Fourth of July is a barbeque-scented, explosion-canopied celebration of freedom. It’s an important brew of traditions, but don’t think your Independence Day festivities have to be limited to chomping hot dogs and dodging mosquitoes. When talking freedom, my mind automatically clouds over with images of anime conventions and cosplay. Your response is probably different.
Really though, is there a better example of liberty than cosplay? Having the freedom to show everyone the geek you have curled up between your ventricles is as strong an embodiment of the Fourth of July spirit as I can imagine. Heck, Anime Expo falls on July 4. And there are so many ways to patriotically free your geek that aren’t just Captain America!
Not that the Marvel yank is bad…but here are 10 cosplays, listed by difficulty, that are every bit as patriotic and star-striped as Old Glory itself. Happy fourth!
Rosie the Riveter
If you want to cosplay for the Fourth of July, but are short on time or money, be Rosie the Riveter! This bandana-clad symbol of wartime strength and independence is as simple as she is relevant. Also, you can make your own rivet gun for bonus ‘this cosplayer just helped me repair my airplane’ points.
American Maid (The Tick)
Patriotic but breezy, this tongue-in-cheek cosplay will be a good choice for you if comfort is a value. Or if you always wanted to cosplay the party store love child of Wonder Woman, Captain America and Alice from The Brady Bunch.
The Fighting Spirit/Carol Carter
Any character who gets superpowers from a tri-cornered hat deserves to be cosplayed on the Fourth of July. It also helps when that character looks like they’ve left more than a few bloody redcoats in their wake, a look The Fighting Spirit has in spades.
Spirit of ’76
Speaking of tri-cornered hats, Spirit of ’76 is as patriotic as Uncle Sam’s seamstress. Now, you’re probably thinking I’m breaking a rule because Spirit becomes Captain America. Well, yeah he does…eventually, but he spends plenty of time before that running around and punching tyranny in the face with Spirit of 76’s knuckles o’ freedom. Also, the costume would take minimal sewing. A nifty plus when there are ribs to be devoured and neighbors to avoid eye contact with.
One question: feel like dying Old glory into your hair? Maybe you want to cosplay someone darker and more in keeping with the Fourth of July’s violent roots. Jack Flag is your man, stripped of the majority’s red-white-and-blue glitz but still inherently patriotic. You’d have a hard time finding a character with a more enviable edge than this one.
The Comedian (Watchmen)
Similarly, Edward Blake (or The Comedian) is one of the darkest protagonists out there, stars and stripes emblazoned across his assassination-bloodied riot gear. If the Fourth is less a holiday for you than it is an exercise in herd mentality, this is the cosplay for you. (Then again, if that were the case, cosplay probably wouldn’t exactly be your favorite thing to do… Conformists, man.)
Major Glory (Dexter’s Laboratory)
If you couldn’t tell by now, Captain America isn’t the only hero with freedom in his veins. As Major Glory shows, he isn’t the only one to hang around a hulk and Nordic demigod either. This laugh-track-addled defender of freedom would be as perfect a cosplay as it is a nostalgic spoof. And you’d get to wear a golden eagle on your face. That’s called a selling point.
Who better to celebrate and defend America’s freedom than American freedom herself? This is no Ghostbusters animated statue, but DC Comics’ sleek and spoke-crowned warrioress. Lady Liberty wouldn’t be an easy cosplay by any means, but the wealth of dropped jaws you’d receive would be payment well beyond all the dropped pennies embedded at the Statue of Liberty’s feet.
Motorized Patriot (Bioshock: Infinite)
We’ve all thought it at one time or another: what would it be like if George Washington were a homicidal robot with a Gatling gun? Well, thanks to Bioshock: Infinite the answer to that universal question can now be yours when you celebrate the Fourth by cosplaying the flag-winged founding father. You won’t have to worry about any inconsiderate picnickers in this monster (or family members, for that matter, who will surely have distanced themselves from the weirdo tromping through the park reciting the Declaration of Independence at the top of their lungs).
Ratonhnhaké:ton/Connor (Assassin’s Creed III)
From one figure to another, this smorgasbord of consonants nicknamed Connor is the ultimate cosplay you could pull off. The intricacy of the costume makes it a feat of revolutionary proportions, and there are few characters that would give you as much freedom to play in-character in as this one. Want to sneak around in the bushes for some reason? Go ahead. Don’t like the way that kid is staring at you while eating their hot dog? Take him out, assassin.
Just don’t drip any mustard on your cloak. For the love of America, you don’t want to go to war with a mustard-stained cosplay. There’s no freedom there. Just pain.
Crusty, mustardy pain.