C2E2 2023 Photos, Part 1 of 4: Cosplay!

Venger and Eric cosplayers pretending to fight.

A wildly unfair fight between Venger and Eric from the Dungeons & Dragons Saturday morning cartoon from my childhood.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Each year when there isn’t a pandemic fully raging, my wife Anne and I love attending entertainment and comic conventions throughout the Midwest and occasionally a bit beyond. We’re fascinated by the spectacle of each and every in-person nexus of geek cultures that presents a confluence of comics, artists, cosplayers, hobby artifacts, rare collectibles, IP-inspired handicrafts, talented performers and celebrity guests with fandom connections of varying levels of dedication and/or awesomeness.

My wife Anne and I just got home from the latest edition of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (“C2E2″), a three-day extravaganza of comic books, actors, creators, toys, props, publishers, freebies, Funko Pops, anime we don’t recognize, and walking and walking and walking and walking. After its 2010 inception, we attended every year from 2011 to 2019, then took a break due partly to the pandemic and partly due to guest lists outside our circles of interest. This year’s strong lineup lured us back in, much to our delight.

While we recuperate and wait for our feet to forgive us for their punishment, please enjoy this collection of cosplayers who brightened our two days around the show floor. The jazz-hands photo ops and other obligatory details will be shared in the other chapters because everyone loves costumes. We regret we can only represent a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the total cosplay wonderment that was on display this weekend. We’re clearly not professional photographers, journalists, costume designers, or Oscars red carpet commentators. We’re just an aging geek couple doing what we can for happy sharing fun.

Enjoy! Please feel free to identify the characters we failed to recognize!

Cosplay: Last of Us infected

One of the infected from The Last of Us.

cosplay: Shazam family!

Shazam family role call: Mary! Pedro! Billy! Darla!

cosplay: Star Wars!

Kylo Ren, TV’s Mandalorian, and Rey.

Lilo cosplayer holding a stuffed Stitch nearly as big as her.

Lilo! She made Stitch herself.

cosplay: John Wick with gun, ring, and missing finger.

John Wick! Complete with missing finger.

cosplay: Vigilante!

You might know Vigilante from The Peacemaker. I’ve still got my copy of his first appearance in New Teen Titans Annual #2.

cosplay: Padme and decoys!

Which one’s Padme and which are her decoys? Only Padme knows for sure. Or DOES SHE?

cosplay: Finn from the Star Wars sequels.

More Star Wars goodness with Finn.

cosplay: Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner!

Prince Namor, now a household name thanks to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

cosplay: Lemurian queen!

Another Namor (a.k.a. Kukulkan!), wearing that impressive Lemurian crown. See more of her crafting process for this amazing piece on her Instagram.

cosplay: Captain Carter and Steve Rogers!

From Marvel’s What If…?, Captain Carter and her trusty sidekick Steve Rogers.

cosplay: zombie Iron Man!

Also from What if…?, zombie Iron Man!

cosplay: Squirrel Girl!

I will always brake for Squirrel Girl; Anne graciously found her while I was in an autograph line.

cosplay: Jean Grey and Cyclops!

Jean Grey and Cyclops, among other mutants.

cosplay: James Marsters' Spike!

Buffy’s ex-foe and ex-boyfriend Spike.

cosplay: Seven of Nine and Captain Kathryn Janeway from TV's Star Trek: Voyager.

Fellow Trek fans Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway.

cosplay: Michaelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, wielding nunchaku.

Michaelangelo striking out on his own without the other three Turtles.

cosplay: Beetlejuice with both arms extra-long and curling up, reenacting a scene from his film.

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! (I’ll stop there.)

a quartet of anime characters we don't recognize.

A Gerudo quartet from the Legend of Zelda universe. [UPDATED 4/4/2023: Special thanks to Reuven, MCC’s unpaid chief commentator, for his invaluable assistance in identifying this lineup.]

cosplay: Spawn!


cosplay: Master Roshi!

Master Roshi from Dragon Ball Z. (We’ll revisit this character in Part 3…)

cosplay: Hamburglar!

Hamburglar! Anne and I had flashbacks to our past jobs.

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special MCC miniseries:

Part 2: Actors!
Part 3: Comics!
Part 4: Convention!
Epilogue: Chicago!

6 responses

  1. I have it on good authority that the unidentified foursome are cosplaying in the outfits of the Gerudo people from The Legend of Zelda video games. In fact, one among them seems to be dressed up as Link!


    • Thank you, kind sir! My lifetime Zelda experience so far consists of a brief demo of the NES original, which I attempted some 35 years ago. The caption has been updated and credit given where due.


    • Well, hi again! So this is utterly uncanny. We just happened to run across them while we were ambling through Artists Alley. I didn’t realize we’d met them before in past costumes. Loved their D&D get-ups!


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