Cosplay isn’t always as simple as buying a Spidey outfit from your local party store and zipping it up on the drive over. Characters like Iron Man or the Hulk seem incomprehensible to recreate accurately, but you can bet that any superhero, no matter how complex, has been tackled by a crazy fan.
For many, summer is a time to kick back and relax with a cool drink and the sand in your toes, but for hardcore comic book fans July is just around the corner and that means Comic Con is on its way. For superhero aficionados, summer is the perfect time to don some skin-tight latex or some papier-mâché monstrosity and sweat it out in a large hall of costumed fans, meet some special guests and get the early scoops on the latest movie news.
Cosplaying has really been around since the first Halloween party, but the term was actually coined in the 1980s by the Japanese.The tradition of dressing up as your favorite comic book and movie characters and attending conventions was first witnessed with 1939’s 1st World Science Fiction Convention in New York.
With a long history behind it, cosplay fans are only getting better and better, these days tackling costumes and ideas that would have only been possible in the wildest dreams of fans of yesteryear. Here are our picks for 25 Superheroes Who Are Impossible to Cosplay (But Fans Pulled Off Anyway).
The Hulkbuster is an enormous version of the Iron Man suit that, if the name didn’t give it away, was designed by Tony Stark in case there’s ever a situation with the Hulk. In the movies, the armor is nicknamed Veronica, a riff on the Archie comics due to the fact that Bruce’s ex-girlfriend is named Betty. It first appeared in The Avengers: Age of Ultron to take down Hulk when he had been possessed by Scarlet Witch.
The Hulkbuster makes an appeared in Infinity War, during the Wakanda Battle.
Standing at eleven feet high, the original Mark 44 Hulkbuster is three feet taller than the Hulk himself and is packed to brim with every kind of weaponry needed to dispatch an enraged, green giant. Its giant size also means that it’s powered by over eleven arc reactors to give it the kick it needs.
Such a formidable suit of mechanical armor is surely an insane feat to recreate in real life, but the geniuses over at Extreme Suits managed to do it. Taking around two years to complete, this insane cosplay is over nine feet tall and six feet wide, and is made of multiple, metal moving parts.
24 Armored Batman
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may have disappointed some DC fans, but most people would have to admit that seeing Batman’s armored suit come to life was pretty awesome. Taking a page out of Tony Stark’s book, the armor’s most famous use was from The Dark Knight Returns, in which a Kryptonite-lace mechanical armor was used against Batman’s fight with Superman.
Of course, in Snyder’s version, Bruce Wayne opts to use a ridiculous Kryptonite spear and some Kryptonite gas pellets rather than lacing it into the armor, which does distract from the excitement of the moment somewhat.
For the majority of the time, the suit was rendered with CGI for Zack Snyder’s film, although a real costume is sometimes used for more simple and stationary shots. This was designed and created with a team of costume experts, of course, and not a group of comic books fans without a Warner Bros budget behind them.
Some fans have managed to recreate the armor to impressive results, however. Creating a costume that looks like it could protect you against an attack from Superman, but doesn’t weigh over a ton is a challenge.However, some costuming experts have managed to crack it.
23 Martian Manhunter
Martian Manhunter is perhaps the most iconic DC character to have not yet appeared in a live action film. Even Green Lantern, who was conspicuously missing from last year’s Justice League, has starred in his own flop played by Ryan Reynolds, and the Lanterns themselves appear in a foreshadowing flashback. As one of the original founding members of the Justice League, he has played an integral part in DC’s comic book history. Perhaps his green skin and revealing outfit have deemed him a little too silly to introduce him into live action.
Despite his unusual appearance, the CW’s Supergirl has managed to incorporate J’onn J’onzz into the show, with an effective mixture of special effects makeup and an updated costume. He’s kept the red ‘X’ across his chest, but the showrunners have let actor David Harewood keep a shirt on underneath for this iteration.
