Throwback Thursday: Cosplay Edition

Rorschach (Watchmen), Long Beach Comic Con 2009/10?

The first cosplay I did when I moved out to LA! My grappling gun was and still is a key portfolio piece for me, it’s blades spring out and it actually fires it’s grapple! I made my start selling a short run of these, (the run is now retired, please don’t ask!) With the lovely @coelasquid as the Comedianne! Her cigar was actually Cuban. Also our first cosplay together! 

Doug Rattmann (Portal), SDCC 2013

Portal 2 is still my favorite vidya game I’ve ever actually played, and played through a million times. About a week before the convention I realized I wanted to dress as Rattmann, and with a donated wig from a friend, a three-day companion cube build, and a fake beard later, a blast was had! 

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Nux, (Mad Max: Fury Road) SDCC 2015

Last year was probably my favorite Comic Con to date, and my Nux was a total hit! Combined with my buddies @carnyblog as Immortan Joan and @korybing as Furiosa, we certainly stole the show!

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Cole, (Dragonage) Kamikaze 2015

I’ve watched Kelly and her fiance play hours and hours of Dragonage, and when she said “I bet Cole would be your favorite”, she knows me too well. I was all for this cosplay group if only to own that fantastic hat! Even our buddy @emilykcomicsmith flew in from Australia to be our Varric! With @coelasquid as Iron Bull. The best part, not going to lie, was riding the train to the convention in costume. Thank goodness it was actually on Halloween or we would have gotten even more funny looks!

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2016 is the year of the Junkrat!! I feel like it’s my most impressive cosplay yet, and am super pumped to finish it up!

The Watchmen Are Officially Joining The Rest of the DCU

Your eyes do not deceive you. 

In the coming weeks DC Comics is going to reveal that Alan Moore’s team of melancholy superheroes will be joining the canon DC Comics Universe. Photos of comic panels have leaked from the upcoming DC Universe Rebirth #1 issue, implying that Doctor Manhattan himself was responsible for the previous reboot - The New 52.

Watchmen ran as a 12 issue mini-series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from 1986 to 1987 before being packaged together as a trade paperback shortly after its run. In 2009 it was adapted into a nearly 3 hour feature by Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder. In 2012 DC Comics launched a standalone prequel series without Moore and Gibbons’ involvement called Before Watchmen. The series was met with mixed reviews.

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I keep seeing annoying thinkpieces say that Cap was rejecting the very idea of external oversight of any kind, which— no he wasn’t?? Even remotely??

He was basically saying that he wouldn’t be comfortable signing something unless there was a system of checks and balances in place that would prevent The Avengers from becoming “Winter Soldier Death Squad: USA Edition”. (Yes, I know he didn’t know about the deathsquad at that point. But he’s done his homework on US military policy. His concerns are not unfounded.)

Remember what Bucky said about his former co-workers? “Their most elite death squad. More kills than anyone in HYDRA history, and that was before the serum. They speak 30 languages. Can hide in plain sight. Infiltrate, assassinate, destabilize. They can take a whole country down in one night, you’d never see them coming.” Steve is asking for assurances that whatever governing body gains control of the Avengers won’t decide to use THEM that way— and, in fact, won’t even THINK of them that way. I think that’s part of why he becomes so furious whenever people refer to Bucky, Wanda, Thor, and Bruce as “weapons” instead of people. When you talk about a person as BEING a weapon, you have taken the first step towards using them AS a weapon.

In fact, in many ways, I feel like CACW was basically Watchmen: Redux, but the version Zack Snyder refused to make. The central question is the same: who watches the watchmen?

In Watchmen (book more than movie), the answer is not “no one.” The answer is: different people/groups (and yes, sometimes no one) at different periods throughout history. But remember when the group watching the Watchmen was the US Government? Because when the US Government was in charge, after the Keene Act (cough Sokovian Accords cough), the Watchmen had the option of either retiring, or accepting orders to destabilize foreign governments and commit mass slaughter, all in the name of “keeping order”. AKA, literally what the Winter Soldier Deathsquad in CACW were built for. Remember, Hydra’s #1 goal is “order”, but an authoritarian order that they get to decide and enforce.

In CACW, I don’t see Steve saying “The Avengers are perfect and no one can tell us what to doooooooo!” He knows perfectly well that they are not infallible (see A:AoU). But he also knows that on the ground and in the field, things go FUBAR and you have to restrategize and do the best with what you have at the time. One of Cap’s superpowers is his instinct for strategy in battle (clearly serum-based, since pre-serum Steve Rogers’ favorite strategy was “spend entire life running into brick walls both metaphorical and literal”). He is asking: will the Accords allow him to use that power? Would he be allowed to use his own judgment? Would the rest of his team? INCLUDING Tony? When Tony flew the nuclear bomb up into the sky-hole way back in The Avengers, he was essentially violating the will of the government agency that decided to nuke NYC, because he saw a way to stop the invasion without causing the deaths of millions. Would the policies of the Accords allow him to make that decision (or a parallel one) in the future, or would he be arrested and locked up for violating his “contract”?

I mean, sure, in the midst of the initial discussion, Peggy dies, so Steve bails, and then all the Bucky stalking starts up and Steve is all “I WILL BURN DOWN THE WORLD FOR HIM, SEE IF I WON’T”, so the initial conflict gets ratcheted up about a million times, but the central question of “who gets to be in charge of these superpowered weirdos, and what does being in charge really mean” still runs through the whole plot. It runs parallel to the question of Bucky’s culpability. When you are turned into a weapon and used as a weapon, are you to blame for the destruction that follows?

I keep seeing the conflict framed as this—

TONY: We need to be held accountable!
CAP: No we don’t!

But I don’t see that at all in the actual movie. I see this—

TONY: We need to be held accountable!
CAP: Accountable to whom? And what does being held accountable mean?

[feelings-based punching breaks out, no one ever answers Cap’s implied question, Tony himself finds out that being “held accountable” means being shoved into the nautical oubliette where you get de-powered and possibly beaten for the rest of your life, T’Challa proves that his government is the only one that should be trusted to be in charge of anything]