If you come to TheGamer, there is a good chance you love video games. I know, this is a shocking thing right? However, you probably love a lot of other things involved in the world of what is known as "geek culture." It has now become cool to love this stuff. When growing up in the 90s, if you loved comics you were an outcast seemingly. It was cool to like certain things on television like Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers, but it took time before comics were accepted.
The same can be said about loving video games. The industry was just getting going at the time, with major systems making their way to homes like Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, and, like, 100 Sega systems. Over time, video games and comics started to blend into pop culture. This made most men find an interest in the world, which combined with big sports and gun titles, allowed for an audience to grow massively.
From an evolutionary standpoint, you must evolve to survive. Women began getting interested in the world to impress men they wanted to get with. Some even had an actual interest and it began to grow. Women would get other women involved. What was once no big became huge, and thus, cosplays took off in a massive way. Eventually, body paint would become the popular trend. Men would go gaga for it, and women would love the attention in doing it, thus the pattern continued ever since. That is what brought us these amazing pictures below, which we decided to go retro on.
While we expect your jaw to drop, try to keep your drool off the keyboard and/or screen... your mother would be disappointed in you.
25 This Assassin's Got Claws
Catwoman has been altered off and on over the years with DC Comics, as we have seen her show up in the movies one way and then show up on the animated shows in another way. On top of this, the comics changed her look here and there. It was a common issue that her popularity would grow, but changes would happen so often with her that costumes would become retro really quickly.
Her most popular look is the one Anne Hathaway used in the Dark Knight Rises, however, a lot of women decided to spin this a bit to fit them and what they thought the character needed. When it comes to body paint, you can only do so much with Catwoman before you have to take away things. This is simply because paint can only do so much. It seemed that this woman figured out the right formula.
24 A Classic Outfit For A Classic Character
Rogue, of course, comes from the X-Men series of comics. For years, comics were restricted due to a Comicbook Council. This council pretty much made all comics as PG as it got, then once it was disbanded, many places took this and ran with it, especially Marvel. X-Men was first made in the early 1960s, but it truly went through a re-haul in the 90s with several characters coming about and a new look for everyone. Rogue would come out with her retro look that you see here.
It was a beloved look, and one many would hope FOX would go with when they took over the movie rights. However, this did not occur. They instead went for a new look with everyone. Even Wolverine did not have his iconic yellow suit. The look of Rogue now is far different, which is both good and bad. Now, we're stuck living through memories of what could have been. Though, this woman does not make us hate having to do that.
23 One Character, Two Ethnicities
Yet another from the Mortal Kombat series, Jade is known for being vastly different depending on the story you check out. In one she is a young Asian woman and the other she's black. It is really too tough to know which they like, but her story has been pretty consistent. She was a childhood friend of Kitana, and even trained alongside her. She would become an assassin under Emperor Khan.
When the Princess turned against him, Jade was sent to kill her friend. She then chose to battle alongside her instead, and things have been good since. There are tons of cosplays with Jade these days, considering she has been two different ethnicities in the games. There are few body paint attempts that turn out successful, but we found a pretty good one here.
22 A Heroine We Can All Root For
Carol Danvers has not made her official Marvel movie debut yet, as she is set to take part in the Infinity Wars saga that is set to his theaters next year. This means the character is as retro as it gets for now. Interesting thing about the character: DC Comics owned the rights to a Captain Marvel name, but later had to give up the name due to "certain things." DC changed the name of the character to Shazam. This left an opening to change things up a bit in the Ms. Marvel series.
Despite the fact that there were already name changes going on (and another character having the name first in Marvel), the Captain Marvel name now being the sole property of Marvel meant that name could be promoted more. A lot of people were set to take on this role in Hollywood as it was a premium spot. A standalone movie is in the works, with Brie Larson taking the role.
21 Turtle Power
This body paint cosplay of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is so real-looking that you (almost) won't believe that this isn't a real mutant turtle! This is from a series of comics that originally started in 1984, and has spawned multiple movies, TV shows, and video games since then. Donatello, the character portrayed here, is one of the calmer turtles in the series, and essentially operates as the second-in-command. He fights using a staff, which this cosplayer has lovingly recreated. It's very reminiscent of the late 80s television show, which isn't a bad thing, since we all have great memories of watching it as kids! We have to wonder, though... how long does it take to wash off this much body paint?
20 There's Something Mysterious About Her
Interesting story here. Sheik was first introduced in the late 90s as part of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was a "mysterious" character that we would come to find out is Zelda wearing traditional male clothing. It's really weird, so let's not spend time on the rest of it. However, the game was considered gamer crack for so many of us in the late 90s. It held up to the mid-2000s too, and that made the game legendary. It was a big risk trying to come out with others, but they did. They were good too.
