8 Worst Supervillain Redesigns To Ever Grace The Big Screen In Marvel And DC Movies

8 Worst Supervillain Redesigns To Ever Grace The Big Screen In Marvel And DC Movies

Countless Marvel and DC supervillains have graced the screen over the years, but some of them have been redesigned for live-action in a way which failed to do them justice and still has us seething...

Feature Opinion
By JoshWilding - Jun 20, 2024 02:06 PM EST
Filed Under: Marvel Studios

Even the best superhero is nothing without a great villain. Unfortunately, we often see bad guys underserved in the movies they appear in, an issue that's plagued the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the start. 

Regardless of whether they steal the spotlight from the hero the movie is named after or are forgotten before the credits even roll, many a supervillain's appearance has been redesigned during the transition from page to screen. 

In this feature, we're singling out the baddies whose iconic costumes only got worse when they showed up in theaters. From classic superhero outings to more recent efforts, none of the villains featured here looked as good as they should have done.

See who we've singled out by clicking on the "Next"/"View List" buttons below...
 

8. Green Goblin (Spider-Man)

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The Green Goblin’s appearance is iconic but by no means a costume that's easy to adapt for live-action. Sadly, Sam Raimi’s only real misstep in this spectacular big screen debut for Spider-Man was the Power Rangers-style battle suit donned by Norman Osborn.

We'll give them credit for finding a story reason for its inclusion, and it cleverly allowed Willem Dafoe to show off his eyes as a way of portraying emotion through an otherwise static mask. However, it’s still a very disappointing take on Spidey’s greatest villain.

Looking at concept art and pre-production footage for Spider-Man, it’s heartbreaking to see that they did consider numerous versions that adhered to the source material. Shockingly, Marvel Studios failed to drastically improve on this when Norman returned in No Way Home.
 

7. Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

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Jamie Foxx also reprised his role of Electro in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and we'll be forever grateful that he wasn't blue. Marvel Studios ditched the goofy rubber suit that was inspired by the Ultimate Spider-Man comics and instead paid homage to his green and yellow suit with a few clever visual cues. 

Back to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, though, and everything from those ugly veins to the microchip in Electro's head ensured we had good reason to hate everything about this take on the classic Spidey villain. 

There's probably a version of this blue Electro that would have worked on screen and he and the Green Goblin were fortunate to get a second chance in the MCU Everyone else listed here, however, wasn't quite so lucky...
 

6. The Joker (Suicide Squad)

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There's a lot that's easy to dislike about Suicide Squad's take on The Joker, and David Ayer and Jared Leto's take on this classic Batman baddie was a total failure. 

While the tattoos are unfortunate and ultimately pretty cringe-worthy, nothing that Leto was given to wear here either looked good on him or immediately made us think "Joker." This attempt to bring the Batman villain into the real world as a gangster fell flat, and a movie as wacky as Suicide Squad would have been the perfect place to embrace the comics.

There may have been a story behind the teeth, this was still just a gangster in silly makeup. He did look a little better in Zack Snyder's Justice League, so there's that. 
 

5. Green Goblin II (Spider-Man 3)

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The closing few minutes of Spider-Man 2 left us all believing that we would finally see Harry Osborn take up the Green Goblin mantle in the threequel just as he did in the comics.

Would he wear his father’s suit or a version closer to the comic books? There was even speculation at the time that we might get to see the Hobgoblin. What we got instead was James Franco riding a flying snowboard in a green ski mask and bland jumpsuit.

Of all the options they could have gone for, this bizarre costume was just one of the many decisions that made Sam Raimi's massively disappointing final part of the trilogy so utterly disappointing. Was The Amazing Spider-Man 2's take any better? Barely.
 

4. Mister Freeze (Batman And Robin)

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Even in the comics, Mister Freeze has often looked a little lame, but unlike a lot of adaptations that help legitimise cheesy costumes from the source material, Batman and Robin somehow made this one even worse.

