Choosing a costume for Comic-Con is tough. You don't want to go with something too obvious (we're so going to bring down Mjolnir on the next Loki we see), and you also don't want to go as something too obscure. (We're still smarting over no one recognizing our "Judd Hirsch in 'Dear John'" costume at Comic-Con 2011.)
However, there are some costumes that you straight up want to avoid. Whether it's a dated reference or a character that highlights your, uh, girth, these are the costumes to avoid this convention season.
Howard the Duck
Yes, there are some Howard the Duck costumes on the Web, many of which we assume were worn ironically. And while old-school Marvel fans love the satirical 'Howard' comics from the '70s, nowadays all anyone remembers is the site of a lascivious talking duck seducing Lea Thompson. Plus, you're stuck in a hot duck costume all weekend. Why not cut your losses and just go as Launchpad from 'Ducktales'?
Against our better judgement, we Googled "The Blob cosplay" and discovered that there are a few brave souls out there who have dressed up as the X-Men villain whose power is an overpowering inability to say no to Mallomars. Quoting the character's line from the classic 'X-Men' arcade game ("Nothing moves The Blob!" ) will give you some nerd cred, but that doesn't excuse the fact that you'll be basically wearing a leotard all weekend while people shout "Hey, Blob!" in your general direction.
Meteor Man and Blankman
To be fair, we'd be pretty impressed if someone actually dressed up as the title character from 'Meteor Man,' the 1993 superhero comedy that starred everyone from Naughty by Nature to James Earl Jones. Because you're in for a lot of blank stares. Speaking of blank, you might as well also go as Damon Wayans' hero Blankman from the 1994 comedy of the same name. Either way, you're going to be answering a lot of questions all weekend.
Whistler from 'Blade'
We suppose this one works if you're a serious Kris Kristofferson fan. For everyone else, going as Blade's weapons supplier seems a bit lame. For one thing, you have to hang around a friend dressed as Blade all weekend for the costume to make any sense. And at the end of the day, your friend is a kickass vampire slayer and you're his cranky old sidekick. If you're going to go that route, might as well cosplay as Alfred. At least he's classy.
Sharon Stone's character in 'Catwoman'
As supervillains go, it's fun when a cosplayer goes the obscure route and dresses up as, sat, Dr. Light or Egghead, Vincent Price's character from the '60s 'Batman' TV show. But Laurel Hedare, the crazy wife of a cosmetic company CEO who gets impentrable skin from a beauty cream or something, is a real stretch. Thankfully, she was never in the 'Catwoman' comics and exists only in the terrible Halle Berry movie. So let's leave her there, shall we?
The Brother from 'Small Wonder'
We were surprised to see the amount of Vicki from 'Small Wonder' costumes out there. Apparently women don't mind dressing up as a robot child who was basically a slave to an annoying family. (Even Olivia Munn went as Vicki for Halloween, which is strange for several reasons.) But absolutely no one should cosplay as her annoying human brother Jamie. Even as group costumes go, that would just be pathetic.
The Comedian and Silk Spectre
This duo was popular around the time of the 'Watchmen' movie. Now that you'd be hard-pressed to get anyone to admit they actually liked the movie, it's time for couples to stop dressing up as a psychotic murderer/rapist and his victim/tragic mother of his child. Go with Rorschach instead. He's a sociopath, but at least his heart is in the right place.
We get it. You bought an 'Austin Powers' costume way back in 1997 and have been waiting for the character to become retro and kitschy so you can dig it out again. But this isn't like dressing as Pee-wee Herman or even Vanilla Ice. Wearing an Austin Powers costume is just a sad reminder of the time when we all thought lines like "Do I make you horny, baby?" were downright hysterical. And we'd all rather not be reminded of the questionable taste we had growing up, thank you very much. Give this one at least another five years or so.
Janine from 'Ghostbusters'
Granted, this is a great costume when surrounded by Ray, Egon and the rest of the Ghostbusters gang. But unlike, say, Dana Barrett in her red Zuul dress, you're not going to get recognized on your own. Stray too far away from the group, and you're Thelma from 'Scooby Doo' at best. More than likely, people will assume you're just dressed up as generic '80s girl with cat eye glasses or Enid from 'Ghost World.' Now, Janine in a Ghostbusters uniform, that's acceptable. Just avoid her dated civilian garb.
Any Na'vi from 'Avatar'
There was a time when it was somewhat acceptable for half-naked people covered in blue paint to be walking around convention floors. That time was 2010. Move on. You all look like a cross between a Smurf and Cheetara from 'Thundercats.'