Who wants to play dress up? Apparently many people do and they take it to lengths that grows into an art form or an insane level of dedication that many people would consider wasted talent to be better focused on other areas of life… but who cares about that when you can legitimately pass as Batman, right? Who doesn’t want to be Batman? Cosplay rules conventions and the people who love to attend them, slay the right hero or heroine and people may just begin thinking you’re the real thing… just don’t start slaying real people!
This devotion to fandom is to be commended and is an awesome nod to the comics, movies and TV shows that keep people entertained and coming back for more. So taking an array of clothes and throwing them together into a convincing outfit makes for an exciting transformation. In these uncertain times and in our ever increasing world of media saturation, we see our heroes and idols everywhere and have endless access to them. The burgeoning technologies of Video-on-Demand, and the ever evolving platforms of games and Apps mean interaction is almost constant. Meaning it feeds the already overactive imaginations of super fans. Obviously being immersed constantly with reminders of the fandom, these fans and their love is going to seep into their every day lives and cons and cosplays are the perfect backdrop to this. Here are some of the best cosplays of those that are most dedicated to the cause of bringing comic, screen and game to life.
15. The Penguin
The Joker, though chief among Batman’s nemeses, is far from the only antagonist the Caped Crusader of Gotham City faces. A close second super villain that makes Bruce Wayne’s life a misery is arguably The Penguin. Tim Burton’s silver screen offering of two Batman movies delivered audiences a dose of The Penguin in the second movie, as well as Catwoman. The Penguin was brought to life effortlessly and expertly by Danny DeVito and looking at this cosplay of the DC super villain, it’s exactly like that image and costume of The Penguin was frozen perfectly in time ready to be brought out and paraded for all the internet’s wonder at conventions… right down to the cigar and the fish.
14. Mental Mash Ups, Part One
There are times when cosplaying as one character or one fandom is not enough, there are other times that the devotion to more than one hit series is so strong that there’s an insurmountable urge to mix both. Or perhaps creativity reaches an extent where a genius Eureka moment occurs? So when nothing but coming out of one’s shell to cosplay matters, why not push the boat out into true realms of surreal craziness? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a favorite among certain people over 25 and a popular cosplay for such fans of the show (and fiasco of a movie) would doubtlessly be the leader of the pizza loving adolescent quartet, Leonardo. Yet over 25s have had a new love affair with a TV show in recent years. That show has been the seminal Breaking Bad, the story of hard up, put-upon high school chemistry teacher Walter White (who could have been so much more), who teams up with loser former student Jesse Pinkman to cook meth, when Walter White learns that he has terminal lung cancer. In one episode, White’s brother-in-law, DEA Agent Hank Schrader, is accompanying the El Paso branch of the DEA and encounters the decapitated head of a Mexican Cartel member who was a snitch. Nicknamed “the tortoise,” Cartel members got their revenge on him by sticking his explosive laden head on, a tortoise. Definitely an innovative blend of costume design and imagination!
13. Mental Mash Ups, Part Two
Ronald McDonald is arguably one of the most recognizable and famous corporate mascots in world history. Instantly recognizable to the minds of young and old, the Big Mac of corporate identity is still not immune from the “Marvels” of a little comic book alteration. Chris Hemsworth has taken the Marvel comic book hero and Norse God Thor into the mainstream. Many are Lovin’ It all the way to the halls of Valhalla with this mind binding hybrid between the hammer wielding deity and the Happy Meal wielding one! Not long after a vlogger has drenched a Big Mac in molten copper, it seems the fast food giant and objects of war are mixing everywhere. Especially with this Ronald McDonald/Thor combo, who has even added a Chicken McNugget box to the hammer!
12. Chewie’s Angels
Need a mystery solved or crime fought in a galaxy far, far away? Like the possibility of aliens and sci-fi being thrown in with a little camp 70s crime busting dramedy? Have a bizarre furry fetish? Then this cosplay may just be the ticket. Combining the best of 70s movie and TV, this cosplay adds a little feminine touch to the iconic and unintelligible sidekick of Star Wars’ Han Solo, Chewbacca and a hirsute pimping up of 70s detectives, Charlie’s Angels. There’s a good chance that Chewbacca would be more thrilled with these multicolored gun wielding creatures than the Ewoks he surrounded himself with in Return of the Jedi… perhaps Chewie is Charlie? Sounds pretty similar, right?
