Those who read (and hopefully enjoyed) the first list will notice a few differences: Last time, I focused on distributing the entries among various nerd genres: comics, videogames, sci-fi, cartoons, etc. This time around, I was much more concerned with sticking to outfits that were both sexy and well-known to both nerd-dom and the cosplay scene. Also, there was a concern last time that I was unfairly light on costumes from the Marvel Universe ("light" as in there were none), rest assured that I have corrected this oversight.
If Google Images is a fair barometer of such things, then Misty (or Kasumi in Japanese) is the most popular female cosplay subject in the wide world of Pokémon (although "Sexy Pikachu" comes in a close, disturbing second). One can't help but notice similarities between this outfit and Tifa Lockhart's outfit, shown below. You might ask if perhaps the Japanese have overdone the tank top, short shorts/skirt, suspenders look in their video game and anime girls...Looking at these pictures, I would state unequivocally: No. No they haven't.
Jennifer Garner's portrayal of resurrected martial-artist Elektra Natchios may have accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of making everyone forget how awful Halle Berry's Catwoman was, but no Hollywood abomination can take anything away from the inescapable hotness of her attire. I mean think about it: This outfit turned a blind man's head! How can you beat that? Well, we've got five more entries that are certainly gonna try.
Gotta hand it to Mistah J; He turned respected psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel into DC's dead sexiest amoral jester. Harley comes close to rivaling the aforementioned Catwoman as Batman's hottest feminine foe, and both her signature skin-tight harlequin outfit and her new two-toned, corseted, creepy nurse ensemble as seen in the Arkham Asylum videogame are common fixtures on the cosplay scene. It's enough that we can forgive the women who don such superlatively smokin' apparel for not all sounding like Harley voice actress Arleen Sorkin.
The Sailor Moon costume is something of a conundrum: It's probably the least revealing outfit on the list, but at the same time, the popularity of the "Japanese schoolgirl" look makes it sexually charged in an almost disturbing manner. This outfit has become practically inescapable at conventions of any sort, and while its level of hotness could be considered extremely relative (particularly when overweight men think it's a larf to traipse about so dressed), it's undeniably a classic, and has earned itself a high ranking on this list.
I don't know the Final Fantasy series as well as many of you undoubtedly do, but it's fairly plain to see that the characters introduced in FF7 were some of, if not the most popular in the entire franchise, and Tifa most of all. Named the "pin-up girl of the Cyber Generation" by none other than The New York Times, Ms. Lockhart's simple short-skirt, white tank top, and suspenders are a simple but devastating sexy ensemble when done right and no doubt has had an impact on her being called one of the most popular female characters in gaming.
Spider-Man foil and sometime friend-with-benefits Felicia Hardy might be the epitome of Marvel Comics cheesecake -- and among the comics community there continues to be a debate between her fans and those of my first list's #1 entry, Catwoman, concerning who's hotter. Personally, I have no desire to take a stand on either side of this issue. I will say that a Black Cat costume is perhaps, um... more "challenging" for a model or cosplayer to pull off -- but as the photos attest to, this is hardly a bad thing.
Venture villain The Monarch's main squeeze, the busty Dr. Girlfriend (later known as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) is based loosely on a parody of Jackie Onassis and has become a cosplay standard. It was difficult to choose between Dr. Girlfriend and Molotov Cocktease... but there are surprisingly few cosplay pics of the latter online.
Explaining the appeal of oni princess Lum's signature apparel would be an exercise in futility. It's either obvious, or it's inexplicable. I mean, she's a freakin' green-haired alien girl in a fur bikini and go-go boots...What more needs be said about the character who's been called the "Original Otaku Dream Girl"? She's been a perenniel cosplay favorite since she debuted in Rumiko Takahashi's (creator of Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2) first major manga in 1978. [Ed's note: Although most of you know I have a Lum tattoo, I should point out that that's because I consider the Urusei Yatsura anime one of the funniest TV shows ever created. And because she's a hottie. And because I am an enormous nerd. So did I move Lum up higher from where Scoot originally put her out of my own personal feelings? YOU BET YOUR ASS I DID. -Rob]
A costume bearing a hero's signature emblem is a comic book standard: Superman's "S", Batman's bat symbol, Spider-Man's spider-emblem... and then there's Power Girl, who's best known for what's not on the front of her superhero attire. The in-canon joke is that Kara Zor-El, formerly Earth-2's Supergirl, was inspired by Superman and other JLA members to come up with a symbol to wear on her chest, but she couldn't think of a good one, so she decided to leave the space open until she thought of something. There's no getting around it; this costume is pure fan service. And maybe it's because I'm a lightweight comics fan, or because I'm a dude, but I'm perfectly comfortable with this.