The 18 Coolest Jackets in Movies, TV, Games, and Comics

From Ryan Gosling's jacket in Drive, through to Homer Simpson's Mr Plow: we salute pop culture jackets, and find out how much they cost...

Clothes are important. How you choose to dress your characters, or indeed yourself, can convey so much to the audience. You can explain entire parts of their background or their motivations wordlessly, with just a well chosen garment. Or sometimes, you can just give them a giant scorpion on their back because it looks awesome.

Here then, is a list of the coolest jackets in movies, TV, games and comics (Note: Marty McFly wears a gilet, not a jacket, hence his non-appearance).

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Kaneda in Akira

Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 sci-fi epic, based on his own manga, is almost definitely the most important anime of all time. Amongst all the action and destruction though, one element that is sometimes overlooked is Otomo’s depiction of Japanese motorcycle gangs — Kaneda and Tetsuo’s crew are a direct reference to teenage subcultures in post-war Japan. They are also cool as hell. Kaneda’s leather biker jacket is one of the film’s most iconic elements of movie, in striking orange-y red, and with a futuristic pill with the legend “Good for health, Bad for education” on the back.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes, but it’ll cost you almost a grand.

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Homer Simpson’s Mr. Plow jacket

Mr. Plow is one of The Simpsons‘ very finest moments. When Homer sets up his own snow-plowing business, he makes sure he looks the part with a crummy home-decorated bomber jacket. Sure, it might not be the most stylish garment in the world, but along with the ever-so-catchy Mr. Plow jingle, it’s instantly endearing.

Can you buy it in real life? Shockingly, it seems like Fox have never produced a replica.

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Drive

Nicholas Winding Refn’s LA-set neon noir oozed ’80s cool, from the music to the cinematography to dreamlike camerawork. And probably the thing that grabbed the most attention was the sleek satin jacket with an embroidered giant yellow scorpion on the back.

Can you buy it in real life? There are plenty around. But before you buy one, remember that you are not as cool as Ryan Gosling, and it will definitely look terrible on you.

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Jubilee from X-Men

For many fans (including me) the early ’90s look will always be the defining vision of Marvel’s merry mutants, not least because that’s the version that was immortalised in the animated series. And no one on that team was more 90s than teenage mallrat Jubilee. Designed by artist Marc Silvestri, her pink googles and shorts were perfectly topped off with a ludicrous — but amazing — bright yellow trenchcoat. And thankfully, it was faithfully recreated in live action in this year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

Can you buy it in real life? No, but plenty of great cosplayers have nailed it.

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New X-Men leather jackets (circa 2001)

Following the success of the first X-Men movie, Marvel handed the title over to idiosyncratic Scottish genius writer Grant Morrison to reimagine the comic for the new century. Artist Frank Quitely took influence from the movie’s black leather suits, but evolved them into big, hulking biker jackets. Quitely’s wonderful, distinctive art tends to render people elegant blocky slabs, and the costumes never looked quite the same when anyone drew them.

Can you buy it in real life? No, sadly.

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Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

When DC Comics redesigned Harley Quinn in 2011 as part of their New 52 reboot, some fans were angry that they swapped her all-over harlequin suit for something much more revealing. But she got another make-over for the movie version of Suicide Squad that has been much better received. Again, she is still showing a lot of flesh, but now she had a very cool split blue and red satin baseball jacket with ‘Property of Joker’ on the back.

Can you buy it in real life? Of course. That’s why you saw so many on Halloween.

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller jacket

The John Landis-directed video for the title track off Jackson’s greatest album was memorable for both the zombies and the dance movies. But Jackson’s bright red leather jacket with thick black trim (as well as his matching red pants) was equally iconic.

Can you buy it in real life? In June 2011, the original sold for $1.8 million at auction. But cheaper replicas are available.

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Ash Ketchem in Pokemon

The garish bright colors of the Pokemon anime were not exactly tasteful. But Ash Ketchum’s red cap and blue jacket has been seared into the memory of a generation. A short sleeved jacket is tricky thing to pull it off, but Ash always did strive to be the very best, like no one ever was.