The antagonist for much of the Japanese series Dragonball Z, hero Goku’s cousin Vegeta is an irascible version of the powerful alien, just Saiyan! What’s more, this gender bending version of the Super Saiyan is over 9,000 in coolness! Maybe the hair is lacking a little, some hairspray and hair dye could have allowed for Vegeta’s trademark raised hair style that resembles a frozen shard of yellow flame reaching to the sky. Otherwise, this woman has nailed this costume and couldn’t have done better even if she had possessed all 7 Dragonballs!
10. Mother of Cosplay
Game of Thrones has taken over the modern world and TV viewers like the mental malady of the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, such is their obsession that their level of passion could result in a Red Wedding should they not get their Westeros fix. One of the more popular characters in the show adapted from the novels of George R. R. Martin is the young Khaleesi and Queen Across the Water claimant to the Iron Throne, Daenerys Targaryen. One of her many titles is: “The Mother of Dragons.” As her wedding gift of dragon’s eggs (believed to be fossils) hatched as she walked, grief stricken, into the funeral pyre of her husband, Khal Drogo. Emerging unburned, the 3 eggs hatched and her children, the trio of dragons, Rhaegal, Viserion and Drogon, were born. This cosplay captures the Khaleesi effortlessly and not charred as only the Mother of Dragons could be (except perhaps the hair is little unblemished for one who has caught fire). However, there is a perfect little cute model of baby Drogon on this woman’s shoulder. Nice effort.
9. You Got A Friend In Me
There’s a hell of a lot of “Buzz” around the promise of a fourth Toy Story movie, yet the initial 3 remain as popular as ever. As one of the biggest and most loved of the Disney movie franchises, everyone adores the toy favorites that come to life when their kid Andy’s back is turned. In the first movie, the blossoming romance between cowboy Woody and Bo is obvious and this couple are keeping those flames alive in the world of cosplay. Who says romance is dead… or only consigned to toy form? They’ll definitely be rounding up and shepherding some attention as Woody walks the convention halls with his favorite deputy!
8. Master of the Cosplay-verse
By the power of Grey Skull! He Man was a legend of 1980s TV and cinema. Along with his female counterpart, She-Rah, it was a perfect amalgamation of cartoons and Mattel toy lines in a masterful stroke to market to kids in a two-pronged assault. Followed up was a rather below par movie version in 1985, called Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lungdren and a young Courtney Cox. To pass as He Man, a guy cosplaying as him cannot be weedy in any way and this guy isn’t. Although far from an Adonis, he fills out the shoes and sword of the of the cartoon character pretty comprehensively.
Assassin’s Creed is a great and popular game, where the protagonist sneaks furtively around areas and backdrops of history, slaying not indiscriminately, but with a purpose, as per the order of the assassin’s surreptitious cabal. One popular character is the leading assassin from the era of the Borgias in Italy, is the assassin Ezio. This guy has really taken on the shroud of the game’s assassin, taking a leap into the realm of cosplay and imagination. Dressed impeccably as the individual, it looks as though the character has evolved from pixels in a game and transformed into the actual true life Ezio. Be careful around this guy!
6. Boba Fett
The Star Wars Saga has never been short of iconic characters that are beloved to their (so far) 7 movies’ and extended comic and books mega fans. One of the most adored figures of the universe set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, is Boba Fett. Another assassin, Boba Fett, is first seen in The Empire Strikes Back on the hunt for Han Solo, working for Jabba the Hut. The son of Jango Fett, himself a bounty hunter, Boba Fett is in fact a clone of Jango Fett, as were all the troops in the clone army of the Clone Wars, but Jango kept Boba as a child as though to raise him as a son. When Jango was killed in the battle against Count Dooku, Boba continued his father’s work, wearing the faded armor of his father, until he met his end in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi, as Luke and Leia rescue Han Solo. This cosplayer has captured the dented and faded glory, the ingrained revenge of Boba Fett and the stain of misery at loss that only a bounty can fill. All of this is encapsulated perfectly in the recreation of the armor in this cosplay.
