spider-gwen is a relatively new member of the spider-man pantheon, debuting in 2014 as part of the spider-verse storyline. she's from an alternate reality in which peter parker's childhood friend, gwen stacy, is the one bitten by a radioactive spider instead of parker himself. in an neat inverse of the fate of the original gwen stacy, it's gwen who fails to save peter in the former's origin story, accidentally killing the kid after he tries to make himself radioactive and cool just like her. in spider-verse, she assists a cadre of spider-peeps from all corners of the multi-verse recruiting help in defeating the villain morlun and his family. the character was so popular, she was granted her own series, and spider-gwen was released in 2015 with a 25-issue run.
given the character's following, it's no surprise that we've seen spider-gwen cosplay crop up more and more on the internet and at conventions. it doesn't hurt that robbi rodriguez created a killer suit for spider-gwen -- the design is a sleek update of the original, implementing similar elements, but with key differences. plus, it has a hood. we've gathered a list of cosplayers who've captured gwen's unique blend of heroine chic -- here are the ones we couldn't stop looking at, plus a few of those epic mashups only cosplayers can give us.
15 come rain or shine...
cosplayer taorich has us wanting to storm chase just so we can try and replicate this incredible shot. photographer andrewhitc evokes a gritty, noir feeling with the rain making taorich even more convincing as an urban crime fighter. alternatively, this could also double as a photo shoot for gwen's band, the mary janes (if she ever got bored with the whole secret identity thing).
taorich's other cosplays include sadira from killer instinct, and, our personal favorite, a gender-bent deadpool. we're pretty sure he'd approve -- her attention to detail is phenomenal. even the cowl is lined with the same purple web-print that appears in the comics, and if you look closely, you can see she's added gwen's trademark black headband. the only thing she's missing is a pair of drumsticks!
14 gwenom #1
since the concept of venom was introduced in the amazing spider-man, the sentient alien symbiote has become a tentpole of the spider-man franchise. it was only a matter of time before spider-gwen encountered it and got to experiment with her own pocket dark side. marvel officially announced in 2017 that not only would gwen encounter venom, she would actually bond with the symbiote. the cosplayers were listening.
cosplayer rianna care has created a phenomenal tribute to gwen's apparent fate. the fabric looks iridescent and the face paint gives the illusion that gwen's mid-transformation into gwenom. the effect is awesome, and gets you even more excited to check out the comic. if you like this cosplay, you'll be pleased to know that she also cosplays classic spider-gwen, too.
13 spider-gwen and spider-man, sittin' on a thing...
if you're not shipping spider-man and spider-gwen, we don't know what you're doing with your imagination these days. the original gwen stacy was ripped tragically from peter when she gets thrown off the george washington bridge by the green goblin (former flame, harry osborn), just as spider-gwen's peter parker was ripped form her by... his own stupidity.
when the two met in spider-verse, they're both reminded of the people they couldn't save and agree to protect each other. cosplayers maid of might and chaos prince are the ones who portray our semi-star-crossed lovers, and they've already got us shipping it. maid of might is a prolific cosplayer, and she even appears on this list for another of her phenomenal takes on spider-gwen. you won't believe it when you see it.
12 pinup spider-gwen
so there's cosplay... and then there's mashup cosplay. whether it's merging two different characters (ever seen a wonder princess leia? we have.) or just reimagining a single character in a different era, mashup cosplay is increasingly popular, and almost always rewarding.
here, cosplayer hendo art (also a champion makeup tutor -- catch her transformation into the joker on youtube) has rocketed gwen stacy back to the 50s with the skimpy version of spider-gwen's onsie. a crop-top over some high-waisted shorts and a pair of teal platform mary janes (we really hope that was intentional) has hendo art's version of gwen stacy looking like she could've fit in at riverdale high, once upon a time. well, maybe not riverdale high, but the city, at least. photo by @yorkinabox
11 classic spider-gwen
this amazing cosplayer's secret identity is still unknown, but darned if this wasn't the most "realistic" cosplay on this list. her stunning blue eyes are the crown jewels in a perfect ensemble. sometimes cosplay is about picking who you look like and building an identity and portfolio based on that. this photo from katsuycon looks like someone captured a decidedly lost gwen stacy wandering around the show floor.
the suit itself is spot-on, as is the osplayer's makeup and, as we noted earlier, her overall look, but it's impossible to not mention how stunning she looks as spider-gwen. instead of posing in an ultra-sexy manner, our anonymous lady is serving some serious steam just by staring straight into our souls and putting her hand on her hip. that takes some serious presence.
10 against the wall
cosplay as a hobby is ultimately very rewarding, but it does have one drawback -- without the awesome power of marvel studios to provide state-of-the-art cgi, action shots of our favorite superheroes can be expensive and difficult to produce. but it does sort of spoil the illusion when you see a big san diego comic-con banner in the background.
in this photo by andrewhitc, cosplayer mari-evans (check out her page if you want to see her sans mask) is backed up against a brick wall a little like she's on the run from something. that makes sense considering spider-gwen's been a wanted criminal for a minute. it's nice when cosplayers are able to do a little bit of world-building on their own that doesn't include convention center backgrounds or the ever-popular great outdoors.
this is a classic example of someone taking advantage of their surroundings and turning them into something magical... or just finding the coolest stuff to spider-squat on. this photo of cosplayer reaverskill, taken by vincent sehu, was actually taken in paris and was the first photo of reaverskill's spider-gwen cosplay. she definitely nailed the physicality. spider-cosplayers always seem to have fun trying to mimic their particular character's unique style of movement.
reaverskill has a few more shots of her spider-gwen out and about in paris that you'll definitely enjoy if you like this one. half the fun of cosplay is its immersive nature, so it's no surprise there are folks out there who push it to a level beyond dressing up. next step: fan films!
