Ranking the MCU: The Uniforms

I’m counting down the days to “Avengers Endgame” and in the lead-up, ranking a few things about the series. So, here’s a look at my thoughts on the various uniforms worn by both the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a couple others.

All photos courtesy Marvel Studios.

17. Tie – Drax/Rocket

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Drax the Destroyer in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

So, I’m not including the Hulk in this list, the dude just wears ripped pants. That’s not much of a uniform. Drax, on the other hand, also wears pants, and they actually have utility sections for his blades. Still, they’re just pants.

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Rocket the Raccoon in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

I lumped Rocket in, too, as he has a full body uniform, but it’s pretty basic.

16. Vision

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Vision in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Vision is a neat character but his uniform doesn’t do much for me. The cape is pretty cool, although why Vision needs a cape, I’m not sure. The suit, though, is just dull, both in color and design.

15. Tie – Black Widow/Hawkeye/Gamora

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Black Widow in “The Avengers.”
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Hawkeye in “The Avengers.”
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Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Another tie, as I lumped together the characters with spy-like uniforms. All of them are slick, stylish and straight-forward. Black Widow’s and Hawkeye’s really work, too, thanks to the components that enhance their abilities, such as Widow’s electric charges.

14. Tie – StarLord/Scarlett Witch/Falcon

Each of these characters have uniforms that are pretty straight forward, like the previous heroes, but they also have things that set them apart.

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Star Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

Star-Lord, for example, has the cool jacket working for him, but what really makes the uniform come together is the helmet. The design is a bit different than your average space helmet and the red eyes really make it special.

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Scarlet Witch in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Scarlett Witch, meanwhile, seems to have had her costume specifically made to match her powers. Like Dr. Strange, Scarlett Witch has a uniform that matches so well with the color and style of her powers.

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Falcon in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Falcon should be pretty obvious. His uniform is very much like that of Black Widow and Hawkeye. However, Falcon has the advanced flight capabilities thanks to his wings and jet pack.

13. Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier looked so great when he first appeared. When first spotted by Captain America, he was incredibly intimidating. The shiny metallic arm being the perfect contrast to his spy uniform, the mask that only covered his mouth, allowing viewers to still see his menacing eyes, aside from when he wears goggles, and even the subtle red star giving a bit of identity, all added to a great uniform.

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Winter Soldier in the “Captain America” sequel.

All of these aspects were seen in the 2014 film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Since coming back to the good side in the series, Winter Soldier has dropped some of that initial look, and he is a bit less foreboding than before. He’s still pretty cool, but hasn’t topped his first appearance.

12. Ant-Man

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Ant-Man in his first film.

Like Star-Lord, Ant-Man’s suit is really brought together by the cool helmet. The red eyes give off some intimidation while the helmet itself is modern, but with some touches of old-school B movies. The rest of the suit is pretty superhero standard, but it has enough gadgets to set itself apart, too.

11. Doctor Strange

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Dr. Strange in his first film.

Strange’s uniform by the end of his first film was perfect, and he carried it into the third Avengers. He had a mystical cloak with somewhat of a mind of its own, a costume that fit with his look as a magical master and the Time Stone as a pendant to bring it all together.

10. Captain Marvel

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Captain Marvel in her first film.

Initially representing the colors of the Kree Empire, Captain Marvel looked her best once her uniform was adjusted to a red, blue and gold design. The colors are well balanced here, with just enough red and the gold trim really popping. It’s a simple, but effective design. The uniform looks even better when Captain Marvel begins using her powers to their maximum.

9. Spider-Man

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Spider-Man in “Homecoming.”

The Spider-Man uniform has always worked well, the red and blue balancing in great fashion. The uniform featured in the 2000s “Spider-Man” films (not part of Marvel Studios), was already a favorite of mine, but the newer movies in the Marvel Universe gave it a boost.

Thanks to Tony Stark’s technology, the Spider-Man suit is equipped with much more than it ever has been on screen. Also, while the red and blue is still prominent, more black has been added to the mix for a more unique, modern look.

8. War Machine

Yes, at first glance, War Machine appears just like Iron Man, but grey. But, I think there’s enough going on here to give it an identity. First of all, the grey look shows the difference between the personalities of James Rhodes and Tony Stark.