5. I Am Cosplay
The Marvel Comic’s creation has now gone rather galactic with his fame since his appearance in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, starring Chris Pratt. Groot (rhymes with root!) has gone celestial in its cult status since the movie, proving that not only tree huggers love trees! The character and his constant one line: “I am Groot,” have instantly turned a wooden one liner into a modern cult classic. This cosplay of the Marvel character is exhaustive in it’ attention to detail and a in crafting a very realistic wooden veneer finish. If there was ever a chance of seeing a realistic Groot, or a chopped down tree come to life, then this is it!
4. The Joker
One more time… who doesn’t want to be Batman? Well, clearly those who would rather be The Joker. This comic book Supervillain is Batman’s arch nemesis and has been a thorn in the Caped Crusader’s side for decades and was even terrorizing Gotham City when Bruce Wayne was knee high to him, in the latest TV smash Gotham. Such a dramatic and powerful turn was Heath Ledger’s role as the iconic baddie that the role earned the actor a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. Many consider his portrayal of The Joker as marrying the unhinged aspects of such a character together expertly. The unification of how a clown is a mask, often one of jovial insanity over the lucid underneath. Yet the Ledger interpretation allowed a glimpse into how those two divisions can blend, corrupt each other and that mask of sanity slips. A hint of this turbulent struggle is embodied in Heath Ledger’s face make up during The Joker’s Oscar winning turn. This person embodies the frenetic, crazy smearing on the face as a lunatic would daub upon an asylum cell wall.
3. 2015: A Convention Oddity
One of the most seminal sci-fi movies of the last 50 years (perhaps ever) was Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on the story by sci-fi author, Arthur C. Clarke. During the movie, a probe is sent out to Jupiter with two astronauts onboard. Their mission is to investigate a bizarre signal coming from the direction of Jupiter. Steering the mission towards the gas giant planet is the sentient computer terminal, HAL-9000 and was our first glimpse at AI and the sinister undertones vis-à-vis our fears towards it. HAL begins to ruminate over it’s identity on the journey and eventually turns rogue on it’s human counterparts, yet the humans win by pulling the plug (not after some philosophical musings on the nature of consciousness). Yet it seems since the self-aware computer was dismantled, it has co-opted a meat frame! This picture was snapped at a recent convention and frighteningly depicts a cold HAL on the prowl for more human victims… or maybe it’s just a very convincing cosplay of a synthetic genius?
2. Inhuman Cosplays
Cosplay has grown so popular among its followers, sprouting from its humble Japanese origins, that those doing it are not even human anymore. All dogs love playing fetch, chasing and haring after a ball with rampant enthusiasm. But this dog has swapped sticks and balls for a swift arrow instead. Of course, as our canine friends are unable to verbally convey their feelings or their opinions, it’s remains a little mystifying as to who the pooch is cosplaying as. Robin Hood perhaps? Arrow maybe? Whoever the costume is supposed to represent, this dog loves taking walkies down to it’s nearest convention and showing it’s skills off, living a double life as a fan favorite character.
1. Tudor Cosplay
Not all cosplays are devoted to or involve characters borrowed from comic books, movies or cult TV series. There are those who dedicate their time and energy for cosplay at conventions into becoming historical figures and this figure is one of the most popularly portrayed queens in cinema history. Elizabeth I was a bastion of female power before girl power was even dreamed of. Standing up to the most powerful male rulers of Europe (including the Catholic Spanish Emperor, Phillip II) and winning. Her reign also oversaw the rise of British colonial power and also the birth of arguably the greatest ever writer, William Shakespeare. It is obvious that many people venerate her and this cosplay mirrors the Tudor monarch’s poise and grace masterfully.