Now more than ever it seems nerdy is the new sexy. With the majority of popular classic video gaming franchises getting reboots and new movies, Comic-Con is no longer just a place for the stereotypical pocket protector, Klingon-speaking virgins. Thanks to the world of professional cosplay there is no shortage of eye candy at the annual events. Cosplay is a type of performance where cosplayers wear costumes and accessories to embody a specific character. To all of you attending events where cosplay is taking place, here’s a friendly reminder that cosplay does not equal consent. Ask before approaching, and don’t assume they want to be touched or photographed.
Of the thousands of fans that participate in cosplay, there is one truly undisputable queen, Jessica Nigri, a 26-year-old model from Reno. Nigri has been cosplaying since 2009 and has appeared as hundreds of your favourite characters. She takes a lot of heat in the cosplaying community for constantly returning to the template of playing the “sexy version” of the characters she takes on, but she has done a huge number of more faithful costumes, many of which you’ll find below. She also has taken on the modern trend of gender-bending popular characters giving them her own feminine twist.
Nigri’s main concern is having fun and she has been quoted in interviews saying:
“Have fun. If you aren’t having fun, you are not doing it right. Cosplay to me means friendship. It means finding other people who totally dig what you dig and getting along because of the intense amount of likeness between the different groups of people. As far as describing myself as a cosplayer? I would say I am very new and laid back. I still have so much to learn.”
Nigri has a massive following, with literally over a million followers on her social media accounts. Love her or hate her, this blonde bombshell is here to stay.
15. Pikachu (Pokémon)
Nigri cosplayed for the first time in 2009 at the San Diego Comic-Con as “Sexy Pikachu”. As is the case with most first-time convention goers, her look wasn’t the most original interpretation. It’s like Lindsay Lohan’s Mean Girls character was speaking about Nigri when she said
“In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut, and no other girls can say anything about it. The hardcore girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears.”
Although this look doesn’t technically count as cosplay, she received an overwhelming amount of press attention, making her the first “celebrity” cosplayer and helping bring the term “cosplay” into mainstream jargon. She has since cosplayed several other Pokémon characters, and based on their successes, a revamp of this costume would have die-hard fans clamouring to get another peek-at-chu.
14. Raccoon Mario (Super Mario Brothers)
Mario is arguably the most recognizable video game character ever. He is the star of 23 Nintendo games named after the Italian plumber but appears in more than 200 games in the Nintendo collection. Mario lives in a magical place called the Mushroom Kingdom with his brother Luigi, his lady love Princess Peach and his arch-nemesis Bowser. These games typically rely on Mario’s impressive ability to jump, which helps him to progress through levels in various themed worlds. Analysts suggest that by 2012, the Mario franchise was valued at over $10 billion, with much of its recent success coming from sports-themed games including reboots of classic favourites Mario Kart and Mario Tennis.
Nigri’s take on the unusual hero is also sure to be a fan favourite. She’s traded his classic overalls for a very short dress, and his fluffy moustache may be gone, but she’s replaced it with a fluffy raccoon tail, denoting that this game is probably meant to cosplay Super Mario 3. One thing is for sure, I can’t imagine there are many complaints about her deviations. The only thing men seem to think are missing from this look are the rest of the Nintendo trio.
13. Harley Quinn (DC Comics)
Harley Quinn is a female supervillain in the DC Comic Universe. She is the Robin to the Joker’s Batman and is his frequent lover and an accomplice of the other badass villainesses such as Poison Ivy. Before her descent into madness, she was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a young promising psychiatrist who was assigned to Gotham’s institution for the criminally insane, Arkham Asylum. This is where she met the Joker for the first time and became obsessed with his warped mind.
The attractive blonde psychiatrist was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for the cartoon hit Batman: The Animated Series in September of 1992. She didn’t make an appearance in printed comics until a year later when she appeared in The Batman Adventures #12 in September of 1993. Nigri’s cosplay is themed with the original Harley Quinn in mind. Daddy’s Lil Monster is getting quite the update in the upcoming film Suicide Squad, where she will be portrayed by Margot Robbie who fittingly, is another hot blonde.
12. Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
Nathan Drake may be one of the sexiest males in the video game world. I mean let’s be honest, the guy is essentially Indiana Jones with bigger muscles and a stronger jaw. There have been 4 Uncharted games, with the most recent one coming out in 2016. The latest instalment was a commercial success, selling over 2.7 million copies in its first week of release, and became the fastest-selling entry in the series.
