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David T. Cole

Heroes Of Cosplay

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So this is part of the first season? I didn't realize.

Who was the young girl with the dead eyes who was Yaya's protege in the first few episodes? I can't remember her name. Looks like she's not going to be around based on the title credits?

I don't like Jesse. I didn't feel his mega man costume was anything to write home about.

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Thank goodness we don't have to deal with Victoria this season!  That girl got on my last nerve.

 

I hope Jesse learned a valuable lesson in that you NEVER use a spray paint that you don't have matching touch-up paint for. 

 

Glory, that was Monika.  Thankfully, she's not in this season either.  She was snotty....*LOL*

 

From the previews of the next Con, Brian Henson is going to be on.  He's really awesome. 

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Yeah none of the featured CosPlayers had particularly good costumes IMO; SheRa was possibly one of the better of the 5 we had. (MegaMan, SheRa, and the Poke-trio ). In any case, compared to the ones we saw glimpses of, there was no way the show could even justify their 'stars' winning any prizes.

 

I am looking forward to next week since they're heading to Ottawa.  

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I didn't mind Victoria, but Monika was the worst. I won't miss her.

I hope the costumes get progressively better.

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I really hope people get out of the habit of "Steampunking" everything.  Steampunk Tigger?  Really?  Makes no sense, and doesn't show any imagination whatsoever.  Throwing some leather straps and goggles on a storybook character doesn't cut it.  

 

I've known a few folks that participate, and they start getting their costumes together MONTHS before a Con, not 1 week.  I think the producers are adding that artificial element to ramp up the drama factor.  

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Yeah, these people definitely work farther ahead than we're being shown. If you take it as seriously as, say, Jessica and Holly, you sit down at the beginning of the year, decide which conventions you're going to, and plan ahead. But even though planning ahead is awesome, it doesn't make great television.

 

I liked them losing, because that Skull Kid costume was fantastic and deserved all the airtime it got. 

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I think it's cute that Chloe, Jessica and Holly all say "I have a show on the Nerdist network" or "We've worked with Nerdist industries" and no one mentions the fact that Chloe is dating Chris Hardwick... I mean it's fine and all, but it's a bit inauthentic to not acknowledge that fact. They've been together for a long time now. 

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The heck with Chris Hardwick. I don't understand how anyone ever shuts up about how Chloe's father is John Dykstra, who did the special effects for Star Wars. That's the most fascinating thing in the world to me.

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You're right @Monty I'm always surprised that every week it isn't just Chloe going to her dad's house to ask him to make her stuff. 

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Was I imagining it or was there more time spent complimenting some of the non-"hero" cosplayers? The ep seemed to be more generally positive than what I remember in the first half of the season.

I've known a few folks that participate, and they start getting their costumes together MONTHS before a Con, not 1 week.  I think the producers are adding that artificial element to ramp up the drama factor.  

Agreed, but it's probably also at least partly the result of trying to get <x> episodes at <y> conventions filmed in <z> months. Even with advanced planning, this has to be an insane schedule for most of the cast.

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@defenestrated

Without a doubt, the production timeline is going to override what the participants may have already planned.   I don't know what the casting process entailed, but for the newcomers, I would hope the returning cast clued them into things that weren't seen in the episodes.  I imagine that like all other reality shows, you just can't fathom the stress & insanity until you're knee-deep in it. 

 

Didn't Chloe's dad help her with some kind of prop last season?  I'm strangely remembering some kind of remote controled car, or something like that?  Anybody?  Bueller?

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You're right @leighdear I can't remember what it turned into but I do remember her going over to her dad's to dismantle an RC car for some purpose.

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I feel kinda bad for the cast who are forced to only spend a week or two on an outfit and hope to win.  I guess depending on what they did it might seem really impressive it was only done in a week, but then the judges are shown talking about how awesome something else was BECAUSE they took a few months to create it, therefore making them the winner.   These people don't have a chance.

 

I'd love to see what they could come up with when given a longer time frame.  I don't need the drama of watching them piece stuff together at the last minute.

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I like how YaYa has (apparently) really warmed up to the other cast members.  Brian Henson!!!!  Such a sweetie, I was really glad to see him again, post Creature Shop.  Jesse did great casting those rings, not an easy task.  No way Indra would have been able to get those tails to stay up with the heavy material she used.  That fluffy stuff seems lightweight until you get 2 layers of it sewn together.

 

The Skeksis was really good.  Jessica should be proud. 

