Warren Worthington III, aka Angel, is one of the five founding members of the X-Men. He debuted way back in X-Men (Vol. 1) #1, which came out in 1963. In other words, he has a long history in comics. And despite being a mutant who oftenflies under the radar, he frequently leaps from his home medium into television and movies. There are a few things you should know about Worthington and his X-Men pals. They're mutants, they frequently drift towards the dark side, and they don't cling to costumes. In fact, nowadays, we'd be shocked if any X-Man stuck to the same look for longer than five years.
Given this trend, you can count on Angel to have a vast wardrobe, from the most cringy and colorful get-ups to the sleekest designed costumes. The guy has countless looks, but we narrowed our list down to the very best. We've begun with the classics -- because even in the '60s, wardrobe-change was surprisingly frequent -- and ended with his rapidly changing costumes from recent years. We've also included the costumes of his darker persona, Archangel, whose popularity doesn't seem to be dying down anytime soon. Here are16 of Angel's costumes, ranked from worst to best.
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16/16 X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
After his uneventful debut in X-Men: The Last Stand, Angel returned to the big screen in X-Men: Apocalypse. The movie featured Angel in a role that has become central to his character -- as a good mutant turned into the evil archangel, serving as one of the four horsemen of Apocalypse.
Archangel's costume in the flick isn't as bland as the basic black leather that all of the X-Men received in the original X-Men trilogy, but it still falls victim the general forgettableness that characterizes costumes in the X-Men franchise. For the past decade, the X-Men movies have been competing with the MCU. Despite the MCU consistently succeeding with uniquely costumed and colorful characters, Fox still seems to be afraid of making their characters stand out too much. We're thus left with an Archangel sporting your basic silver battle armor. Yawn.
15/16 THIRD COSTUME
Yikes. Angel's third costume was a disappointing step-back from the original blue-and-yellow X-Men costume. Angel, as well as the rest of the original members of the X-Men, received their new costumes in X-Men (Vol.1) #39. Having continually done right in battle, Professor X decided to reward the team with individual costumes.
We have Jean Grey to thank for this number.
As with the original X-Men costumes, Jean was responsible for designing the team's battle-wear. Then again, it was the '60s --so we can't blame her for trying to be as colorful as possible. This would be the last costume before Angel decided to ditch any and all forms of masks. The masquerade style mask must've turned him against them altogether. The same thing goes for the suspenders. And seriously, why did he have suspenders?
14/16 THE EARLY 2000S
A few years after initially becoming Archangel, Angel officially rejoined the team in Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 1) #394. He returned to the team at a time when they were sporting a more laid-back line of costumes. Their costumes at this time seem like a precursor to the assortment of leather costumes that the X-Men would wear in the original movie trilogy. So, we have this team to blame for that.
It's not the worst costume. We like it for the fact that it was such a departure from the more traditional superheroic look. At the time, it was edgy. However, in retrospect, as with many things that are edgy in-the-moment, it looks as if they were trying too hard to be edgy. Besides, one of the greatest things about comics is that characters can wear the silliest costumes possible, and yet we'll still take them seriously.
13/16 REBIRTH ANGEL
Ever since Angel had first been transformed by Apocalypse, he'd had blue skin. For a while, it didn't look like it'd ever go away. However, after a battle with Black Tom, who nearly killed Angel, Angel's latent healing ability kicked in -- and his skin returned to its natural color.
To signify his rebirth, Angel changed his costume in Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 1) # 415.
He ditched his edgy look for a scarlet and black costume, taking on a more gallant appearance. He also added a piece of long white cloth that flowed from his waste, something that he'd re-incorporate into a future costume. Having erased the discoloration of this skin, it seemed as if Angel has deleted every last trace of Archangel. But that wouldn't be the case.
12/16 AVENGING ANGEL
Angel first popped up in X-Men (Vol. 1) #1 as a founding member of the X-Men, wearing the classic blue-and-yellow costume. However, before he was an X-man, he was a solo crimefighter, known as the Avenging Angel.
