For decades, comic book cosplay has been a popular thing. Even before cosplay itself became its own industry, fans loved to show up at conventions dressed as their favorite characters and going all out. Conventions have contests for the best looks and it’s amazing how much fans try to replicate their favorite heroes or villains in exact details. Most go all out in the suits, the decorations and such but others chose another path: Body paint.
There are risks as more than a few fans have shared the horror stories of suffering bad reactions to painting their bodies over. But when you make it work, it works and actually offers a far easier time than just a costume would. It looks great and sexy and a lot more freeing in many ways. While it’s easy to see plenty of heroes in this style, it’s more notable when it’s one of the bad ladies (or a guy given a female spin). Models love working with artists to make this shine and doing their best to capture how well they can make the characters come to life. Some are more revealing but combine a great model with a great design and the paint does wonders. Here are 15 amazing, hot body paint cosplays of comic book villains and marvel at how much care brings these ladies to life.
She’s not as famous as others on this list but still notable. This infamous terrorist has long worked for Hydra and other outfits, a ruthless mercenary and killer notable for being an expert in poisons. Her attitudes and loyalties shift depending on who’s paying but her look remains the same. An ultra-tight green spandex suit that shows her athletic form off, keeping it simple for combat but able to hold her own against Wolverine or Captain America. That’s backed by a manner matching her namesake, a deadly snake ready to strike without warning. This model does an excellent job capturing it from her lush costume to the right dark patches on the “suit” to show off weapons caches and other bits. She even nails the lush dark lipstick that Viper uses for a kiss to die for. This is one paint job that packs plenty of sexy bite to it.
18 Black Cat
Catwoman may get the press but Marvel has its own sexy female cat burglar. Felicia Hardy grew up in wealth but took to robbing just for the thrill of things. Soon, she and Spider-Man had a relationship but an interesting dynamic was that while she loved Spidey, Felicia literally could not stand the sight of Peter Parker. For a while she had the power to cause bad luck to happen to enemies and worked as a bounty hunter. But after a bad run-in with Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man’s body, Cat has turned to full-on villainy and running her own criminal empire in New York.
Her great outfit with black latex and white fur along her revealing cuffs and collar, has made her a favorite and lends a flair for cosplay. This model captures it wonderfully, the paint job so great you swear it’s real fur by her chest. The gloves look terrific and the painted collar is an excellent touch as is the painted mask and long white hair. It shows this is one Cat you’d be lucky to have crossed your path.
For a long time, when someone cosplayed as “the Enchantress,” they meant the gorgeous blonde witch from the Thor comics. However, in 2016, a newcomer took the mantle courtesy of Cara Delevingne’s performance in Suicide Squad. While the movie had detractors, the look of this Enchantress was amazing with her dark hair gone wild, tattooed body and bizarre mannerisms that made her a major highlight. Instantly, cosplayers went wild capturing the look in various outfits and doing their best to replicate the style. Soon, body paint was used to capture the look better. This model takes a “less is more” approach, not loading herself down with medallions and decorations like other players do. Instead, she uses the paint over her body quite well and on her face, making this Enchantress still other worldly yet also very alluring. This is a character easy to put a spell on viewers and this look manages to achieve the effect very well.
Once, Sinestro was the greatest of all Green Lanterns, a fantastic warrior who kept order in his sector. However, it was discovered the reason for that was Sinestro had turned himself into the absolute dictator of his home world. He was stripped of his power ring and cast out of the Corps, naturally making him angered. Forging his own yellow power ring, Sinestro fought Hal Jordan for years. Finally, he decided to create his own Sinestro Corps, seeking out those who instilled fear and making them into a powerful army.
While Sinestro himself is a powerful figure, the fact his Corps can have anyone join makes it interesting. This body paint is great showing the yellow and black Sinestro Corps uniform which fits the wearer like a glove. The paint makes it look very real, complete with collar and while a few attachments, the overall effect is great. The Yellow Lanterns may run on fear but nothing to be scared of with this look.