What is so interesting is that there were debates for years regarding the gender of Sheik. It is kind of odd too, as all Sheik is would be Zelda with male clothing. So, since Zelda is a woman... would this conversation not already be put to bed? Don't tell fans that, who still argue about it today. Regardless, we at least get some really amazing body paint pictures of the character these days. I think the gender being picked might be easier seeing this, right?
19 Everyone's Favorite Bounty Hunter
Samus has had many forms and names over the years, but one thing is for sure, she is insanely popular among cosplayers. Being from the Metroid series of games, she has been around for quite some time. The bodysuit fad was major in the 2000s, which led to others applying the idea to newer video game females. Even women from comics who wore them previously saw new life. When the rise of body paint came about, people like Samus were yet again popular among cosplayers.
Samus has new life with the recent game coming out, which yet again makes her popularity grow among fans. This has led to several attempts at using her character in a big way at numerous cosplay events. It is even considered a pretty big deal for online cosplayers and YouTubers, who even instruct people how to apply the body paint to look great with her. It seems the woman here found the right formula and an insanely good photographer and staff.
18 Two For The Price Of One
Here we have not one, but two great body paint cosplays! The Green Lantern and Batman pictured here seem to have been done for a convention or something, and they certainly do deliver. These show that great body paint cosplays don't just have to be done by females; there's plenty of talented dudes doing it, too! Batman's cosplay seems a little unfinished here, but maybe that's what he's going for, as it serves to accentuate his abs a little more than his usual suit would. Either way, these two DC characters are the kind of guys we'd want on our side in a fight, and the same can be said about these cosplayers.
17 We'd Trust Her To Guard The Galaxy
Gamora is known for her time in the Guardians of the Galaxy, but she has been involved in other areas of the Marvel universe for years. With the rise of her popularity from Guardians, she has been used for cosplay a lot more. Normally, you see her regular movie suit used at any of the cosplay events. However, this is not her first and only suit. In fact, she has had quite a number of them and even has a new one in the comics now compared to the films.
Gamora is the adopted daughter of Thanos. He really cared for her (sometimes), but only has her due to killing her parents. She absolutely hates him, which is why she is always trying to stop him when he's up to no good. The sort of costume she wears now seems quite functional, with the ability to kick butt at a good 10 out 10. However, this suit may not be as functional... though it does seem like it would give a nice breeze.
16 A Little Short For A Stormtrooper
It may seem pretty weird, but people are cosplaying as stormtroopers. This has not just been going on since the Star Wars movies came back, but we saw these arrive at cosplay events for years prior. People were still dressing up as them before even Episode I hit. if you can believe it. It is odd to see, but you can see pictures online from people dressing up as these oddballs in the 90s.
Over the years, the stroomtroopers became pretty popular and after the latest Star Wars films, they're bigger than ever. When you talk retro, it does not get much bigger than the stormtrooper unit. Of course we found a wonderful woman who decided to body paint herself as a stormtrooper. The force is strong in this one.
15 Don't Let Him Bite You
This is one venomous creature you don't want to mess with! Venom is a character that first appeared in the Spider-Man comics in 1988, and he's been pictured as both a villain and an antihero in the past. He's actually not a human, either; this guy is a Symbiote (which is really just a type of alien) who appears in a liquid form until it bonds with a host in order to live. And this body painted version of Venom really does seem to be surviving (and thriving)... you've gotta feel at least a little bit bad for the poor host he's chosen! Looks-wise, the body paint looks fantastic here, and goes above and beyond what normal cosplays of this type do, in order to show a truly terrifying version of this creature.
14 Everyone's Favorite Power Ranger
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series was something I think most of us grew up watching. We all had a favorite ranger, and for most guys that happened to be Kimberly... the Pink Ranger. When she was removed for Catherine, we were not happy but at least Cat was gorgeous too.
The Mighty Morphin series would run a good portion of the early to mid-90s. From then on, Zaban would change up the gimmick of the rangers. For the longest time, he would always have one or more rangers join the new team of Rangers. However, this stopped after a while and then we were forced to deal with the idiotic gimmick per year plan. Despite this, it was always a goal for the producers to make sure people could have a crush on the Pink or Yellow Ranger. This meant casting for this character was always time consuming, but they typically picked well.
13 She's Pretty Fantastic
The Fantastic Four have been around for a very long time. While we have seen them grow in popularity due to the movies about them, since they were not always liked, the team had trouble. The mainstream thought is that the Four may end up back in Marvel/Disney's hands eventually, which could end up saving the series from death. The characters are amazing, and due to Jessica Alba playing Sue Storm in the movies from the 2000s, people have grown to love the character.
