Where does the time go? Seems like you spend all month getting ready for the Black Adam premiere only to realize once you awaken from your magic lightning reverie that Halloween is only a week away. Better hurry up! You’ve only got a few days to get that costume together.
Now, there’s no need to panic. That’s still enough time, but with thousands of characters to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down a costume that can cover the past incredible year of DC characters and stories. So, allow us to help with a few DIY suggestions that are sure-to-slay*. This is our DC Halloween 2022 Look Book.
*We, of course, mean this in the stylish sense—not the literal, Jason Vorhees one. This time of year, you can never be too sure.
Black Adam and the JSA
The good news about Halloween being so close to the Black Adam debut is that if you already dressed up for the premiere, you already have your costume on lock. Black Adam himself is always an iconic look, but be warned that Hawkman is recommended for experts only—careful about taking up too much space with those wings. (Then again, that wingspan may prove a good way to enforce social distancing if you’re still not comfortable in crowds.)
Superhero costume critics have often considered Doctor Fate’s blue and gold ensemble to be among the most stylish finery in superhero history, so there’s never been a better time to get your Brosnan on. It may be a challenge to see through an eyeless bucket if you don’t happen to have magic powers, though. Maybe put some wearable camera tech on in there and link it to a camera cleverly hidden in your ankh amulet. Or see if you can find a Lord of Order who’s willing to cut a quick deal. Just thinking out loud.
The Batman, The Riddler, The Penguin, The Catwoman
The realistic take on Batman and his enemies and allies in this year’s The Batman is practically built for cosplay. Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman costume is certainly less demanding than carving up a leather bodysuit with a sewing machine to get the Michelle Pfeiffer look. The necessary accessories for a 2022 Riddler costume, too, are easy to come by, if you know which stores to shop at. (Just, uh, don’t bring the kids to that costume shop.) How difficult a Penguin costume might be depends entirely on how much you look like Colin Farrell—or, rather, how much you don’t, considering how unrecognizable he is in the role. But perhaps the simplest and most effective costume The Batman provides is in Commissioner Gordon. All it takes is a suit and tie, a pair of glasses, a mustache (do not skip the mustache), and your commitment to nod and deliver a stoic “hey, man” to any Batmen you encounter at night.
The ongoing DC vs. Vampires series presents an entirely new world of possibilities for the veteran superhero cosplayer. Were you already Wonder Woman last year? Well, good news, now you can just pop in a plastic pair of fangs, put on some pale makeup and dribble some strategically placed fake blood and you’re Vampire Wonder Woman. It’s an entirely different costume! Got a Green Lantern suit in your closet? Zatanna? Nightwing? Same deal. Some might call it lazy. But we know better, trendsetter. You’re just keeping up with the times.
Dark Knights of Steel
They may be demanding with their fusion of superhero and medieval aesthetics, but the best thing about Dark Knights of Steel costumes is that once you have yours together, that’s your ticket to stealth superhero cosplay in any Renaissance Faire in your area without ever breaking the immersion. Just imagine how rewarding it’ll be down the line to eat a turkey leg in your hand like a popsicle in full armor as Batman or Black Lightning as everyone nearby gives you a hearty, “Huzzah!”
Is…that not a dream of yours? Just me? Um, moving on…
Merv Pumpkinhead, The Sandman
The smash hit Netflix adaptation of The Sandman is a gift to goths the world over, with timeless costumes for Dream, Death and Desire that would look perfectly in place at a moody nightclub at any time of the year. But for Halloween, we’d like to suggest a different course of action. For your costuming needs, consider Merv Pumpkinhead, the gourd-headed dream custodian voiced in the series by the one and only Mark Hamill. (And yet, somehow, played just as effectively by Kevin Smith in the Sandman audio series from Audible.) The best part of this costume is that even if the people you encounter this Halloween are one of the dozen who have somehow not seen the show yet, it still works as perfectly on theme for the season.
The Villy Awards, Harley Quinn
Gotham’s greatest villains never look more glamorous than when they put on their stolen loot-funded finery for the Villy Awards, the most prestigious award ceremony for super-villains in the DC Universe—as we saw in season three of Harley Quinn. Grab your girlfriend and put together your own recreation of the winners of the 83rd Annual Awards’ “Best Couple,” Harley and Ivy! Or just scan the audience for one of the ceremony’s other daring looks. If all else fails, you can’t go wrong mixing and matching your favorite third stringer super-villain costume with the tuxedo you still have from your sister’s wedding. Like Joker do!
One of the most surprising hits from DC this year has been Peacemaker, the HBO Max spinoff of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad starring…well, frankly, one of the ensemble film’s most unlikely candidates for a spinoff. And yet, somehow, Christopher Smith found a way to charm audiences with his boundless energy, delusional sense of self, ignorant but well-meaning demeanor, and overwhelming issues with a deeply problematic parental figure. (This is, after all, still a James Gunn production.)
What we respect most of all about Peacemaker is its dedication to complete accuracy in capturing the character’s original look from the comic without compromise or over-design. It’s safe to say that Movie Peacemaker and Comic Peacemaker get their costumes from the same rack. The only thing more daring would be to lose the costume entirely, and just go with the silver helmet, a snug pair of tightie whities and maybe a plush Eagly to perch on your shoulder. It’s your party, man.
Cassandra Cain, Fashion Icon
For the best in DC fashion this year, there’s one absolutely undisputed Style Queen for 2022, and she can be found bunking with Stephanie Brown on The Hill in Gotham City. I’m talking, of course, about the greatest of all Batgirls, Cassandra Cain. The unicorn robe! The burlap bookbag! The shades! Every time Cass shows up in the ongoing Batgirls series, she brings a fresh new look with her built for cosplay or just everyday streetwear. This could have been an article just about Cassandra’s best looks alone. Come to think of it, that might be a future article. Watch this space. But if you’re looking for a costume guaranteed to turn the heads of the coolest comic-reading kids in the room, just open up an issue of Batgirls to any page and point. You’ve got yourself a winner.
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.