Marvel is desperately looking for its own version of Edna Mode, the superhero fashion designer for The Incredibles – but they can’t seem to decide on one specific character. Superhero costumes are one of the most important aspects of comics, and the costumes are often just as iconic as the characters who wear them. Marvel has four options to choose from – but who will take over as the planet’s premiere costume designer?
Edna Mode was a highlight of 2004’s The Incredibles; the diminutive and dynamic fashion designer’s energetic personality was a massive hit with fans, and she appeared in the sequel as a result. The idea of a single, solitary superhero costume designer had already been tried multiple times in Marvel comics, but it didn’t always take; many superheroes made their own suits (like Spider-Man), or had no suits at all (the Silver Surfer and the Human Torch when on fire). Still, four prominent designers appeared in Marvel Comics, and each one is important.
Luke Jacobson was the first of the four, appearing in 1986’s Dakota North (a rather short-lived book). Depicted as a blonde-haired award-winning fashion designer, Jacobson began to design clothes for Dakota after she was hired as one of his security personnel. Though he only appeared in three issues, his presence was apparently memorable enough to inspire a much more active Luke Jacobson in the MCU who designs She-Hulk’s green-and-purple costume (and later Daredevil’s red-and-yellow ensemble).
A Humble New York Tailor Designed For Superheroes, Too
A far more down-to-earth superhero costume designer was seen in 2003: Leo Zelinsky. Zelinsky was far more prominent in stories than Jacobson, and a wide variety of superheroes came to him, including the Fantastic Four’s Thing (his first customer), Spider-Man, Captain America (who, amazingly enough, saw Leo after a battle before getting medical attention for his wound), various members of the X-Men and even Doctor Doom. Zelinsky never sought out to design and repair suits for superheroes; the job simply came to him, making him stand out from all others on the list.
Kenneth Kingston, appearing in 2020, was a young New Yorker who aspired to work in the fashion industry. So far, they have only designed for Miles Morales, but their two offerings are quite memorable: a new red-and-black suit for the superhero and a patterned tuxedo for an event for Miles (without the Spider-Man persona). The final designer is Web-Weaver (debuting in 2022’s Edge of Spider-Verse) who also happens to be the only member of the four who works as a superhero in addition to a super-designer. Between Jacobson, Zelinsky, Kingston and Web-Weaver, at least one of the four superhero designers ought to be the main Edna Mode-esque designer for the universe – but Marvel Comics is rather reluctant to choose, since promoting one would leave the other three in the dust.