15 Poison Ivy
Among the hottest women in comics, Ivy is one bad lady some can understand. Sure, she may want to wipe out humanity but it’s because she cares about the world and environment and has been known to help out heroes for a common cause. She’s been mutated over the years from a human woman to more plant like with green skin, her lush red hair on display. Outfits for her vary a lot from a skintight green suit to just a covering of leaves and some enjoy tossing in skin or “plant veins.”
This look comes from acclaimed artist/cosplayer Kay Pike, part of a series where she makes paint outfits that look stepped off the comic book page. It’s no surprise she goes all out for Ivy, the lush red hair amazing with green eyes, vines around her arms and nice leaf bustier. Her sultry smile framed by red lips and light green skin, this is one of the best versions of Ivy around and the paint helps make her look properly naturally sexy.
14 Harley Quinn
Everyone needs a makeover, even a total nutcase. After years in her classic "harlequin" outfit, Harley Quinn got a big change for the Arkham Asylum video game. She was made into a wild goth lady in crazy leather and shining well with her nutty humor on display. It soon was shifted to the comic book version with Harley joining the Suicide Squad and showing off more of her insane style that's made her a major favorite. This cosplay by artist Allyson Avewell and modelled by Abby Tymchak, is a nice showcase and a genius paint job. It gets the details of the buckles and buttons so well, you'd swear it was cloth at first glance and the artist goes full out capturing it all. The model helps with her look, nice smirk and the way she pulls off Harley’s total insanity in a good way. The added tattoos (look for the Joker card at the mid-riff) is also great and showcases why this nutcase remains such a fan favorite.
Back in the 1980s, during a big mission in space, Spider-Man found a machine that seemed to grant him a brand new costume. It was a cool black look that could mimic other clothing and create its own webbing. However, Spider-Man discovered the “costume” was an alien symbiont who tried to bond with him. Rejected, the alien found its way onto Eddie Brock, a reporter disgraced when Spidey revealed his greatest story was a fraud. Together, they became Venom and sought to destroy Spider-Man. The character has bounced between anti-hero and pure villain but remains among Spidey’s more popular foes.
Fans tend to use paint for the cosplaying as it looks much better than any cloth to replicate the alien form. This lady shows it very nicely, the way the paint flows over her with some belly showing and excellent capturing of Venom’s giant mouth and tongue. You wouldn’t expect this character to be a hot one but she sure manages to make Venom look pleasant.
12 Dark Phoenix
Technically, Jean Grey is a heroine most of the time, a founding member of the X-Men. However, too often, Jean has gained control of the Phoenix Force, a fantastic and powerful source of energy. She can use it to control herself and aid the X-Men immensely. But once, the power overwhelmed Jean, corrupting her and turning her into the wicked Dark Phoenix. Technically, it turned out Phoenix was a totally different being and the real Jean safe (it's complicated) with Dark Phoenix seemingly destroyed. But it's come back, a force that wiped out a whole planet and could destroy all reality.
But it's also hot as hell as Jean is already one of the sexiest ladies in comics and this just adds to it. While the gold sash is cloth, the rest of the pic is pure paint, a fantastic job and the way the red hair billows out makes it even better. The model is terrific showing it off and why Phoenix shines brightly for cosplayers.
When Venom began getting popular, Marvel decided they needed to transform him into more of an anti-hero. To push that, they decided to create someone even worse. During a jailbreak, the alien symbiote of Venom “gives birth” to an offspring that mutates into a more powerful creature. This symbiote bonded with Cletus Kasady, a psychotic serial killer who turned into Carnage, a monster who killed for little reason. Spider-Man was forced to team with Venom to stop Carnage who broke out for more killing sprees. The character has shifted and even killed off a couple of times but comes back worse than ever.
Still, he has a very unique look that comes out nicely and lends itself well to body paint. This is a great showcase, the crimson and black paint mixed together well and the model handles it well. While the real Carnage is someone to run away from, this model is red hot.