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I don't understand why Holly and Jessica don't win more awards, unless that's the narrative of the show. They build really good quality, accurate costumes. The only conclusion I can make is that either this is the narrative and they are being set up as underdogs for a big win later, or that it's because they choose kind of dated creatures to cosplay. The Pokemon was relevant, but the Skeksis?  It was excellent, but I think the judges are swayed by the more current costumes.  Or maybe they don't show enough boob to win.

 

I love Riki. She doesn't seem to be an asshole, and she does great quality work. I agreed with her win, because even though her costume was simple it was really well executed. Interesting to see Jessica and Monika in the audience, but I think Monika is the braintrust behind Atomic Hype, which both Riki and Indra book appearances through.

Edited by Pixel

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I really like the attention Riki puts in to what she's going to do when she's on stage. She's got her choreography all worked out: walk here, strike this pose, walk here, do the card thing, hold this pose. And I think she's correct to always look for an eye-catching gimmick like "glowing bow" or "card fan" to be remembered.

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Jessica and Holly apparently livestream after episodes - listening to it right now. All the info! Apparently, they had two weeks for the Skeksis and they only had that much time because the production crew went on vacation over Thanksgiving. Also, the judges were unhappy that the thread didn't match? Not sure if that was in the episode - I was doing laundry during the show and missed a few parts.

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Why is Yaya called a costumer designer, & all the other judges called master cosplayer? I don't know who 99% of the characters that people come up with are, so I never know if the contestants have done a good job or not, but Riki's costume looked like a stewardess from the 60s to me. Once again, Jesse doesn't win the big prize, I wonder if he ever has? It seems like by the time you're doing actual metalwork, you should be winning.

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Also, the judges were unhappy that the thread didn't match?

 

How could they pick out non-matching thread? That character is like an alternate reality bag lady.

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Actually, the Steampunk Tigger is in my larger groups of sci-fi friends.  I don't know him personally, but he's in my sci-fi meetup club.  He went to Steampunk World's Fair last year.  I got some photos of him.

 

I'm always looking around the show to see if there is anyone I know.  I've been conventioning for a long time and cosplay myself.  I do find it laughable that they are doing a mad scramble a week before their contest.  That is kind of par for the course when you are talking about soft costumes like skirts, dresses and the like, sometimes there are last minute additions, but stuff like big complex components, generally they are all done way far in advance.

 

Thank GOD Monika isn't around.  I HATED her.

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I liked the episode.  And I also think that the right people won the costume contest.  I have to say though the Skeksis was an impressive attempt, should she do it again at another convention she really needs to refine it a bit and have some help with her.  Perhaps part of the reason she didn't win anything was that you could see her elbow in her movements of the neck and you could see the top of her head.  A few tweeks and this should be cleared up.  Non matching thread?  Huh?  Skeksis are a jumble of stuff together, how is non matching thread a problem?

 

I was ready to scream when Yaya said that you can't really be glamorous while wearing glasses.  Piffle!

 

Jessie has won for his Assassin's Creed Pirate last season, so he has won.  I thought the Madarin was a good choice for him.  I liked the metal casting.  He should keep up with it and refine it.  It would give him a good side job for creating metal items for other costumers...for profit.  I know someone who does that as well. 

 

But when he went to Jessica's for help with the topknot and his concern about her missing box and how he talked softly and supportively, I just thought so much better of him and came out of this episode thinking he was a real sweetie. 

 

So far I haven't wanted to throw my shoes at the TV, so perhaps this season is an improved one?  :)

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I was ready to scream when Yaya said that you can't really be glamorous while wearing glasses.  Piffle!

 

I do not watch the show; I just drop by this forum to see that conversations are civil. But whoever this Yaya person is, she needs to go! 

 

signed,

your bespectacled moderator

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I was ready to scream when Yaya said that you can't really be glamorous while wearing glasses.  Piffle!

 

 

This is a woman who added ten pounds of silicone to her chest to make her boobs bigger than her head and said fat people shouldn't cosplay (yeah,sure, she retracted it later in the series, but she probably realized how badly that statement made her look to the general population). I've decided not to take her word on anything.

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This is a woman who added ten pounds of silicone to her chest to make her boobs bigger than her head and said fat people shouldn't cosplay (yeah,sure, she retracted it later in the series, but she probably realized how badly that statement made her look to the general population). I've decided not to take her word on anything.

 

I have to ask: Did Riki do the same thing to herself? She is a very petite looking woman, with the exception of that chest. It doesn't look natural. I'm wondering if there's a tendency to get breast enhancement surgery to match the characters that they're portraying. I'm not sure that there are many small-chested or average-chested female characters.

