announce his intentions.
8 Jonah Hex Sports Classic Cowboy Clothing
Known as the most legendary bounty hunter on the American western frontier, Jonah Hex didn’t need a costume to maintain his reputation. He did this by killing hundreds of men before he died, establishing himself as the deadliest man alive.
While Hex can be recognized by his signature cowboy hat, red scarf, and twin revolvers, he’s too gruff and no-frills for a traditional superhero costume. Like Constantine, Hex is more violent than most DC heroes, but he still has a moral compass that usually keeps him on the right side of conflict.
seven The question prefers a mask to a costume
Originally a Charlton Comics creation by Steve Ditko, objectivist detective The Question dons a blank mask, making it look like he has no facial features. The Question does not have a traditional costume, usually wearing a traditional detective duster and hat.
The Question mantle has been passed down to a few different people over the years, but its most popular iteration was the initial revitalization after the Charlton characters were acquired by DC and incorporated into their main universe. Denny O’Neil revamped the character in 1986 for his own solo title.
6 Zatanna is an elegant witch
Zatanna Zatara is one of the most powerful magic users in the DC Universe, and while she usually wears a top hat and fishnet stockings, she doesn’t have a superhero costume that goes with it. beyond the clothes a flamboyant magician might wear.
As the daughter of Giovanni “John” Zatara, Zatanna commands magic by declaring what she wants upside down. His magician’s hat is not only a fashionable accessory, it can also be used as a dungeon to trap spirits or as a portal to other realms and dimensions. However, Zatanna’s hat is not required for her to perform magic.
5 Doctor Manhattan drops his clothes
A character whose hero status is sometimes questionable, Doctor Manhattan has not always been part of the DC universe, but after the Doomsday Clock event, he and his companion watchmen have become canon. Boasting the ability to manipulate matter (including that of his body) in various ways, Doctor Manhattan wears no costume, or clothing at all. Once in a while someone can convince him to put on a Speedo or tuxedo for public appearances, but Jon Osterman definitely prefers to let his whole glowing blue body show.
4 Crazy Jane has 64 personalities and 0 costumes.
Crazy Jane is just the dominant personality of Kay Challis, a woman who suffers from an extreme version of dissociative identity disorder. After the detonation of a gene bomb, these 64 unique alternates also gained individual superpower traits.
While Kay Challis often changes clothes to match the personality of whoever is in command at any given time, she never dresses in anything resembling a traditional superhero costume. As a member of the Doom Patrol, Jane stopped several reality-ending threats in their tracks.
3 Superboy (Conner Kent) is too cool for spandex
Kon-El or Conner Kent was the clone of the heroic Superman and the villainous Lex Luthor. While Connor wore a costume on several occasions, his most iconic look came from his days wearing a black Superman t-shirt and jeans. Superboy hails from Project Cadmus as part of their response to the death of the original Superman. Once Clark Kent returned, Conner would serve as an ally to Superman. Joining teams like the Teen Titans and Young Justice, Superboy became a hero and leader as great as his mentor.
2 Cyborg’s Robot Body Didn’t Improve His Football Career
Victor Stone has become the self-proclaimed bridge between organic humans and technology. Lively and intelligent, Victor was a high school football player before an accident forced him to fuse his body with a Mother Box.
This sentient computer combined with Victor’s body and transformed him into a Cyborg, giving him superhuman abilities and a special connection to technology. While some may think of the robot body as a costume, there’s nothing but wires and circuitry underneath the metal exterior. Technology is the literal body of Victor Stone.
1 Black Canary Heroic Outfit Could Be Considered Normal Clothing
Pushing the boundaries between disguise and no disguise, Dinah Lance is technically dressed in heavily stylized street clothes. Similar to Zatanna, she is usually depicted in fishnets, but unlike her magical ally, Black Canary prefers leather jumpsuits and jackets. Black Canary’s canary scream and refined martial arts skills make her one of the DC Universe’s most fearsome crime-fighters. Even the versions of Canary that didn’t have powers proved a force to be reckoned with. Sporting her stylish attire, Canary can often be seen with her lover/husband, Green Arrow.