iFanboy’s Best of 2011: The Best Comics Cosplay

Cosplay. If you’ve been living under a rock in the geek kingdom for the last year, it’s short for costume play, and it is the art, hobby, and sometimes all consuming passion of dressing up as a fictional character and rocking it at conventions. Essentially, cosplay makes every day at a convention Halloween. Cosplayers spend hours and hundreds of dollars on their costumes, either trying to outdo each other or merely embody a character that means a lot to them.

As a fellow cosplayer, I understand how exhilarating it can be to don spandex and be my favourite X-men for a day. People stop treating you like YOU, you become that character. Children are excited… well, so are the grown ups (usually more so), and you feel like a celebrity in your own little world of nerdiness.

In all of my travels to conventions over the years, and also because I work as a cosplay photographer, I’ve seen some truly impressive cosplay in my day. I point my lens at most of it, envy a lot of it, and sometimes roll my eyes at others. But I don’t think anything could ever sink my adoration and respect for this awesome subculture within a subculture, the people who spend hours working on costumes until their fingers are raw, who truly embody childhood heroes.

So this list is an homage to the best cosplay I, myself, saw in the past year. It may not be the “best” by your standards, but for my own state of mind I’ve decided to only include photographs of cosplay I encountered myself, in person. Without further ado, here are my picks for the best comics cosplay of 2011.


Lady Death
at C2E2

I love seeing cosplays of more obscure characters, so I was really excited to come across Lady Death at C2E2. The girl is hot, the costume is well executed, and the makeup is flawless (harder than it seems, I assure you).


at C2E2

No words. I’m always impressed by really “armor” heavy cosplay, but the work that was obviously put into this Apocalypse cosplay is unparalleled.


Tiny Deadpool
at C2E2

He had a severed head. I mean COME ON. We have to support the cosplayers of the future!


Magneto and Rogue
at C2E2

I featured Kearstin on last year’s “best comics cosplay” list as Mystique, and she has outdone herself again with this epic cosplay of Rogue with her boyfriend as Magneto. They were two towering beacons of epic-ness as they strode through the convention.


Power Girl
at C2E2

One of the biggest stocks I put into cosplay is knowing who you can cosplay for your body type. For example, I could never cosplay a petite little thing because I am 5’10” and amazonian. That’s why this Power Girl deserves a spot on my list – she has the pefect build to pull her off, and her costume was amazing to boot. I have not seen a better one since and I doubt I ever will.


at Supanova Brisbane

It takes a brave woman to wear Vampirella AND pull her off. This lady at the Australian convention I attended early in the year certainly pulled it off with flying colours.


at Supanova Brisbane

I have no words. It was TV accurate. I was terrified.


Ame-comi Wonder Woman
at San Diego Comic-Con

The Ame-comi toys are an awesome line of DC centric figures that are crafted with more anime aesthetics. They are generally reworkings of classic costumes and looks on characters, and oftentimes very hard to pull off from a cosplay perspective. This girl pulled it off and then some.


Silver Surfer
at San Diego Comic-Con

A hard cosplay to pull off just because you’re mostly naked and you need the body to do it, this guy definitely has guts. Also, his body paint is amazing. AND he carried a surf board around one of the most crowded conventions I have ever been to. Kudos, good sir.

at San Diego Comic-Con

I’ve photographed Valerie as Zatanna before, but every time I see her in this costume I am just blown away by how PERFECT she looks. It’s like she just stepped out of an Adam Hughes illustration! She deserves a spot on this list for cosplay a character that suits her… and because her costume looks amazing.


Ladies of Green Lantern Corps
at Sakura-con

These girls are huge, huge Green Lantern nerds, and you can tell with the love and expertise they put into their costumes.


Adorable Lady Deadpool
at Penny Arcade Expo

Though I’ve seen quite a few Lady Deadpools, this girl just charmed my socks off with her super cute attitude and ridiculous faces. Also, her Deadpool teddy bear. That was the topper.

