Superhero TV is more popular than ever. Thanks to the advent of superhero blockbuster films, from the X-Men franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our favorite comic book characters have quickly invaded our television screens, introducing audiences to way more superhero lore than could ever be dished out by the movies. The Arrowverse and Netflix's Marvel shows are the crowning achievements of superhero TV at the moment, with X-Men TV series slowly joining the race... not that it matters, now that Marvel owns the movie rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four again.
We live in a golden age of superhero TV, which has inspired tons of cosplayers making the rounds at comic cons to dress up as their favorite characters. From the Arrowverse's plethora of larger-than-life heroes to Netflix's more grounded and gritty Hell's Kitchen cast, there's virtually no character from these TV series that hasn't been DIY'd. And then there are those cosplayers who are improving on the looks of the current heroes and even delivering more attractive versions than what we've seen on TV. You'll be surprised what some cosplayers have come up with. CBR has searched the internet for the latest and greatest in superhero TV cosplay:
Arrow will go down in the history books as the series that kicked off a whole lineup of DC TV shows on The CW. As the forerunner for later shows such as The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, it's always been more of a mix of what works for DC and The CW, because Arrow often plays out as if it were a Batman show while still dabbling in melodrama and relationship problems.
Despite its obvious wrinkles and stubborn use of flashbacks to convey Oliver Queen's experiences before becoming the Green Arrow, there's a reason this show has remained on our TVs for so long. It can be really excellent at times, especially when Manu Bennett's Deathstroke is thrown in the mix. Above we see cosplayer DeAnna Davis tackling a female version of the Green Arrow and she absolutely nails it!
14 CAPTAIN COLD
Wentworth Miller's Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, has turned out to be one of the standout characters of the Arrowverse. From one of The Flash's main rogues to joining the Legends of Tomorrow and sacrificing himself to save Mick, Miller has delivered a stunning performance as the villain turned hero and back again. Snart isn't just a cackling villain or thief out for his next score (although he does LOVE to steal things). He's also shown that he has quite a large heart.
It's a real shame that we'll be saying goodbye to Miller as Snart after the 2017-2018 season. He announced in November 2017 that he would be leaving the Arrowverse. Fortunately, while Miller's Snart will be no more, we'll still be able to enjoy the character through tons of awesome cosplay, including Florencia Sofen's nod to a more classic Captain Cold from the comics.
Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, has always been a popular addition to the comics. Several iconic moments throughout DC Comics history has solidified the character as the toughest female Kryptonian in the multiverse. After a high profile death during Crisis on Infinite Earths in the '80s, Supergirl was revived and returned to the forefront of the DC Universe. These days, she's the star of her own comic and even has her own television series, which is a wonderful celebration of comic book nerdom.
Melissa Benoist absolutely kills it as The CW's woman of steel. After a solid first season that established her origin story, Supergirl has only gotten better over the years. It's no wonder cosplayers like Florencia Sofen are paying homage to the character these days.
Elektra made waves during the Frank Miller era of Daredevil, which was a high point for both the horned vigilante and his cast of colorful and gritty supporting characters. Arguably Miller's greatest creation during his Daredevil run, Elektra is a tough-as-nails, merciless assassin who acts as both a foil and a romantic interest for the Man Without Fear. She later got her own miniseries to further establish her as one of the great characters of the Marvel universe.
Recently, Elektra has made it back on our screens, this time as part of the growing cast of Netflix Marvel characters. First appearing as Matt Murdock's enigmatic romantic interest in Daredevil season two, she has become one of the most popular comic book characters on the small screen -- perhaps even warranting her own spinoff series? Above, you can check out Giorgia's wonderfully retro Elektra cosplay.
11 THE PUNISHER
Speaking of spinoffs, Jon Bernthal's take on The Punisher recently enjoyed his own series after debuting in Daredevil season two as a violent anti-hero out to avenge the murder of his family on the mobsters and crime lords of Hell's Kitchen. While Daredevil was initially at odds with the Punisher, the two characters later joined forces to fight a much bigger threat in their city.
Netflix's The Punisher delivers a much more fleshed out Frank Castle, one who has already earned his reputation as a ruthless vigilante not afraid to completely wreck bad guys and send them to an early grave. If you've watched Bernthal on The Walking Dead, then you probably know that he nails this role as well. But what if Castle was a female character? Cosplayer Etaru gives us a glimpse at what that might look like.
Vixen is one of the lesser known characters of the DCU. In fact, not many people had heard of the character until she began appearing in her own CW animated series and later in live action form on Legends of Tomorrow. Back in the late '70s, DC meant to introduce Vixen as its first African American female superhero, but that was delayed due to internal problems at the publisher. Instead, she made her debut in 1981 in Action Comics #521.
Thanks to the Arrowverse, Vixen has become more of a household name. The character was portrayed by Megalyn Echikunwoke early on. Legends of Tomorrow introduced Vixen's grandmother, Amaya Jiwe (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers), who has been the active version of the hero ever since. Filipino cosplayer Katz del Rosario brings Vixen to life with style in the photo above!
9 POISON IVY
Poison Ivy first debuted in Batman #181 by Robert Kanigher and Sheldon Moldoff in 1966 and was originally designed to resemble Bettie Page. Through the years, she's become one of Batman's most infamous villains and perhaps the second most important female adversary in the rogues gallery next to Catwoman. Over the years, Poison Ivy's role has changed in the comics, from villain to anti-hero. DC has especially enjoyed teaming her up with Catwoman and Harley Quinn in the last few years.
Most famously, Poison Ivy was portrayed by Uma Thurman in the critical and box office bomb Batman & Robin. This 1997 movie did much to turn the character into a joke and it's taken a while for Ivy to recover from that. Luckily, she's back on Gotham and more dastardly than ever. Above, Russian cosplayer Marianna Orlova really brings the heat with her Ivy costume.