This creative cosplayer has clearly taken some inspiration from both Martian Manhunter's television and comic book appearances. With the help of some prosthetics, his head is more distinctly Martian and he’s elected for a black sweater rather than braving the shirtless look. Although, the brighter colors are more in tune with his comic book design.
22 Doctor Strange Spells
Most of the time Doctor Strange is a relatively easy costume to pull off. The Sorcerer Supreme is usually found sporting a blue robe, the red Cloak of Levitation and about five different belts. The Eye of Agamoto can be recreated with any old necklace, and cosplay fans, while certainly going to impressive lengths to follow Benedict Cumberbatch’s look in the films, aren’t really going the extra mile, like the mad geniuses who took it upon themselves to build their own Hulkbuster.
Who needs CGI when you can use portable fans.
However, cosplayers are liable to run into a spot of trouble if they attempt to recreate Doctor Strange’s mystical spells. Conjured by Strange using a combination of finger-tutting and incantations, they’re usually represented with glowing energy forming a complex array of shapes and symbols that hover in the air. Some cosplayers have tried to incorporate this iconic element into their costumes, though it usually just looks like a plate of fibreglass with some crude stars and runes etched onto it.
This cosplayer used LED hologram fans to recreate Strange’s magical summoning abilities. Sadly, it isn’t paired with a screen-accurate costume, but we can forgive this comic book fan for their brilliant inventiveness.
Cosplaying can be challenging, as many of the most die-hard cosplayers try to exhibit some element of the superhero’s abilities they’re dressing as. We’ve already seen how some smart fans have incorporated Doctor Strange’s magic spells, and many of the best Iron Man costumes use LEDs to recreate his arc reactor and pulsar beams.
This skill becomes a little more challenging when you’ve decided to portray a character with the power to grow to miniscule size or become a giant.
No one watching Iron Man all the way back in 2008 would have believed that the series would eventually spawn an Ant-Man movie, but ten years later he has become one of the MCU’s most hilarious and beloved characters, and has even earned his own sequel alongside The Wasp, coming out later this year.
With more movies comes more cosplay and although his costume is definitely among the easier Avengers to reproduce, it becomes a little trickier when committed fans take on the challenge of representing his super-powers. Thankfully, it’s not so hard when you have four children readily available. When stood together, it almost looks like these cosplayers are harnessing the power of Pym Particles to change their size at will.
20 Storm and Iceman
The X-Men are definitely among the easier superheroes to cosplay, in both their comic book and film iterations. Things get even easier if we’re talking about Bryan Singer’s early films, as all that’s needed there is a good set of motorbike leathers and a couple of accessories. Wolverine is especially straightforward, as he’s often found sporting a simple brown jacket and white tee, and it’s easy enough to fashion your own adamantium claws.
Some X-Men are a little more difficult, however, as some have mutations that could change their size, or the texture of their skin. Colossus, for example, suffers from both, and many a misguided fan have made fools of themselves by simply coating their body in a coat of metallic paint.
Take a trip to Hot Topic and you can be a member of the X-Men.
Iceman presents two options. Although he has the power to transform his body into a human popsicle, during his downtime Bobby Drake looks like a regular guy. However, with a combination of sick makeup skills and tricky hairstyling, some cosplayers opt to take the trickier method, using materials to recreate the icy effect of his skin. This fan’s costume is one of the best, and his Storm friend has managed another impossibility – pulling off that Mohawk!
Vision was a fairly obscure member of the Avengers from Marvel’s comics, an android powered by a Solar Jewel (the Mind Stone in his film appearances). He has the power to expel pure energy, fly and phase through walls. His introduction in Age of Ultron cemented him as a popular cinema character, propelling his longevity in the comics and ensuring that Comic Con fans will be seeing a lot more fan costumes of him in years to come.
In the MCU, Vision is played brilliantly by Paul Bettany in, surprisingly, makeup rather than CGI. Though some computer wizardry is used to touch up his face somewhat, for the most part Bettany is always on set in costume to get across the sense that Vision is more human than synthetic.