Darkseid and The Female Furies
at San Diego Comic-Con

While this selection may be a TEENSY bit self serving (I was cosplaying Knockout in this group), I couldn’t leave us off this list. This cosplay began in 2010, the brainchild of Jill Pantozzi (she is the one cosplaying Lashina) via a facebook group. We were all assigned a Fury, and had to have our costumes done by SDCC 2011. We all worked our asses off to be the best we could be, and with our epic Darkseid in tow the ladies and I took SDCC by storm. We couldn’t walk two feet without being mobbed by cameras for an hour. It was awesome. The quality, dedication, and worksmanship that went into these costumes is unparalleled, and the fact that we were cosplaying slightly obscure but still familiar characters really helped us. It’s not every day you see an epic Big Barda walking down the hallways of a convention, is it?


Yes, I’m aware 13 choices is an awkward number. But I couldn’t choose just 10! IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE!!

I hope you enjoyed my choices for the best comics cosplay of 2011. Out-do these amazing cosplayers in 2012 and maybe you’ll make it on my list next year!


All photographs copywrite Molly McIsaac except the Female Furies, which are by ljinto.


Molly McIsaac enjoys singing songs to her dog and daydreaming about the Doctor coming for her. You can follow her strange rantings on twitter.


  1. Haha there is always a power girl! Hopefully she will eventually get another book soon.

  2. It goes w/out saying that the women costumes are great, especially the green lanter n. Great darkseid costumes and deadpool. Great costumes overall, better then my work clothes I wore for halloween. Thanks Molly

  3. wow @silver surfer dude, you gotta be confident about your package to pull that off

  4. Zatanna wins, just on her smile alone!(shows she’s really having a blast!)
    I’m lovin all the hardwork that goes into these costumes, great job!

  5. I remember seeing a kid Cyberman (Cyberkid?) at Dragon-Con this year. Wish I had taken a picture of it.

  6. I saw the Deadpool girl on another site, I didn’t know you could fall in love with someone strictly based on their facial expression and overall cuteness but good lord I’m fairly certain I would betray my country to have a cup of coffee with her

  7. I think I’m in love with that woman dressed as Deadpool. She looks incredibly fun and beautiful. Great costumes all around.

  8. RouVampire Let us fight to the death.

  9. Thanks for that.

  10. Frankly the surfer should have painted his underwear silver though. I mean all that work……

  11. That Darkseid is fantastic

  12. Daaaammmnnnnn what’s up ladies? Want to see my POG collection? It’s down here. In the basement. Beside my Pokemon cards. My mom won’t be home from work for a while. Hold on, I gotta feed our 14 cats, then I’ll show you my Cavewoman nude covers collection too.

  13. @silver surfer: silver thong or gtfo
    i really think every deadpool costume should include a severed zombie deadpool head. but i’ll allow lady deadpool because she’s kinda hot. and teddy bear deadpool is close enough to severed zombie deadpool head.

  14. It indeed takes a certain type to pull off Power Girl. And boy, do I love that certain type!

    Really all of these are good…

  15. Good list, although it does seem to be more populated by girls than guys, that’s not a complaint, it could well be there were more women cosplaying than men or in general they were better at it.
    One little niggling complaint I do have though is most of the comments seem to be about the people, specifically their ‘body’ and ‘build’ and less about the costumes.
    Surely if you can make an awesome Powergirl costume it doesn’t matter what you look like but that’s just me.

  16. I’ve seen that PG cosplayer elsewhere and she is spot-on. All of these are great though.

  17. These are all really great. I think it might be fun too cosplay once, too bad i’m not brave enough.

  18. Wow.

  19. I appreciate these women’s works of costumery

  20. I saw the Apocalypse at C2E2 and it was fantastic in person. The group with him also had an awesome Mojo costume and Lady Deathstrike.

  21. Great picks, but Molly you have to go to DragonCon for the ultimate Cosplay experience.

  22. Thank you Molly! I’m so glad I met you! <3 // Love, Rogue (and Magneto)

  23. I know Lady Deadpool! I remember her from her Vlog! Testtubedreams is her account I think… check it out!