Cosplayers are good at what they do; there's really no arguing that. Many of them operate on a professional basis, allowing them to make costumes that are not only more accurate and of a higher quality, but the photo quality and post-production reflect the higher production value of their work. Some of these are even screen worthy, and look as real as (if not better than) the real thing.
That being said, just because a cosplay looks screen-worthy doesn't mean that it is, or that it totally compares to the original version. This is especially apparent in cosplays done of the Marvel and DC characters. These are characters that have been cosplayed time and time again, and though some of these characters might share a striking resemblance to the originals, does that mean that they are as good? There's really only one way to tell, and that's side-by-side comparisons.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to look at some great cosplays. Some are of men, some are of women, but all of them are awesome in their own right. We give our own take on whether or not one is better than the original, but if you disagree, let us know! Half the fun of something like this is making your own opinion, and not everyone will agree with our picks. Either way, all of these cosplayers tried their best!
25 Our Favorite Alien
This cosplay by Dex Morgan takes the movie version of Gamora (who has a different costume in the comics) and does her own take on it. It's really something to commit to, having to wear this much body paint... and she does own it. That being said, we're not sure that she wears it better than Zoe Saldana. That's not to say that Dex doesn't do a great job, because she does! It's just that Zoe is Gamora, and we can't picture anyone else playing her quite the way she does. Here's hoping that we get more development between her and Star-Lord in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
24 The God Of Thunder
While CaptainJaze may have the costume down, he's no match for the MCU's Thor, Chris Hemsworth. Thor is the Norse god of thunder, and son of Odin. Whoever is wielding his hammer needs to look like a god. Chris Hemsworth looks the part, and that's not my man-crush talking... that's as objective as it gets. While Jaze's cosplay is a great replica, it's hard to beat the original, screen-worthy armor that Thor rocks in The Avengers and the Thor movies. Really, I don't think anyone will ever look as good as Chris, but that's not a bad thing. Chris really just is a god among men.
23 Whatever Happened To Mary Jane?
This Mary Jane Watson, done by Touko Cosplay, is stunning to say the least. She sports a Spidey t-shirt that's ripped straight out of the comics, and manages to give her MJ a total girl-next-door look despite the fact that she looks like she could be a model. We could totally see Touko playing Mary-Jane in an upcoming MCU movie. That being said, nothing can beat the OG MJ, played by Kristen Dunst. Yeah, sure, she was annoying at times, but she was the first Mary Jane that we cared about and she has a special place in our heart.
22 The Captain America Needs, But Not The One It Deserves
Cap is one of the most recognizable and the one of the most cosplayed characters in the Marvel universe. NotDaGreatBrain (NDGB) photographed someone who had a tough competition with Chris Evans, but I'm giving this one to the cosplayer over the movie!
Evans is beloved by his fans. Girls and boys alike get weak in the knees seeing Chris, but to me this cosplay is better than the original. The reasoning comes from the lore of Captain America. Evans, even with his CG'd skinny body, doesn't give off the aura or someone who was bullied his whole life. This cosplayer, on the other hand, looks far more like the everyman turned super solider, and that's not an insult. He looks like a more realistic interpretation of the character than the Hollywood version! I love to see a cosplayer outdo the source material!
21 The Cutest Wonder Woman
Done. Best cosplay here. I won't even do the rest of the cosplays, this is too good. Not only is this a perfect replica/scale model (SHE'S SO TINY), but this little monster (Josh Rossi's daughter) completely embodies Wonder Woman's warrior spirit. That being said, Gal does make it very difficult to make this call, due to a completely different kind of cuteness.
I'll be damned if Gal isn't one of the most gorgeous parts of the DC Universe. She is no match for that little warrior princess though... no one is. One of the coolest parts of cosplay is seeing someone like Gal inspire a child to get into cosplay, or just show a strong female lead for a little one to be inspired by.
20 Don't Mess With The Joker
Anthony Misano does one of the coolest takes on the 1966 version of the Joker that we've seen, a role made famous by Cesar Romero. This is one of the most common cosplays out there, but that being said this is the best 1966 Joker cosplay out there. Anthony does Cesar proud in outdoing the actor's original costume.
While Cesar set the standard as one of the original Jokers, he just doesn't stand up to the quality of Anthony's cosplay. The cosplay looks meticulously prepared with great colors, perfect makeup, and a smile that the Joker would be proud of.
19 Does Whatever Tom Holland Can...
SpideyFit kicks Tom Holland's butt with this cosplay. Spider-Man may be a teenager in Marvel's Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Tom Holland comes off as more of a junior high student who got a spandex suit off Amazon. Take another look at SpideyFit's cosplay! This guy looks like he could stop a bus going full-speed from crashing into a crowd of New Yorkers! Sure, Spidey shouldn't be Hulk or Thor sized, but he is supposed to be absolutely shredded with the pound for pound strength of a spider! Which is pretty freakin' strong.
