Monthly Archives: November 2014
Diamond: A Girl’s Best Form
It is no surprise that Sideshow Collectibles came out with an Emma Frost figure, especially after the success of the 2011 film, X-Men: First Class. This figure stands twenty inches tall, and every inch showcases Emma’s attitude and provocative nature.
Speaking of provocative, Emma’s all white ensemble simply cannot be ignored. She is dressed in the attire she wore when she was first introduced to X-Men fans in 1979. The corset, panties, boots, and fur-lined cape leaves little to the imagination, but I do have to admit, Emma sure knows how to pull it off; though, I am not sure how easy it would be battling a foe in platform boots, or with so little skin protection.
I guess I should remind myself that this mutant has built-in armor, something she likes to call her “diamond form.” Ms. Frost’s skin produces an organic diamond material, making her almost invulnerable to physical attacks and mental attacks, so that would surely compensate for the lack of fabric donned by this powerful mutant… and then some.
As gorgeous as this figure is, I do have one complaint. Emma comes with an additional portrait that has Frost sporting a shorter hairstyle, and while that is great and all, what I really want is a portrait that shows off her diamond form! I mean, she is the epitome of stunning when transformed, and I always love when a figure can showcase the powers of the character.
Crafting Foam: Versatile and Inexpensive
Crafting foam has to be one of the most versatile materials around, which is especially good to hear if you are a fan of cosplay. Even as a beginning cosplayer, I have learned that you should never be low on crafting foam. Available in various sizes and colors, foam can be used to create endless costume pieces, including armor.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Because it is easy to mold, foam can be shaped into kick-butt armor without breaking a sweat or the bank. You can find numerous brands of crafting foam at art supply stores, and even Wal-Mart for cents per sheet, or in bundles like I have shown here. One of the most popular brands is Eva Foam, and it can come in rolls as large as twenty-four square feet! Well-know cosplayer, Detty Cosplay, uses Eva foam for most of his armor costumes, and he even shows the building process!
Since foam is so user-friendly, it means that even a less experienced cosplayer like myself can handle the challenge without much heartache. That means, no, you do not have to learn how to work with plastic, nor do you have to be a master clay sculptor and molder. All you need are some scissors, hot glue, and maybe a heat gun (or hair dryer), and you are set! So say goodbye to poorly made, and designed, armor you find at the Halloween stores. You can make something much more interesting, and it will cost you less in the end.
Of Royal Blood
Storm has been one of the most beloved female members of the X-Men team ever since she made her debut in 1975 . She is a power-house mutant that I personally cannot get enough of within the comics, but when it comes to Storm on the big screen, she goes from intriguing to yawn-worthy.
Before becoming Storm, the white-haired beauty was known only as Ororo Munroe. She was born to N’Dare, a the princess of a tribe in Kenya that descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses, and American photojournalist, David Munroe of Harlem, New York.
Only six months after Storm’s birth, her parents relocated to Egypt. The family lived there for six years without much heartache; however, a devastating accident changed that quickly. N’Dare and David were killed during the Suez Crisis, leaving the then six-year-old Ororo an orphan. With no family to support her, Ororo lived in the streets of Cairo, becoming a very accomplished thief in order to sustain herself.
Mother Nature Herself
By twelve years of age, Ororo began to develop her mutant abilities. Ororo found that she could create rain, snow, sleet, fog, hail, and, what would become one of her signature sources of power, lightning. The young girl could also manipulate wind to the point of creating hurricane-like forces and increase or decrease temperatures to extreme lengths, with the added ability to change her own body temperature accordingly.
After discovering her mutant abilities, she met the witch-priestess, Ainet, who took her in and became her surrogate mother. The village the two resided in began experiencing a drought, which prompted Ororo to use her powers to create rain; however, by doing this, she threw off the weather of the surrounding areas, and a drought began, killing hundreds of animals in the process. This is how Ororo learned that, while she could create rain, she did so by using the resources around her. The moisture she needed was pulled from the surrounding lands, and she was not able to create this herself.
Because of the incident, Ororo began traveling Africa, helping several tribes suffering from the drought she created. It was because of her assistance that one of the tribes began to worship her and treat her as a goddess of rain, and it was during her stay with this tribe that Professor X came to encourage her to become one of the X-Men.
Though Storm is a very intelligent, articulate, and powerful mutant, she has not been portrayed in a way that showcases those attributes, at least not in film adaptations. I am sad to admit that I was not impressed by Halle Berry’s rendition of Storm in the X-Men film of 2000, nor X2, or the final film of the trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand. Storm took a back seat to most of the other characters when, in reality, she and Charles Xavier were very close, and she served as a pivotal member of the mutant team; in fact, Storm was one of his most trusted members of the X-Men. The films did not highlight her leadership capabilities, which she had many leadership roles in the comics, even beating Cyclops for the commander position for the X-Men at one point. Essentially, the films only used her to show a handful of impressive storm-rendering scenes, and she certainly deserves more than that. It is no secret that tons of fans are hoping that, because of the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Storm’s true character will be revealed in future films, and I am certainly on board for that.
I mentioned in my Mystique cosplay post that I attended C2E2 just this last April in Chicago, but what I did not mention was that I had a fellow mutant with me. My boyfriend, Jeb, was by my side as Azazel, one of Mystique’s love interests and father to her son, Nightcrawler.
In some traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Azazel is used as a term for a “scapegoat” or the name for a fallen angel or demon, and the latter would explain why Marvel creators decided to use the name for their red, demon-like mutant back in 2003.
Azazel claims that he is one of the oldest mutants alive and originated from an ancient horde of demonic-looking mutants from biblical times called the Neyaphem. The Neyaphem were involved in a holy war with a group of angelic, xenophobic mutants named the Cheyarafim over opposing views regarding morality.
The Cheyarafim were victorious in the war and banished the “demons” to an alternate dimension for all eternity; however the Neyaphem’s leader, Azazel, was the only one who was able to breach the dimensional void for brief periods of time due to teleportation abilities. His only hope to return to Earth for substantial time periods was by impregnating women; his children would serve as a link from Earth to his own dimension, allowing him and his people the opportunity to live, and rule, upon the Earth once more.
I have to say, this makeup was much easier to execute in comparison to Mystique’s, minus the slight blunder we had with the spray paint shown in the picture to the left (ha). It took just a quick stop to Party City for his supplies which consisted of: two tubes of red face makeup, black eyeliner, three cans of black spray paint, rubber ear tips, and a small bottle of flesh latex for scars (keep in mind is was for three days of wear).
Now, in regards to the face makeup, I was surprised that it worked so well since the blue paint I tried from Party City did not cover at all; however, it may have worked a little too well. With the Mehron makeup I ended up using, as soon as I hit the shower, it washed away by water pressure alone. Jeb’s makeup, on the other hand, was very difficult to wash off, so keep in mind that this makeup is inexpensive and offers great coverage, it does come at a slight price.
Over all, we happily took that trade-off. Our costumes were a great success, and I am very proud of how well we were able to capture the characters’ likeness, especially considering it was our first time heavily relying on makeup to complete our costumes. There were certainly plenty of double takes when we walked into a room, and I cannot even attempt to guess how many photos we took in the three days we attended the convention and even just on the street.
One of the best moments for us was meeting photographer, Corey M. Trotter. We ended up posing for him on the last day of C2E2, and boy did he surprise us with a stunning digital image a few weeks later. We were completely blown away by his skill, and Jeb and I were extremely grateful for such a great way to remember our time at C2E2 2014.