Can you buy it in real life? There are unofficial ones on eBay.

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Ryo in Shenmue

Ryo Hazuki, the protagonist of cult Sega adventure Shenmue, is actually probably one of gaming’s least cool heroes. A dweeby guy who works menial jobs and has to be home before dark. But he does have a very cool tan leather jacket, with a giant tiger on the back.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes, but it’s out of stock.

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Chris Jericho

The veteran WWE wrestler has always evolved his ring attire over the years, but when he returned for a hiatus in 2012 that he unveiled probably his greatest ever garment: a rhinestone-studded leather jacket with a full line of Christmas lights in the seams that blinked on and off on his way the ring (Wrestling fans will probably also appreciate it being pointed out that Prince Devitt also wore a similar thing during his time in New Japan Pro Wrestling).

Can you buy it in real life? Yeah, if you think you can pull it off.

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Batman wearing a flying jacket in Batman V Superman

Batman V Superman was a narrative mess, but it certainly had some striking imagery. None more so than the bizarre dream sequence where Batman finds himself in the desert, and attacked by Superman-soldiers. One of the many very cool things about it was that Batman inexplicably had a very sleek Boston Blazer style leather army jacket over his Batsuit. It made no sense, but it looked awesome.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes.

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Nicolas Cage in Wild At Heart

Nicolas Cage gives one of his greatest ever performances in David Lynch’s trippy lovers-on-the-run movie Wild At Heart. He also wears an incredible cool snakeskin jacket. Why? As his character repeatedly explains: “This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it’s a symbol of my individuality, and my belief… in personal freedom.”

Can you buy it in real life? No, but I’m sure you can pick up a crazy snakeskin jacket easily enough.

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Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

One of the best things about the Star Wars movies as a whole is the production design, which gives the whole universe a ragged, lived-in feel. This thankfully was continued in The Force Awakens, with one of the stand-out new costume elements being the beige fighter jacket that Poe Dameron gives to Finn (an act that sparked the adorable internet meme of them being lovers).

Can you buy it in real life? Yes.

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Guy Gardner

One of the great things about Green Lantern as a concept, being essentially an organisation of space cops, is that you can have multiple characters taking up the mantle. And that also allows to individual takes on the costume. Guy Gardner was an arrogant, big-headed successor to original Hal Jordan who came to prominence in the ’80s. He stood out both with his awful bowl haircut, and his sleeveless green jacket, which looked more suited to a hair metal guitarist or an old-school WCW wrestler — but it’s certainly memorable.

Can you buy it in real life? No, but again that hasn’t stopped cosplayers.

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Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop

Detroit cop Axel Foley wasn’t going to change anything to fit in with the LAPD – not his policing style, and definitely not outfit. He kept repping Motor City by rocking a black and white Detroit Lions letterman jacket, while showing the local cops how it’s done.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes.

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Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

When he was first introduced in the comics, Bane was essentially just a ‘roided up muscleman in a luchador mask. So when Christopher Nolan introduced him in the Dark Knight universe, a redesign was to not a surprise. What we got was bald Tom Hardy in a gas mask, with the unexpected but welcome addition of a fur-lined leather winter coat.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes.

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Eddie Murphy: Delirious

Eddie Murphy’s classic early stand-up specials haven’t aged that well – there’s an ugly tendency for homophobia which makes Delirious really rough viewing in 2016. One thing that hasn’t dated though is Murphy’s charisma. He’s so cool and charismatic that somehow he can pull off wearing an unzipped red leather jacket, and nothing on underneath it. It’s a look that was recently homaged in the great YouTube and BBC Three show Hood Documentary.

Can you buy it in real life? Yes, along with the trousers.

Alan Partridge’s classic badge and blazer combo

A true British style icon. Need we say more?

Can you buy it in real life? Alan used to sell the blazer badge and tie sets direct, but since the collapse of Pear Tree productions, they appear to be no longer available.