The Steampunk Makeover

By Mike Rosenberg

There's no question that fans do some incredible things in honor of the shows, comics, games, and genres that they follow. I've seen it at every convention I've attended, and there are still things I see that sometimes floor me. Cosplays in particular are the ultimate display of dedication and love for a great show, comic, or genre. And when it's Halloween season, what better time to justify dressing up?

The attention to detail, the time is takes to craft a jaw-dropping costume... everything can leave a viewer speechless when a cosplayer shows up, ready to show off how much they care.

Ready to show off something like this.

The DC Steampunk Cosplay troupe made their debut earlier this year, where I got my first chance to see them in the ultimate blend between some of the most iconic characters of DC Comics with the steampunk style.

Steampunk, for those unfamiliar, is a sub-genre of science fiction that features steam-powered machinery, oftentimes in a 19th century industrialized western setting. The DC Steampunk Cosplay troupe features a marriage between steam and comics, as iconic DC Comics characters are re-imagined for a steampunk world.

I got a chance to speak to Johnny Bias, the Riddler of the DC Steampunk Cosplay troupe, about where this idea came from and where it might go.

Photo by Cesar Vivid Photography

When did the idea of doing a DC Comics steampunk troupe first come about?

JB: The inspiration came from a long conversation with my friend (and our Catwoman) Chrissy. We had been doing Steampunk cosplay for a while and started talking about applying it to other genres. After we settled on what we thought was a great fit, we started finding people to fill in what we thought were vital characters to the group.

About how long did it take for you to make your costumes?

JB: Overall I think that it took my girlfriend Sam (our female Nightwing) and I about a month of on-and-off work to figure everything out and put it together. We also helped the group out with various items including the bustles for both our Poison Ivy and Zatanna, which was a lot of fun but added a week or two to finish up the overall process. I think the largest challenge we had was creating my daughter's Hawkgirl costume in one week to debut it for Comikaze this September.

When did you first take your costumes out to show?

JB: We had our debut at Comic-Con 2012 earlier this year. We had talked about trying to do a smaller outing at other venues but decided that we wanted to have all members at the unveiling to have a better impact. We also attended Comikaze this year where we introduced a few new members to the team. Throughout 2013, we have several outings planned, including WonderCon and some requested photo shoots we will be attending as well, and we are really pushing for a presence at Dragon*Con.

What was the reception like? Did fans love it?

JB: The reception to the group was a bit overwhelming to be honest. We actually had DC Comics put us on their stage at Comic-Con so people could take shots of us which was very cool and unexpected. One of the coolest things was people telling us that, despite not being huge fans of the steampunk look, they really loved our group and each individual costume.

Any other sweet ideas lined up, or was this a one-time thing for you with combining DC Comics and steampunk?

JB: I have two new costumes lined up for Comic-Con 2013, but as with all cosplayers and their plans, I can't give out too many details! ;)

Thanks to Johnny for his time. The DC Steampunk Cosplay troupe is growing, and I cannot wait to see where it goes in 2013!

Rosenfloggen's picture Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg has been a long-time trading card game fan and an active freelancer in the hobby game industry since 2004. He wrote, editted, and managed web content for Cryptozoic Entertainment from March 2012 until October 2013.