Even though it’s supposed to be made from some sort of metallic alloy, it came across like the cheap, chunky piece of plastic garbage that it undeniably was. This whole movie was only really made to sell toys, but there’s got to be a better way of achieving that than turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into a giant action figure. 

Gotham didn't do much better with Mister Freeze, so we're still waiting on the villain's definitive costume on screen. If Matt Reeves gets his hands on Freeze in The Batman II, we'd bet on seeing a much more grounded - and terrifying - take on this iconic bad guy.
 

3. Doctor Doom (Fantastic Four)

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Tim Story's take on Doctor Doom in the Fantastic Four films from the mid-2000s was cheesy and disappointing enough, but Fox failed to redeem themselves with Josh Trank's 2015 reboot.

Once again deciding to transform Doom into some sort of human/robot hybrid, we were left with a poorly CGI'd version of the iconic villain with glowing green eyes and a weird cloak that was supposed to remind us of the comics. Poor Toby Kebbell has said openly on multiple occasions just how much he hated letting fans down as this dismal take on Doom.

This is the opposite of how the classic villain should look on screen, and it's now going to be up to Marvel Studios to make things right with Victor Von Doom in The Fantastic Four or a future sequel.
 

2. Gorr The God Butcher (Thor: Love And Thunder)

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We can understand not wanting to bury an actor like Christian Bale either beneath heaps of makeup or throwing a mo-cap suit on him as CG character, Thanos-style. Then again, would that really have been the worst idea in the world?

Thor: Love and Thunder's Gorr ended up losing almost everything that made his comic book counterpart such a sinister menace, and Bale's bad teeth and skin markings left us with a villain who was more weird than threatening. 

Like the movie itself, Gorr was a disappointment. Poor writing did Gorr few favours but combining that with a forgettable design left Bale completely wasted in a role which should have made him one of the MCU's best bad guys to date. 
 

1. Dark Flash (The Flash)

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Almost this entire movie was abysmal, but as bad as The Flash himself looked, we can't fault the suits worn by Batman and Supergirl. Alas, we're not here to talk about superheroes and Dark Flash...well, he was a CG clusterf***.

Ezra Miller was made up to look like an old man and his "costume" looked as messy and poorly realised as the rest of the "Chronobowl." Dark Flash's appearance on the page is easy to translate to screen - The CW's TV series proved that - so how did this The Flash it so wrong?

Who knows. The fact is, Dark Flash's appearances was as messy and convoluted as his story arc in a movie the man now in charge of DC once described as the "one of the greatest superhero movies ever made."
 

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Mrnorth1921
Mrnorth1921 - 6/20/2024, 2:39 PM
The reason why Gorr was redesigned because Bale wasn’t a fan of the scantily clad alien with dicks as ears. Most of that can be blamed on him.
Malatrova15
Malatrova15 - 6/20/2024, 2:40 PM
@Mrnorth1921 - he is more of mother beater bad guy kind of guy
Razorface1
Razorface1 - 6/20/2024, 2:45 PM
@Mrnorth1921 - Damn, good to know they are letting the actors make the movie snow.
Mrnorth1921
Mrnorth1921 - 6/20/2024, 2:51 PM
@Razorface1 - we you need the actor to join. To get a higher budget. You have to concede on some things. This has been very common in the movie industry for decades.
Blergh
Blergh - 6/20/2024, 4:34 PM
@Mrnorth1921 - that’s very true and getting Bale was always a hassle to achieve
Razorface1
Razorface1 - 6/20/2024, 5:10 PM
@Mrnorth1921 - And its clearly freaking terrible. Didnt even do a good job.
Mrnorth1921
Mrnorth1921 - 6/20/2024, 5:23 PM
@Razorface1 - he did the best job in the movie. Him and Jane. It was Taika who dropped the ball here.
Malatrova15
Malatrova15 - 6/20/2024, 2:39 PM
Dark Flash was just Ezra boy afterparty at Epstein Island
AscendedExtra
AscendedExtra - 6/20/2024, 2:43 PM
I understand the distaste for the 2002 Goblin suit, But I have to be honest, I kinda like it, especially the mask. Dafoe was perfect in the role, and the way he emoted with just his eyes and how in the right light you could see his mouth moving being the mesh just stayed with me.

