December 26, 2012

Mischiefs with Class | Villains’ Formal Wear

The Joker's make-up might have needed a little touch up but his choice of formal wear was certainly compelling.

In my previous article, I discussed some of our favorite well-dressed superheroes. I’m not referring to their colorful tights or armor of course, but to their alter egos’ outfits of choice. Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, and Clark Kent all have a highly enviable sense of style. From their crisp suits to their choices in ties, these men know how to dress.  However, they are not the only ones. Some believe that every hero is only as good as his or her villain – this holds true when it comes to fashion, as well. While updated versions of these great superheroes are forever manifesting themselves in popular media, one thing remains a constant – their evil counterparts follow them from comic books, to television cartoons, and even to the big screen. These ever present foes find different reasons to butt heads with our favorite heroes. And, just like their counterparts’ alter egos, these villains also know how to carry themselves in men’s formal wear with style.

When I think of a villain who’s dressed to the nines, one of the first that comes to mind is The Penguin. While not necessarily Batman’s greatest enemy, he has managed to stand the test of time. First appearing in a comic in 1941, he was a key villain in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1992). While appearances are ever changing and being updated, The Penguin’s look is eternal. Donning a sleek black top hat, a tux with tails, spats, and an umbrella, he has an abundance of class. He is well-dressed with a devious mind. Danny Devito played a truly cringe-worthy Penguin, but he managed to look sharp while doing it.

Despite his, well, penguin shaped body, Danny Devito made his most famous character look sharp and classy.

Iron Man has plenty of villains to worry about, but when it comes to the snazzy villain category, I would have to go with Justin Hammer. First appearing in 1979, Justin Hammer is the head of Hammer Industries. Not only is he a highly intelligent villain, but he also plays a business rival. The most recent version of Justin Hammer is portrayed by Sam Rockwell and shows him as a defense contractor in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 (2010). He is portrayed as being highly envious of Stark and slightly bumbling. Despite that, he competes stylistically with Tony Stark by always donning a sharp tuxedo, complete with a tuxedo vest, a formal necktie and pocket square.

The portrayal of villains have changed over time - from big and scary to sharp and classy, just like Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2.

If you are looking for a villain who has the best of everything, including style, then Lex Luthor is your man. Luthor is Superman’s arch nemesis, and plays the part very well. He is the premier evil genius. While he was not initially as sleek as he appears now, there are few who remember his initial look. His modern era version shows him as a wealthy CEO/scientist. When picturing Lex Luthor, I see a pressed suit, shiny black leather shoes, and a smug look. Like Bruce Wayne, he appears to others to be an upstanding citizen. However, behind the sharp look is a mastermind that is forever causing problems for Superman.

Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor) perfectly protrayed a man with a dark personality and full of mystery through his formal wear.

There is nothing quite as dangerous as a villain who knows how to dress – you almost forget that you are supposed to hate them. Whether they are making clever quips or just making you cringe, you gotta love a good bad guy. And when they are smooth talking with plenty of style, it can be hard to look away.

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