18 Bewitchingly Beautiful
This cosplay by AliciaCosplay is grabbed right from the comics, and is accurate to the original design for Scarlet Witch. She replicates it perfectly. That being said, Elisabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch blows the original comic version out of the water.
She's modern, she's sleek, and she's a realistic representation of the Scarlet Witch within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Miss Olsen takes the gold medal with this one, along with all of our hearts. But I swear to Stan Lee, if she breaks Vision's heart in any of the upcoming Avengers movies, I'm changing my choice of cosplay vs film costume out of rage.
17 The Joker Everyone Loves To Hate
This Joker Suicide Squad cosplay by GNefilim is... well, I really don't like it, and I thought it was one of the better cosplays from this version of the Suicide Squad's Joker. I don't like how big and bulky this guy is, I don't like the patchy full-body makeup, and man did he miss that smile. This is a great example of why you don't cosplay as a character if you have the wrong personality. I can just tell, this guy doesn't have the same Joker that Jared Leto did. Sociopathic and crazy.
16 Genius, Billionaire, Philanthropist
While his name may be xxTonyStarkxx and he kinda looks like Robert Downey Jr, beard and all, this Iron Man just isn't as stunning as the Marvel universe's Iron Man we see onscreen. RDJ's armor in Civil War and the rest of the MCU movies has weight to it. Unfortunately, our cosplayer looks like he got his armor out of a toy box. Hollywood spent a lot of time revamping the Iron Man look, and there is a reason Iron Man blew Hollywood's mind. It's a hard cosplay to replicate, and an even harder cosplay to outmatch Hollywood on. Looks like the movie biz takes the gold on this one, with a close silver to the cosplayer. Bravo all around!
15 She'll Enchant You
AerialGypsy gives this cosplay some heat, and already has better character choices than the entire Suicide Squad movie. This is a wicked cosplay. AerialGypsy is a new cosplayer, but has been gaining a following for her solid cosplays. (Instagram: aerial_gypsy)
Remember this performance? That weird dancing and somehow being able to brainwash the Suicide Squad, but still unable to avoid a stick of dynamite? Yeah, I tried to forget it too. AerialGypsy looks way better, less awkward, and has the better look for someone who's trying to take over the world. Cara is a beautiful beautiful lady, but AerialGypsy takes the cake for this cosplay.
14 A Venomous Cosplay
Remember Spider-Man 3? Just in case you forgot, Tobey Maguire (who plays Spider-Man in the same movie Venom appeared in) turns into an emo version of himself that's stronger, faster, and... less red, I guess. But the crowning moment of Spider-Man 3 is so good that I'm including the link to a video for the first time in my publishing history. Here... take this and thank me later.
So, cosplay. This is how you do a Venom. That cosplayer IS Venom. That's the awesome Spider-Man villain who can go toe-to-toe with Spidey and have no issues. This is what Venom looks like; not the guy from That 70's Show with a CGI crew to cover up a terrible performance. #MicDrop
13 Back To Basics
SuperMaryFace easily takes the cake with this stunning cosplay that we're sure Mother Nature would approve of. It kicks the movie's butt easily. Just look at it!
Uma Thurman may be one of the great beauties of the 80s, but let's all be real... there is something off with this outfit. It's like everything that was wrong with the 90s in one costume. The hair is... horns? It's strange the whole thing is strange. The only thing weirder than Poison Ivy in this movie is George Clooney and Robin arguing over her- and the Bat-Visa-Card Batman produces. The 90s was a strange Era.
12 The Bat Seen Around The World
Julian Checkley absolutely wipes the floor with Christian Bale, Bat-Fleck, or even George Clooney's classic take on the character. I won't even bring up how terrible Batman vs. Superman was. Let's just focus on the armor. The Bat-Fleck armor is definitely one of my favorite on-screen versions of the Batman armor. But you know what any CGI-assisted armor doesn't have? Actual, functional armor. Julian's armor won a Guinness World Record for having the most functional Batman-gadget cosplay that's ever been made. That beats Ben Affleck's jawline any day.
11 Watch Out For The Widow
This cosplayer does the Russian-KGB agent turned Avenger with some amazing assets, but she's no match for Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett is the dream girl for every Marvel fan. Her attitude and performance make Black Widow one of the biggest supporting roles in The Avengers. She's able to rumble with the baddest baddies from Marvel with no super powers other than a questionable past and a skillset that is essential to the Avengers' success in the recon and covert ops scenarios.
10 It's A Bird!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a guy in his mid-thirties dressed as a childhood icon! But hey, he actually did a really good job. I actually think this guy and Henry Cavill tie for who did it better! Chill out, Supes! A tie is better than a loss. It's really tough to kick this costume's butt. Let's be real: it's a pretty stagnant costume with little to no variation or innovation since the 40s. But both Cavill and Phoenix bring a different vibe to the character. I like how Phoenix brings a little more wisdom and age to the classic DC hero. Superman is one of the more popular cosplays, but it's very difficult to properly don the underwear-spandex.
