The votes have been counted, the numbers have been tallied, and we’re happy to announce the winner of the 2010 Major Spoilers Costume Contest.

We had a huge number of voters this year for the Major Spoilers Costume Contest, with the difference between the first and second place winner a mere 40 votes.   All the entries this year were great, but when it came down to it, Mockingbird by Jen in Georgia came out on top.  We took a few moments to chat with Jen about her entry and her time cosplaying.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Congratulations on winning the contest. You were in some great company with the other entrants.

JEN: Let me just say –  “WHOA!” because winning this contest absolutely made my day! Thank you so much! I’m friends with each of the three ladies I was up against and am familiar with the guy who did Orange Lantern Lex, which was a fantastic costume that he pulled off perfectly, so it was a huge honor just to be a finalist among such truly lovely (and amazingly talented) people. (Go Marvel!)

MAJOR SPOILERS: How long have you been cosplaying?

JEN:  Just over a year! Mockingbird’s classic costume was my first superhero, and I wore that at SDCC 2009. Had an absolute blast.

MAJOR SPOILERS: What got you into the costume side of comics?

JEN: It was a combination of going to a few conventions and seeing what fun the people in costume seemed to be having, and completely falling in love with some of the designs I was seeing in the comics I was reading. I’d never seen anyone do Mockingbird before and she’s my favourite female, so I set out to do it. Then she came back during Secret Invasion and got a (totally awesome) new costume, and I had to do that one too.

MAJOR SPOILERS: How do you pick which characters you are going to portray?

JEN: I have to reeeeeally love them. Bobbi Morse became my favourite as soon as I read about her years ago (plus, I completely have a thing for Hawkeye), and it helps that I love all of her costumes… except maybe her first costumed appearance as the Huntress. That’s like a neckline that plunges to the waist, man! Not practical!  I had also entered my Namora into the contest, as I’d immediately developed a soft spot for her upon reading The Incredible Hercules. I grew up on the English coast, have been pretty much obsessed with sea life since I was young, have worked with marine animals and am very passionate about marine-related issues so her relationship with the ocean really appealed to me. Plus, she’s a total badass like Mockingbird, and has a great design.

There are several characters I really like but know I just don’t have the physique to pull off. She-Hulk, Luke Cage, Fin Fang Foom… it’s just not meant to be.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Do you get any help in designing and making your costume?

JEN: Yes! I can’t sew for the life of me, but I love making props/accessories/weapons. I learn more each time I do this though, and I’ve already gone through a previous version of Mockingbird’s new suit because I feel like it can be continually upgraded and improved. This current iteration was a collaboration. I probably drove poor Jim McCann and David Lopez – who are both utterly wonderful and I can never thank them enough – crazy with my questions about the specifics of the design and getting their opinions on the materials I was choosing. The two of them have been overwhelmingly supportive throughout the whole process and helped me out a lot with translating the costume into real life. I just really wanted to do the character justice and get it as close as I could to David’s gorgeous design. The sewing of the suit itself was done by Tia Rodemeyer (the stunning Pixie who entered, and one of the nicest and funniest people you could ever meet) and a local seamstress. I handled everything else though and each time I wear this costume I tend to remake at least one thing, which drives my fiance crazy.

MAJOR SPOILERS: What does your family think of your hobby?

JEN: They love it! My mum was actually quite a big Marvel fan growing up, so she loves seeing all the convention photos and hearing about the new stories. I think my dad is just happy I’m finally not on the computer 24/7 anymore.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Are you a big Marvel fan?

JEN: Oh, dear. Yes. I have a passing knowledge of books by other publishers (I have a particular fondness for Invincible), but Marvel’s definitely my thing. I’ve tried several times to get into DC, and I’m not ruling out ever being a fan of it, but there’s little that has really held my interest. I recently picked up the first two volumes of Power Girl, which I’m enjoying so far, but it was almost entirely based on Amanda Conner’s artwork. She’s great!

MAJORE SPOILERS: What is your favorite comic series at the moment?

JEN: Hawkeye & Mockingbird, obviously, so I’m looking forward to Widowmaker and the resulting fallout. I was very much into Agents of Atlas and Incredible Herc as well, but sadly the two of them are no longer with us as ongoings either. Oh, god! I’m cursed to doom all the books that I like! Currently, I absolutely adore Thor: The Mighty Avenger, which you should all be reading. I’m also thoroughly enjoying Chaos War (it’s filling the iHerc void), Fantastic Four, Avengers Academy, and Strange Tales.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Do you travel all over to show off your work, or do you mostly stay in the ATL?

JEN: I just go where the fun conventions are. It’s much less a trip to prance about in costume (or “show off”) and more of a nerdy pilgrimage because there are people and friends there I’d love to see. It’s convenient that Dragon*Con is in Atlanta, but HeroesCon in Charlotte was actually my favourite con this year because it was pure comics heaven. No anime, blockbuster movies or Twilight! Swoon! And despite having lived my entire life in England up until last year, I only went to like two conventions there. And they were terrible. Sorry, homeland.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Where will you pop up next?

JEN: There’s Atlanta Comic Con coming up in December, and probably just HeroesCon and Dragon*Con (I’ll be Valkyrie in a big Asgardians group!) next year. I’d love to do SDCC again if it wasn’t such a horrible bitch to get to now, and NYCC is a tentative. Otherwise… I’ll just be behind the register at the comic book store. Wah.

MAJOR SPOILERS: Congratulations again, Jen!


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Congratulations, Jen! You’re as well-spoken and witty as you are talented with your portrayal.

    Major props to you for graciously recognizing the other entrants. Everyone did a great job. But I admit I voted for you. As felt your entry pic as Mockingbird was so realistic and really brought in the edge of the character.

    I am pleased you won and I really enjoyed the interview as well as seeing all the other entrants. There were more winners than only the final choice and I can’t wait to see what next year holds.

  2. Congratulations.

    You know, I always thought Mocking bird was kind of cool, and never understood why she wasn’t more popular. Glad to hear she’s experiencing a resurgence of sorts.

    Great choice for the contest.

    And great job everyone else. So awesome.


  3. Congratulations Jen!
    You did a fantastic job on your costume. I look forward to seeing your next endeavor at Dragon*Con.

  4. Well done, Jen, a worthy winner.
    It does help that you actually look like the character you’re portraying but excellent work by you and your colleagues. :)
    Congratulations again, from a fellow Brit.

  5. Jen, you are cooler than cool, and I consider it an honor to be conquered by you (though my Big Barda side is probably ready to bust some heads!) *grin* I can’t wait to see who you tackle next!

  6. Oh, gosh! This is such a wonderful honor. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, and for the lovely compliments. I really appreciate it, and I LOVE seeing so much support for Mockingbird as a character.

    Everybody who entered this contest was simply amazing, and each finalist was awesome both as costumers and as friends. It was a lot of fun to be involved in this at all, so thank you again for everything!

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