In 2012, The CW kicked off the Arrowverse, a shared world featuring DC superheroes anchored by Arrow. Eight seasons later, Arrow came to a close. During the show’s run, the costume designers made some interesting choices.
Looking back, there were a few suits the characters wore that just missed the mark. They weren’t practical or protective. On the other hand, we have the get-ups that kept the vigilantes from bleeding out while also looking great. So, without further ado, here are the eleven best suits from Arrow. Oh, and I couldn’t not roast the absolute worst crime-fighting get-up in the Arrowverse. Without further ado, here he is!
The Absolute Worst: Wild Dog
Before I even get into the best suits, I have to talk about the worst crime-fighting outfit in all of The CW’s Arrowverse. Who gave this man the audacity to walk around in a T-shirt and hockey mask? Why did he think he could fight crime alongside Green Arrow and his team?
I can’t even find something I like about this outfit. Rene looks like a crime-fighting Jason Vorhees. I understand that not everyone can have nice bullet-proof suits and weapons that put other superhero shows to shame, but come on. This is the best they could do for Wild Dog?
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get into the best costumes on Arrow!
11. Barry Allen’s Green Arrow
This was only in an alternate universe, so I ranked it a little lower than the other suits. But it still looks excellent and does a great job keeping Barry relatively unharmed. The green looks somewhat more vibrant on him, too, which is strange since it’s supposed to be the same suit Oliver wears.
It was a little odd to see Barry as anything other than the Flash, but I actually liked him in this suit. It doesn’t hit just as good as Oliver as Green Arrow, but it’s not bad. Seriously, what can’t Grant Gustin pull off? I have yet to see him in a bad outfit other than season five of The Flash.
10. Slade Wilson’s Deathstroke
This might be controversial, but Slade Wilson is one of my favorite DC characters. You can blame Teen Titans for that. I love this Deathstroke suit more than any other iteration I’ve seen in both animation and live-action. It also helps that they cast Manu Bennett to play him in Arrow.
This suit was full of protective padding and had the iconic orange and black color scheme. The only part of it I didn’t like was the blue accents. I also loved the helmet having only one eyehole on the orange side since Slade doesn’t use his other eye. It’s those little details that make this costume one of the best on the show.
9. Dinah Drake’s Black Canary
Call me crazy, but I didn’t like Laurel Lance or Sara Lance’s Black Canary. Sara’s was just too “sexy Halloween,” and I couldn’t stand Laurel’s makeup as the vigilante. But Dinah’s just took the cake for me. I only have one critique, and that’s the short sleeves. But it’s not that big of a deal with her gloves.
Dinah’s suit was created out of a similar material to the other Team Arrow suits. Her suit was all black but had yellow piping identical to what we see on Barry Allen in The Flash. She also doesn’t need the Canary Call that Laurel used since she has her sonic scream.
8. John Diggle’s Spartan
I love Diggle as a character. And while his suits weren’t my favorite, some of them were okay. Specifically, his second through fourth suits didn’t make him look like a weird toy you’d find at the dollar store. And yes, that’s a dig at his leather jacket and weird medieval-looking helmet. Thankfully, that look was short-lived.
His second suit added a visor and interior light to the helmet and added a Kevlar suit. The next redesign featured a red and black color scheme and added red trim to the helmet. The look pictured above matches Green Arrow’s color scheme and changes all the red accents to green.
7. Tatsu Yamashiro’s Katana
When Tatsu’s Katana suit first made an appearance, I freaked out because it looked so good. Especially when you compare it to Suicide Squad’s Katana, who wore a literal crop top. Unlike the movie counterpart, Arrow made Katana look like a warrior.
Her mask is rounded and fitted to her face like in the comics. It also included ridges that just made it more visibly interesting compared to the other masks of the series. The suit is inspired by Samurai armor but allows for more movement and flexibility. I’m still waiting on a Katana-centric show or movie.
6. Roy Harper’s Arsenal
Oliver’s first sidekick got his start as a vigilante with a bright red hoodie and matching arrows. Thankfully, season three gave him a much-needed upgrade. In a similar design to Oliver’s season three look, Roy got a Kevlar-lined suit. It was a step-up from his look in animation and comics.
The lace-up detailing on the back, front, and sleeves was a nice touch. I especially loved the red to black ombre that made Roy stand out. The costume designers took the bright red arrows and made them a slightly darker red to match the new suit.
5. Oliver Queen’s The Arrow
Before you come at me, Oliver Queen’s first three suits were just that: first suits. Think of them as rough drafts. The costumers hadn’t quite hit their mark, but the early suits looked great while protecting his vital organs and allowing him to move quickly. I also loved that they used the same hood design in all three iterations.
Season three’s suit is my favorite from this era. Cisco Ramon from The Flash made it “25% lighter,” which meant he could move around more freely. He also continued wearing the mask from season two, which is a step up from his grease paint from season one.
4. Oliver Queen’s Green Arrow
There was a shakeup between season three and season five in what heroes should wear. His sleeves were taken away in season four, but thankfully they came back in season five. Seriously, what is it with superheroes and vigilantes not protecting their arms?
Season five’s suit was just the previous season’s design with sleeves. I honestly wish they hadn’t messed with it much after this. The color scheme was perfect, and he stood out all season by being the best dressed on his team. I’m looking at you and your hockey mask, Wild Dog.
3. Thea Queen’s Speedy
I know I already covered the Arsenal Suit, but Thea’s repurposed suit is just as good. Before leaving town, Roy gave Thea his suit in case she needed it. So, when the time came, she tailored the suit to her body and made it more streamlined and efficient.
She added a scabbard underneath the quiver for her sword and moved the other weapon holsters to make it work for her. I also can’t help but notice she moved the lace-up details to be more flattering and probably a bit easier to put on in a hurry.
2. Mia Smoak’s Green Arrow
Even though we barely got to see this suit, it left a mark on my mind. Mia’s Green Arrow suit was based on Oliver’s season seven and eight costumes, but it fit her personality better. They also made the color scheme a bit darker than Oliver’s greens. The suit looks black when not spotlighted.
The detailing of her outfit just shows Arrow knows how to costume superheroes. Her mask is also a step above the others in the show because its carvings complement the suit’s paneling. Speaking of the paneling, why didn’t we get that kind of touch in Oliver’s outfits until season eight?
The Best: League of Assassins
The League of Assassins might have been antagonists for most of their time onscreen, but you can’t say they didn’t look great while causing problems. The suits were either Kevlar or leather and looked like combinations of Oliver’s season three and five suits.
Despite not being the most “aesthetically pleasing,” what puts them above the other costumes is that they are the most practical. Their masks covered their entire faces, leaving only their eyes uncovered.
Malcolm Merlyn used one of the suits to become the Dark Archer in season one. The only other person to wear a variation of a League suit was Nyssa al Ghul. Her get-up had red accents on the hood and the hems, and she also didn’t wear the mask. Is it weird that I’d wear her jacket in real life?