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There are, but they are few and far between. I'd dare say we're starting to see a more balanced approach in general, but it's such a miniscule turn that it could be statistical noise. 

 

As for Yaya, I tend to ignore her on the screen as much as I can (who decided she was Queen of Cosplay? SyFyllus I guess). My friends tend to rant whenever she shows up on screen too. 

 

As for the Con itself, it looked like a pretty new Con in a new location. I had to look it up and saw it was basically just off the Ottawa Airport, and probably built after I left the city. For a new Con it looked to have a decent turnout in general, but compared to the other cons we saw, it looked very sparse and empty; they were rattling around in that convention/stage room. 

 

I do wonder about the CTV signs left lying against the wall; were they left their accidentally, or as a nod to Space (Space shows the show up here, and is owned by Bell; the same company that owns CTV).

 

I will repeat the lament most of us have had. I wish they'd ditch the "One week to prepare!" idiocy and focus more on the tips and tricks to make the costumes and to make them work. The last minute/last night costume crunch can stay since it's part of the biz. I know people who make costumes for SOELive who spend a year working on their costumes and are still hotglueing and sewing like crazy once they get to Vegas, so I know the crunch is normal. :)

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I officially can't stand Carl.  The nasal whine, the Bieber hair and the overinflated ego are pretty damn annoying.  I like Miguel.  He's cute and seems to have a good attitude.

 

The girls did great in their Inquisitor costumes.  I'm happy they weren't penalized for Jenny the seamstress doing the skirt & blouse.  I think YaYa knows full well that Holly and Jessica do good work consistently.  Chloe looked adorable as Sera.

 

I was happy to be minus Jesse and his mustache this episode.

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Yes, Carl comes off as really immature - the bubble blowing in the chocolate milk at the bar was pretty obnoxious. (Although I laughed when Miguel joked about drinking a manly appletini with 3 cherries.) I'd bet that up close, Carl's costume was a mess and I'm not surprised it didn't do well in the judging.

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I don't know what any of the other competitors do to make their livings, but it's starting to seem a little unfair to me that Holly and Jessica are pretty much professionals with Crabcat and have access to high-level companies and resources. Not accusing them in any way of cheating or taking advantage, just that I'm not sure it's a level playing field. But then, they don't win all the time, either.

 

Oh, Carl. That costume was doomed, despite all the help from your nice sister. So hurried and slapdash. At least his hubris was punished, because the boy was in a certain amount of pain from all the hunching and skin-gouging. I'm over his chocolate milk and unnecessary shirtlessness.

 

I have a girl crush on Chloe. She's so (a) normal and pleasant, or (b) a good actress. Either way, seems like she'd be a delight to know.

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I don't understand how they can judge a costume for a character that nobody knows. How do the judges know that Sera looked correct? They could have made up anything.

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Since each person presenting their character to pre-judging gives them a fact sheet (we could see Carl having problems handing it off to the judges), maybe they got some sort of notification from the creators about the new character and what she looks like.  They'd have to get some sort of sketch or rendering for a previously unseen character.

 

No way every judge can know every single character being represented at these Cons, so I'm sure the show producers "validated" Chloe's look in some way. 

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The fact sheet would probably have the basics; and even if the game isn't released yet, there's probably enough promo material and Beta leaks to get the basics, at least for looks. 

 

I liked Miguel too; and bonus points for going with a Digimon costume. It looked good, probably one of the better focused costumes, but no where near as good as the ones that had more time. He seemed to be relaxed and having fun there.

 

Carl seemed out of his element all around, and a bit immature or at least inexperienced compared to the other featured cosplayers. Some parts of his look were good, but mainly it was just a hot mess. 

 

I will give him a few points for Chocolate milk. I'm a teetotaler myself (don't know if he is or not), and I go through a lot of ChocoMilk in a week anyways. Though in public I usually stick with pops and juices when others are having harder drinks. :) Still, I don't give a damn about what other people drink, and would prefer they give me the same leeway.  

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From the recap:

It’s just barely possible that Jessica’s day job as a community manager for Bioware may have had something to with the way a lot of the show seemed to be devoted to advertising Bioware’s upcoming game Dragon Age: Inquisition.

 

Interesting. I either never knew or forgot that!

 

Why did Carl's costume have flies??

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Carl's costume, like Carl himself, was fairly embarrassing.  Like Sarah said above, no one cared about his chocolate milk, but that wasn't going to stop him from braying about it for the entire length of that meet-and-greet (which, judging from their drink levels, lasted a whopping 3 or 4 minutes before they were presumably told to scurry off and leave Queen Yaya alone?).  I did laugh as well at Miguel's "I'm drinking *manly* appletinis!"; I like when our "reality" TV characters have some self-awareness.

