New York Comic Con 2016: You Are What You Love

We are the heroes we’ve been waiting for.

Yesterday I saw two things. One was the most acrimonious presidential debate in modern history. The other was two guys dressed as Link meeting each other on the floor of the Javits Center and gleefully embracing. One of these gives me hope for the future.

Did I mention one of them had shaved a Triforce into his chest hair?

legend of zelda link cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

We are living in an angry, divided country, with the left and the right hurling not just mud but accusations of treason. But one of the reasons I love Comic Con is that it’s a place where strangers become instant friends, united by nothing but a shared love of pop culture. It reminds us that we can choose to define ourselves not by what we oppose and fear, but by what touches and uplifts us. We dress up like the characters that embody the qualities we aspire to: strong, brave, confident, often heavily armed (‘Merica!).

It’s hard to describe the warm and fuzzy feeling I get from being surrounded by so much enthusiasm. But to give you a taste, here are some of the amazing costumes I saw at New York Comic Con 2016:

Strong Ladies

For starters, here’s Lara Croft and Rey. These women came separately but ended up hanging out together, and I’d very much like to read some crossover fan fiction.

lara croft and rey star wars cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

This woman combined physical strength with the special kind of strength it takes to commit to full body green paint. I would hate to sit on the subway after her (green paint smeared all over that plastic bench) but all hail the mighty She-Hulk.

she-hulk cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Harley Quinn is perennial cosplay favorite. This year, the traditional red-and-black Batman: The Animated Series outfit took a backseat to the new Suicide Squad design. At least something good came out of that movie.

harley quinn cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

But of course, League of Legends fans will tell you that the new Harley is just a ripoff of Jinx.

league of legends jinx cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

In 2014, Dinosaur Comics mastermind Ryan North was tapped to write a new series about the minor Marvel character Squirrel Girl, and it was an instant hit. See The Reading List for the details, and below for some sweet tail.

squirrel girl cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Absolutely no idea who this character is, or why she has a giant train full of rotting bones. But I’m intrigued!

cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I’m not aware that Rosie the Riveter ever starred in a comic book, but she IS an illustration, right?

rosie the riveter cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I asked her if the book was actually in French. She told me it was The Odyssey. Somehow that just makes me like the costume more. Off to the cupboard with you now, Chip. It’s past your bedtime.

beauty and the beast belle cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I loved these two. Anybody who really commits to Hellboy is a hero in my book. But check out her friend, who has a dynamite steampunk Pokemon outfit. She’s even dressed up her Charmander too, with little goggles and an eyepatch with some needless brass. Baller.

hellboy and steampunk pokemon cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I hope this Steven Universe cosplayer found the She-Hulk cosplayer so they could give each other touch-ups.

peridot steven universe cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

No idea what’s going on here. She a shepherd, with fangs, a weird staff, and some of those colorful pointers that hover above the Sims? Help me out here.

cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Family Costumes

First off, a tip of the tweed hat to this Henry and Indiana Jones. I wonder if the kid has even SEEN Last Crusade. But he will one day, and then he’ll realize why dozens of people were taking his picture that one year.

indiana jones cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

This adorable Star Wars family put a big smile on my face. Good old dad, sweating away inside Chewbacca, occasionally fishing out his wallet to buy the kids a Dr. Who t-shirt.

star wars the force awakens cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I like to think the kid went to pre-school the next day gleefully screaming “Off with her head!”

alice in wonderland cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Cute Couples

Ice King finally got himself a princess! Good for him!

adventure time cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Spider-Gwen and Peter Porker! As far as I know they are both from different alternate universes, but love will find a way. Note how her black and white Geico bag matches the ensemble. It’s the little touches.

peter porker and spider-gwen cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Tough Guys

This guy looked absolutely perfect as Robocop, and I like to imagine him up all night meticulously shaping every piece of that body armor, consulting the blu-ray for reference images. Totally worth it.

robocop cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I didn’t get to see this guy with the top on, which is a shame because it must really be something. I have to think you have to be a little Hulklike IRL just to be able to walk around in that for more than five minutes.

hulk cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I assumed this was Halo armor, but now I’m not so sure. Whatever it is, the guy nailed it, from the light-up chest piece to the leather belt pouches.

cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Paging Mark Lee. This was a relatively simple costume but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do it before. I can’t promise I won’t steal it someday, because the fantasy of being Robert Patrick is mighty appealing.

terminator 2 cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Did I wonder what exactly this Deadpool’s deal was? I did. But long experience has taught me you should never ask a Deadpool a question unless you’re prepared for a long and snarky answer. Half the reason people dress up as Deadpool is to give themselves an excuse to mouth off. I respect that but I had a lot of ground to cover.

deadpool cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

Pokemon Go definitely inspired a few outfits this year. This guy and I bonded because my buddy Pokemon is a Magikarp too. 280 candy and climbing.

pokemon go cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

No idea who he is, but I was too intimidated to ask. I like to think that those runes on the sword were carefully copied out of some reference book and not just squiggles.

cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I saved one of my favorite images for last. This is two people dressed as Dragonball characters who patiently waited in line to play a Dragonball video game. It’s like looking in a mirror, only not.

dragonball cosplay at New York Comic Con 2016

I’m making my annual vow that next time I’m going to get my act together early enough to wear a costume of my own. See you then.

One Comment on “New York Comic Con 2016: You Are What You Love”

  1. Mark Lee OTI Staff #

    Aw, you’re making me wish I could have made it to Comic-Con. My streak ended at 5 years in a row. Anyway, some quick reactions:

    That Robocop costume is breathtaking

    Last year would have been the year to go as the Byung Hun Lee version of the T-1000, but sadly I missed the boat on that.

    Last Crusade duo melts my cold heart but also gives me the idea of going as Indiana Jones and Short Round with my future son or daughter.

    Yeah, I know, Short Round is a bit problematic from a racial perspective, but I bet NOBODY cosplays as Short Round. Perhaps because of the race stuff, but hey, you gotta bring some novelty to the cosplay game.


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