Cosplay has become one of the most popular things on the planet. Alongside the slew of superhero movies we are given every year and the many different games we have all come to know and love, cosplay now stands as an integral part for thousands of con-goers to show off their love for their favorite characters. Some cosplayers decide to go on the light side of things and make cool and funky things such as Gundam mechs out of soda can boxes, or they can go buy the ever-popular morph suits to become one of many different characters instantly. On the opposite end of this spectrum, though, we have the cosplayers who take things to a whole other level.
Abby Dark-Star, Yaya Han and Knightmage are a few of the names who will appear on this list because of just how amazing, spectacular and downright uncanny some of their cosplays can be. The hours that these master cosplayers put into making a good costume is simply baffling to some, but the results speak for themselves. From Cyborg to Catwoman, Yoko Litner to Jecht and Indiana Jones to Harley Quinn, these cosplayers have proven that they are masters in the art of becoming someone else.
To kick things off with a band... or maybe a BOOYAH... is Michael “Knightmage” Wilson, a cosplayer who started off back in 2012. By day, Michael is a Sheriff Deputy, but by night (meaning whenever he goes to Cons or does charity work), he becomes Knightmage! With a list of cosplay that ranges from Goliath from Gargoyles to Kratos to Hellboy to Cyborg (as seen in the photo above by Superhero Creations by Adam Jay), the hits just keep on coming from this fantastic member of the cosplay community. One of the coolest things about Knightmage is that, as he’s working on new cosplay, he’s posting photos of the works in progress. It's there that we get to see multiple steps in his creative process of bringing these characters to life.
14 PIXIEQUINN COSPLAY
Pixiequinncosplay has been in the game for around three years now and she has, in that time, already proven herself to be a creative force within the community. She also just so happens to have a ton of fun with what she does. In the photo above by More Cosplay, we see her in an extremely cool Venomized Spider-Gwen or “Gwenom” costume. While Gwenom is one of her favorite cosplays she has done, Pixiequinn has aspirations to make a cosplay based on Anya Stroud from Gears of War 3.
With over 20,000 followers on Instagram alone, the down to Earth cosplayer simply enjoys what she does! In an interview with fanboynation.com, she gives the following protip to new cosplayers “…it can be a bit stressful, so try not to go in with too many expectations.” In other words, while you may swing to the highest of heights, always remember to stay grounded! If only Gwen Stacy had listened...
13 ABBY DARK-STAR
Abby has been cosplaying since 2007 and is absolutely fantastic at what she does. A true gamer and lover of comic books, Abby can be seen in a ton of different creations ranging from Indiana Jones to Poison Ivy. Whether she is doing a livestream of any number of games for fans or posting photos from a new shoot, Abby can always be seen enjoying what she does so well!
As good as she is at cosplaying, Abby doesn’t do any of it for fortune or glory; she does things like photoshoots and creates new passion projects simply because she loves them. Despite her works being pieces of art, there’s nothing that belongs in a museum with that state of mind. The photo above by SGH PhotoArt of her Black Canary Bombshell is just one example just how good she is at what she does!
12 JESSICA NIGRI
With 4.8 million likes on Facebook alone, Jessica Nigri has become, without question, one of the most popular cosplayers on the planet. She can be seen at conventions all around the world and has an impressive list of cosplay selections to choose from. Known for tackling any number of characters from an equally diverse range of genres, Nigri always turns out her cosplays with an inimitable twist.
In the above image (by Fake Nerd Boy), we see her in a fun, boudoir-based photoshoot as the classic Spidey villain. Though while her reputation may be to approach racier takes on classic genre duds, she isn't just about being hawt, as is evidenced by her battle armor versions of characters like Elsa and Totoro. As popular as she is, Jessica has definitely not let fame go to her head, as we can all see from looking at her Facebook and seeing all of the insanely nerdy, weird videos she posts for her legions of fans. That only helps solidify her legit street-cred as a gigantic (and awesome) nerd!
11 YAYA HAN
If we want to talk about both professionalism and popularity, look no further than Yaya Han. Yaya was able to grow cosplay from being a hobby to a full-blown business. The internationally-known (but locally-respected) cosplayer has been a guest at more conventions than we could count and can be seen wearing any number of cosplays ranging from Camilla from Fire Emblem: Fates to the Catwoman pictured above by Pink Elephant Photography.
Yaya has an endearing personality and is always up to take a photo with a fan at any of her varying convention appearances. She was even in the Syfy original tv show Heroes of Cosplay and was a guest judge on the TNT original show, King of the Nerds, every time they had their cosplay competition.
10 SEVIRIA COSPLAY
League of Legends Katarina is the basis for this fantastic photo that was taken by Brandon Klemets Photography and stars the always great Seviria Cosplay. When Seviria started cosplaying just over two years ago, she had no experience in any form of sewing, costume or prop making skills. Her initial exposure to con life was in 2014, when she went to her first convention and fell in love with what people had created from some of her favorite shows and video games.
Although she hasn’t been in the game very long, what Seviria has produced has been shown to be spectacular whether being a Rave version of Kim Possible or going the anime route and showing us her own versions of Erza Scarlet and Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tale.
9 LIZ KATZ
Liz Katz is a cosplayer who actually stepped away from the spotlight for a while, but now she’s back and better than ever! Before she left, she showed us cosplays such as her version of a Psycho from Borderlands and was even featured in an episode of Super Power Beat Down as shown above in the photo by Bat in the Sun. The episode in question pitted Deadpool against the Dark Knight himself, Batman!
Although her more recent photo shoots haven’t been producing much in the way of cosplay, she has definitely shown herself to be a force to be reckoned with in the community, and we believe it’s only a matter of time before we get back to seeing some Grade-A work from this talented cosplay pro!