Although his look is toned down somewhat in the movies, Vision is still essentially a Technicolor droid who presents a challenge to costume designers and cosplayers alike. With a yellow cape, pink skin and a green body suit that’s practically vacuum sealed to his muscles, it’s a very difficult look to pull off. With some tricky makeup skills and an excellent costume, this fan has recreated a movie-accurate Vision that would definitely leave Scarlet Witch flustered.
Hank McCoy is known as the Beast, a popular X-Man with an unfortunate skin condition. His skin is blue and covered with thick fur and has chimp-like feet with opposable big toes, that grant him advanced agility skills. In the films, he has been portrayed by Kesley Grammar and, more recently, by Nicolas Hoult in the X-Men’s ‘prequel trilogy’ and in the upcoming Dark Phoenix.
Like the Vision, the Beast has always been played under thick layers of makeup and fake fur, rather than producing the effect with CGI. The effects were a little wonky for his appearances in First Class, which features him sporting a terrible hair style partnered with a full facial mask that gives him a strange, feline appearance. Subsequent films have toned down the look somewhat, going for a shaggy hair and beard rather than altering Nicolas Hoult’s appearance too much.
This fan’s cosplay hits a perfect middle ground, drawing inspiration more from the Beast’s appearances in the comic. Some clever makeup on the nose gives them a more animalistic appearance, but thankfully doesn’t look as cat-like as Hoult’s first appearance. It does look suspiciously like this cosplayer has broken into the Sesame Street set and stolen an old Cookie Monster for their costume, though.
You don’t really realize how many blue X-Men characters there are until they’re laid out in front of you, do you? Mystique is one of them, a double-crossing shapeshifter who frequently changes allegiances between the X-Men and Magneto. Although she has the ability to change her appearance into anyone she’s happened to lay eyes on, she usually chooses her natural, scaly blue look (unless she’s currently being played by Jennifer Lawrence).
The issue presented by Mystique (at least, the movie version’s strange decision to wander around naked) is that cosplayers have to walk around practically nude for the duration of the convention. It’s a good thing that the most popular Comic Con takes place during the summer in sunny San Diego. It's perfect weather to don your bikini and paint your body with blue paint and sequins!
A little sequin and blue face paint can go a long way.
This smart cosplayer has gone for a much more interesting take, however, choosing to show off Mystique’s mutant abilities rather than her body. Maybe the weather forecast was bad that particular year? With a genius combination of an army uniform, some clever wig work and some tactfully applied sequins, this Mystique fan has perfectly captured the look of the character caught mid-transformation.
16 The Wasp
It’s taken over fifty years, but the MCU has finally introduced the Wasp into their cinematic series. Debuting in 1963, Janet van Dyne was in fact a founding member of the original Avengers team, yet made her first ever live-action appearance in 2015’s Ant-Man. She was originally intended to appear in 2012’s The Avengers, as her nod to her integral role in the comic books but, ironically, there wasn’t enough room for the size-shifting hero.
Hope van Dyne appears played by Evangeline Lily in the 2015 film, with a post-credits stinger (sorry) teasing her debut as the Wasp, in which Hank Pym gives her a new suit he’s been working on. She’ll also feature heavily in the appropriately titled Ant-Man and the Wasp, in which Hope becomes Ant-Man’s partner in stopping crime, as will the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, portrayed by Michelle Pfieffer.
Cosplayers frequently struggle with the difficult task of portraying winged characters. If you don’t have the right materials or a solid framework, you could be dragging around pieces of painted cardboard all day. This cosplayer has done wonders with her Wasp costume, however.
Cosplaying became just a little bit trickier after the release of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as the following year’s Comic Con was bound to be full of characters from one of the most popular movies in recent memory. Each character presents their own problem, specifically Drax, who just looks ridiculous if he’s not portrayed by a comic book nerd who also happens to be completely ripped, Rocket – good luck trying to make a racoon look cool – and Groot, who is literally a walking tree.