His backstory was covered in X-Men (Vol. 1) #55. After sprouting wings, Warren Worthington concluded that had nothing better to do than use his mutant abilities in the name of good. He donned the Avenging Angel costume -- and grabbed a stun gun -- and went to work. Shortly after, Angel caught the eye of Professor X, who offered him enrolment to his School for Gifted Youngsters and a place on his nascent superhero squad. The Avenging Angel costume set the precedent for a number of recurring elements in Angel's costumes, most notably the halo symbol on his chest.
11/16 ALL-NEW ANGEL
After having once again turned into Archangel, and then evolving further into a form of Apocalypse, Angel experienced yet another rebirth. Worthington popped up with his new look inAvengers vs X-Men #4. Angel's latest look is an amalgam of past costumes and forms.
This time around, although he retains his original skin color, he has the Archangel's metal wings.
He also has the yellow halo symbol on his chest, reminiscent of the Avenging Angel Costume and his fourth costume. Having grown out his hair longer than ever before, and adopting the long flowing piece of white fabric again, Angel did have a slightly more angelic appearance than usual, despite the metal wings. It's also worth mentioning that at this time Worthington believed he was an actual angel. In fact, he tried to fly to heaven -- but plummeted after reaching the edges of Earth's atmosphere.
Still recovering from his initial transformation into Archangel, Worthington returned to the X-Men with a look that combined elements of his old costumes and his Archangel look. Stuck with his skin discoloration and metal wings, Worthington did his best to embody his old identity. His costume thus looked a lot like his fourth one -- a costume that he's repeatedly come back to throughout the years, only modifying some small details.
During a scrap with Sabretooth, Angel received severe damage to his wings. The damage piled on over time until his metal wings shattered. To Worthington's surprise, he found that his feathered wings had been growing beneath his false wings the entire time. The moment was a milestone for Worthington as he felt that it signified a big step away from the dark days he experienced as a horseman of Apocalypse.
9/16 TIME-DISPLACED ANGEL
Angel, along with the rest of the young original X-Men team, were snatched by Beast and brought into the present. What they found frightened them. Jean Grey was long dead, and Cyclops, who'd recently been possessed by the Phoenix force and killed Professor X, was taking an increasingly militant approach to the mutant cause.
The young X-Men decided to stay in the future and set the example for what they think the X-Men were originally formed to be.
Time-displaced Angel's costume is quite different from his the ones his older counterpart has worn throughout the years. Unlike many of Angel's costumes, it isn't very individualized. Notably, he lacks the yellow halo symbol that's grown to represent his older counterpart. Regardless, it's still a sleek suit with enough nuance to be aesthetically pleasing.
The classic X-Men costume still holds up after all these years. This is probably because that by '60s standards the costumes are pretty modest. The simple yet attractive costumes debuted along with Professor X's original squad in X-Men (Vol.1) #1. Unfortunately, they didn't last too long (no X-Men costumes do), and they were replaced by the second generation of costumes inX-Men (Vol.1) #39.However, the classic costume did make a brief comeback when the time-displaced X-Men arrived in their future.
While it's rare that we get to see this costume, it's made a clear impact in the X-Men universe. The yellow and navy color pattern has more-or-less been used consistently throughout X-Men lore, and finally made it to the big screen with X-Men: First Class. Unfortunately, X-Men: Apocalypse would abruptly drop this look and go to a disappointingly generic armor for its cast of mutants.
7/16 CLASSIC ARCHANGEL
Angel has never had it easy. After learning he was a mutant and embracing his role as a professional superhero, he was hated by people across the country. Soon after joining the X-Men, Angel's father was murdered by a villain named Dazzler. Later, Angel ran into a Marauder who planted false evidence on Angel, indicating that his wings were infected and that they needed to be amputated.
After having done so, and at an all-time low, Angel met Apocalypse who gave him the makeover of a lifetime.
Apocalypse turned Angel into Archangel, putting him in the role of "Death" among his four horsemen. The transformation involved an alteration of Angel's skin color, brainwashing, and growing a set of deadly bio-metallic wings. Unfortunately for Worthington, it would only be the first time that he'd experience the transformation.
