With so many characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comic book movie series provides a smorgasbord of interesting figures for cosplayers to dress-up as for themed parties or conventions. In the run-up to such events, dedicated fans all around the world can spend months stitching; gluing and painting elaborate outfits in order to look just like their favorite characters for one day of the year, or there are always the cosplayers that are so well-known around the world that they're lucky enough to do this as a career.
But with great responsibility comes great power too, and the more these talented individuals practice, the better they get at recreating some of the MCU’s most iconic looks from Guardians of the Galaxy’s Nebula and Gamora to newbies Spider-Man and Black Panther. They get so good, in fact, that their finished costumes would look right at home in the films that inspired them to start sewing. To celebrate all that is good in the world of mind-blowing cosplays, and to celebrate the cosplayers themselves, here are some brilliant looks that are so well put-together, they could give their on-screen muses a run for their money. That’s right costume designers; watch your backs as these fans are seriously skilled…
15 PEGGY CARTER
Agent Peggy Carter -- brought to life by Hayley Atwell -- has exhibited some strong looks since she was introduced into the MCU (and went on to lead her own television series) but Julie Carter opted to recreate the character’s first ever costume from her debut in Captain America: The First Avenger. What look was that, you might ask? Well, none other than her Strategic Scientific Reserve uniform, of course!
Unlike the other characters currently in the franchise, Peggy’s costume is period -- as she was operating as an agent throughout World War II -- which makes her a great character to try and dress-up like and Julie does it with ease. Curly hair, crisp shirts, tailored jackets and detailed pins are essential and she features them all in her look.
Given their weird-and-wonderful looks, characters from Guardians of the Galaxy often make for great cosplay opportunities. For that reason, Zoe Saldana’s version of Gamora -- with her bright green skin, pinky red hair and punk-like boots -- is always a popular choice. But while many may attempt to recreate her recognizable look, not many pay attention to detail quite as closely as Kayla Martinez, who not only nailed the blue eyeshadow and silver accents surrounding her eyes, but also fashioned her whole top out of make-up too.
Her methods were pretty resourceful to say the least and the turn-out is undeniably great. There’s only one downside to her finished look however, and that’s that we would have loved to have seen a full-body outfit. There’s always next year, eh!
It always helps when trying to embody a character if you look exactly like them to begin with… and Andrew Lutomski is the spitting image of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor in his day-to-day life. With his long blonde hair, almost superhuman physique and neat beard, the Australian actor-turned-fitness coach didn’t need much more than a plastic breastplate; a red cape and Mjolnir replica to look exactly like the Marvel demigod.
While you might argue that it’s easy for Lutomski to look like Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian hero given their similarities, we’d counteract that argument by saying that it requires the ultimate dedication to a character to model your look on them 365 days of the year just so you can own it when a pop culture event comes around…
12 CAPTAIN AMERICA
Next up on our list is Left Coast Avenger’s take on Captain America; a character who is arguably the most popular when it comes to MCU-inspired cosplay looks. Opting for a suit that is most reminiscent of Chris Evans’ get-up in Captain America: Civil War, this Steve Rogers appears brilliant authentic, with his dirt-covered suit and scuffed shield.
If you don’t already think that the Left Coast Avenger’s Cap is the real deal just by looking at his photographs, you’re sure to change your mind when you learn that he also takes part in charity parades in full costume -- whether it’s scorching hot outside or not. Yes, that’s right -- he’s quite literally the ultimate good guy and is undoubtedly worthy of that patriotic onesie.
Just like Gamora is a fan-favorite amongst fancy-dress lovers, her adoptive sister Nebula is popular for the exact same reason -- she’s got an equally as unique look as the green Guardian member. It’s no wonder then that experienced cosplayer AmberSkies opted to transform herself into the not-so-bad Kree villain for Stan Lee’s 95th birthday celebration at San Diego Comic Con 2017.
Complete with layered leathers, a make-shift bald head covered in purple and blue paint and seriously cool facial decoration, her look is wonderfully detailed. In fact, Amber’s costume work is so impressive; she even got a shout-out from Karen Gillan herself a few days ago. The Scottish actress took to Twitter to share an article about Amber’s looks and called her “the ultimate Nebula cosplayer.”
Spider-Man is arguably one of the easiest Marvel Comics characters to cosplay as, considering how you can throw on an all-in-one lycra suit and be done with it. Inventively however, NYC-based musician webheadparker jazzed up his interpretation of Queens’ friendly neighborhood hero by adding a bright yellow blazer, headphones and backpack à la Tom Holland does in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
On top of the awesome outfit, webheadparker manages to express Peter Parker’s carefree, teenage attitude through his poses too -- which really adds to the effectiveness of his costume. In several images, dotted about Garden State Comic Fest in New Jersey, he can be seen interacting with many other cosplayers and enjoying his time there; something we can imagine a chatty Spidey is doing in the movies too.
9 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Carol Danvers might not have made her debut in the MCU yet but that hasn’t stopped fans of hers from dressing-up as Captain Marvel. While it was revealed at San Diego Comic Con recently what the female superhero will look like in her standalone movie, it was up-in-the-air leading up to the prestigious event how Brie Larson was going to appear which enabled cosplayers to run wild with their own concepts.
Sydney-based enthusiast Angela Arlotta opted for a super short-haired Danvers, comparable to her look in comic book crossover series Civil War II. While her bleach blonde locks were the most notable part of her costume, she teamed her crop with a red, blue and gold cat-suit which really made her look like she’d just stepped away from a brawl with Iron Man.