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War Machine in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Rhodes, who pilots War Machine, is a soldier. His main priority is completing a mission, and he’s less concerned with the look than Stark is. From that sense, it’s a great contrast when compared to the more colorful Iron Man. This is also shown in War Machine’s weapons, who uses more basic, straight forward weapons than the more advanced, space-age stuff that Stark has.

It’s simple, but it fits the character so well and despite being a dull color, War Machine looks downright awesome, especially thanks to that shoulder gun.

The one time he didn’t look good is when the suit was remodeled as the Iron Patriot. It seemed so random that they made this change, and the filmmakers seemed to agree, since they switched back to War Machine soon after.

7. The Wasp

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The Wasp in “Ant-Man and The Wasp.”

The uniform worn by Hope, AKA the Wasp, is basically like Ant-Man’s, but better. The suit looks more stealthy than its counterpart and it also has the advantages of wings and stinger gauntlets which can shoot energy blasts. Because of the suits darker stealth nature, the uniform also has the yellow eye shield, keeping with the wasp theme.

6. Thor

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Thor in “Avengers Infinity War.”

As if his stature and hammer weren’t enough intimidation, Thor, the God of Thunder, also has a pretty kick-ass uniform.

Looking more like an ancient warrior than a superhero, Thor’s uniform is complete with armor making him appear ready for battle and a red cape that reminds audiences of his royal heritage.

Thor maybe looked best in “Infinity War,” though, with the suit looking more imposing once he learned to control lightning at will.

5. Thanos’ Armor

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Thanos abandons his armor as “Infinity War” goes on but it was awesome to see while it lasted. The gold represents his identity as a ruler and/or conqueror. Plus, the armor’s heavy, well crafted design makes him look all the more intimidating.

The armor isn’t so bulky that it constrains Thanos, either, as seen when he uses impressive martial arts skills against the Hulk. Plus, the armor is well complemented by the Infinity Gauntlet.

4. Valkyrie Armor

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Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok”

Valkyrie’s armor is only seen at the very end of “Thor Ragnarok,” and it’s a real treat to see. The silver armor and blue cape look fantastic, especially with the backdrop of the bridge Valkyrie’s fighting on and the fireworks in the background. It’s a perfect representation of the connection the “Thor” series creates with classic fantasy and modern comic book films.

3. Black Panther

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Black Panther in his first film.

The Black Panther costume was already cool when it first appeared in “Captain America: Civil War.” However, it made a huge jump for me in the “Black Panther” film, when it showed off the energy absorbing mechanic. This gave Black Panther a tremendous advantage in battle, being able to take attacks against him and blast them back.

On top of the combat component, the energy absorbing ability creates a neon purple glow in various parts of his suit, which really makes the uniform pop more than before.

2. Captain America

Cap’s uniform has changed throughout the series and every time it has mostly worked well. The one worn in his first film, for example, included the classic look, but was remodeled to include World War II era armor and utility belts. His uniform in “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” meanwhile, also kept classic looks, but updated it with a more sleek design for his spy missions.

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Captain America in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

The best look Cap has had so far was his uniform in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It was the perfect balance, having the classics including the star and stripes, while also being modified with advanced gear, such as a gauntlet that could magnetically recover his shield. It was intimidating, but still symbolized the character’s good nature.

The only look that was a bit rough was his costume in “The Avengers.” It didn’t look all that bad, but the helmet didn’t really work and the base blue color was too bright. Seeing it in action, though, was still a treat.

1. Iron Man

How could I not go with the Iron Man suit worn by Tony Stark. The uniform has style thanks to its shiny red and gold colors, while the mask/helmet gives a subtle look that’s intimidating. The first time the mask came down in the 2008 movie when Stark was suiting up is burned in a lot of Marvel fans’ memories, for good reason.

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Iron Man in “The Avengers.”
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Iron Man in “Avengers Infinity War.”

Along with looking great and having so many different weapons and gadgets, I believe another reason why the Iron Man suit work so well is because it’s the one uniform we saw get designed. In the original film, we saw how Stark got the original idea, how he designed it to make it slick and functional. Then, finally, the audience was shown how Stark came up with the iconic color. It’s all brought together by the chest plate which contains the arc reactor power source, which makes the suit all the more visually appealing.

Now, in all fairness, the suit hasn’t looked great in all the films. I actually didn’t care for the design in “Iron Man 3” which had too much gold without any shine. For the most part, though, it’s been consistently cool.

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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