There are thousands of women out there who spend their days creating costumes and props so they can have fun and entertain the world as cosplayers. Most of the time, the ladies cosplay as female characters and the guys... well, you get the idea. Thankfully, not all of these entertainers stick behind the relatively set gender lines of comic book and video game cosplay and this has led to some impressive creations. You might think that gender-bending a beloved video game character or favorite superhero would turn the fans off, but the opposite is true.
If there's one thing about cosplayers the fans like it's their ability to be creative with their costumes. The good ones make their own and when they take a concept like a usually male character and turn it into a female version, they tend to go all out. We wanted to honor these creative ladies by digging through thousands of pictures until we found the very best versions of women cosplaying as men. Like we said, there are thousands of cosplayers out there and there's no way we got to all of them with a list of only 15, so please let us know your favorites in the comment section if we missed anyone.
15 NADYASONIKA - GAMBIT
Nadyasonika is a Mexican cosplayer who spends her time out of costume designing clothing and modeling. She has been an international cosplayer for a little over a decade and has featured more than 60 individual costumes. Like a lot of ladies on this list, Nadyasonika is a gamer and she racks up a lot of hours on her Twitch account streaming for her many fans.
Most of her costumes are of famous female characters like Lara Croft, Cortana, Mystique or Supergirl, but she seems to have an affinity for the X-Men's men. We chose a great shot of her cosplaying as Gambit, but she has also rocked the eye beams as Cyclops, which made it difficult for us to choose between the two. Nadyasonika can be found attending gaming and comic book conventions in her native Mexico, the United States, and elsewhere throughout the year.
14 JESSICA LG - GORDON FREEMAN
Not a lot of cosplayers take on the guise of Gordon Freeman. This could be due to the lack of a follow-up in the Half-Life series for so long, but it could be simply due to cosplayers wanting to go with something more relevant to today. Whatever her reason for tackling the beloved character, Jessica LG created an impressive look and even modded a beautiful Gravity Gun, the main weapon the character uses in the game.
Jessica LG has been dressing up as her favorite characters for years. While she tends to embrace the more feminine aspects of the craft, she has dabbled in gender-swapped characters like Freeman from time to time to include an impressive female version of Angel from the X-Men. She has also portrayed the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Woman rather well.
13 MEAGAN MARIE - TWO-FACE
It takes a certain type of creativity to transform a character nobody would find sexy into the wonderfully crafted version of DC's Two-Face pictured above. Meagan Marie is a relative newcomer to the cosplay community, but her skill in the craft has helped her to rise above a lot of the competition to garner an impressive audience. Other than Two-Face she has created a lady Mario, though she isn't the first to do so, which is why we focused on the unique cosplay pictured above.
She created the costume in secret for the 2011 SDCC and it was a huge success. Six hours of hair and makeup went into creating the bifurcated look of the infamous character. Meagan Marie is a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series and wanted to create an homage to the series, which helped gift the world with the creative character featured here.
12 A-TWINS COSPLAY - THE WINTER SOLDIER
Evgenia a.k.a. mercury of A-Twins Cosplay created the pictured rendition of Bucky Barnes' The Winter Soldier. The design is comparable to the Marvel Cinematic Universe version played by Sebastian Stan. The most impressive aspect of the costume has to be the cybernetic prosthetic arm, but it isn't a perfect copy of the film's arm. The arm was designed specifically for a female version of the character she debuted at the AVA-expo.
Evgenia is only one-half of the duo of cosplayers alongside Daisy a.k.a. Alexandra. The two have been cosplaying together for years and even did an opposing female version of Captain America, but we wanted to limit their entry to the Winter Soldier to make room for another creative Steve/Stephanie Rogers later on in the list.
11 KAY PIKE - TITAN & IRON MAN
Kay Pike's take on cosplay is truly unique among the other ladies on this list. Ms. Pike's gifted skills as a makeup artist have made her an icon in the industry. All of her cosplay is done via body paint she does on her own figure. Nearly all of her cosplay is painted onto her body directly to incorporate her figure which is truly an impressive feat.
While she does do female characters, she does a lot of men as well. She will either create a female version like the Iron Man pictured or she will paint her face to look just like the character masking her feminine features. There is true talent in each of her creations so we threw a couple examples here for everyone to enjoy including a Titan from Attack on Titan.
10 FREDDIE NOVA - SKELETOR
Freddie Nova's unique take on cosplay has led her to create some truly unique costumes. She has been cosplaying for just under nine years and uses more body paint than your average cosplayer. One of her best costumes was a latex/body paint Venom she created. You may have seen the pic on the Internet of a woman trying to tear off the symbiote from her half-naked body. That was Freddie Nova and we could have gone with that pic, but wanted to use one you may not have seen.
Given the sheer muscle mass of the character and the lack of femininity, we had to use her portrayal of Skeletor. It takes a lot of creativity to turn a character like Skeletor into something sexy and she was able to perfect the look you see pictured above. Check out her Lady Death, and Witchblade for some incredible artistry as well.
9 JESSICA HUARD - SHADOW LINK
For some reason, everyone who has never played a Zelda game thinks that the main character is so-named. No, Zelda is the name of the princess that Link, the hero we get to control, has to rescue. Link is a common costume created by cosplayers, but most folks tend to keep him male. Thankfully, Jessica Huard decided to abandon that practice and instead of knocking out a standard Zelda cosplay, she created a unique look for Shadow Link from The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
She focuses most of her cosplaying on female characters but came up with something truly special with Shadow Link. In addition to designing killer cosplay, Ms. Huard is also a shoe designer who creates geek-themed footwear and clothing as well as costumes for other like-minded ladies. She is also a talented artist and creates paintings using tea.