8 BLACK CANARY
Believe it or not, Black Canary has been on our TV screens for much longer than most people remember. In fact, she first appeared on the small screen in early 1979 as part of NBC's Legends of the Superheroes specials. She was played by Danulta Wesley for the special. Canary appeared again in 2002 for the short-lived series Birds of Prey, which tweaked the character a bit, turning her into a teenager with psychic powers. She next appeared on Smallville in 2008 as an assassin.
Arrow introduced the most famous version of Black Canary in season two, played by Caity Lotz and later Katie Cassidy. Dinah Drake, played by Juliana Harkavy, is the third Black Canary on the show. We wouldn't mind seeing Kitty Honey's version of Black Canary on the show at some point, though!
7 KILLER FROST
Killer Frost has been an excellent addition to the world of CW's The Flash since her debut in season two. Originally a twisted Caitlin Snow from an alternate Earth, Killer Frost eventually came to our Earth when Barry Allen altered the timeline during Flashpoint. Suddenly, the Caitlin we knew and love had a dark secret and a meta-human problems she couldn't fully control. Season three saw the young scientist struggle with these powers and even turn to evil.
Ultimately, this Killer Frost has played more of an anti-hero role on The Flash than full villain. We just love Caitlin too much to ever give up hope! Originally introduced in 1978 as Crystal Frost, an adversary to Firestorm, this villain has come a very a long way since her cackling days. Above, you can see Florencia Sofen's animation-inspired Killer Frost cosplay.
Most comic book fans don't think of the Penguin as a "sexy" villain, although there are probably some people into the more human version of the rogue played by Robin Lord Taylor on Gotham. But if you look back at the crime lord's comic book roots, Oswald Cobblepot isn't really meant to be attractive. As far back as his debut in 1941's Detective Comics #58, the Penguin has been a campy, squawking foil for the Caped Crusader.
This is also evident from Burgess Meredith and Danny Devito's portrayals in the Batman TV series from the '60s and Tim Burton's Batman Returns. Still, this has not stopped cosplayer Naery Misaki from creating a female version of the character that puts a whole new twist on the villain.
5 JESSE QUICK
Jesse Quick has been one of the best additions to the world of The Flash. Hailing from Earth-2, Jesse Chambers Wells, daughter of scowling scientist Dr. Harrison Wells, was first introduced in season two as Zoom's hostage. She is eventually freed and sticks around to hang out with Team Flash until she is hit with dark matter and given her own speed powers during an experiment to give Barry Allen back his powers after he lost them during his fight with Zoom. Thus, Jesse Quick was born.
In season three, Jesse returned to our Earth with her newly developed speed powers. She joins Team Flash as Barry's sidekick. Eventually, she travels to Earth-3 to take over for Jay Garrick, who has become trapped in the Speed Force. DeAnna Davis tackles a more comic book-y look for the character in the cosplay above.
Hawkgirl first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940 and has since appeared in tons of animated series, including the classic Super Friends and Justice League. It wasn't until CW's The Flash that we met the live action version of the hero, Kendra Saunders, played by Ciara Renee. While she's introduced as a barista and an early romantic interest for Cisco Ramon, it is later revealed that Kendra is actually a reincarnation of an Egyptian priestess named Chay-Ara and that she has superpowers that include sprouting giant wings from her back.
Her story was pivotal to the first season of Legends of Tomorrow, which saw Time Master Rip Hunter assemble a team of heroes to stop the time-traveling villain Vandal Savage from taking over the world. While CW's version of Hawkgirl is heavily armored, cosplayer Kiwi5frog decided to take a more classic approach to the costume in the photo above.
Catwoman has been around since almost the very beginning of Batman's history. First introduced in Batman #1 in 1940 and created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Catwoman has been a major part of Gotham City ever since. She's gone from villain to anti-hero to one of Batman's allies several times throughout her long run in the comics. In fact, the dynamic between the Bat and the Cat has always been fascinating to read and watch.
Selina Kyle has always shined on both big and small screens. She has appeared in three Hollywood movies, including Batman Returns, Catwoman and The Dark Knight Rises; and her antics in the 1960s Batman TV series are nothing short of classic. Zombie Bit Me pays homage to the Cat in her leathery cosplay that combines both a modern and classic approach.
Ravager has a long history in DC Comics. The character was first introduced in 1980 in the pages of New Teen Titans and has been floating around the events of the DCU ever since. At least five different characters have assumed the role of Ravager, a villain resembling Deathstroke in both look and violent approach. The first Ravager was Grant Wilson, Deathstroke's son, who also appeared in the first season of Legends of Tomorrow as the tyrant of a criminally infested Star City.
The first version of Ravager introduced to the Arrowverse was played by Summer Glau. Her version, Isabel Rochev, is closer to Deathstroke's illegitimate daughter, Rose Wilson, who was the fifth character to use the name Ravager in the comics. Megan Coffey's cosplay pays homage to this female version of Ravager to great effect.
Huntress has appeared in three live action TV shows, but has yet to fully leave her mark. With only a handful of appearances, there's still a lot more that can be explored with the anti-hero. Interestingly, enough the character has been around since the earliest days of Batman comics, first introduced in Sensation Comics #68 in 1947. All Star Comics #69 (1977) established the second Huntress as Batman and Catwoman's daughter from an alternate Earth.
The most popular version of Huntress is of course the third incarnation, Helena Bertinelli, a woman born into a powerful Mafia family. This was the version that inspired the character's portrayal in the early seasons of Arrow. Cosplayer Wind of the Stars pays homage to Helena Bertinelli with her stunning costume.