Supergirl vs. Wonder Woman, Black Canary and More: Which Crimefighting Costume Is Most Super?

Supergirl Costume

On Friday afternoon, CBS released the first full-length shot of Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl costume, eliciting a flurry of both approving cheers and judgmental jeers (plus one awesomely ridiculous anecdote from Arrow‘s Stephen Amell).

So in the spirit of reacting to stuff on the Internet, TVLine is inviting you to play a game of Project Runway: Comic Edition, in which we present four of the most recent, buzziest female costume reveals and you chime in with your critiques, both in terms of fashion and function.

Let’s begin with Benoist’s Supergirl ensemble, which costume designer Colleen Atwood describes as both an homage to the past and an embracing of the present day’s more “street-style action hero.” We’ll pit that against Katie Cassidy’s Black Canary outfit from The CW’s Arrow, which temporarily broke the internet — move over, Kim K — when it was revealed in Nov. 2014.

Supergirl Costume

And here’s the second set of entries, both of which are modeled by Friday Night Lights alumna Adrianne Palicki. On the left, you’ll see her as Wonder Woman from NBC’s 2011 David E. Kelley pilot; on the right, as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Mockingbird.

Supergirl Costume

All right, judges, do what you do best! Vote for the most fashionable (and functional) look below, then drop a comment with more of your critiques.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. immanu says:

    the f…? the supergirl costume is hideous! tights, really?

    • m3rcnate says:

      I’m sure that’s to be PC and avoid having a Heroine (especially a “young” one) be showing skin in the thighs area while in a skirt. I’m sure some group would come out and protest and make a huge fuss over the sexualization of female superheroines.

    • Wordsmith says:

      When you think about it, any costume incorporating a skirt is pretty impractical for a heroine who can fly. Particularly in an age where everybody has a decent camera on their phone…

    • Jase says:

      The girl wearing the costume is a bigger problem. Melissa was so boring and charmless on Glee — she has NO screen presence — and she’s supposed to carry this series? Couldn’t they have chosen ANY other actress with presence and charisma?

      • yeah I worry about the Casting choices too…but the ONLY reason Im not flipping out over the casting choice is because I did when I found out Grant Gustin was gonna be Cast as the Flash…but he totally rocks the role and does an amazing job! But yes shes No where near as pretty or…Buxom as I thought whoever they cast Should be!…Shes Not blonde, not ugly but not Laura Vandervoort or Helen Slater for that matter!

    • Merikanboa says:

      Any superheroine (or villainess) outfit is not complete without sheer tights!

  2. lesigh says:

    Laurel’s/The Black Canary’s costume is not practical at all. She’s a DA and she’s wearing fingerless gloves?? (Also. There is nothing practical about needing to do up all of those buckles when the city is need of saving).

    • Dude says:

      The fingerless gloves I’ll give you but she’d only need to do up two buckles. The buckles on her boots are for appearance not function.

      • Anne says:

        Hence it not being practical.

        • Jose Kuervo says:

          are we really bitching about a costume on a super hero show? NOTHING IS PRACTICAL? Starting with Oliver’s QUIVER… no professional archer ever is going to carry a Quiver on his back.. is impractical . yet… we suspend disbelief and are ok with Oliver having his on his back.

      • cjeffery7 says:

        there are also the buckles that she’d have to put around her legs (which im assuming are to holster weapons) which is subsequently being held up by two garter belt type buckles. TOO MANY BUCKLES!!

    • Recasting Laurel would be great for the show. She sucks! Or kill her off that would be even better.

  3. LilAngel says:

    Black Canary is the best looking. Supergirl seems like she is going food shopping in Amish country

  4. JC1 says:

    None of them are great, in my opinion, but I pick Mockingbird for both polls by quite a margin. From first to last, Mockingbird, Black Canary, Supergirl, Wonder Woman. I preferred Sara’s Black Canary outfit to Laurel’s, but Laurel’s could be considerably improved by streamlining it a bit and removing a few of the buckles and straps, and getting rid of the black lipstick. The Supergirl outfit is just boring. And there’s no fixing the Wonder Woman outfit. That cheap plastic look – what were they thinking?