The introduction of Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 made family cosplays a little easier, just stick the newborn in a tree outfit! But, real masters take on the challenge of accurately recreating the fully grown Groot as seen in the rag-tag group of space misfits’ feature debut.
Made with a startling combination of hot glue, foam and stilts, the finishing touches of intricately painted branches and a stunningly accurate mask make this Groot appear to have been pulled from right out of the film itself. It’s so impressive that the artist, Calen Hoffman, was flown out to promote Portland’s Guardians premiere, and would you believe that this screen accurate costume cost under $100? We truly mean it when we say, “I am Groot”.
14 Comic Book Wolverine
Logan’s really drawn the short straw when it comes to comic book adaptations, with the closest thing Wolverine’s had to a live action portrayal of his yellow costume being the yellow-sleeved body armor he’s seen wearing in Days of Future Past for all of thirty seconds. A deleted scene for 2013’s forgettable The Wolverine teases the appearance of the comic costume, mask and all. But, after the events of Logan, the likelihood of any yellow spandex in Fox’s X-Men films are slim to none.
To be fair on them, it’s a particularly difficult costume to adapt, especially when Hugh Jackman is donning the silver claws. The black leather is an unfortunate side effect of the 90s, but at least the X-Men aren’t wearing skin-tight yellow spandex. Normally, Wolvie opts for a simple tank top and jacket look, which has worked out well so far.
If the X-Men are ever going to be absorbed by Disney into the MCU, Kevin Feige and co would be wise to steal some ideas from Randy Cavanagh, the founder of The Armored Garage.. Somehow making Wolverine’s yellow look not completely ludicrous, the metallic body armor and horned helmet are simultaneously straight out of the comic books, nor would it look out of place alongside Iron Man and the team.
13 The Winter Soldier
James Buchanan Barnes, Captain America’s most trusted, loyal friend turned tortured, brainwashed super spy and international assassin for Hydra following his supposed death. After falling from a train suspended above a cavernous ravine, his missing arm was replaced by a powerful metal appendage and a series of code words can trigger parts of his brain, turning him into a ruthless killer.
Bucky doesn’t sound like much of a superhero, especially after causing Steve Rogers a fair amount of grief in 2014, and it was only recently that the Winter Soldier would be able to feature on this list. In Infinity War, Bucky fought along side Captain America, Black Widow, Black Panther and the troops of Wakanda against Thanos' goons.
Bucky has been nicknamed the White Wolf during his time in Wakanda.
It’s easy enough to slip on something resembling metal over one of your arms, grab a toy rifle and a gas mask and be all set for Comic Con. This Winter Soldier fan, writersoldier, went all out with his costume, looking like the real deal and adding impressive effects to his design.
Luckily, the Winter Soldier has had a fair amount of detox after causing a fracture between the Avengers, but he’s not quite back in everyone’s good books. Steve Roger’s new best friend and superhero partner, Sam Wilson, also known as the Falcon, is still very distrustful of the ex-assassin, though he’s quite clearly just a little bit jealous that Cap has his old best friend back.
We’ve already established that characters with wings are difficult yet doable, but Falcon’s get-up offers a little bit more of a challenge. Rather than sporting dainty insect wings, Wilson is outfitted with a high tech, military-grade backpack which folds out into powerful, metal wings with a wingspan of nearly twice Sam’s height.
In the comic books, Wilson has sported holographic wings designed by King T’Challa himself, which can grow to have a wingspan of up to 50 feet, for long distance journeys.
This cosplayer’s wings certainly aren’t going to take him anywhere, but they’ve still managed to capture the technically precise design of Falcon’s wings in the MCU. Made from interlocking sheets of metal, and the look is complete with Wilson’s signature red goggles. We’re still waiting for someone to complete the look with a radio-controlled Redwing drone, though.