8 spider-gwen in wedges
don't hate us, but damned if we don't love a wedge heel and a catsuit. while we love robbi rodriguez's vision for spider gwen... well, look, the girl is in a band! it makes sense that she'd rock some creative fashion every once in awhile. in this photo of cosplayer miumoonlight by benny cosplay photography, she looks like she's daring you to say something about impractical footwear.
oh, and fun fact: miumoonlight is also a bit of a makeup maven. if you peruse her instagram, you can see her totally transform into characters from overwatch, league of legends or even just a kawaii fashionista. it's crazy how unique each look is. we don't know about you, but we think chameleon cosplayers make the best cosplayers.
this shot of nadya sunika by ps moguel photography is a study in intensity. spider-gwen is high-school age, and lots of her cosplays reflect her youth and relative (relative) innocence. but sunika brings a little dash of sarah connor to the look, and the whole thing works as a more mature take on earth-65's spider-person.
based in mexico, nadya cosplays a wide variety of characters in addition to being a working model. a glance at her website will reveal her obvious bias toward female badasses. along with spider-gwen, sonika also cosplays wonder woman, x-23 and all three gotham city sirens (catwoman, harley quinn and poison ivy). she doesn't stop at comics, though -- nadya cosplays a wide variety of video game and anime characters, as well.
prolific cosplayer florencia muir (florencia sofen cosplay) has a portfolio bursting with action shots and some serious post-production. patricio e gandara is responsible for tricking out this photo of muir as the au webslinger, making it look like she's shooting through the streets of manhattan with the chrysler building in the background. it's an iconic shot, and despite what we know about fantasy vs. reality, we're almost tricked into thinking someone snapped spider-gwen mid-swing.
if this shot only made you more curious about this spanish cosplayer, you should really check out her other work -- we were serious when we called her "prolific." she also cosplays dazzler, captain marvel, wonder woman and the scarlet witch and many others. a few of her shots almost look like they could stand in for actual movie posters.
5 sp-eye-der gwen
if you're into a side of commitment with your cosplay, do yourself a favor and get to know nisakidcat. she's a cosplayer so devoted to spider-gwen and gwenom, her instagram looks like a marvel wallpaper. in addition to this intensely awesome shot, she's also cosplayed gwenom at various stages during the transition, and she's even staged photoshoots with a silk cosplayer named kyussgirl.
but it was this photo by minatog that really caught our eye. nisakid really looks like a superhero, and that's kind of all there is to it. her position, her costume and her seriously intense expression make her look like she's about to jump off the screen and save you from some big bad that's right behind you. if photos were performances, this one would get nominated for something.
spider-man is one of the few superheroes whose namesake actually inspires disgust and terror. the arachnid reputation and general overall creep factor (so many eyes! so many legs! why????) ensure that they don't make a lot of friends among humans. and while spiderman is defined by his spider-like abilities, if he were a literal "spider man" and looked the part, we doubt he'd be so popular.
that's why it's fun when cosplayers manage to invoke the animalistic side of spiderman's character, even if that side makes some of us quake with irrational fear. in this shot of cosplayer (and previous entry) reaverskill by octopix, she's adopted an attack crouch and casts the shadow of a spider on the wall behind her. it's kind of unsettling and a great tribute to spider-gwen's nature and the franchise itself.
3 mystery mashup
we scoured the internet top to bottom to find the identity of this killer cosplayer in a spider-gwen mashup, only to find out it’s another image of hendo art! photographer james rulison’s instagram simply identifies this cosplay as “armored spider-gwen.” that said, it’s worth pointing out that despite how little we knew in the beginning, this cosplay was striking enough to land in the top five.
the webbing design gives this is a serious nightmare before christmas vibe and generates a macabre, unsettling feeling. if spider-gwen ever gets a gothic reboot that has him guest-starring in some edgar allen poe story, we feel like this would be a fitting choice for her suit. or she might terrify everyone and get accused of being a witch -- historically women have not been rewarded for creative fashion.
this spider-gwen looks like she smokes cloves, works at a coffee shop and rolls her eyes when taylor swift comes on. we mentioned this before when we discussed miumoonlight's turqoise wedges, but it bears repeating -- gwen's in a band. and she's the drummer. odds are she'd be into some edgy fashion. we know we're being a bit stereotypical here, but doesn't punk spider-gwen just feel right?
maid of might cosplay returns to nab the number two spot on this list with her dope reimagining of sg's costume. like all great mashups, she's employed the most recognizable spider-gwen calling cards (pink, black and turquoise color scheme, skin-tight design, fierce blond hair) and proceeded to give them the pg sid and nancy treatment. her tips are frosted to match her turquoise converse and she's rocking a dope pink and white denim vest complete with shoulder spikes. you go, glen coco!!
1 gwenom ftw
maybe we're just really excited about that gwenom arc, or maybe we just like that dope-ass claw. either way, we're not sorry that a gwenom cosplay has appeared twice on this list, and taken the numero uno slot. cosplayer elise laurenne simply slays in this sick, sick shot. if anyone can source those claws on etsy, leave the link in the comments, pretty please?
fun fact: illustrator jamie tyndall is responsible for this iteration of the infamous symbiote merging with gwen stacy of earth-65. tyndall's a canadian comic book artist who's worked on ninjack, godzilla, tmnt, and grimm fairy tales, to name a few. it says a lot about the fan anticipation for gwenom that the arc's already inspired original cosplay before the first issue ever hit the stands.
do you know any other spider-gwen cosplays that sent your spider senses tingling? let us know in the comments!