Mystique was always a favorite in the cosplay circles. The shape-shifting X-Men foe looked great already with her blue skin, red hair and yellow eyes, standing out with her white outfits to look notable. It got bigger when the X-Men movies made Mystique basically naked except for scales and head-to-toe blue. It was quickly taken by numerous cosplayers and models who loved putting their spins on it and thus it’s impossible to go to a convention without spotting a few nearly nude blue ladies about.
Leave it to model Northern Belle to blow you away with this great paint job. The idea is simple but brilliant: Mystique transforming herself into Rogue. Thus, one half of Belle’s body has the bright hair of Rogue and her green outfit. The other half is Mystique’s blue skin and the genius touch of one eye yellow and the other normal as well as half the hair dyed red. It’s a tremendous look that puts a spin on things to wow fans with two hot ladies in one.
From her first appearance under Frank Miller, this femme fatale has been a fantastic character. She was so popular that fans were outraged when Miller killed her off and he had to bring her back. While she has aided good guys from time to time, Elektra works much better as a bad lady, a ruthless killer highly trained in the ninja arts and using it well. This is a woman who wears this very revealing outfit as she’s good enough to fight half naked and still come out on top. She’s been played by Jennifer Garner on the big screen and Elodie Yung on the Netflix series yet both didn’t wear the same revealing look.
A natural for cosplay, Elektra has been showcased at numerous conventions by a variety of hot ladies. This paint job (brought about by noted artist Ben Britt) does a great job, red shorts, boots and the top with just one shoulder strap. Scarves top it off and the model excellently captures Elektra’s deadly grace and beauty that make her a lethal but loveable lady in the Marvel universe.
8 Emma Frost
If there’s a costume that easily lends itself to body paint, it’s Emma Frost. The White Queen was a breakout for cosplayers with her tight white corset, knee high boots and cape. It got sexier in the 2000s as Emma joined the X-Men and hung around, an incredibly egotistical lady who enjoyed flaunting herself nicely. The outfit thus is great for paint, whether the classic corset or the more alluring spandex top. A few go even further to add in the sheen for Emma’s “diamond skin” power and mixing it with a long fur cape or other attachment. This pic, from famed cosplayer Elle shows the alluring heat of the White Queen in her “spandex” set and the lovely icy background adds to it. The smirk of the white lips helps and you can imagine Emma wearing this getup for real. For someone called Frost, the White Queen is blazing hot and capturing her in paint just makes it better.
In some ways, it’s the easiest costume but in others, it’s quite challenging. Since her debut in the 1940s, Selina Kyle has been the hottest villainess in comics as well as the most famous. This gorgeous cat burglar has long had a love-hate relationship with the Dark Knight and does some heroic things but clearly loves being a crook. That tight black suit has been worn on screen by Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway who each put their own stamp on the role. Halle Berry’s turn was in a horrible movie but notable for her leather revealing suit.
It’s impossible to go to a convention and not see at least one Catwoman about, often looking very hot in ultra-tight spandex. Most go for the modern incarnation, covered almost totally with tight mask and claws and you can see painted versions. This model, however, does a tribute to Julie Newmar’s take from the 1960s Batman TV series, draping gold chains over the incredible painted outfit. It’s a beautiful take and reminds you no matter what the period, this feline can get fans roaring.
When writer David Michelinie created Venom, he imagined that the alien symbiote would move onto various hosts and create a new form of the villain. While that was ignored for a while, it turned out to happen a few times. First, Eddie Brock found religion and decided to "sell" the symbiote off. It was bought by long-time Spider-Man foe the Scorpion for a more monstrous version. Then, Peter Parker's old buddy Flash Thompson (having lost his legs in military service) got hold of it to become a hero. But it's back to Brock who's returned to his wicked roots.
The idea that Venom could be anyone has been played with (there are other symbiotes) and this cosplay goes off that idea. The model is great with the concept that the alien is "flowing" over her body, forging the white spider symbol and her nice look makes this one version of Venom more sexy than terrifying.