    • Isobel says:

      Agree I think Mockingbird and Sara’s black canary outfit were the best

      • JC1 says:

        To be honest, I don’t really like the Mockingbird outfit much either. It looks like scuba gear in boots. (Fortunately I think she’s only actually worn it once on the show.) I just think it’s the best of several bad options. If they’d included Sara’s Black Canary costume, that would have been my pick for favorite.

      • Derek117 says:

        Add me to the Plus-1 column on Sara’s Black Canary costume being the best for it’s sexy appeal. Mockingbird’s outfit reminds me of the Rachel Nichols outfit in the first G.I. Joe movie–who, ironically, Adrianne Palicki replaced in the second G.I. Joe film, without the sexy outfit.

    • tonnie says:

      Sara wore a corset to fight crime… the heck was that practical. At least Laurels is more realistic to fight crime.

  5. Lysh says:

    I was hoping for some pants for Supergirl. It seems more logical for when you’re flying and fighting. I almost voted for Laurel, except it’s too many buckles. But she has a mask! They are all rocking it though.

  6. Tran says:

    The Wonder Woman costume Adrienne Palicki worn was by far the worst and thank goodness it didn’t get picked up as a series for NBC back in 2011. Lynda Carter without a doubt had the best Wonder Woman costume ever and the hottest and sexiest outfit that became every man’s fantasies.

    • Wordsmith says:

      Lynda Carter rocked the look back in the 70’s, but I think that if you tried that costume in a modern adaptation (particularly on TV) it would be almost as laughable as what you see in that picture up there.

      • Tran says:

        No freakin’ way. I’ll be embarrassed to try that Wonder Woman outfit on even though I’m a manly man. HELLO!! Some of my picks that should be the perfect Wonder Woman in my opinion are Stana Katic (Castle), Daniela Ruah (NCIS: Los Angeles) and Angie Harmon (Rizzoli & Isles).

      • Shawn says:

        I think Wonder Woman would look better if the got away from the American tie-in. They should give her an outfit that takes more cues from her native garb, and probably toss in the eagle in it somehow.

    • RachelA says:

      And we all know THAT is the most important thing for a female superhero – becoming every man’s fantasy. *epic eye-roll* Why do men think everything women do is ultimately about them?

      • Tran says:

        I have no idea what you’re talking about Rachel A. My dream CBS star that should be a perfect Supergirl is Beth Behrs from 2 Broke Girls. Try not to whine, complain or throw a temper tantrum at me.

        • Madison M. says:

          That’s a horrible idea. Horrific actress. try not to whine, complain or throw a temper tantrum at me.That’s a horrible idea.

      • Because we live in a society where you Women flaunt and use your sexuality as an asset…so Looking good and being Sexy is almost required!…Thats like women who wear Short skirts and low cut tops then bitch and complain about men staring and making sexual comments lol….You wear that stuff for a reason and comfort sure isn’t ONE of those reasons lol!

    • Luis says:

      I would be interested to hear Adrienne Palicki’s opinion on the Wonder Woman costume versus the Mockingbird costume

  7. Dj says:

    This is no contest Mockingbird wins hands down. It’s the most practical and it looks the best. BC is the second most practical, but the ill-fitting awkward wig looks ridiculous plus Sara wore it 100x better.

    • Dude says:

      Sara’s wig was hideous and even the actress said she hated it and thought it made her look like Dolly Parton. Sara’s costume was better, Laurel’s wig is way better.

  8. m3rcnate says:

    The best looking is Mockingbird but it is purely utilitarian…it has no real “super” style to it. It looks 100% like something you would see a woman wear in real life if she was doing something physically active. If I saw a woman in the military wearing that and holding an M4 I wouldn’t bat an eye. My point? Its cool but lacks any Super-Heroine pizzaz. I would not expect that to be a costume in a comic book, too bland.

    Wonder Woman outfit is horrible, the Super-Girl outfit is alright but nothing special, and the Black Canary outfit is kinda stupid. I mean all those buckles? That has to be at least 10 or 12 buckles…in a costume/outfit that on the show they just “pop” into and out of within 2 minutes. She’s in the “cave” in a pencil skirt and button up work shirt and heels then they get a alert to _____, its a huge “we need to hurry” and in the next shot they are at the scene (assumption is they hurried the whole time) yet she’s now wearing that outfit…no way you can get into that outfit in under 10 minutes. Katie Cassidy also doesn’t look intimidating at all, unlike Caity Lotz who could probably kick a bunch of dudes asses.

