Ghost Rider
Columbia Pictures

Sometimes, comic book movie characters can look terrible and be great – Civil War’s Zemo wasn’t exactly a stand-out and the new Beast looks ridiculous – and sometimes bad looking characters end up being just as bad, like Schumacher’s Batman, Ayer’s Incubus and Snyder’s Steppenwolf.

At least you can see those guys coming. More problematic are the characters who actually show a lot of promise when you first see them but don’t deliver; who seem to have been taken directly from the comic book page – or who even improve on the source – and who you can’t help but get excited about. After all, part of what makes superheroes and villains so effective is the threatre of their appearance; nothing makes a statement like lycra or masks or a flaming skull where your head ought to be.

Sadly, for every wonderfully designed comic book character that actually lives up to their look, there are a couple whose impressive appearance is a bare-faced lie. They might have the costume credentials or the right make-up, but thanks to any combination of poor direction, poor characerisation and terrible scripting, they’re just the best looking guys in the garbage pile.

Beauty is only skin deep…

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