 

I don't think the ambition was the problem for Carl;. it's that the execution was incredibly shoddy.  It looked like a slapped together Halloween costume, which it basically was, and the colors and mismatch of patterns and textures didn't look mannequin at all.  They kept showing the picture from the movie, and the mannequin was sepia-toned, which Carl's was... not.  I assume the flies were from the heat plus the sticky goo he spread all over his costume.

 

I agree with Monty in his recap that it's surprising these people haven't mastered the hidden harness yet, since it seems almost every episode there's some vital core support structure that fails.  It's getting tiresome when time after time we see people scrambling in their hotel rooms only to find some center piece simply.  doesn't. work.  I mean, I get that painting would be a last minute activity, but shouldn't you have known on day 1 or 2 of your 3-4 day sprint that the PVC structure didn't work, or wasn't balanced?  This show is liking watching the first people booted on a season of "Face Off" struggle hopelessly with time management, except these people have allegedly been doing this for years.

 

I honestly am not sure why I still watch this show; I started last [half?] season when it played after the vastly superior "Face Off", because I thought it'd be nice to see cool cosplay costumes.  But the cosplayers we focus on are honestly kind of boring.  They rarely win- for obvious reasons, slapping together things in under a week while all the non-featured cosplayers are spending weeks or even months on their labors of love- and are rather whiny.  I find our central cast insufferable for various reasons; Yaya is a snotty diva, although she's at least muting some of her worst traits from last season; Chloe is the posingest poseur that ever posed (that forced kiss was... yeah); the CrabCat women are actually really talented but I'd rather watch a show about their real job than some producer-suggested, promotionally considered tie-in costume they tossed together at the last minute.  Jesse's mostly fine and seems cool, but is pretty vague on how, exactly, this goes from hobby to career.

 

And the whole pay-off is, at best, these people win maybe $2,000, probably not enough to even cover the cost of the costume, airfare, and hotel if the producers weren't likely footing the bill for the last two.  So the "stakes" of our show are kind of laughable when the announcers make it seem like such a big deal.  Meanwhile, here in Seattle in a few weeks we'll be hosting a video game competition for a game called "Defense of the Ancients", put out by local developer Valve.  The total prize pool is currently at $9.2 million and growing, with first place likely getting some TBA multi-million dollar payout (last year's winners nabbed $1.3M).  So it's not like geek culture doesn't have its lucrative payoffs.  

 

I think this would have been a better show if we'd mixed more of these cosplayers doing whatever their "professional" job is, sprinkled in with the competitions that presumably help establish their "brand", as well as maybe focusing on one-off back stories.  For example, much more of CrabCat doing work for Guillermo del Toro, or some bespoke costume that Jesse has been commissioned to build, and then when someone who isn't in our cast wins with a great costume, we spend a couple of minutes talking to them on camera about how they made it, the detail that went into it, etc.

Edited by hincandenza

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From a purely objectifying point of view, it's nice that SyFylis gave us some male eye candy for a change instead of the usual female skin shots. Though I don't think Carl was going shirtless simply for the sake of showing skin; I believe he was cosplaying an anime about a swim team, though I don't know the details.

 

With that said, Carl was all over the hot mess spectrum, both the good and bad kinds. That was an incredibly creepy cosplay, though it wasn't executed very well. But his personality came across as rather smug. I really don't want to see a return to the  diva drama.

 

However, it was nice to see some male cosplayers for a change other than Jessie. They had a weird bromance thing going on when they ran into each other at the hotel. Carl had been pinging my gaydar all night long, so color me surprised that his FB profile lists him as being interested in women. Doesn't mean a thing, really, but still. Miguel seemed just sort of there, though I did get a kick out of his "manly" appletinis with 3 cherries. Riiiiight.

 

And again, we have a return of the female threesome in Holly, Jessica, and Chloe. They were my three favorites from the first half of the season, so I'm still enjoying them in this half. They continue to bring the adorable and fun aspect of cosplay that I found sorely lacking in the first half. It doesn't matter to me if that was glorified product placement for Dragon Age: Inquisition. It's still cool to see the costumes recreated in real life, especially if any of that about cosplayers influencing the product is true.

 

Yaya continues to be the queen bee of the show that I really don't care about. It concerns me a little bit that a judge is hanging out socially with contestants prior to the show, even if they are staged affairs by show production. I am somewhat relieved that none of Yaya's judge's choice picks are never any of the "heroes of cosplay" "stars". But then again, I imagine at that level of competition, the cosplayers are going to know each other anyway.