    • tonnie says:

      None of the arrow costumes look easy to get into. Especially Roy and Olivers tight skin outfits.

      And don’t even get me started on Caity’s outfit. She looked like she was going to work a corner not fight crime.

      • m3rcnate says:

        Looking at Caity’s Canary outfit…it looks simple to get in and out of (just leather pants but not skin tight and a shirt and jacket). Yes it was very exposed up top (the upper chest/cleavage department) and that makes no tactical sense given the fact she is essentially exposing her heart to knives/bullets/etc. However this is the same show that says cause a famous billionaire is wearing a hood, you cant tell who he is (when you can totally make out his distinct face shape and stubble and mole etc.
        Of all of them Caity’s outfit is the most easy to wear in public, by that i mean if she took off her mask and wig and walked around in those pants and shirt/coat she would look really good and blend in…if Katie did that as BC she would look like a dominatrix on the way to work lol.

  9. jrex says:

    Street style action hero? Supergirl? She’s anything but.

  10. Jill says:

    I would have voted for Mockingbird except for the strap under the breasts. The obsession with breast in normal life is bad enough; there’s no place for it on a superhero costume.

    I voted for Supergirl because it’s the most practical and if that the determining feature for the men, it should be for women too. The Black Canary costume is ridiculous with the buckles and the fingerless gloves and taking 45 minutes to get into, and Wonder Woman’s outfit needs to stay on WWII pin-up boards.

  11. jeremy gilbert says:

    …superman is the most famous hero wearing red underwear….where is supergirls bikini?
    we should at least get supergirl a red bikini.

  12. Janet Marie says:

    Original Black Canary – Sara Lance for the win!

  13. The Kaibosh says:

    Whoa! Wonder Woman and Mockingbird could be twins! Mind blown!

  14. B.P. says:

    Yeah… nothing beats Laura V’s Supergirl… sorry

  15. JDH says:

    Mockingbird’s costume works because it’s Marvel & most of their characters are rooted in reality, (Captain America was a patriot in World War II, Iron Man is a super intelligent billionaire genius, Hulk is a doctor who suffered the results of Gamma Radiation, The Inhumans all start off as humans, before being changed by the diviner, Spider-Man was the product of an accident, the X-Men are the beginning of a new era in evolution, & the Fantastic Four, were effected by cosmic radiation, which changed their genetics. Except for Thor, & any alien species (Guardians of the Galaxy being the key example) all of these characters are humans before something happens to make them more then human… Besides Bobbi as a character, probably doesn’t identify herself as a superhero, & more so as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent like Black Widow & Hawkeye, who have similar low-key costumes.

    I have no doubt that had they given Supergirl pants, instead of a skirt, fans would be freaking out because it’s not “faithful to the comics”. Interestingly enough though, if they give her a skirt, but don’t have her flying around with her bare legs exposed, therefore hopefully silencing the critics, people now just have something else to complain about…

    As far as faithful to the comics, Supergirl’s is best. Black Canary’s works better in motion, but is a very busy costume, that could benefit from some streamlining down the line, but right now it works. Wonder Woman was an attempt at honoring the iconic look, while trying to make it more politically correct, & the producers got crucified for it, where as if they had the older style look that Lynda Carter wore, the producers would have been abused for having a strong female character walk around in what would appear to be high heels, & underwear. There is no pleasing some people.

    As a comic book fan I love all these different takes on characters iconic looks, because comics, television & movies, though crossing over more & more, are different mediums. The same rules don’t apply. “Fans” (and I use that term very loosely on the internet) are literally the worst, because regardless of what is done, they will ALWAYS find a reason to criticize, attack & insult anything that provides them entertainment, simply because they think they know better…

    Sad really.

  16. Dude says:

    Why do outlets always feel the need to pit women against each other and encourage people to judge who looks the best? I don’t remember an Arrow vs The Flash poll.

    • Cassey says:

      Thank you! I was thinking the same thing. If this is purely a costume debate (and bodies are not being judged), why not include the Flash and Arrow, or some of the villains? We can’t compare women’s costumes to men’s? Pretty sure they all follow a similar design. Or at the very least, have a separate poll and pit the men against each other.