Having seen Bale's take on Gorr, I'd say he should've been cast as in Star Wars a Sith Lord instead. The MCU wasted him.
Mrnorth1921
Mrnorth1921 - 6/20/2024, 2:53 PM
@AscendedExtra - he probably only wanted one and done. And he is a Star Wars nerd, so we may see him in a movie for Star Wars.
RolandD
RolandD - 6/20/2024, 3:13 PM
@AscendedExtra - I will agree with you that Dafoe’s performance was excellent.
IronSpider101
IronSpider101 - 6/20/2024, 5:18 PM
@AscendedExtra - I like the mask, I think the bodysuit could use some additional elements like a cloak or something. NWH's additions I like even more than them getting rid of the mask. Not a fan of all the garbagey yellow bits that don't make sense and busy up the design, but just the sleek body armor looks bad.

That said, I think it's easily an improvement over the comic book design which has always been terrible, and I don't think that character deserves a spot anywhere near a sincere list of this nature. But I get the feeling this list is designed to troll more than to be a genuine list.
JonC
JonC - 6/20/2024, 5:48 PM
@AscendedExtra - The animatronic mask they designed for Dafoe would have been awesome to see on screen but i am glad we got to see his performance instead.
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JonC
JonC - 6/20/2024, 5:49 PM
@JonC - i am hoping this makes a comeback in the MCU as a variant.
Deklipz
Deklipz - 6/21/2024, 12:52 AM
@JonC - it would have been pretty restricting and hidden too much of his actual facial expressions. They way it was you could see his eyes and see his mouth through the mesh when it was needed. The helmet could have been better, but the animatronic would have been dumb.
TheVisionary25
TheVisionary25 - 6/20/2024, 2:46 PM
I honestly liked Gorr , the movie had its flaws (I liked it overall) but he was one of the better parts of it if not the best to me…

He reminded me of a bogeyman from a fairytale or children’s story which I liked.

The scarred skeletal Nosferatu-esque look worked for me aswell.

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Origame
Origame - 6/20/2024, 2:51 PM
Ok, I don't know what keeps happening to my account, but show us on the doll where the flash touched you
HashTagSwagg
HashTagSwagg - 6/20/2024, 2:52 PM
Everyone forgets this villain for some reason
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WhateverItTakes
WhateverItTakes - 6/20/2024, 4:08 PM
@HashTagSwagg - you must have never seen Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind
WruceBayne
WruceBayne - 6/20/2024, 5:20 PM
@HashTagSwagg - they forgot about the Galactus space cloud from Fantastic Four 2 also.
OrgasmicPotatoe
OrgasmicPotatoe - 6/20/2024, 8:34 PM
@HashTagSwagg - I haven't, that's Kratos from 4evers.
lazlodaytona
lazlodaytona - 6/20/2024, 8:34 PM
@WruceBayne - and Green Lanters big-headed bad guy too
lazlodaytona
lazlodaytona - 6/20/2024, 8:35 PM
@WruceBayne - Oh, and the giant, brown, floating turd in the sky that was supposed to be parallax.
WruceBayne
WruceBayne - 6/20/2024, 8:57 PM
@lazlodaytona - Parallax would be my #1 on this list.
lazlodaytona
lazlodaytona - 6/21/2024, 7:03 AM
@WruceBayne - I definitely agree. When the giant cockroach villain in Men In Black looks more look Parallax than the one in a Green Lanter movie, you know someone screwed up big time with the art design/creative cgi garbage.
SATW42
SATW42 - 6/20/2024, 2:54 PM
I actually like Freeze's costume. We can talk about how bad that movie is till the cows come home, but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the costume.

