Cosplay (or costume play) is an exercise in fan-devotion. Creative and determined fans will work their hardest to recreate their favorite characters as close to the original as possible. While there are many levels of cosplay, and while they can range from near photo-recreation to imagining the content outside of its original source (burlesque Batman villains, for example) there are some examples that really rise above the rest.
Here are 10 truly amazing cosplays!
The Lutece Twins were one of the most eerie and occasionally comedic set pieces of Bioshock Infinite. The red-headed genius siblings were recreated in incredible detail by couples cosplay duo Aicosu, Sheila and Sylar.
You can check out some of their other incredible cosplays, including ones from Dragon Age and Fable III at their Deviant Art page.
Anthony Misiano is probably one of the better known cosplayers on the list for his spot on Joker. As of 2013, he has been joined by his cosplay partner Alyssa. The two of them are known as Harley's Joker and Joker's Harley on Facebook
Their cosplay skills are really quite amazing, down to the attention of detail in their costumes and the fantastic way that they handle their social media presence.
And did I mention that she's also a Crystal Dyanamics Community and Communciations Manager, and still finds time to make a lot of these costume pieces? Amazing. You can check out the rest of her work on her Facebook.
A great Bioshock Little Sister cosplay has to fall somewhere between exceptionally creepy and a little cute. Cosplayer Monika Lee strikes the right balance with this iteration.
Probably best known for her stint on the SyFy series the Heroes of Cosplay, Monika can be found on Facebook.
Probably best known as the "dancing Deadpool" cosplayer D-Piddy gets a nod on this list because he completely personifies the character he's cosplaying as. If Deadpool was a real character, you could imagine him running around a con dancing on other characters and having fun at everyone's expense.
This is German cosplayer FahrLight doing her most famous cosplay as Loki from the Thor and Avengers franchise. FahrLight is exceptionally talented, and does cosplay in both genders though her Loki is perhaps the strongest.
For more info on her, you can check her out on Facebook.
Jessica Nigiri is a cosplay personality, and with 1.4 million followers on Facebook a presence that this list would be empty without. Her Mad Moxxi is spot on, and exactly what I'd expect from a real life Moxxi.
This Borderlands sexpot is equal parts sassy and fun, and you can check out more of Nigiri's cosplays on her Facebook page, including takes on Pikachu and other Pokemon.
This distinctive Street Fighter character, with the incredibly epic hair, is cosplayed here by Phoenix Kasai.
Phoenix does a variety of other cosplays, including characters from Prince of Persia and Mirror's Edge. You can check out more of her work on her Facebook page.
Fantastic Final Fantasy XIII cosplay from cosplayer neko-tin that recently made its rounds for how fantastically well made it is, and just how well put together the whole ensemble is.
You can check out more of neko-tin's cosplay at her Deviant art page.
10. Arkham City Catwoman
Yaya Han, the self-styled ambassador of cosplay and star of SyFy's the Heroes of Cosplay has several fantastically made costumes. She even sells cosplay accessories. But for me, her Arkham City Catwoman really is the whole package.
You can check out more of Yaya's work at her website, including a complete description of the process that went into crafting this costume.
What are some of your favorite cosplays?