  17. kate says:

    I’ve always liked Mockingbird’s best for basic practically. In fact you actually barely notice her wearing it on the show until you notice the batons. And in fact I thing she has pants most of the time and half the time she is with Hunter in his leather jacket so you barely notice.

  18. TheAppleFour says:

    The thing is with the Supergirl and Mockingbird costumes they are the final version, while the Black Canary is v1.0 in that it’s supposed to be her taking over her sister’s costume with a few additions. I can’t wait to see the generation 2.0 which is a costume that is full on Black Canary.

    For me they look great and each character is different. I like Mockingbird but she does look like a black ops person as opposed to a superhero, which makes Supergirl and Black Canary stand out more.

    • JC1 says:

      Why do you think there’s going to be a version 2.0? Oliver’s costume has changed only superficially in three years – what makes you think Laurel’s is going to change?

      • TheAppleFour says:

        Because the version is a modified version of Sara’s Canary, it’s not totally who Black Canary is. I think as Laurel becomes Black Canary and in tune with her identity the character will get lighter and I think it will become sexier.

        The thing is with Arrow we are seeing the 8th year of his costume (evolved from the island – just the hood), while Laurel is in year one. We are still yet to see Green Arrow. That is why.

        • Heather says:

          It’s not remotely a modified version of Sara’s costume. Other than being black, it’s completely different from wig to boots.

          • tonnie says:

            I think its pretty obvious Laurels costume will get a upgrade. This is only her FIRST costume. By next year, as she evolves, so will her costume.

          • JC1 says:

            And I’m still failing to see how it’s so obvious. As Heather said, it’s a completely different costume than Sara’s. It’s not even a modification. Every single piece is different. The boots, the pants, the jacket, the undershirt, even the makeup. The wigs and masks are similar, but the similarities end there. What would you even change to make it more different?

          • TheAppleFour says:

            For starters its not made of Kevlar. Plus once Starlabs see it. I’m sure Cisco will help upgrade it. Costumes always upgrade and it will transform more into the modern version of Black Canary.

  19. Lila says:

    I love the Black Canary one. 😍❤

  20. Grace says:

    have we learnt nothing from Edna Mode…NO CAPES.

  21. I think she be a great hero on the television screens too

  22. Letti says:

    I don’t watch Arrow, but Black Canary definitely looks the most badass here. I love that costume.

  23. Ioanna says:

    Why didn’t they use the super girl costume from smallville as inspiration? I don’t mind the darkest of the new one but it’s so boring. Maybe it’s the actress that makes me dislike it so much. She is so bland. Laura Vandervoort was so much hotter in that role.

  24. Tom says:

    Hands down Bobbi’s is the best Most realistic,

  25. Lila says:

    People complaining about black canarys gloves but whay about the masks for the other 3. Shouldn’T they have one since superheroes???you know???lol 😂

  26. Smedley says:

    Supergirl is impervious to everything and can lift anything without effort, so *anything* is 100% practical. Might as well focus on looks.

  27. liame says:

    They all look hideous, but I would choose WW if I had no choice.

  28. redjane12 says:

    Could we do one for the boys too? I’d like a poll on which hero outfits look best and which seem more practical….

  29. CK says:

    Supergirl’s is easiest to use the bathroom in – therefore, most practical. ;)

  30. Alex Mindev says:

    The Supergirl costume looks practical, in terms of the actress doesn’t have the ideal look to pull off a convincing superhero look, and also in terms of modesty and issues with filming etc and not having to worry about exposing certain bodyparts. Honestly, superheroes like her are NOT meant to be portrayed in a practical and realistic way…not so sure this show is going to succeed if they can’t get it right they are going to alienate a large number of fans. Those who wanna know what Supergirl should look like…simply do an image Google Search for Michael Turner Supergirl art. That’s what the newer generation of comic book fans know…as well as however briefly Laura Vandervoort (now on Bitten) did in a limited time on Smallville.

    I have a lot of doubts about the actress cast in the role, she just doesn’t look convincing. Will reserve final judgement until I see the pilot episode in the fall.

  31. cjeffery7 says:

    im going with mockingbird bird because she appears to be the only one without heels. heels are the definition of impractical. especially for crime fighters. however, as general overall outfits, none of them are practical because anything skin tight is going to take time to pull and off, and all of black canaries belt buckles? yeh rite.

