Cosplay has moved beyond simple hobby into an outright dedicated art form with professionally-shot photos and carefully constructed, very accurate costumes. It is, in the eyes of some, the ultimate display of devotion to fandom. And after years of cosplayers taking over conventions, Marvel is giving some of the best ones some very cool recognition by putting them front and center on new variant covers of their comic books.

Marvel has revealed 19 variant comic book covers, which you can browse in the gallery above. The company has selected some of the most impressive cosplayers to represent their favorite characters in the new variant series, which includes lady Thor (my favorite), Gamora, She-Hulk, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man and many more. I’m especially fond of the diversity in those that were chosen, with Marvel selecting men and women of different colors, shapes and sizes, although they could have selected a few more people of color, to be honest. But I’m at least relieved that Marvel didn’t choose model types and went for real people.

At any rate, it’s neat to see cosplayers recognized by the studio that creates the characters they love. The company revealed that there will be 20 variant covers in all, and as you’ll notice, there are only 19 in the gallery — the final cover is top secret for now.

Marvel’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, David Gabriel, had this to add:

ach convention I go to, it seems like there are more and more fans dressing up like their favorite Marvel characters. These homemade, hand-crafted costumes are so elaborate, it looks like they leapt off the comic page. The Cosplay Variant initiative is our way of supporting a community that supports us.

The variant covers will hit the stands sometime in October.

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