Flash Costume Sightings at Comic-Con 2009

If the number of Flash costumes at Comic-Con International last week is any indication, the fan base is energized. Most years I only see one or two Flashes, if any. This year there were at least three Jay Garricks including myself, two women who made variations on the costume, one man in a Black Flash costume, a Kid Flash, and a Captain Cold.

Here’s a gallery of photos from Flickr.

Golden Age

I don’t think I’d ever seen a Golden Age Flash costume at a convention until I saw some photos from HeroesCon and Wizard World Philadelphia in June. There seemed to be one Jay Garrick at each. So I figured I’d probably be the only one at San Diego. Imagine my surprise when I ran into not one other, but two!

The photo on the left shows me and a cosplayer who was part of a Justice Society of America group I spotted in line for the DC Nation panel on Friday. I asked the person behind me to save my place in line, walked along the line to where they were, and we did the obligatory “Nice costume!” exchange, then ended up posing for a bunch of photos. We did at least two poss, this one and one just standing and crossing our arms like the Alex Ross poster. Someone got an interesting shot with a blur effect, also.

I ran into the guy on the right on Saturday, when I wasn’t in costume. He actually used an original World War I helmet, polished it up, and made wings for it…then the first day in town the wings broke, so he needed to come up with a substitute fast. He ended up gluing popsicle sticks together and spray painting them gold.

Update: Speaking of the helmet, here’s how my helmet was made. Update 2: and here’s how we made the boots and shirt.


I didn’t manage to see any of these three in person during the con. But they’re really cool variations.

The two things that usually impress me the most with character costumes are:

  • Authenticity – costumes that match the source very well, especially if the person wearing it is a good fit for the character. (That especially helps with costumes from movies and TV shows. If you resemble an actor, seriously look at their roles for ideas!)
  • Creative variation – costumes that take a concept and put a deliberate spin on them. The Steampunk Flash from the League of Justice-Minded Citizens, for instance. Or either of the female Flash costumes here.

The Flash is well-suited for variations, because there have been so many of them in canon. You’ve got the basics: Jay Garrick’s Golden Age costume, the Barry Allen/Wally West Flash costume, and the Kid Flash costume (each with its own variations). Then you’ve got Professor Zoom, Johnny Quick, a half-dozen Jesse Quick costumes, Impulse, Max Mercury, Walter West, Iris West II, John Fox’s three costumes…and that’s not counting all the possible future Flashes from “Chain Lightning.”

So it’s not a problem to take the basic red-and-yellow lightning motif and build on it. People will still know who you are, especially if you keep the white circle around the lightning bolt.

Well, except for the dimwits who mistake you for Flash Gordon. 🙁

Update August 28: The woman on the left appears to be wearing an off-the-rack costume rather than a custom variation.

Cold and the Kid

I almost missed Captain Cold here. It was late Saturday afternoon, and I was on the phone with my wife trying to work out dinner plans. I saw him through the window, said, “Hang on, I need to get a picture of Captain Cold” and ducked outside into Sails Pavilion.

Kid Flash was there on Sunday. Sterling Gates, who had been announced the day before as the writer of an upcoming Kid Flash series, posted, “I just met Kid Flash! He’s here!” I kept looking for him the rest of the day, but had no luck. Fortunately, Comic Con has a lot of people with cameras!

Bonus: Cheetara!

She may not be a Flash character, but here are two women dressed as Cheetara from Thundercats. Hey, she is a speedster, after all!

Who Else?

I saw at least one, possibly two guys in off-the-rack Flash Halloween costumes during the weekend, and one kid who was probably about 6 or 7.

So…did you see any of these people at the con? Did you see another Flash that I’ve missed?


6 thoughts on “Flash Costume Sightings at Comic-Con 2009

    1. Kelson Post author

      Hmm. I hadn’t realized Northstar was a speedster. Somehow I’d gotten it in my head that flight was his main power, but it looks like he’s got the same basic set as Johnny Quick with energy beams.

      1. Frank Zieglar

        lol – I haven’t read much with him, but I always thought he was primarily a speedster. After reading the wiki entry on both him and his sister I was surprised to see that she has the same powers as him, because I never thought of her as a speedster.

  1. West

    I have nothing of-value to add except that this was quite awesome. It’ll be even more awesome once I learn to navigate Flickr pix a lil better – especially via the Pre.

    Unrelated: if you want to know how the site looks from the Pre’s browser, that should be easy enough. The Pre has a built-in screen capture feature. Let me know.

    (Simply put: I think it looks like it does from a pc.)
    .-= West’s latest blog post: SkyFire is a bad mutha… =-.

    1. Kelson Post author

      From what I recall, the Pre uses a WebKit-based browser, right? So yeah, it should be about the same as Chrome or Safari, unless it’s recognized as mobile (I’m guessing it isn’t from your description), in which case it should look about like it does on the G1.

      *sigh* built-in screen capture. Still annoyed that Android doesn’t have that. Though maybe someone’s written an app for it by now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.