When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby envisioned the Incredible Hulk all the way back in the 1960s, there’s no way they could have imagined fans taking on the daunting task of accurately dressing up as him. For one thing, he’s about four times the size of an average human being, and has muscles that make Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson look like a puny school kid.
Many have tried the standard ripped pants and green skin look, presumably hitting the gym every day for five years before braving the Comic Con crowds covered with florescent paint. The look worked for Lou Ferrigno, who portrayed the alter ego of Dr David Banner (yep, they changed his name for the TV show) in the 1970s and 80s show The Incredible Hulk, but not everyone has forearms the size of tree branches.
Many cosplayers have attempted a combination of stilts, papier-mâché and foam to recreate the Incredible Hulk for comic conventions, though this method produces mixed results. We’re most impressed with this design, which is bulky and intimidating, yet still enables to wearer to actually move around. A plus for a cosplay designed to double your size. Not being able to fit through an average door might present a problem, though.
10 Adam Savage's Hellboy
Adam Savage is the co-host of Mythbusters, along with Jamie Hyneman, which takes seemingly preposterous myths, such as walking on water, bullet ricochets and exploding cars, and puts them to the test, often with surprising results. He’s a well-known geek and one of his traditions is attending comic conventions in disguise.
When he first began his tradition Savage dressed as Ron Perlman’s Hellboy from Guillermo Del Toro’s two films. As a throwback, he recently went again as Hellboy, but switched it up with a more comic book accurate version.
Adam Savage has dressed up as Studio Ghibli characters, a knight in shining armor, the bear from The Revenant (complete with a mauled Leonardo DiCaprio), and a facehugger victim from Alien.
The metal mask and chestplate looks like they could have been forged in the depths of hell, just like the character himself, and the centre piece is Hellboy’s jacket, an actual piece of clothing worn by Ron Perlman in the films. The tiny demon skewered at the end of Hellboy’s sword is a very nice finishing touch.
Thankfully, Adam Savage’s cosplay isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of a live action Hellboy, as Stranger Things’ David Harbour has been cast in a reboot set to release next year.
9 Judge Dredd
Okay, so we’re aware that Judge Dredd isn’t technically a superhero, but he wears a sweet costume, rides a slick motorbike, never takes off his mask (unless he’s being played by Sylvester Stallone) and stops lawbreakers on a day-to-day basis. So, we’re willing to let technicalities slide.
Since the amazing Dredd streamlined his look somewhat, cosplayers have a new, simpler option when dressing up as everyone’s favorite judge, jury and executioner. A modified set of motorbike leathers with some golden shoulder pads and, of course, his iconic helmet (which remains on at all times) completes the look. Bonus points if you can remain scowling throughout the whole day.
Recreating his classic comic book look is a little trickier. As nothing screams “I am the law!” more than a golden eagle strapped to your shoulder. 2000 AD artists essentially competed to see how ridiculously huge they could make Mega City One’s best judge’s shoulder pads. This cosplayer, rather than falling in line and donning Karl Urban’s modern leather look, has faithfully recreated the bombastic look from the classic comics. The shoulder pads aren’t quite as ostentatious as they have been in the past, but they definitely look like they’d make fitting through doorways a trial.
8 Iron Man Briefcase Armor
Tony Stark has created hundreds of variations on the Iron Man armor throughout Marvel’s comic history and, since Infinity War, his nano-suit brings him up to fifty. The grand total was helped along by a brief period of trauma after the invasion of New York that, as shown in Iron Man 3, encouraged Stark to make over thirty new armors in case of another alien attack.
Each armor improves on the previous almost exponentially, with Stark constantly inventing quicker ways to attach the Iron Man suit to his body. For some time, he has been able to fire his armor from a mini-rocket from the Avengers’ headquarters, from a satellite if the Hulkbuster is needed, or deploy individual pieces of armor when a quick save is needed (as seen in Civil War).