Women love the character for a couple reasons. One of the main ones has to do with the costumes she has. You can practically wear any of them and fit within what you need to do. the 80s saw a ton of skimpy outfits, but the original was a bit more conservative. This is what FOX ended up going with for their movies. Despite that, the interesting thing is that the costume body painted on above is as old as the series of comics, which debuted in 1961.
12 A Less Than Traditional Take On A Classic Character
Kitana is one of the most popular video game characters of all time. It helps that she was portrayed well in the two Mortal Kombat films that hit theaters. She of course was known first from the gaming world, mostly in the arcade system. She then went to the console games like many others did, which turned out to be a crazy success. Mortal Kombat: Trilogy still to this day holds up as one of the best fighting games of all time.
Mortal Kombat X came out to mixed reviews, but that was not the fault of the characters. Kitana consistently stays a fan favorite, and for obvious reasons. This makes her a favorite among cosplayers, so it is quite easy to find women who dress up like her. With the rise of body paint, the idea of doing this with the Kitana character became relatively popular too. While most women still prefer the normal costume, which is skimpy on its own, the body paint is still well liked.
11 She Might Be Crazy, But...
Harley Quinn might be one of the most famous comic book characters of all time, but did you know she was actually not even invented by comic writers? She was officially made for the 90s animated Batman series. She was set to be a bit of a comedic side kick to The Joker, who would abuse her and treat her like a crappy underling while also telling her he cared for her. You know, romance. The costume became iconic, but so did Harley.
She made people fall in love with her, as she was said to be even crazier than The Joker himself. That is saying something people. Eventually she would get added to the comics simply out of fan love and even become a hero of sorts throughout her stint. Due to multiple universes in DC, this was common. Obviously she has a newer look today, and thanks to Margot Robbie, it is THE trend for body paint. But the retro and classic Harley look above is still pretty awesome.
10 Surfing The Waves Of Nostalgia
This is probably the most accurate Silver Surfer cosplay we'll ever see! This one was painted by artist Cris Alex, who is obviously very, very talented. The Silver Surfer was a character that first debuted in 1966, and is often featured with the Fantastic Four. He has been portrayed in several different movies, video games, and TV adaptations of Marvel comics, but is probably most recognizable as being the title character in the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which came out in 2007 and starred Jessica Alba and Chris Evans. Honestly, looking at this body paint, we can barely tell that this is a real person and not an illustration; it's that good.
9 You Can Barely Tell Which Is The Game
Mortal Kombat has been known for its amazing characters, but one has always managed to stick around simply due to her amazing ability to get things done. Well before we had games with female heroines in the regular, Sonya Blade was kicking tail in Mortal Kombat both in-film and in-game. She had a certain style about her, which was not always seen as useful. It was the height of 90s fashion, as you can see the generation's workout clothes for women on Blade here.
This shows a shot of Blade from most recent game using her retro gear and the body painted image. People like Ronda Rousey have been fan-picked to play Blade. We aren't against it. A top notch studio film with actors we might actually know could make Mortal Kombat a very useful franchise in a time when movies like these are needed in the sea of DC and Marvel movies.
8 She's Pretty Poisonous
Poison Ivy has changed up in appearance for years now, and it common now for people to lose all train of thought when it comes to her original look. She was not actually green until a while later, even as recently as Batman: The Animated Series, she was not animated. But comic book Ivy was. This was adopted more in the 2000s, but the 90s really started it. It seemed to take off when Uma Thurman had a glow with the character that made people assume painted skin was there, not just make-up. Almost like an "olive" color.
This was just make-up, but the idea that a woman whose plant-like would look green-like, similar to the Earth she loves, would make a lot of sense. Today, we mostly recognize this in all universes where Poison Ivy exists, including the video game versions of her. She is far more green than before, when she seemed to fit as an olive, yellow, or light-green. Regardless of how the skin came to be, it seems this chick picked up on the right way to use the paint.
7 The Captain Will Save Us All
Though he's recently seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, Captain America can absolutely be seen as a retro character. Originally created in 1941 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, he has been a staple in the Marvel continuity and one of their most-loved characters for decades. Since being frozen near the end of World War II, his character has gone through a sort of fish-out-of-water story arc, being revived in the present day. This body paint cosplay, painted by Pashur and modelled by fitness consultant Sean Lerwill, recalls a classic version of Steve Rogers. Lerwill captures the heroic nature of the character, and seems like the kind of person we'd trust to protect both our lives and our country.
