Every great hero needs a great costume. The costume is what defines the hero. The costume becomes their trademark. Where would your favorite hero be today if they had an awful costume? Where would they be (besides locked up for indecent exposure) if they didn't have a costume at all?
Let's take Batman for example. What would have happened if instead a bat flying into his den to inspire the design of his costume it was a...pigeon? Would Bruce Wayne still be the same tough crime fighter he is today? We will actually get to see how Bruce does without all his bat-garb in the upcoming Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries.
What about the question of where a hero gets a costume? When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, not only did he gain the proportional strength of a spider but also the proportional skills of a talented seamstress. Some heroes will piece their costumes together with items they find at a sporting goods store while others may be luckier and have someone like Reed Richards make a suit out of unstable molecules. I also seem to recall a costume shop owner secretly making costumes and repairs for heroes in the Marvel Universe. Perhaps someone can refresh my memory on that one. For some reason I'm thinking it happened in a Spider-Man comic but that doesn't seem to make sense since Peter is always having to sew his own costume.
What happens if a hero is not prepared? A hero has to be ready at all times to fight crime. If their identity is kept secret, they can't fight without any clothes. This is something that Power Girl has tried teaching to Atlee.
== TEASER ==
A hero also has to choose their costume wisely. Once they reach a certain status, it's hard to change their look. Sure Wasp was always changing her costume from issue to issue but other heroes have tried only to be forced back into their old suits. Spider-Man found the symbiote costume and we know how that went. Superman went for a blue/electric look and most of us would rather forget that. Iron Man changed his color scheme to red and white but had to switch back to red and gold.
Not all heroes seem to put a lot of thought into their costume. Take the current Superboy and Wonder Girl. I like both characters but they seem to be trying to set their own standards, jeans and a t-shirt. Whenever I see them fighting with the veteran heroes, I wonder if there's any resentment. The older heroes have put a lot of time (and sometimes money) into designing their costume. These kids just throw on a t-shirt and run out the door. At least they're not fighting in sweat pants (no offense to those that wear sweat pants as part of their daily wardrobe).
If a hero is caught with...their pants down, where does their loyalty lie? What is more important, protecting their identity or protecting the innocent? I may have asked before but if you were a crimefighter, what kind of costume would you wear? Would you go with the sleek design of spandex for increased movability? Would you try to get some armor to protect your private bits? Would a cape be a crucial part of your look? Or would you not put a lot of time into it and just fight in whatever you happen to be wearing or can find at the moment?
Is a hero still a hero without their costume? With great power, must there also be a great costume?