Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: photos from the fifth annual C2E2 convention in Chicago. In this installment: photos from this year’s Costume Contest!
This didn’t quite go as well as we’d hoped. We arrived in line at 6:30 p.m., an hour before start time, hoping to have seats slightly less terrible than our last GenCon experience. We were wrong, and unaware that VIP ticket holders received first dibs on seats. On the upside, the room had better lighting than GenCon’s contest normally provides, and it was equipped with a massive HD screen that gave the audience a much better view of each contestant.
On the downside, the contest started fifteen minutes late and the judges needed extensive time for deliberation after all finalists had been allowed on stage. On the side of compromise, the judges vetted all contestants first and apparently allowed only the best ones onstage — meaning the presentation was ostensibly shorter, but that we’d see fewer costumes than expected.
On the downside, deliberating ran until sometime after 9 p.m. We had a three-hour drive ahead of us and Sunday morning responsibilities we refused to shirk. The DJs who entertained the crowd to cover the judges’ deliberations weren’t enough to keep us in our seats. Consequently, we had to leave before they announced who won in each of the four categories. Thanks to the magic of social media I did find out who won the whole shebang:
Subject Delta from BioShock 2 won against some ridiculously fierce competition.
Beyond that…we did what we could:
The Hawkgirl at left was one contestant we found on the show floor before the contest. Hanging out with her were Batgirl, another Hawkgirl (Hawkwoman? the various versions of the two characters are tough to distinguish), Catwoman, and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.
Also in the contest but caught earlier: Two-Face, flanked here by Poison Ivy and Catwoman, two of this year’s three most popular women’s costumes. (The most popular by a wide margin, from my anecdotal experience: Black Widow. I saw a veritable army of Romanoffs out and about.)
The youngest onstage contestant was the 11-year-old pilot of Nigel the Purple Dalek. You can check out Nigel’s home page for more photos and a behind-the-scenes how-to section.
Marvel’s Squirrel Girl! Yes, she’s a real super-hero. Stop looking at her funny.
Iron Man, Mark IV armor. Not the “em-kay-4” as the judge read it aloud.
Iron Man’s pal the Iron Patriot. Or his worst enemy, if you’re a Marvel fan who’s still stinging from the time Norman Osborn wore the suit.
Ming the Merciless stops by from planet Mongo to crush the fans of his arch nemesis, Flash Gordon. Both of them.
Introduced as an original character called “Ryder Hood, the Werewolf Hunter”. Original characters are tricky to pull off in cosplay because there’s technically no standard against which you can be judged for accuracy. Originals can be fun to see, but it’s tougher for them to win a contest.
I’ve only seen a little anime, but one of my contest faves was Fai D. Flourite from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, complete with hand-crafted staff.
Daenerys Targaryn from Game of Thrones. The dress was entirely handmade.
Queen Amidala, or possibly one of her decoys for all we know.
Anna from Frozen, now fighting the movie backlash from internet guys who are all like, “I don’t get it.”
Flash Sentry, posssibly the first My Little Pony cosplay I’ve ever knowingly witnessed. Who knows how many others have flown under my radar.
Predator. Always a complicated choice, but we see one or more of them at every con.
I honestly thought this was Medieval Witchblade, but then they introduced her as Demon Hunter from Diablo III.
A Volus from Mass Effect, one of several armored contestants who struggled to navigate the steps up to the stage. I don’t know why costume contests don’t have ramps set up for big-footed suits like this.
Riven the Exile from League of Legends. She displayed some nice footwork onstage, but the more contestants move around, the less likely w can capture them well on camera. If you know someone who was in this year’s contest who appears nowhere in this entry, it’s because several of them refused to stand still, either because of performing or because they were just nervous. Understandable, but we old primitives have a hard time compensating.
Fierce Deity Link from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, one of thousands of games I’ve missed because I never upgraded from the 8-bit NES I bought in high school.
Little Sister from BioShock. I trust this makes sense to fans.
A Terran Marine from Starcraft, who didn’t even bother with the stage stairs. Can’t blame her at all.
This 17-foot-tall Fire-Breathing Dragon is the tallest costume we’ve ever, ever seen. I’m not even sure how they got this upstairs in one piece. The judges were allowed to see footage of it actually breathing fire before the show, but Draconian convention center fire codes deprived the general audience of this surely impressive sight.
World’s scariest FrankenBerry poses for selfies with fans while the Fire-Breathing Dragon turns and sulks.
The Fire-Breathing Dragon faces off against one of this tallest competitors, an astoundingly complex Bumblebee.
Once their little face-off was done, Bumblebee turned and advanced toward the stage and I had to jump to my right a split-second after snapping this so he wouldn’t crush me. Being steamrolled by an Autobot would’ve made a memorable con anecdote, but I wasn’t in the mood for filling out hospital paperwork.
To be concluded! In our other installments:
Part 1: Costumes on the Show Floor, Comics Division
Part 2: Costumes on the Show Floor, Not-Comics Division
Part 4: Creators, Actors, One Panel, and More!