6/16 FOURTH COSTUME
Out of all of his costumes, Angel's fourth is probably his most influential one. Indeed, many of his subsequent costumes were slight alterations of his fourth costume's design. After a clash with Sauron, Angel found himself lost in the Savage Land. There he met up with Magneto, who was going under the guise of 'the Creator'. Before Magneto's identity was revealed, he gifted Angel with a new costume.
Despite Angel's questionable benefactor, the costume served Angel well -- for a while. In Avengers (Vol. 1) #111, he learned that Magneto had equipped the costume with a technology that leeched off of Angel's energy. Angel disposed of the parasitic equipment and continued to use the costume. Strange how two of Angel's most popular looks have been given to him by his greatest enemies.
After one of his numerous stints with the X-Men, Worthington took time off and set up the Mutants Sans Frontieres. Original thought up by Beast, Mutantes Sans Frontieres was a global outreach program in Zanzibar. Shortly after, Angel popped up inExcalibur (Vol. 3) #11, wearing his14th costume (including Archangel garb).
His new costume wasn't a tremendous departure.
Rather, it incorporated aspects of various costumes from his past. The new costume consisted of Angel's go-to color scheme of blue and white. In place of his traditional yellow halo symbol, was a new design. It would be the first time we'd see the blue wings-symbol -- and the last. Angel wouldn't sport this costume for long. He made a notable appearance with it in World War Hulkbut ditched it before the start of "Messiah Complex".
Angel has fought for an assortment of X-Men teams, including X-Factor. X-Factor was formed by the original squad of X-Men with the intent of deceiving the media into thinking they were a mutant-hunting group. Really, the team was dedicated to helping inexperienced mutants get a grip on their powers.
Angel wore a red version of the costume that each team-member had. With a giant X spread across his torso, it's amazing the media didn't catch on quicker. Regardless of how odd it mightbe story-wise, it's still a nice costume (simple designs seem to fit him best). Of course, it wouldn't be long until Angel spiraled toward rock-bottom. It was during his time with X-Factor that Angel had his wings amputated, and when Apocalypse transformed him into the angel of death.
Archangel made his second major appearance in the 616 when Worthington joined the latest iteration of X-Force. After a run-in with Wolfsbane, where Worthington had his wings ripped off, he discovered that he still had the ability to grow techno-organic wings. The metallic wings grew in place of thefeathered ones, his skin turned blue, and he fell into his Archangel persona once more.
This time around, Worthington could alternate between his Angel and Archangel persona.
Archangel worked with a different color palette in X-Force. The blue and purple of old were replaced by black and silver, and Archangel had more of a vampiric vibe. While Worthington found it difficult to control his darker personality at first, he was able to learn to restrain it over time.
It turns out that Apocalypse had larger plans for Archangel all along. When Apocalypse died, an evolutionary protocol was triggered within Archangel, something that Apocalypse had planted in Angel with the Death Seed when Angel first became Archangel. As a result, Archangel gradually evolved into the new Apocalypse. To save their friend, the X-Men had to travel to the Age of Apocalypse to acquire the Life Seed, which would counteract the effects of the Death Seed. After having done so, the X-Men were able to deliver the Life Seed and revert Worthington back to a blank slate.
The most tragic thing about this story is that we didn't get to see more of this costume. Seeing the costume, which is a clear mix of classic Archangel and Apocalypse garb, makes us wish that Worthington had a longer tenure as Apocalypse.
1/16 MESSIAH COMPLEX
InUncanny X-Men (Vol. 1) #500 and during "Messiah Complex", Angel showed up wearing a slight alteration of his fourth costume. This time around the white panel ran down the center of his body while everything outside of that panel was blue. Angel also sometimes wore the red X-Men badge on his chest, a sign of unity that he'd often omitted in past costumes. The costume is our favorite, well, because it's what we think of when we think of Angel.
It's simple, elegant, and proven by its ability to endure throughout the decades.
Unfortunately, it didn't last long. The costume served Angel well during the hectic events of "Messiah Complex", but his darker personality would beckon him to transform within the pages of X-Force, once again leading him down a violent path.