9 A Relative Newcomer
Cyborg is one of the coolest members of the Justice League, and is finally making his Silver Screen debut in the Justice League movie coming soon! This cosplay is super cool, and looks like Cyborg made the jump from Injustice to the real world. I'm gonna have to call this one a draw with the film version.
While most of Ray is CG here, the inhumanity of the CG works perfectly for the character of Cyborg. The hexagonal work makes the armor look interesting, unique, and futuristic. I look forward to seeing how Ray embodies the wide-receiver turned superhero in the upcoming Justice League movie.
8 Don't Get Us Started On This Movie
Do I need to even show you Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern? Do we all remember that awful movie? The movie was so poorly done that Ryan Reynolds made fun of it in Deadpool. For good reason. But let's focus up here... this isn't about the content, it's about the cosplay.
BFortunas whoops Hollywood and their CG monstrosity across the screen. The armor is amazing and doesn't breathe with Ryan Reynolds in some weird symbiotic-pseudo Venom skin tight suit. I have beef with this movie if you can't tell... I'm a huge GL fan and this movie absolutely messed with one of my favorite DC characters.
7 The Merc With A Mouth
This is my biggest pet peeve in cosplay and going to a comic convention. There's always one guy at the convention who spent $20 on Amazon to get some spandex and apparently permission to parade around a convention and be an jerk to everyone to "be in the character." Plus, every idiot thinks he's Deadpool. Let's be real here, most of you are not funny, witty, and definitely not the merc that y'all think you are.
Ryan Reynolds makes up for the Green Lantern movie with one of the best depictions of a comic book character brought to Hollywood. No one could have played him better than Ryan Reynolds, and the costume is awesome. This Deadpool looks like a merc... not some boy who thinks he's witty.
6 This Is Just Punishment
This cosplay by Stuart Loud is way better than the film version of The Punisher. It's a more accurate portrayal (minus the hair gel) but the boots and white armor plates bring an extra layer of depth and contrast to a great cosplay.
The film version of The Punisher was some guy in a t-shirt with a ton of guns. While 99.9% of The Punisher's character is the guns, we can all admit that it's a little lazy to just toss a t-shirt on some guy and call him Frank Castle, one of the most deadly and tactical anti-heroes. I'm sure that the new TV version of him will be better.
5 You Knew She Was Coming
When the Suicide Squad movie came out, after shaking my head in mild disapproval I had only one thought: "Everyone is gonna cosplay as Harley Quinn now." I saw right. But Jinx's cosplay ties with Margot Robbie's for sure!
It's a tough one to call between these two wacko ladies. Which is why I'm not doing it... this one is a tie. They both recreate the attitude and cosplay of Harley with an original yet classic touch. To choose between these two ladies is like choosing between a Hershey bar and a Crunch bar... depends what you're in the mood for?
4 The Bane Of Our Existence
Bane is a tough cosplay to do. While this cosplayer gets bonus points for the Batman prop and stayed true to the comics with the... uh... venom tubes (tiny as they may be), let's be real. This cosplay is a tank top, a few pushups, and black pants. Nothing about this is stunning.
No one cared who Tom Hardy was until he put on the mask. Actually, we all did because he's not only an amazing actor but one of the best possible choices for a realistic Bane. His physique and attitude resonate the power and mental prowess that should be seen in the villain who breaks the Bat. Tom Hardy is hard to beat, if not un-beatable in the real world actualization of Bane.
3 Heath Can't Be Beat
Alex does an amazing cosplay of possibly the most iconic Joker in history. This cosplay from The Dark Knight is one of the cosplays you can find at any cosplay convention, and it's usually terribly done. That being said, Alex does a perfect cosplay, but this one goes to the main man Heath Ledger himself... a copy of this man can never beat the original.
Heath Ledger is hands down the best Joker there ever was (fight me, internet). He brought to the character an anarchistic and terror-filled performance. Performance aside, no one can beat this Joker look. The makeup is perfect for a mentally unstable person. The outfit looks worn and dirty. It's Joker... no one can top that.
2 Jack Attack
Jack Nicholson's Joker cosplay seen at Wizard World and done by KMiller is a perfect replication of the Joker from the famous Tim Burton film. The look, the smile, and the makeup are all perfect to the point that I'm calling this one a tie. It's like looking into a cosplay mirror. The two of them take one of the coolest, most classic Joker outfits. The chef Joker is one of the crowning moments in the film, and one of the best representations of the gangster psycho that is the Joker in this film.
1 Jason Momoa He Ain't
This Aquaman cosplay photographed by LJinto cracks me up. It's a great cosplay... just compared to Jason's film version it falls short.
When they announced a solo Aquaman movie I was less than thrilled. I really didn't wanna see some guy talk to goldfish as one of the most notoriously boring superheroes in history. Then, freakin' Khal Drogo (Game of Thrones peeps, where you at!) takes on the role and I immediately got hyped. Aquaman looks like a god and is worthy of being one of the coolest members of the new Justice League. Plus I am biased... as a man who's covered in tattoos, I'm glad to see some ink on the Justice League's usual red-headed stepchild.