8 LADY OF ROHAN - NATHAN DRAKE
For anyone who has ever played any of the Uncharted games, you know that the main character, Nathan Drake, is a good-looking guy. He is drawn with a rugged Indiana Jones look, which is perfect for a character who runs around adventuring while seeking treasure. Many male cosplayers have worn him well, but there are some excellent examples of women taking on the role and making a sexy man into a sexy woman.
Our favorite gender-bent version of Drake is definitely Lady of Rohan's pictured above. LoR is another cosplayer on this list with a small following who should be checked out by anyone who is a fan of the art form. She usually cosplays as female characters, but as you can see from the shot above, she can kill it as anyone she chooses.
7 RUE THE DAY COSPLAY - GASTON
Speaking of sexy dudes, we think that anyone who watched Disney's animated classic Beauty and the Beast would agree that Gaston had a little more going for him physically than his rival in that film. Even so, he turned out to be kind of a jerk so we tend to forget about him... that is, until we see Rue The Day Cosplay absolutely kill it as a sexy lady Gaston (pictured).
Rue has been cosplaying since 2007 and has been sewing her own costumes since. She can be found attending conventions all along the eastern coast of the United States where she has shown up as everyone from Catwoman from Injustice, Jasmine and many other interesting characters. Rue is also an Anime fan and she enjoys dressing up as various characters from many of her favorite series.
6 ASYA__VI - CAPTAIN AMERICA
Asya is a new entry into the world of cosplay and she isn't like the rest of the ladies on this list. Finding pics of her online in anything other than the Captain America pictured isn't easy since it's her most prominent costume yet. She still hasn't gotten more than 1,000 followers on Instagram so a little exposure might get this creative lady out there for a wider audience.
Looking through her profile, it's clear she's a fan of the first Avenger so it's no wonder she picked up a shield and posed for some impressive pics. She has also donned a Starfleet uniform and clearly has a love for the genre so it would be great to see her creativity blossom in the world of cosplay.
5 ANDY RAE - JESSE MCCREE
Andy Raye has been a fixture of cosplay for a number of years and she currently has more than a quarter million followers on Instagram. Most of her creations are of female characters, often scantily clad so she can show off her figure. When she decided to tackle Jesse McCree, she went all out and Overwatch fans went wild.
Raye is an avid gamer with an active Twitch channel where she provides makeup, prop and costume tutorials for her fans. Raye is a Canadian who has been modeling and cosplaying since 2014 so she is an up-and-comer in the field. She has been recognized for her skills with the award for "Best Craftsmanship" at the Calgary Expo in 2014 as well as the "Judges Choice" award at Anime Revolution the same year.
4 AZZYLAND - AZIR
While she may be a creative, beautiful woman, the best way to describe Azzy is as a gamer. A self-described tomboy, Azzy grew up with a love of original NES games to include Super Mario, Castlevania, Contra and Metroid among many others. Her favorite game growing up was The Legend of Zelda and after finding others online who shared her love of gaming, she embraced cosplay as a creative outlet.
Nearly all of her cosplay has been of female characters save for an interesting take on The Flash. We decided to go with her feminine version of Azir from League of Legends due to the complexity of the costume and the props involved. Her photos are always taken professionally with the level of artistry shown above. You can find her on YouTube sometimes hosting the show, Before they were Famous.
3 LISA LOU WHO - HANDSOME JACK
Lisa Lou Who has been a fixture in the cosplay world for a number of years with numerous accolades under her belt. She has won numerous awards for her work and creativity to include "Best in Show" at DragonCon in 2012 for her portrayal of Ty Lee from Avatar. As a professional seamstress, creating costumes to help indulge in her love of sci-fi, comics and gaming has only helped elevate her to the level of a professional cosplayer.
Most of her costumes are of women, but her creation of a female Handsome Jack from the Borderlands games is amazing. She has also done impressive work as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy as well as many others from the world of science-fiction and fantasy. Lisa Lou Who lives in Minnesota, but she gets out often to attend cons all over the country.
2 VAMPTRESS LEEANNA VAMP - FREDDY KREUGER
Vamptress is one of the biggest names in cosplay and it was difficult to focus on only one version of her many gender-bent cosplays. We decided to go with her sexy version of Freddy Kreuger since, given all the male characters from film and literature, Kreuger is not one who should in any way look sexy. For her, it works.
Leeana calls herself the "Ghoul of Your Dreams" who insists she is a nerd and has the history to prove it. In addition to fashion, she is also an actress who has created and produced Best Friends Forever and Star Wars Girls. She is a regular fixture at conventions and has more than a million followers on Facebook alone. As with most of these ladies, she has also made some creative choices with Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Zatanna, but you can't go wrong with everyone's worst nightmare come to life.
1 JESSICA NIGIRI - ASH(LEY) KETCHUM
People who have never heard of cosplayers may have a passing familiarity with Jessica Nigiri. She got her start in the industry by dressing up as a sexy Pikachu and only shot forward in fame and popularity from there. She began in the industry in 2009 at the SDCC and has been a staple in the industry ever since. Most of Ngiri's costumes are of female characters and her talents at prop-making as well as costume design are second to none.
When it comes to portraying male characters, we couldn't have chosen any other than her version of Ash(ley) Ketchum from Pokémon. Nigiri has also created a sexy Mario, Roadhog from Overwatch, Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and even a beautiful version of Indiana Jones. Nigiri is a regular attendee at cons all over the world and has a successful YouTube channel among her other pursuits.
Did we miss any of your favorite gender-swapped lady Cosplayers? Sound off in the comments and let us know!