‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E7: What the Hell Is a Time Pirate?

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Here we are, a-floatin’ through space, trying to figure out when to go after Vandal Savage next, but needing a serious software update to the shipboard A.I., Gideon, in order to manage that. Captain Hunter is torturing himself with holographic visions of his past, while our Legends are going stir crazy. Rory and Snart are still sniping at each other over the events of the previous episode, Ray and Kendra are tippy-toeing around romantic entanglement, and everyone else is just really bored. Then comes a distress call from Captain Baxter of the Timeship Acheron, and our Legends are off to save the day!

We have to remember that Professor Stein is the manchild nerd for the sci-fi geek in all of us, and really, the Waverider hasn’t really gone through space yet: Only timestreams. So, while Stein waxes poetic about the stars and his time as a Space Ranger when he was a wee boy, we’re treated to further memories of Rip Hunter’s time at the Timemasters academy, where he trains with a love interest and fellow student, Miranda Koburn. It’s so cute how Rip responds to being overshadowed in the training simulation by his female counterpart with something like, “You beat me – that’s so hot,” and a makeout session that sadly, gets them into trouble. Timemaster romance of any kind is rather harshly discouraged, and young Rip and his Lady are about to be the equivalent of court-martialed.

Meanwhile back in the really-real world, the boarding party that went to check out the Acheron has been overrun with — say it with me — space pirates! Or rather, as Captain Hunter calls them, Time Pirates, led by Captain Valler (Callum Keith Rennie). Many of us did wonder, as we were watching the episode, how does a pirate plunder time? Are there tachyons to be stolen? Well, anyway, our Legends are here in space being harried by Time Pirates, which inevitably opens the cargo bay doors for every single last classic Sci-fi reference you can think of! Star Wars, of course, Jax probably got the best line for that one; Ray as Captain Palmer is so much better as a Sulu reference rather than trying to Shatner his way through Star Trek; the green lighting on the Acheron makes us think of the excellent atmosphere in Ridley Scott’s original Alien; Stein talked about being a Space Ranger when he was a kid, DC just broke the fourth wall; there’s even a cry of “Great Scott!” and we all know what beloved time travel epic that’s from! The commands, “Imperiex,” and “Kanjar Ro” are also names of space-based DC comics villains, just FYI. And it has to be included, Captain Hunter running around fighting time pirates in that coat reminded me very much of Captain Jack Harkness, doing his epic thing in Torchwood!

Much emphasis is placed on the deteriorating relationship between Rory and Snart, especially when Rory decides he’s had enough and attempts to make a deal with the Time Pirates. Snart has a few beautiful moments with Sara, first while they play cards to alleviate boredom and she has some almost-sympathy for the dwindling brotherhood, and then later when they’re both freezing to death (because nature’s vacuum runs on irony) and they exchange what death is really like and how Mick and Leonard met. The assassin and the thief, we adore them both and the show seems to have them swimming towards true friendship, if not an actual romance. I’m voting for a romance, even if it’s brief, because just imagine the shockwave reverberations through all the Legends once it’s over!

Eventually — we knew it was coming — our Legends overcame the Time Pirates, repaired both the Acheron and the Waverider, cleared Captain Hunter’s name as far as the snooty Timemasters reputation fuckery goes, and now we have to deal with internal issues. Our resident firebug, Heatwave, has just gone too far into the darkness, and our Legends meet around the table to discuss what to do now. Snart says he will handle it, and even makes an actual go at it, but can he really take out the sundered other half of his soul? As much emphasis as the show placed on love no matter what, I kind of doubt it. The preview for next week’s episode shows a few of our Legends off chasing Vandal Savage in 1950s Oregon and Kendra in an actual poodle skirt, so let’s pray for visions of a greaser Heatwave, or at least a Rory on ice for now!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!


Cosplay on a Budget: A Kraken Con Panel with AlienMatt


by Agent Aly Runke (a.k.a. Deelja)

One of the most exciting parts of conventions is seeing and showing off cosplay. Cosplay takes dedication, love, and oftentimes, a lot of money. Large suits of armor, intricately made dresses, and true-to-life props usually come at the cost of many zeros behind that dollar sign. This leaves many cosplayers searching for less expensive ways of making that “wow factor” costume. At Spring Kraken Con, the subject of the price of cosplay floated around the venue in various conversations. Many costume contest entrants made a point of telling the judges how little or how much was spent on their creations. This distinction was most apparent with two of the contest winners: One wore a fully functional Iron Man suit made completely from worbla with a working JARVIS system; The other made an eight-foot-tall Shrek costume from foam and cardboard. The price difference was apparent, but the skill level was on point for both.

Sunday evening, the contestant dressed as Shrek, cosplay handle Alien Matt, held a panel “Cosplay on a Budget.” The panel showcased both Alien Matt’s costuming and prop making skills, as well as how to make an incredibly accurate costume with the cheapest materials. His examples were an alien cosplay from Predator vs. Alien, The Thing from Fantastic Four, and various other pieces from his costuming over the years.

Matt got his start at what is called hard-material costume making as a child, making toys based on Star Wars. He used cardboard from the boxes of presents, and tape, as he wasn’t allowed to use a glue gun until he was twelve. This afforded Matt the ability to learn about different tapes. One tape, for instance, is a chrome-type tape, which he has used to make wood swords look like ancient pirate swords. It is the same type of chrome tape used on the cones of the planes in Star Wars episode one. He showed one of his swords and then proceeded to explain how he made it. Beyond the wood and chrome tape blade, there was the handle, a painted candlestick, and the bell made from an old desk lamp shade, sanded and painted. Glue it all together and his sword was ready for the stage.

When divulging his secrets to building low budget cosplay, Matt preached patience and a keen eye. Found items (or materials someone else was eager to be rid of) comprised at least part of many of his props. This was the case, he said, with the scale fabric he used on the Alien. It was an evening gown fabric in black that just wouldn’t sell. Put rough-side-out and layered over itself, it felt and looked like black scales. He bought an entire bolt for six dollars!

Matt has several go-to materials in his builds, especially for complex things such as Shrek and Thing heads, but his most foundational material is cardboard. His base structures for these heads were, in fact, made from a cardboard skeleton with foam wrapped on top. He’s used foam mats, the inside of couches from garage sales, and raided sale bins at Home Depot. If he splurges on anything, it’s a good glue gun and high-quality glue.

When he made The Thing, he used foam wrapped around a cardboard structure. The foam was then burnt by a soldering iron to look like rock. Pictured above is the head. The base skeletal structure is all cardboard, with eyeholes in the head’s mouth and ear holes. He found a screen material for his eyes. Layers were keys to detailing.

Another tip was to use cold hot glue for armor detailing. One of Matt’s favorite materials to use is insulation foam tubing. He’s used it on armor, headpieces, and the hair of The Predator. All of this is made with different sized insulation tubing. Matt gave out great little tidbits for the everyday build. To make rivets on armor, paint googly eyes silver. Use thrown-away toys. Don’t rush yourself. The least amount of time he took to make a costume was six months.

He also advocated sketching out your costume. He made a giant velociraptor after Jurassic Park came out, all based on materials scavenged from a hiking backpack. It took time and planning, but turned out great. For cosplay on a budget, you simply need imagination and some hot glue. All this and more came from a guy who built suits of armor for his wedding party, using the caps of nuclear warheads that the military was throwing away! Don’t try that at home!