Cosplay is a unique and expressive art that gives dedicated fans the chance to become their favorite fictional characters — at least for a little while. And across the world, these fans congregate at conventions and other events where they can showcase their amazing costumes to others in love with that particular fictional universe.
Some events, however, really cater to the experts — cosplayers that go the extra mile to dress exactly like their favorite hero, villain, or magical being does. We’re talking face paint, wigs, prosthesis, and props. These 21 costumes expertly blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. They’re exactly what Comic-Con dreams are made of…
1. Web-slinging? Forget it. Built-in rockets? Nah. These superheroes felt it would be quicker to travel via the subway than to take any other mode of transportation. Move along, nothing to see here. You’ve seen weirder before, we know it.
2. You’ll do a double-take at this famous Disney mermaid on the beach. It’s amazing how accurate the colors are to the 1989 animated movie, The Little Mermaid. The only downfall is that she won’t be able to walk around Comic-Con with her fin.
3. This costume is creepily good! What looks like a model replica is actually a super fan dressed up as an Adjutant from the video game franchise StarCraft. They might have limited mobility for the day, but they will definitely be the most talked about costume of the convention.
4. Beware his double-sided lightsaber and definitely don’t look him in the eyes: Darth Maul is one Sith Lord you don’t want to mess with. Although he met his demise in Star Wars Episode I, this costume can’t help but make us feel like he’s back with a vengeance.
5. Overwatch fans were impressed (to say the least) at this girl’s cosplay costume of D.Va. Her costume came fully equipped with powerful blasters attached to her back. Hopefully, she doesn’t get knocked over in the big crowds…otherwise she might roll away.
6. This cosplayer added a twist on a common costume: Captain America. She wanted to portray the Avenger in a way that spoke to who she felt was an American superhero, none other than Rosie the Riveter.
7. These ladies used their costumes to challenge gender specific characters and pulled off a colorful mix of characters from the DC Universe. They also paid homage to the 1966 Batman with their “BANG” sound card.
8. Replicating Iron Man is no easy feat, as it’s difficult to construct Tony Stark’s bionic suit (though he built it in a cave with a box of scraps). This man nailed the details of his armor right down to the lights.
9. We’ve known for a while that “winter is coming,” but this costume means that “winter is here.” The precision of this cosplayer’s Knight King portrayal from Game of Thrones is beyond chilling. Hopefully, his White Walker army isn’t following behind him…
10. And if the White Walkers are following close behind, just leave it to the Mother of Dragons to swoop in and save the day. Whether you refer to Daenerys as The Unburnt or Khaleesi, her silver-white hair remains the same, and this cosplayer is a spitting image of our queen.
11. San from Princess Mononoke is not your ordinary damsel in distress. She’s a strong, wild warrior princess who’s ready to fight when the clash between worlds begins. Besides the accurate face paint and animal skins, this cosplayer went as far as to nail the ferocious look on her face, too.
12. Queen Amidala first donned this iconic look in the Naboo throne room, back in The Phantom Menace. The face makeup, hair, and headpiece of this cosplayer were spot on to the costume that Natalie Portman wore.
13. If we didn’t know any better, we’d think this was a real faun emerging from the forest. Instead, it’s an epic cosplay of a female Draenei from World of Warcraft. Magical, mystical, and totally entrancing to be around.
14. The famous cosplayer Lady Nikoru brought the femme sniper, Widowmaker, from Overwatch to life. With little armor, it accurately portrayed her character’s sheer confidence in her totally killer abilities.
15. Here is another cosplayer who threw gender norms out the window. He portrayed the character Vi from League of Legends and perfectly translated her costume into his. We wonder how much his fists weigh?
16. Cosplayers will often dress as a mash-up, combining two characters or two ideas into one costume. Here, she combined Wonder Woman with Two-Face from the DC Universe for one original costume.
17. Back to the World of Warcraft universe, this cosplayer dressed up as Sindragosa, an undead frost wyrm or dragon. Her cold blue eyes and spikes make the Scourge damage to this former dragon not look so bad.
18. New Zealand-American cosplayer Jessica Nigri was able to bring the dragon lord Deathwing to this world. Her sinister look represents all that is pain and suffering and not a single detail was missed. Another great personification of a non-human character.
19. From the ’90s sci-fi TV show of the same name, Xena was the first lady warrior alongside her sidekick Gabrielle. These two perfectly adorned their warrior princess costumes, right down to Xena’s famous flying disk.
20. Any X-Men fan will catch this combination cosplay costume from the Days of Future Past installment. Half shape-shifting Mystique and half US Army officer, her costume represents the pivotal moment in history when the X-Men traveled back in time to save their future.
21. Anyone who loves diving into the video game-verse of Diablo III will immediately recognize this wizard cosplay costume. She’s channeling her orb and ready to be on the offense should an unworldly being attack.