5 Star Sapphire
Back in the 1960s, Green Lantern Hal Jordan had a romance with Carol Ferris, his boss at an airline company. Now and then, Carol would be infected by an alien gem to become Star Sapphire, a super-powered villainess who would clash with Hal and then forget when she returned to normal. The role eventually went to another woman who became a ruthless killer and made Sapphire more of a pure villain. Later on, it turned out there was an entire Corps of Star Sapphires who used the power of love to fuel themselves and Carol joined their number.
This paint job showcases the modern costume for the Sapphires, a quite excellent look for cosplayers. It shows the nice bare skin going to the belly but not too graphic, covering up where it counts and painting on the boots is a great touch. Combining paint with some plastic for the mask is good too and model Northern Belle goes all out to prove how well this Star shines.
4 The Riddler
While he’s been around since the 1940s, it was in the ‘60s that the Riddler took off as one of Batman’s key foes. Edward Nygma was obsessed with puzzles and used it to transform into a costumed thief more interested in outwitting Batman than the heist. Frank Gorshin made him a star in the 1960s Batman TV show while Jim Carrey went wild in Batman Forever. The TV show Gotham shows how Nygma rises from a police lab tech to this criminal and his outfit is one of the flashiest around.
Most go for spandex like the old TV show and fit it with either solid green or question marks. Others spruce it up for the “business suit” he’s worn from time to time. This cosplay is terrific mixing in elements of both with the painted jacket covered with question marks and painted mask. Topped with a question mark-handled cane and derby hate, it’s a fantastic look that leaves no question how sexy a female Riddler can be.
When she first appeared in the very first issue of Batman way back in 1940, she was simply "The Cat," a classy burglar. She soon shifted to Catwoman, the top-notch thief in a cat-themed costume. She's had numerous origins, for a while an amnesiac before showing off as former heiress Selina Kyle. She was remade in 1986 as a former streetwalker who turned herself into a thief just to rebel. Another wild turn was her discovery that she was the daughter of a mob boss and briefly ran the family herself.
No matter her character or her costume, Catwoman always wows fans and the outfit is a cosplay mainstay. This paint job captures the classic DC look, the sleek bodysuit with nice patterns (as if Selina made it at home herself) and the padding for the feet works out too. It’s pretty much impossible to make an unsexy Catwoman and the black and white motif helps sell how sexy this lady is.
2 Harley Quinn
From her debut in the 1990s Batman animated series, Harley Quinn has been a huge winner for fans. This total nutcase is somehow loveable with her behavior and even being with the psychotic Joker hasn’t done much to dim her popularity. For quite a while, he classic costume was easy for cosplayers using paint, lending itself well to red and black paint with white collar and just adding a bell cap on top. The image changed with the Arkham Asylum video games introducing a much more punk-styled Harley with more skin showing and that proved more of a challenge to capture.
Today, Harley is best known for Margot Robbie’s performance in Suicide Squad, flashing tattoos and skin a lot. This version is a bit more challenging but some painters still do their best to mix in the shorts, t-shirt and “ink” in their own ways with props like a giant hammer. But there’s something about the classic Harley that looks great in a paint job and why she’s such a favorite among bad ladies.
Of all of Batman’s enemies, Two-Face is the most tragic. Harvey Dent was Gotham City’s District Attorney and a good friend and ally to Batman. But when he was doused with acid in a trial, he transformed into a madman obsessed with duality. While Tommy Lee Jones played him too campy in Batman Forever, Aaron Eckhart captured his darker side in The Dark Knight. Two-Face is a popular figure among cosplayers who go all out for the half-and-half suits and the wild makeup for his scarred side.
You wouldn’t think that would lend itself to sexy cosplay but some ladies are able to do a great job. Here is a fantastic example as this lady does not only one Two-Face makeup job but (fitting for the character) repeats it on the other side for a “mirror” effect. The dark hair is alluring and the way the divided suit is also painted on makes the look even better. Somehow, the mix of beauty and madness comes off so damn hot to make this twice as sexy a painted look.