6 Here, Kitty, Kitty...
Capcom seemingly did not have enough when they made Street Fighter, and seemingly felt they needed yet another fighting game around. Thus, we saw the emergence of Darkstalkers in the 1990s. This video game franchise did nothing to match the success of Street Fighter, but at the time Capcom was flying high with their major successes by this point. Plus, while Darkstalkers may not match the icon that is Street Fighter or even games like Mortal Kombat and Tekken, it managed to connect to many people.
Felicia was always a stand-out character, as she barely wore a thing. But this was very common for the time period to connect to young male gamers. The gamble paid off for Capcom, and they made a popular character out of it. Not a bad move. You would never see a woman dress like this to fight in real life, but body paint? That may very well be a thing that we could see one day.
5 A Demon Princess
Mileena is from the Mortal Kombat series of games, and a very popular character among gamers. The story with Mileena has sort of changed over the years, but the most recent is that she is basically the demon clone of Kitana that is fused with Tarkatan DNA. The Princess would always win and always be the better of the two, but Mileena hated this. Her sort of father Shao Khan would punish her for her failures and this brought her to have a hate/love relationship with him. She would never be perfect, which would cause issues.
She hates pretty much everyone, especially Kitana and Khan. She would become the ruler of Outworld after Khan's passing. The demon side of Mileena comes out due to the Tarkatan DNA, which is why she often keeps her mouth hidden. This woman was great with her take on the character. Mileena is known for wearing very little in the games, so the body paint may have actually been more conservative... if you can believe it.
4 She's Pretty Super
While most recognized in retro form for her white shirt and mid-section exposed, Supergirl has a ton of different costumes throughout her storied history in DC Comics. The origin has changed some, but the one that seems to stick to most is that Kara is the cousin of Clark Kent, or Superman. Both were sent from Krypton before it exploded, as Supergirl was sent to take care of her cousin, who was younger than her. Sadly, her ship got hit off course and she drifted in space for years after Clark already landed and had grown. By the time she arrived, she was essentially a teenager, and he was a man, despite the real ages.
Today, Supergirl is part of the Arrowverse on The CW and she even made her way into the latest Injustice video game with a high profile role. While it is unlikely we'll ever see the star of Supergirl, Melissa Benoist, in body paint...we do get to see this young lady do it. Complaints are minimal.
3 The Number One Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider series of games were very popular, and one of the first times a standalone adventure game featured a female lead. There were other female characters, but it was a gamble to put it all on one girl. Lara Croft was every young gamer's crush. This was why the new games were very, and I mean very, scrutinized. Some fans wanted perfection out of the new girl, and she was even threatened. Some guys took this really, way too far.
In the end however, Lara Croft will always ooze attractiveness for fans. No guy can escape that, and with the next-gen games being so updated and life-like, it seems Lara has her work cut out for her. Women are now able to look far better than they did in the 90s games, and there is real stuff to see and not some sort of block among blocks. However, codes like the one above would never exist in games like Tomb Raider today. Regardless, you may get a bit lucky with this body paint cosplay image. You're welcome.
2 A Street Fighter Favorite
It does not get much more retro than Street Fighter when it comes to fighting games. Tons of amazing characters have come from this universe. They have even had crossovers with other top tier fighting games like Tekken, who you'll see some from later on. One thing you'll note from Street Fighter is that they took a note from comics and made their females overly adult almost immediately.
Cammy might be the most well known for this. Fighting in what she wore did not seem practical. I mean, how many women do you know who would basically, and willing fight in a Baywatch outfit that was thong-based in the back? It's not even like the underwear type, but an entire bodysuit. It was a hit among guys at the time, who were marketed to MASSIVELY in the 90s. Cammy stands out in a big way, and for obvious reasons. This has made her a fun cosplay for women over the years. However, only this woman killed it with the body paint version, which is really accurate.
1 Like A Screenshot From The Game
In the original Tekken Tag Tournament, which was pretty much my crack as a kid on the original PlayStation and arcade, you came across a main boss named "Unknown." Her power was massive and it was always annoying to face off with her and try to win, on any level you played on. She came off like a glitch in the system, in that her power and ability to beat you was so huge that people made it a personal mission as kids to defeat her.
Arcade modes were one of the biggest things fighting games had to get right years ago, as there was no such thing as online play back then. So when you had to get through an arcade in Tekken, you wanted it to test you and be tough. Plus, Tekken gave everyone an end storyline. You wanted to finish the game with all competitors so that you could do well. It was interesting coming across this cosplay, as it took us a few times to make sure it was not complete animation. It's real alright, and we're happy to keep looking.