8 LEEANNA VAMP
LeeAnna Vamp is an actress, model, producer, creator, cosplayer and, of course, vampire! The ultimate femme fatale of the cosplay community, this incredibly talented craftswoman knows perfectly well what she can do and is in no way shy about doing it. Leeanna can be seen constantly in any number of cosplays ranging from Super Freddy to Vampirella, as shown above by Movie Hotties.
A true nerd through and through, LeeAnna loves many different classics from the '80s and loves to go to conventions where she can be with “her people, at her home away from home.” Currently, LeeAnna Vamp can be seen as one of the main judges in Syfy’s new show Cosplay Melee, where four cosplayers compete to go home with the prize of $10,000!
7 ROLAND’S FORGE
Roland’s Forge has been cosplaying for about eight years now, and we like what we see from this master prop-maker in the making. Whether his fantastic Pyramid Head (as shown above in a photo by Zoroko) or his absolutely epic version of Jafar from Aladdin, not only does Roland’s Forge supply us with amazing displays of what cosplay can be, he shows us the stages of his work as he goes along rendering his creations.
When looking through his Facebook, fans are treated to all different stages of prop making for things like Jafar’s Cobra Staff or Link’s Master Shield from The Legend of Zelda. One piece of advice he has given to upcoming prop-makers is that prop making is "equal parts research and experimentation.” So be creative, and definitely come correct!
6 ELFFI COSPLAY
Elffi is a Finnish cosplayer who does some absolutely flawless renditions of some epic characters. Shown above (Photo: All Rights Reserved) is Jecht from Final Fantasy X, but he also has impeccable versions of Saitama, Aang, Sinbad and Hawkeye Mihawk. Another cosplayer who will show his work as he goes along allowig his fans to swoon at his process, the well sculpted cosplayer is always up for traveling to new locations.
Luckily, he also knows three different languages fluently to help alleviate any kind of linguistic barrier there may be wherever he gets to go. And yet, while very popular all over the world, Elffi cosplay also seems to be incredibly humble. When he first posted shots of his Aang cosplay, he was blown away by the positive reception that he received from his fans and couldn’t say thank you enough.
5 RYUU LAVITZ
Ryuu Lavitz has been cosplaying and going to conventions since she was in high school and absolutely loves getting to visit different conventions and meeting new people who share her love of all things nerdy. While her favorite type of cosplay is from video games, she has done more superhero cosplay than anything. Shown above is her spot-on version of Raven from Teen Titans (photo by @jcosplayphotog, all rights reserved).
Her other cosplay credits include Catwoman, Punk Princess Peach, gender-bent Roxas from Kingdom Hearts and Harley Quinn. Ryuu’s favorite convention is Anime Boston, which also happens to be her very first convention, and she has a simple and effective philosophy with cosplay. She prides herself on using inexpensive, local materials for her work as opposed to more expensive popular items.
4 CAPTAIN IRACHKA COSPLAY
Captain Irachka Cosplay is a Russian cosplayer who is by far the best Lara Croft we have ever seen! Sorry, not sorry, but not even Angelina Jolie fits the bill as well as this cosplayer (as shown above by Irina Pirogova Photography). With cosplay credits that also include Cassie Cage from Mortal Kombat X, Velma Dinkley, Harley Quinn and Supergirl, there was no way that this incredibly talented shape-shifter wasn’t earning herself a spot on this list.
With just under 75,000 likes on Facebook, she is still labeled as an "up and comer" in the cosplay community, but that number won’t be going anywhere but up given her talents. Not only does she produce quality cosplays, she also has fantastic shoots to showcase them, including one recently with a live bear! Talk about going the extra mile.
3 LUNA LANIE
Delanie Frances, aka Luna Lanie ,is a knock your socks off kind of cosplayer. She will bring characters to life in a way that few others can, and her fans love her for it. Taking a look at her versions of Power Girl, Spider-Gwen and Cidney from Final Fantasy XV (as shown above by Vivid Visions Photography), those who don’t know her are sure to get acquainted very quickly and fall head over heels for her interpretations on her favorite characters.
Luna Lanie can be seen posting new snaps from photoshoots ranging from her personal modeling to cosplaying, and she always takes time to answer at least a few of the first comments on almost every post she makes. It’s interaction like this that we all like to see, and Luna Lanie has personality in spades!
2 LISA LOU WHO
Lisa not only makes all of her own cosplays, she also loves to put her own personal spin on different characters. Shown above by Player 2 Photography, we have a stunning ballerina version of everyone’s favorite little psychopath, Harley Quinn. Aside from Harley, Lisa’s cosplay roster also includes her own personal creations, a Punk Poison Ivy, Bombshell Batwoman and Mad Moxi!
One of her most recent accomplishments was when she competed on Cosplay Melee and took home the prize with her take on a demon, which was made in only three days and required her to make moveable wings to accompany her frightening facade. You can also see Lisa Lou Who at one of her many cosplay guest appearances at varying cons across the country.
1 KATYUSKA MOONFOX
An Australian cosplayer, Katyuska Moonfox has created an impressive roster of cosplays that includes Lady Death, Tifa Lockheart, Black Cat, Dante from Devil May Cry and Yoko Litner, as shown above by John Pryke Photography. For Moonfox, her love of games such as Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy VIII and anime has grown into a full-blown career choice as she is currently going to university studying game design and programming.
The variation of her cosplay is breathtaking, with characters such as Lust from Full Metal Alchemist and her newest photos of 2B and Kaine from NieR:Automata. With over 750,000 likes on Facebook alone, Katyuska is taking the cosplay community by storm, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Fine by us!
Who are some of your favorite cosplayers? Let us know in the comments!