The road to success of the X-Men might be one of the greatest Cinderella stories in comic book history. By the early ‘70s the title was sinking like a stone. The book wasn’t selling nearly as well as other comic being published by Marvel at the time and it was on the precipice of getting the ax. Luckily, with the help of some fantastic creative team, the franchise was revitalized with a cast of new, complex, and multi-cultural characters that spoke to a much broader audience. Throughout the late ‘70s and on through the ‘80s, the X-Men world expanded into multiple titles and became the most popular game in town.
This rise to fame rode its wave all the way to the ‘90s where the team of mutants became highly marketable, spawning a massively successful Saturday morning cartoon, tons of action figures, trading cards, and enough Jim Lee pin up posters to wallpaper a bedroom. It was at this height of popularity that even more people jumped on board. The way these characters looked during the ‘90s often define how fans see them. This is certainly due in part to nostalgia, but even as these characters’ costumes and designs change, they always circle back to this ear in some war.
With the announcement of Domino making her on screen debut in Deadpool 2 this month, there’s been a bit of resurgence of interest in the character, which is pretty great considering Domino is a cool character who deserves a little more love. Marvel is spreading that love with a new ongoing series for this two toned assassin and we couldn’t be happier. The only issue is that Domino’s look currently is not as crazy as we’re used to, despite it being far more functional. Neena Thurman now looks a lot like an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. taking cues from fellow femme fatale fashionista Black Widow.
But when Domino (or Copycat, rather; look, believe it or not, but X-Books were actually weirder in the ‘90s than they are now) first hit the scene, she pretty embodied all the bonkers fashion sense of the ‘90s. She had the massive shoulder pads, pouches, and occasional bizarre headgear that was so prevalent among the works of superstar artist of the time like Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee. It was the striking look of Domino that made her stand out. She was like a Duran Duran album cover come to life and ready to kick butt with a pair of space-age guns with enough recoil to snap a wrist, and it was rad.
Quicksilver has seen several different outfits since he first appeared in The X-Men#4 way back in 1964. As one of the team’s earliest antagonists, Pietro Maximoff would go on to become one of the most complex characters in the X-Men canon. Shortly after his initial appearance, he would join The Avengers. His relationship with his sister Wanda (Scarlett Witch) is always fraught with less-than-desirable behaviors (especially in The Ultimates), and the way in which he views his father, the on again, off again villain/hero/terrorist/revolutionary Magneto keeps Quicksilver in a constant state of division regarding his own allegiance to both the X-Men and The Avengers.
But despite the ups and down Quicksilver has seen, the one thing that stays surprisingly consistent is his character design.
The stark white hair with twin tendrils furling out has been with Pietro since ’64, and his baby blue suit with the white lightning bolts keeps coming back. During the ‘90s, Quicksilver was a reoccurring character in X-Factor and wore the exact same outfit he wore 30 years prior. In recent years, creators have tried to upend this tradition, but none of them stick around for very long. They dash away with the speed of the character who can’t escape his original threads, much like his father before him.