You’d only have to take one look at cosplayer Paul’s Instagram handle deadpaul5150, to figure out which Marvel character he likes dressing-up as the most -- (it’s Deadpool, by the way) -- but considering that this is a list based on MCU, we couldn’t very well include him.
Fortunately, his interpretation of Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy is just as good, if not even better, due to the DIY skills involved in making his light-up lensed helmet, Quill’s rocket booster boots and handheld Nerf guns. He’s been tweaking his helmet in particular for over two years and his developing craftsmanship is evident if you’re willing to scroll down to the bottom of his Instagram. There’s only one more thing for us to say… keep up the good work, Paul!
7 BLACK WIDOW
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff -- AKA Black Widow -- is one of the MCU’s long-standing members. But since she first appeared in Iron Man 2 back in 2010, her outfit hasn’t really changed all that much. The only way you can really distinguish between her looks from title to title is with her hair, and seeing as cosplayer Clef opted for a deep-red, wavy bob, it seems like she’s channeling The Avengers’ version of the character.
Because her look isn’t the most creative, it’s the details that really count and it’s clear that Clef is aware of this if you check out her costume’s utility belt, fingerless gloves and high-collar cat-suit. Team the outfit with a nonchalant pose and you’re good to go -- which is exactly what she did in this photograph taken by Annie Fischinger.
Like Captain Marvel, Hela has yet to be officially introduced within the MCU but she has popped up in the two sneak peeks of Thor: Ragnarok and boy, does she steal the show. Brought to life by none other than Cate Blanchett, her looks are gothic, memorable and out-and-out fantasy so it’s understandable why cosplayer Jobeth Wagner wanted to recreate her look.
Wagner donned a tight, black cat-suit with green accents and completed the get-up with lace-up ankle boots. However, it’s that extravagant headdress that really makes the outfit pop. Judging by Wagner’s Instagram account, the accessory was made entirely from individual foam pieces which she hand painted black. We don’t even want to imagine how long that would have taken but the result was definitely worth it!
5 BLACK PANTHER
T’Challa’s costume from both Captain America: Civil War and the trailer for upcoming MCU outing Black Panther is pretty simple; a gray and black one-piece with claws and necklace detailing, but it takes a certain type of person to pull it off. Turns out, Rich Guy is that very person.
In stunning photographs taken by Instagram account @griffin_studios, Guy can be seen posing regally as he channels the character perfectly and it’s his attitude that helps sell the somewhat basic look. It’s another story when he puts that cat-eared helmet on however… that thing is downright menacing. Once he puts that on, you could easily mistake him for actor Chadwick Boseman.
4 SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER
Cosplay always works well when you have friends or family who can complement your own look. Siffy -- who makes up one half of cosplaying duo The Sisters Mischief -- is used to doing just that, but to truly do brother and sister duo Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver justice, she turned to her male sibling this time round… with great results!
"It's been a while since I've submitted, but recently my brother and I shot our Pietro & Wanda Maximoff AKA Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch cosplays, and I'm so happy with the end product,” she previously said in an interview. “I just had to share. This was his first cosplay, if you can believe it -- he's a natural, and we had such a fun (and sad, at parts) time getting into character for this shoot."
3 THE WINTER SOLDIER
Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier’s clothes are relatively straight-forward, consisting of just a black leather Gillet and matching trousers. Because of that, it’s only with his cybernetic arm that cosplayers can really flex their creative muscles. Fortunately for Mercury, her shiny, metallic-looking fake prosthetic elevates her outfit above any of the others that we’ve seen. (It’s no secret either that her gender-swapping of the character helps to stand out from the crowd, mind you).
That’s not to say that being female doesn’t work well for Winter Soldier. In fact, we’d argue it’s the opposite considering he typically has long hair and his body is entirely covered anyway so it really doesn’t matter. As long as you’re willing to give a stern look to the camera, you’re good to go.
2 THE ANCIENT ONE
Many cosplay looks include wigs as part of their ensembles but it takes a special kind of fan to don a bald cap to portray one of their favorite characters. One young woman -- known only as Lionesscosplay -- was bold enough to just do that when she recreated Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One’s look from Doctor Strange recently.
Attending Phoenix Comic Con, she wore yellow robes and a sling ring while never letting go of a matching Japanese hand fan that helped complete the costume. Her Doctor Strange looks didn’t stop at The Ancient One either. Throughout her time at the convention, she also donned medical scrubs and became love interest Christine Palmer alongside her friend Jake Korupp, who dressed as Stephen Strange.
The MCU's resident street-level blind lawyer has become a breakthrough character thanks to two excellent seasons on Netflix. While some fans miss the straight-up red tights that Matt Murdock dons in the comics, that bright crimson just won't look too good on 4K TVs. Thankfully, the showrunners adapted his suit for a more realistic take on the character, and cosplayer Mnamna has hit the nail right on the head with his interpretation.
With help from cosplay photographer extraordinaire, The Portrait Dude, this Daredevil armor looks like it jumped right off of the screen and into our faces. With the dark and gritty atmosphere, dark red and black suit, sculpted DD helmet and perfectly stubbly stubble, this Daredevil cosplay is definitely a dead ringer for Charlie Cox's actual suit.
Any other amazing MCU cosplays that we missed? Let us know in the comments section right now!