 

Overall, I'm really liking this half of the season. They seem to be drifting away from the drama from the first half, and focusing more on the competitions and craftmanship. The short turn-around time still seems way too contrived, but I'll let it slide so long as there's no personality clash/diva drama.

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I don't understand how they can judge a costume for a character that nobody knows. How do the judges know that Sera looked correct? They could have made up anything.

They most likely had to provide reference pictures. Even if it is a well known character, no one expects the judges to know all the details from memory.

 

Though I don't think Carl was going shirtless simply for the sake of showing skin; I believe he was cosplaying an anime about a swim team, though I don't know the details.

Yeah, I think that was from Free!, I think. I saw a bunch of those jackets at an anime con recently.

 

Carl's costume was a hot mess. That Warhammer costume though - incredible.

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I couldn't believe that Carl thought that hot mess had a chance at winning.  He seemed genuinely suprised, which makes me wonder what his other costumes have looked like in the past.  It was seriously laughably bad.

 

Granted, I assumed he was a total fucking buffoon when he decided to do a Silent Hill cosplay based on Silent Hill: Revelation.

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I realize that "Cosplay" technically is reserved for Anime, but it would be nice to have some recognizable nonAnime costumes (Yes, I know, Ironman is prominently featured).  Costuming for me runs all different media, not just video games and Anime.  Should this show be titled, Heroes of Anime Cosplay?  Most of the time I have no clue what they are supposed to be.

 

Also, since a majority of "our gang" live in Atlanta, I wonder if we'll get a Dragoncon episode eventually?  Dragoncon costumes are behemoths, so maybe the people on the show won't stack up in comparison?  For that matter, Worldcon costumes are also legendary.  That would be a real humbler for these people.  Even Yaya.  God forbid they ever do a Costumecon. 

Edited by Biosynth

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@Biosynth I think the issue is the cons they've been featuring are more geared towards Anime, when they do SDCC I imagine you'll see costumes you recognize. 

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Also, since a majority of "our gang" live in Atlanta, I wonder if we'll get a Dragoncon episode eventually?  Dragoncon costumes are behemoths, so maybe the people on the show won't stack up in comparison?

While I didn't seem them, I heard they filmed on the Marriott's 10th Floor at Dragon Con 2013. I didn't see the Masquerade (based on costumes and skit performance) or the Friday night Costume Contest (pure costume craftsmanship) this year, so I don't know if it altered the contests in any way or not. However, because of the first part of the season, I don't think they were warmly welcomed. Therefore, their kindler, gentler second half leads me to believe they altered course based on feedback. We probably haven't gotten to Dragon Con yet because it didn't mesh with when they started filming. However, DC would be the perfect season finale con to go with.

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I feel like the show wants to go to conventions that they can...well, let's call it "push around" for lack of a better term. If they want to delay the costume contest at Wizard World Portland for an hour, they can probably make that happen. Dragoncon is a monolith that isn't going to put up with that, you know?

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The cosplayers deal with technical malfunctions that could derail their chances of winning at the Wizard World Portland Comic Con event in Oregon.

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Monty, I was wondering if maybe they'd hit up GenCon - but I didn't hear about them being there last year and I haven't heard any rumors about them filming there this year. GenCon has a pretty sizeable costume parade and costume. 

 

Carl was not awesome. He is the male Monica. Do not want. 

 

Miguel was super cute and I liked his costume a lot. It was very good. However, that Warhammer 40k costume really stole the show. That was freaking amazing. I'd love to see that in person. 

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I missed some testosterone on this episode... and I'm a guy. 

 

Minimal anime costumes this time; mainly Comic ones (and 1 gamer Costume). Overall, not too bad. Yaya had her moment, and I'll be honest, her Nu52 Batgirl wasn't that bad, and her chest piece actually flattened her a bit. 

 

Green Power Ranger must either have been honored or nervous as hell to be judged by the real Green Ranger. Wish we could've seen more banter between them. Rita was great too. :) 

 

Ms Marvel in the line looked good too. 

 

Seems rule one of any electronics is to have spare batteries on hand; especially right at the judging stage. 

 

Wonder Woman, was good, esp from what we saw. The Batman women were good, and I think possibly better than the fantasy duo. Not sure I liked Catwoman's mask, or Harley's gun, but Ivy was great.  

 

Of course all of the Heroes win something. Yaya seemed to push them a bit more than other eps, but that may just be producer prodding. The trick seems to be "You have a week to make it, start with a costume you've already partly built." 

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