My family has been attending Phoenix Comic Con now for three years. After our first trip over from San Diego two years ago, as soon as we left we were already talking about returning the following year. Like most comic conventions, it’s growing every year and set attendance records again this year (over 106,000 people attended according to PHXCC Convention Director Matt Solberg).
The convention is huge and we never seem to actually do all of the things that we set out to do (which is a good thing – too much to do is so much better than not enough!) But since a lot of our cosplay and photographer friends from Southern California also make the trek over to the desert, cosplaying is always at the top of our list .
If you know me, you know what a big Captain America fan I am. Just a couple of weeks before the convention, Captain America #1 came out, revealing (apparently….for now….until proven otherwise) that Captain America is working for Hydra. As you’re probably aware, some people lost their minds over this revelation. Writer Nick Spencer, the man who “single handedly ruined Cap’s entire 75 year legacy” according to some fans took an awful lot of heat for it.
But personally, I saw it as an opportunity. A new costume. A new attitude at conventions. I’ll save my opinion on what Spencer has done to Cap for the END of the story, not the first chapter. So I went to work.
There wasn’t time for a completely new costume, but there was time to convert my all black SHIELD Captain America costume over to The Dark Side. Some red accents, a couple of Hydra logos and a new shield easily made out of sintra and BAM I was ready to rock.
I wore the costume all day on Sunday at PHXCC. So, how did it go? It. Was. A. Blast!
Let’s start with the negative. I got a few boooos and thumbs down, but all in a polite, joking manner. Not one single person was rude or uptight about it. Probably the rudest comment if you can call it that (although I thought it was funny) was one guy who passed us on an escalator. I heard him say “See that guy right there? He is the most hated cosplayer here today”.
Well…I’ve never been the most <anything> cosplayer at a con, so thank you very much! Now on to the positive (and yes, that was IT for the negative).
I cosplay as Captain America all the time. Numerous events/conventions, in several different costumes. I have never had so many people ask for my photo before. So many people wanted a photo with me, it was awesome. Here is the thing: Villains have fans too. There can be no heroes without villains, right?
Naturally I had a LOT of people whisper/say/yell “HAIL HYDRA” at me, as you would expect. My typical response was something like “And a very happy HAIL HYDRA to you too, my friend!” which always got a big laugh. I also ran into a Spider-Man cosplayer carrying this sign, which was perfect.
I was told by several people that there were some Captain America cosplayers who were none to happy when THEY heard “HAIL HYDRA!” but not THIS Cap. Most people loved the fact that I had a sense of humor about it.
Conventions are about friends, and making new friends. In the afternoon I ran into this fantastic American Dream cosplayer – Krash Cosplay. She was awesome (again, go like her page..why wouldn’t you?) We collaborated with Craig for a series of “Good Cap / Bad Cap” photos. This was a blast.
But sadly it didn’t end well for me, because in the end the good guys always win, right?
One thing I didn’t expect at all was the reaction of the kids. Some of them just thought I was Captain America. I heard a few parents explaining that I was “The Bad Cap”. But – several of them knew exactly who I was! One little boy, he had to be only four or five years old said to his dad “Daddy, that’s the Captain America from the new comic book that’s Hydra!!” These kids know what is up! This put a huge smile on my face.
The overall experience – amazing. As I said in the beginning, Phoenix Comic Con is always a great time and on this day the attendees overwhelmingly made my day. A con is only as good as its attendees and PHXCC rocks!
We’ll see you again next year!
Oh and….Hail Hydra (for now).