An Epic Cosplay of Athena from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

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Borderlands players first met Athena as a NPC in the DLC “The Secret Armory of General Knoxx.” In this DLC, Athena was a deadly Lance Assassin, a crucial informant, and a source for both main story missions and side missions. She claimed to be a top operative in the Crimson Lance, and led a group of fellow female assassins known as Omega Squad. Athena was trained from a young age by the Atlas Corporation as an assassin. When she defected, she was in need of work and money, and took a job as a Vault Hunter for a (at the time) low-level Hyperion programmer named Jack (who would come to be known as Handsome Jack, charismatic scourge of the Vault Hunters in Borderlands 2).

Players next see Athena at the start of Borderlands: the Pre-sequel! (Note the exclamation point. It’s part of the game title.) This game begins after the events of Borderlands 2, but is told almost completely in flashback, between the events of the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Here Athena is a fully playable character, one of the iconic Vault Hunters around whom the games are based. Some time after the events of Borderlands 2, Athena was captured and questioned by several characters from the first Borderlands: Brick, Mordecai, and Lilith. After telling her tale – the playable events of the Pre-sequel! – Lilith orders Athena’s execution, but she is saved by a mysterious benefactor.

Athena is a new class of Vault Hunter called the Gladiator, and she’s a hell of a lotta fun to play. She comes equipped with a shield, the Kinetic Aspis, which, as her Action Skill, raises and absorbs frontal damage, storing energy. The Aspis is thrown – Captain America style – on command, or at the end of the Action Skill duration, dealing out double the damage it absorbed, and then some.

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According to Australia 2K writer Maurice Suckling, Athena has more of a moral center than the other Pre-sequel! Vault Hunters, and is most comfortable talking about work and just getting the job done. In some ways, she’s the most important character in Borderlands: the Pre-sequel!, because her history with Jack, capture by Lilith and co., and long tale of the events on Elpis make the frame story for the whole of the game.

Soon after the Pre-sequel launched, Athena became the most popular playable character. It’s not difficult to see why. She has a strong defense, great offense, and can be played as a tank if the player so chooses. Naturally, due to the immense popularity of the Borderlands series, Athena also became a popular character to cosplay. But creating a killer cosplay of Athena isn’t as easy as killing Kragons or Scavs. This is complicated and difficult costuming to make and pull off, and we have nothing but respect and admiration for The Artful Dodger‘s incredibly detailed take on Athena.

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Like all Borderlands’ characters, there’s the cell shading to consider, the weathering of the costume, and, in Athena’s case, there’s fitted armor and her Kinetic Aspis shield. To put it bluntly, the Artful Dodger NAILED IT. This is some excellent armor construction. She put the work in, and it shows. Credit for the shield, sword, and belt goes to Nerfenstein Blaster Mods and Props, but it’s the Artful Dodger who put the costume as a whole together and brought Athena to life. The weathering and cell-shading is excellent, and we love the attention she gave to details like gloves, make-up, hair, and Athena’s tattoo. Even her stance and expression read Athena. One look at this badass cosplay, and we can totally hear Athena saying, “Bring it!”

Photography by Steven Brown

 

 

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