While Drake may have been a bolder choice for Nigri to attempt, one look at this list and it’s clear that Nigri is not afraid to swap genders if it means pulling off a signature look. It is not clear if there are going to be more Uncharted games in the future, but after looking at this photo, you’re probably just hoping they’ll be more photos released from this photoshoot!
11. Deadpool (Marvel Comics)
Deadpool wasn’t always the most recognizable Marvel Comics character, but thanks to Ryan Reynolds’ acting and producing efforts, the character gained massive popularity leading up to the 2016 film. The first R-rated superhero film didn’t disappoint and grossed $781 million globally, making it the fifth highest grossing film of 2016, and the highest grossing R-rated film of all time. It didn’t surprise fans when the sequel was confirmed with Reynolds and director Tim Miller returning for the project. It’s a little ironic that the only R-rated franchise gets one of her most PG cosplays. Let’s hope Nigri gives this cosplay an equally popular sequel.
10. Ash Ketchum (Pokémon)
Ash Ketchum is the main protagonist in the Nintendo Pokémon franchise. We met him for the first time in the 90s in the Pokémon anime series on the day of his tenth birthday. This is the day Ash becomes eligible to register to become a Pokémon trainer. He leaves Pallet Town in the Kanto region after receiving his starter Pokémon Pikachu, and a Pokédex from Professor Oak. Since then Ash has been scouring the globe collecting Pokémon, filling his Pokédex and meeting a bunch of interesting fellow trainers in the process.
Pokémon was a global sensation in the 90s, and the franchise has grown to also include several video games, comic books, the anime and manga series, The Pokémon Trading Card Game, and most recently a little app called Pokémon Go. No matter the platform, the games tend to follow a fairly similar plotline. Players step into the shoes of a Pokémon Trainer and are given two primary objectives. First, to complete their Pokédex by capturing all of the Pokémon available in the region in which the game is set. Secondly, to train their captured Pokémon and compete against other trainers in the area with the ultimate goal of winning the Pokémon League. I wonder if Nigiri can be found out on Pokéwalks in her neighbourhood?
9. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Freddy Kruger is the villain of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He is a serial killer nightmare-demon who uses his hand, covered in a glove with sharp razors extending from the fingertips, to kill his victims while they’re sound asleep. His victims are the high school student aged children of an angry mob of parents who burned him alive. Thankfully, as you can see from the above photo, outside of a fake cut, Nigri has thankfully been spared the horrible burn scars part of the character.
The 1984 American slasher film was directed by Wes Craven and was such a success that several projects followed. The mega franchise consists of nine slasher flicks, novels, comic books, and even a TV series and has grossed more than $455 million worldwide. Freddy made a comeback in 2010 when the original film was remade by director Samuel Bayer. I can’t imagine many men would be afraid of seeing Nigri in their dreams.
8. Fem-Magneto (Marvel Comics)
Magneto is one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Comic universe, so Nigri didn’t let a silly thing like gender stand in her way. She cosplayed a suit most like the one we see Michael Fassbender wear in his rendition of the classic character. Well, I mean, Fassbender wasn’t running around in a corset and I’ll bet Nigri’s helmet spent less than a minute in contact with her flowing blonde locks, but I digress.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first introduced the character in The X-Men #1 in September of 1963. In the original comic books, he was the archenemy of Professor Xavier’s team. The most recent movie, X-Men: Apocalypse was a bit of a disappointment, grossing only $155 million domestically which didn’t even come close to the film’s $178 million production budget. We are sure if Nigri was in the movies, that fans would be much more optimistic for the team’s future. You don’t have to be made of metal to be attracted to her.
7. Blood Elf (World of Warcraft)
World of Warcraft is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game that is arguably the most recognizable game in the entire world. Don’t believe me? It was announced in 2014 that over 100 million accounts have been created over WoW’s lifetime! The game also holds a Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG when ranked by subscribers.
While there are no shortage of different races that you can pick to play as in the game, after looking at Nigri’s costume we wouldn’t blame you if you became a much bigger fan of the Blood Elves!
Nigri clearly spared no expense when taking on the role, as you can see by her staff that perfectly matches the blood red that covers her outfit. While it definitely means she gets to rock some superhero poses, you can also imagine those heels and fake ears must get uncomfortable after a long day.
6. Charizard (Pokémon)
While this probably isn’t quite what Pokémon creators had in mind when they created Charmander, a cute fire lizard and the un-evolved version of Charizard, Nigri’s embodiment was clearly a fan favourite. The classic Pokémon who made its first game appearance in the Gameboy sensations Pokémon Red and Blue has most recently appeared in the worldwide sensation that is Pokémon Go. From its primary Charmander state it evolves into Charmeleon at level 16, and from Charmeleon to Charizard at level 36. We can only hope that Nigri has taken on all forms of the evolution; heck for that matter, we hope she took on all the starters!