  32. FreeRyde says:

    With the exception of Katie Cassidy’s Black Canary outfit, Arrow has become a joke.
    Everyone is now a super-hero or extremo macho martial arts expert, including Belly button girl!

  33. Kyckastra says:

    I understand what they were trying to do with WW and Supergirl-update them while still remaining true to the original costumes. For WW, they really didn’t have much of a choice but to put her in pants (the prev version would be considered too sexualized nowadays) but to change the top too much would have purists crying “you changed it too much!” Same for the Supergirl costume. I would like to see her in a female version of the newer Superman, myself. However, while WW is too shiny and bright, SG is too dull and comes off as plain. As for all the votes for Black Canary and Mockingbird, clearly none of these are from purists, as they are both pretty far from the characters’original (much sexier), and I feel much more unique, versions. They are both pretty standard issue, head to toe leather, knee high black boots, and fingerless gloves, with utility belts. Black Widow did that first, and much better.

  34. Jason says:

    No Agent Melinda May?? and we get Wonder Woman instead???

  35. Nat says:

    Black Canary is the best looking for me but mockingbird is most practical. Do one of these for men too..
    P.S. I want that wig.

  36. Davey Elmer says:

    I can’t pick between Laurel’s Black Canary costume and Melissa’s Supergirl costume. They’re both awesome (Colleen Atwood is batting 100% when it comes to superhero costume designs).

    That Wonder Woman costume is ‘okay’, and the Mockingbird one is far too similar to Black Widow’s to really impress me.

  37. Ram510 says:

    Supergirl looks terrible and Wonder Woman looks like it’s Halloween at a sorority house.
    By default Black Canary looks best but I think Sara wore it best

  38. Puneesher says:

    Supergirl’s tights are known to be invulnerable, along with the rest of her costume. Or else even common weapons could be used to obliterate her costume and strip her naked in public!

  39. Doug Coates says:

    I like the way they kept Supergirl’s costume true to the original as I as an old man can remember.

  40. well Considering what Network Supergirl will be airing on…we should have known we wouldnt get a Sexy and Exciting Supergirl outfit…and knowing this..I was still hugely disappointed….With both How it Looks and the type of S shield they used! Not the Shape or Size…just the color and type of S! Sure im excited about the show but…wishes It was on a different…less Uptight network!

  41. anonymous says:

    I don’t know why but Laurel looks like she’s wearing a Halloween costume of a superhero in the Black Canary outfit. Especially the wig, it worked better on Sara. That might be part of the problem, that Sara wore an almost identical outfit first as the Canary and now all I think when I see Laurel is that she is impersonating Sara. I mean she shows less boobs and the pants are different but it’s still almost the same costume. Which is why people were so easily fooled into thinking she was Sara for a couple episodes there (well everyone but Sin were fooled). Laurel also just looks like she is trying way too hard to look tough. All the black leather was a look that worked well for Sara, but it just doesn’t seem like the right look for Laurel. It’s just not who she is. I can’t say I have any ideas of how to make Laurel look more like herself as the BC and less like Sara as the Canary but I wish they could’ve done something different for Laurel. Although not liking how the BC storyline played out really at all, doesn’t help either. It’s been way too rushed in my opinion. And she’s just annoying the way she basically forced her way onto TA and is basically in the way at this point. The serious training should’ve come before she was going out risking her life and other peoples’ lives. So the costume is like the least of my issues with her.

    Adrianne is beautiful but she looked kind of ridiculous in that Wonder Woman costume. Mockingbird is a much better look for her. And the Supergirl costume is not entirely practical but it’s cute on Melissa. It’s nice the didn’t over-sexify it like who designed Adrianne’s Wonder Woman costume did.

  42. Donatello says:

    That Supergirl doesn’t even look like her. She looks like a cheerleader.

  43. Tony says:

    Marvel seems to just refuse to put what’s in the comic books on the big screen. I know I want to see on the screen what I grew up reading. DC (which I was never a fan of) at least tries to stay true to the pages of the comics.

  44. tsevca says:

    For me it´s the first time seeing this Wonder Woman costume and not that it shows just terrible taste (really terrible), but she´d make one move and her breasts would be out in the open. That´s how she plans to fight crime?