Iron Man 2 showcased a slightly rusty prototype to the portable or homing suits of armor that can be worn within a moment’s notice. When an ambush from Whiplash threatens Stark’s thrill-seeking, it only takes a few seconds to suit up, thanks to the employment of a nifty briefcase. Though it’s no way near as fast, these clever cosplayers have perfected the art of the portable Iron Man costume. Ryan Brooks created his own version of the suit with an LED light as his arc reactor.
Though she’s a rather tertiary member of the Justice League, Hawkgirl’s costume presents a cosplayer with a myriad of different problems that we’ve already covered. For starters, she’s frequently seen wearing a crop top. We guess comic book artists believe that the extra mobility provided by leaving the midriff exposed overcomes the lack of protection. She also possesses huge, feathery wings, which, when cosplayed, are in danger of resembling a giant pigeon more than a bird of prey.
Both Hawkman and Hawkgirl have made appearances in the Arrowverse, though with a more conservative, typically CW leather look. Of course, their wings are assisted by CGI, so there’s no fear of looking like a weathered pigeon. This doesn’t provide much help to cosplayers, as you can’t take a stroll to your local costume store and buy a big crate of CGI.
You need a boundless amount of artistic talent to pull of an authentic Hawkgirl.
This creative cosplayer created an amazing Hawkgirl costume. She has used what look like real bird feathers and updated her armor for a more realistic look that could rival Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman. She’s even succeeded in making Hawkgirl’s ridiculous looking mace look like a real, viable option for a superhero brawl.
6 Mr Fantastic
The Fantastic Four are another super-group who are in danger of being rebooted into the MCU. Although, given that all three of their attempts at live action films have fallen flat, it’s not as much of a tragedy as potentially losing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or James McAvoy as Professor X.
Their simple blue onesies aren’t too challenging to recreate for Comic Con, though apparently the genius costume designers at Fox haven’t managed an adaptation of their supersuits that isn’t laugh out loud tragic. Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd look more like The Incredibles than a legitimate crime-fighting family. The dull rags of the 2015' Fantastic 4 (also known as Fant4stic) are especially embarrassing, considering that the MCU perfected Captain America’s uniform in the same year.
What’s harder to practically represent are the Fantastic Four’s superpowers. The Thing is easily handled with a trolley’s worth of orange foam, and no-one’s going to expect anyone to come dressed as a real Invisible Woman. This cosplayer may look a little ridiculous holding a pair of elongated arms under his stretchy blue jump suit, but no one’s going to deny that it just works. Just don’t expect anyone to set themselves on fire for the Human Torch.
5 Human Torch
Don’t panic! This man is not on fire! We haven’t found anyone who’s actually set themselves on fire for the art of comic book cosplay, although we’re sure someone somewhere has tried that. However, what we have found is a particularly creative cosplay artist who’s managed to feign the appearance of being set on fire for a brilliant rendition of the Human Torch ‘flaming on’.
Johnny Storm is a hot-headed extreme sports enthusiast who develops the ability to engulf himself in flames, shoot fireballs and propel himself through the air by utilizing the power of pure heat. It’s a complicated costume to attempt, while some have made admirable efforts, only a few have come close to comic book accurate.
The Human Torch is perhaps the most popular member of the Fantastic Four.
Many cosplay artists utilize a combination of red spandex, papier-mâché and tissue paper to try and cover themselves in scorching red flames, but most of the time it just looks a little… off. This fan has instead opted for foam, painted brilliantly to look like sparkling flames in the middle of the Human Torch’s transformation. He’s even managed to light up his eyes with LEDs to complete the glowing hot look.
4 Wonder Woman and the Invisible Jet
If Hawkgirl can be done, there’s no doubt that a particularly talented cosplay artist could faithfully whip up a comic book or movie accurate Wonder Woman armor like it’s no big deal. Since the release of last year’s Wonder Woman film, there’s now a movie appropriate armor design to draw from. So don’t expect to see quite as many Wonder Woman fans wearing starry underwear from now on.
