It takes more than a genetic mutation or the gift of natural superpowers to become a hero. It also requires a righteous costume. Follow these steps and you'll strike fear in the hearts of super villains - and avoid the ridicule of comic nerds.

It takes more than a genetic mutation or the gift of natural superpowers to become a hero. It also requires a righteous costume. Follow these steps and you'll strike fear in the hearts of super villains - and avoid the ridicule of comic nerds.

1. Color me bad

Choosing a proper color scheme is imperative. Would Batman frighten Gotham's criminals if he wore pink? Stick to dark shades of reds, blues and blacks. Also, avoid clashing combinations; only Wolverine can pull it off and not look like a sissy.

2. Functional furnishings

Your costume must accommodate your abilities, or lack thereof. The Human Torch needs a flame-retardant suit so he's not naked when he shuts off the heat. Cyclops wears protective eyewear - for those around him more than himself. Meanwhile, Iron Man's strength is due entirely to his suit of armor.

3. No glove, no love

All superheroes wear gloves, even the most masculine. Chalk it up to protecting their fists like a prizefighter in the ring.

4. Sex type thing

Most superwomen have the buxom bodies of Playmates and the men look like chiseled Greek gods. So, flaunt your assets to increase fanboy (and fangirl) adoration. For the ladies, this means skintight spandex (or latex!) with plunging necklines; for the fellas, it begins and ends with the codpiece.

5. Cape careful

The cape is a vital part of Batman's and Spawn's abilities and Superman's flapper is iconic. But for some heroes it's either ridiculous or superfluous. It can also be troublesome (as in the case of The Incredibles).