SDCC cosplay: The very best Comic-Con costumes from years past
After four consecutive years of photographing cosplayers at San Diego Comic-Con, this will be my first year missing the opportunity to capture the creativity at the biggest comics convention in the world. In person at least. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, SDCC is all virtual this year.
No doubt some cosplayers will still dress up at home, but there's nothing like seeing the incredible costumes up close. Here, I take a look back and highlight some of the standouts.
Let's start with this action shot from Marvel cosplayers during last year's Avengers photoshoot. We spent several hours together getting action shots. You can check out the full gallery here.
Daniel Trevizo spent six months making this Hulkbuster from Infinity War. It's made out of high-density foam and PVC pipe. It was quite impressive to see him walking around, and even lifting his hand.
@starlord_rulez had Peter Jason Quill down to a tee in 2019, with details like the Walkman, the boots and the overall Star-Lord moves.
Christopher Gauntt's Doctor Strange costume in 2019 was highly detailed, but he added to the realism by practicing his moves.
Valkyrie from God of War
This costume took three months to prepare, and the cosplayer says the most fun part was making the feathers. You can appreciate all the details that made this a highlight of our 2019 cosplay coverage.
Fauno from Pan's Labyrinth
One of the best events to photograph during Comic-Con is the Masquerade, a cosplay contest that's a staple of the convention. The participants commit to very complex projects that bring favorite characters to life.
Let's start with Leah Thomas, a contestant at 2018's Masquerade. She made this impressive Fauno from Pan's Labyrinth, and seeing her walking around was out of this world.
Hawk Girl from Armored Vigil
Check out these incredible mechanical wings made by Julia Fields, with help from Chris Muise, for San Diego Comic-Con 2018.
I started hearing David Bowie's voice in my head when contestants Liz Todd and Heidi Schilling took the stage at the 2018 Comic-Con Masquerade. The details in both of these costumes were highly impressive and got them the Best In Show award.
Jose Davalos, aka Joo Skellington, has been very successful in the world of cosplay. Back in 2017, I got to photograph his Rococo version of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast.
You can take a deep dive on his Instagram.
If you're a Comic-Con regular, you probably recognize Dude Vader and his creativity. This photo is from 2018.
Check out that helmet!
Last year, Dude Vader made a costume rendition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
This cosplayer shows up every year to bring some "luchador," or Mexican wrestling, magic to Comic-Con. In 2017, he showed up as Mil Máscaras.
In 2018, I loved his version of El Santo, the most famous Mexican wrestler in history.
This is a picture from our Comic-Con 2017 cosplay coverage and her rendition of Princess Leia is still find it one of my favorites.
This cosplayer took a brief moment to pose for me last year. The best Stan Lee I've seen in four years.
Sokka, Aang and Appa
I think this Sokka was cosplaying as a fire bender, maybe? Let me know if you agree by tweeting me @taniaglezaz.
Doctor Emmet has a message
Yes, Doctor Emmett Brown was walking around the San Diego Convention Center back in 2018, and caught the attention of Optimus Prime.
Check out more about this cosplayer at the hashtag #DocToTheFuture.
Yondu meets Stormtrooper
I'm a big fan of cosplay that blends different universes, and this Yondu Stormtrooper from 2018 was right on point.
The heat did not affect the coolness of this gender-bent Sub-Zero back in 2017.
This was a hard picture to take because I am honestly scared of clowns and the one from the movie It is definitely the very worst of them all.
A very colorful Stormtrooper
I'm not sure what Vader would think of this, but I loved this colorful Stormtrooper from 2017.
Barry Allen posed for a few seconds back in 2017.
Steampunk Tinker Bell
This cosplayer made her own costume for SDCC 2018 with help from her dad. Go dad! She designed the wings with her father and used a laser cutter to make them.
These guys transported me to the 300 movie, and of course I took a picture with them. It was the most liked picture of my SDCC coverage in 2018.
That's an impressive piece of armor spotted at Comic-Con 2018.
Thor from Ragnarok was a fan favorite back in 2018.
Who you gonna call?
Back in 2018, The Ghostbusters seemed pretty busy chasing ghosts around downtown San Diego.
Don't you love that makeup? This gender-bent Carl from The Walking Dead at Comic-Con 2018 was very impressive. Gotta love the commitment to the character.
Leonardo, Mikey, Raphael and Donatello made an appearance at SDCC 2018.
This is the best Dumbledore we saw at Comic-Con 2018, and it still the best one we've seen.
A regal pose by the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Beautiful embroidery on her shoulders and back, created by Casterly Fox.
Last year, I had a lot of fun taking this shot that reenacts the Night King's death at Arya's hand on Game of Thrones. But first we had to do the sneak attack. Arya by @selunari.
Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen
Game of Thrones fans gathered at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 not only to have fun taking pictures, but to re-create some of the most iconic scenes from the hit HBO show.
And we have to talk about Viserys (@jhampshire7) . This cosplayer's creativity took me right back to one of the most dramatic scenes of season 1, when Viserys Targaryen gets an unconventional golden crown.
The beautiful Daenerys cosplay is by @eiraina.