Man, do I love that movie. Completely ironically of course, but I love it all the same. Arnold and Uma channeling the 60's show, alicia silverstone and Uma thurman, the soundtrack is a complete snapshot of that time period. the entire cast is really.
dragon316
dragon316 - 6/20/2024, 5:57 PM
@SATW42 - bad movie good costumes excluding bat nipples
HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt - 6/20/2024, 2:56 PM
I'm sorry, but NOTHING is worse than the twin cloud villains.

The Galactus Cloud in Fantastic Four: ROTSS was not just disappointing, it was anticlimactic and disheartening, and 100% keeping in line with Tom Rothman's terrible dictates and hatreds of anything having to do with the comic book movies he obviously hated making.

The Parallax Poop Cloud in Green Lantern was just the perfect capper to a movie that was embodiment of the poop emoji.

What's even worse is that the sourced designs for both villains, that of a planet-sized Celestial and a Giant Insect that that is Physical Embodiment of Fear are so awesome.

As an addendum, the failure of the Jared Leto version of the Joker I put on David Ayer. Given Leto's overall physicality and look, we should have gotten the David Bowie-inspired "Thin White Duke" version of the Joker who is the fancier version who wears tuxedos and appreciates the finer things in contrast to his clown persona, and instead, we got a cholo version that's never existed anywhere. Awful.

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Batmangina
Batmangina - 6/20/2024, 3:07 PM
@HistoryofMatt - Parallax Poop Cloud is the name of my new Grindcore band.
HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt - 6/20/2024, 3:12 PM
@Batmangina - User Comment Image
Batmangina
Batmangina - 6/20/2024, 3:18 PM
@HistoryofMatt - Also, kudos for Coked Out Bowie thumbnail!
HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt - 6/20/2024, 3:47 PM
@Batmangina - I mean... I know David Ayer loves his cholo culture. I get it. Be proud of who you are, man, and he put all of that into the design and character of El Diablo and I thought it was great. Why did he have to do the same thing to Joker? With Jared Leto's overall frame and body type, the Bowie-inspired, Thin White Duke version of the Joker, something we've never seen on screen, WAS RIGHT THERE!

To me, this is one of the biggest misses of the last decade of superhero movies. Making Joker a cholo was an awful choice. Just the 100% wrong creative decision.
Batmangina
Batmangina - 6/20/2024, 3:51 PM
@HistoryofMatt - Thin White Duke/Coked Out in Berlin Bowie Joker????? TAKE MY [frick]ING MONEY!!!

Team him with a Lou Reed Heroin Chic Inspired Two Face??? TAKE TWICE MY MONEY!!!

See what I did there? 😏
SpiderParker
SpiderParker - 6/20/2024, 3:00 PM
Number 1 should be Man of Steel.
Nomis929
Nomis929 - 6/20/2024, 3:01 PM
C'mon man, I know you have a MCU bias but you leaving out...

"whiplash"
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Abomination (original look)
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Ultron
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Grandmaster and Collector
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High Evolutionary
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Klaw
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Taskmaster
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That 8 in the MCU, alone.
Ryguy88
Ryguy88 - 6/20/2024, 3:11 PM
@Nomis929 - taskmaster is easily the worst of these ones
RolandD
RolandD - 6/20/2024, 3:16 PM
@Nomis929 - Abomination was aptly named.
Nomis929
Nomis929 - 6/20/2024, 3:23 PM
@Ryguy88 - That's a tough call on who's the worst.
Nomis929
Nomis929 - 6/20/2024, 3:23 PM
@RolandD - In all fairness, they did "Course Correct" Quite nicely.

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SuperCat
SuperCat - 6/20/2024, 3:24 PM
@Nomis929 - I liked Klaw! I was hoping he'd eventually wear a costume though. Wasted character.
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