While Nigri doesn’t really look like the 200lb flying dragon with moves that include Belly Beat and Bulldoze, there is no doubt she’s got Captivate down pat! At least she kept the wings on this one. Something tells me if Ash had caught this version of Charizard, he would not have been so quick to let it go.
5. Edward Kenway (Assassin’s Creed)
Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure video game series created by gaming mogul Ubisoft. The series currently consists of 9 games and has an expansive supporting collection (such as spin-offs and DLC). The game follows two sides of a constant struggle for peace in a fictional history. The Assassins, whose goal is peace with free will, and the Templars who wish for peace with control. I’ll bet you can guess who the good guys are.
Edward Kenway is a renowned pirate and is the main protagonist of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the 2013 instalment of the series. Fans can certainly appreciate the amount of detail Nigri put into her take on this lethal member of the Assassin’s Order. Fans will also see the Assassins come to life in the much-anticipated film starring Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch. The film had a production budget of $200 million and is set for release December 26, 2016.
4. Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil (League of Legends)
I don’t think this is quite what creators were thinking when they first penned Veigar, arguably the most powerful sorcerer on Valoran. He is a corrupter of cosmic energy and has mastered the mystical black arts, making him the Greatest Evil to ever strike at the hearts of Runeterra, despite his tiny stature.
While her cosplay doesn’t necessarily instill fear in others, we’re not complaining. Although, that staff looks like it may mean business so if you scorn her, we are sure there is plenty to be fearful of. The look was such a hit that Nigri modified the costume for a boudoir photoshoot later on. She released a sneak peek behind the scenes of the shoot on YouTube, where it has been viewed just under 1 million times. She, or someone on her team, aptly named the clip “Veigar with BOOBIES.” At least she’s told you what to expect from the clip.
3. Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat)
Sonya A. Blade is tough as nails and is a no-nonsense former female general of the Outer World Investigation Agency. She is one of the few remaining original Mortal Kombat characters from the video game series Mortal Kombat, and the first female character making her debut in the 1992 classic arcade game. Unfortunately, Midway Games filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the franchise was sold to Warner Brothers.
Mortal Kombat was adapted into three major motion pictures, Mortal Kombat in 1995, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation in 1997, and Mortal Kombat: Rebirth in 2010. Sonya Blade was brought to life by actresses Bridgette Wilson, Sandra Hess and Jeri Ryan respectively. While most of Nigri’s cosplays tend have a lot more cleavage than creators may have originally intended for their characters, her Sonya Blade isn’t actually one she needed to alter. This is a faithful cosplay to Blade’s 2011-character profile, although I can’t see any of Blade’s outfits looking sub par on Nigri.
2. Mad Moxxi (Borderlands)
In the videogame Borderlands, one of the most overtly sexual characters is definitely Mad Moxxi. Moxxi is an NPC character, but her sex appeal makes it easy to see why Nigri jumped at the opportunity to take the character on.
In Borderlands, you can find Mad Moxxi as the owner of several bars. I am sure if you were out at one of those bars, you definitely would not complain if you bumped into Nigri, especially if she is wearing her Mad Moxxi costume. The Borderland series was first released by 2K Games with first one coming out in October 2009. The game was a huge success, having sold over 26 million copies since its initial release. Perhaps that is why it comes as no surprise that Borderlands 2 came out in 2012, And Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! in 2014.
Lionsgate films as of April 2016 is also developing a film adaptation of Borderlands. There isn’t a firm release date yet, but we know Avi and Ari Arad were confirmed to produce. If they are looking to cast someone as Mad Moxxi, perhaps they have to look no further than Nigri.
1. Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw)
Lollipop Chainsaw is a “slash and hack” video game in which players play as Juliet Starling, who is an 18-year-old Senior Student at San Romero High School. Starling must fight through hordes of zombies in search of her boyfriend Nick. In 2012, IGN hosted a contest to find a spokesmodel to bring Juliet to life during events, and after weeks of competition, Nigri was crowned the winner.
Following her win, she appeared that year as Juliet at the 2012 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East in Juliet’s hot pink latex body suit. During the event, after receiving several complaints about the “neckline” of her outfit (although, it’s not really a neckline when it’s plunging past your navel) officials told her the look was too racy. Her team was informed she would either need to change her outfit or step off the floor. Jessica did change into Starling’s regular cheerleader costume, but it was also deemed too revealing, and she was ultimately asked to leave the convention. Why don’t you be the judge?