In spite of some early concerns about a lack of star power in their celebrity line-up and initial entry delays on Friday because of heightened security measures, the 2017 Wizard World Philadelphia turned out to be a great comic con, featuring something for everyone, including a variety of vendors and panels, a large artist alley, and plenty of opportunities for area cosplayers to showcase their talents.
Some online fans didn’t sound very motivated to go just weeks before the con, because surprisingly few celebrity guests had been announced for such a big city convention, prompting questions about the future of the Wizard World conventions. However, Wizard World came through just before the con by adding several well-known names, including Chuck Norris, Jesse Eisenberg, Gene Simmons, John Cusack, Famke Janssen, Michael Rooker, Lou Ferrigno, several cast members from Riverdale, and more. They also offered free admission to a Horror Fest for 4-day ticket holders, which included a film festival and celebrities from classic horror movies, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp and Monster Squad’s Ryan Lambert and Andre Gower.
Cosplayers didn’t have to worry that recent events at Phoenix Comicon might impact prop weapon restrictions at Wizard World Philadelphia. Even though the con limited the number of entries into the convention center and added metal detectors, security still allowed most cosplayers in with their props after a quick weapon check and the usual zip tie. The added security did cause an entry delay early on Friday. Because you had to go through security to access the escalators that led to the main hall, anyone who left to attend a panel wound up having to go back through security again in order to get back into the hall, which only added to the congestion. But things seemed to pick up on Saturday and Sunday, with some con-goers saying it took between 20 – 30 minutes to get through security at the busiest time of day.
If anyone was worried about security or the celebrity line-up, you couldn’t tell by the size of the crowd. Aisles were packed with people right up to the close of the con on Sunday.
Zany Geek Cobra Commander Costume Debut
Two years ago, Wizard World 2015 is where I was inspired to get into costuming, after attending the cosplay panels by LadyJ Cosplay and Capes 2 Cowls Costumes & Cosplay. My first costume, Sideshow Premium Cobra Commander, debuted 3 months later at Retro Con in September of that same year. So I was glad I got to debut my second cosplay, Hooded Cobra Commander, at the 2017 Wizard World Philadelphia.
The costume featured a spandex hood with a brow and nose appliance made out of Smooth-On Dragon Skin sewn into the mask for dramatic effect. The pattern used for the pants and jacket was McCalls 4745MCC, however, the front chest panel with the 5/8″ gold trim and gold buttons was made from a hand-drawn pattern and attached to the front with zippers. Matching epaulettes and a 5/8″ gold shoudler cord were also added. The gold and black SS dagger was cast using Smooth-On Task 14 and the mold I made for a silver and black SS dagger created for my first Cobra Commander costume. The German WWII P38 Hardshell Black Leather Holster was from Amazon and the Sam Brown Shoulder Strap was from an eBay. The belt buckle was bought from a member of The Finest: A G.I. Joe Costume Club and repainted the same gold as the daggar and buttons and attached to a department store belt using Chicago screws. The boots are the Funtasma Men’s Hero 100 Engineer Boot and the matching gauntlet gloves were handmade for my original Cobra Commander costume. For a tutorial on how they were made, go here: Gauntlet Tutorial.
My goal was to make a Cobra Commander costume that was easier to wear during the hot summer months and this one turned out to be very comfortable and was extremely well-received, especially when paired with other amazing cosplayers wearing characters such as Destro, Snake Eyes, Incognito Cobra Commander, and even some non-G.I.-Joe villains, like Darth Nihilus, Kylo Ren, and Dr. Doom.
Here are some photos of Hooded Cobra Commander with friends as well as some other great cosplays from the 2017 Wizard World Philadelphia.