Though many fans go the extra mile for Comic Con, most cosplayers usually avoid trying to recreate their favorite superheroes’ iconic vehicles. We’re sure some have tried, but you can’t exactly pull up to San Diego expecting to get into the convention with a full on Batmobile. That’s what the displays are for.
It would become especially tricky when considering Wonder Woman’s infamous Invisible Jet. You can squat down and make ‘vroom vroom’ noises to just pretend, but it’s likely you’ll just end up looking little odd even if you're in a room full of adults dressed as comic book superheroes. This adorable early adopter of cosplay has been fitted into the cutest Wonder Woman costume around, and the idea of an Invisible Jet made from see-through balloons is equal parts ingenious and precious.
3 Swamp Thing
Much like Judge Dredd, we’re not really sure if Swamp Thing technically counts as a superhero. He’s more frequently seen as a sort of comic book counterpart to a B-movie monster like The Creature From the Black Lagoon. He could be seen as a hero or a villain, all depending on who happens to be attacking his swampy home.
Like the Hulk, a Swamp Thing cosplay is tricky to pull off. He’s usually depicted as being around ten feet tall. Many cosplay fans have achieved the look with some papier-mâché or some green foam, but given that Swam Thing is essentially a living coagulation of mud, vegetable matter, and plants, these costumes don’t quite cut it.
This insane cosplay artist’s idea to just go the whole nine yards for Swamp Thing has truly paid off. We’re not sure if those are real plants or not, but even if they don’t need watering every day, each individual blade of grass, fern leaf or wildflower contributes to just a stunning piece of comic book cosplay. Using a variety of different colors, shades and strains of wild plant life, he’s even managed to succeed in making a living swamp look beautiful, and if that’s not an impossible feat to pull off, what is?
2 Iron Man
Iron Man’s suits of armor are some of the most complex, intricate, and advanced pieces of human tech in the Marvel universe and certainly one of the hardest to cosplay. Though you can buy a simple party costume from your local mall, it’s probably gonna be made of soft polyester with lame muscle padding and won’t look anything like the real thing.
The suit is so complicated that, most of the time, the movies render Iron Man entirely with CGI, a necessity given all the moving parts and how heavy the costume would actually be if Robert Downey Jr tried to give a performance in the real thing. Some shots do include the chest piece, but if you’re behind the scenes on an Iron Man movie, you’re more likely to spot Downey Jr wearing red pajamas pants and mo-cap markers all over his body.
With that in mind, it’s shocking that some cosplay fans have still managed to accurately represent the Iron Man costume at comic cons everywhere. Though some fans manage the effect with cleverly painted pieces of cardboard that look like metal, but doesn’t weigh nearly as much. Anthony Bourdain, a dedicated cosplayer, reproduced screen-accurate Iron Man costumes, complete with LED arc reactors and pulsar beams, and even moving parts.
1 MCU Spider-Man
When the Marvel Cinematic Universe announced an unprecedented deal with Sony Pictures, revealing that Spider-Man would make his long-awaited appearance alongside Iron Man and Captain America in Captain America: Civil War, fans went crazy. It was quickly decided that Tom Holland would take over the spandex suit from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, so speculation turned to how his costume would look.
The MCU gifted us with perhaps the most comic book accurate Spidey yet, complete with web-shooters, the round spider logo on the back and even the occasional appearance of Steve Ditko web-wings under the arms. The costume’s most surprising element, however, was the MCU finally figuring out how to recreate the moving, emotional eyes of the comics.
Rather than going the Deadpool route and using cartoonish CGI, the MCU gives us an in-universe explanation, that the shifting lenses of the eyes enable him to focus. It’s a simple, yet genius, explanation and has even been borrowed by the upcoming Spider-Man game for PS4.
This Spider-Man’s costume was, of course, built by Tony Stark, and outfitted with state of the art technology, so it would be crazy to think the effect could be pulled off by a simple cosplayer. Think again. McLean Krieger was able to make his on moving lenses.
Are you planning on going to Comic Con this year? Let us know who you’re cosplaying as!