Rose City Comic Con Bans Hydra and Red Skull Cosplays

Is there a line between cosplay and a hate symbol? Attendees at this year’s Rose City Comic Con seemed to be testing that boundary, and as a result the convention has amended its costume policy to ban all Old School Hydra and Red Skull cosplays.

In an article on IO9, convention director Ron Brister stated that there were about three or four groups at the convention sporting Nazi regalia, including a Hello Kitty SS cosplay group that has attended the convention in previous years. After these groups were confronted by security staff, some complied with a request to leave, while others “pushed the envelope” by leaving and returning the next day in the same costumes, using the language of costume policy to defend their presence.

Under the topic of “hate symbols” the police previously stated, “Hateful symbols aren’t welcome at Rose City Comic Con. Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate.”

It has now been updated to say, “Hateful symbols aren’t welcome at Rose City Comic Con. Historical costumes can be great, but reminders of unspeakable atrocities are not appropriate – this goes for Old School Hydra and Red Skull or any other Nazis from entertainment properties. Those figures, while comic-related, are still very much Nazis. As a result, they are 100% banned, always. This includes any sort of “ironic” or satirical costumes that re-appropriate Nazi paraphernalia or gear.”

Any violations of this policy will result in a lifetime ban from the convention.

The original incarnations of Red Skull and Hydra agents were strongly tied to Nazis, but not much for their modern representations. As such, modern Hydra cosplays would not be banned under the new policy, as long as they do not feature overt Nazi symbols.

Here is the tweet from the RCCC account announcing the policy change.



The need for the change was further explained here.



Given recent instances of violence in Portland and around the country, I cannot say that I am surprised that a policy like this has been instituted. An incident at Phoenix Comic Con earlier this year saw the convention banning all costume props, and other conventions are revamping their weapons policies. Ultimately, the goal of a convention is to provide a space where attendees can feel safe and included while they celebrate their favorite television shows, movies, and characters.

Source: BleedingCool

What do you think of the change to Rose City Comic Con’s costume policy? Let us know in the comments!

About Tori Ann 448 Articles
Tori Ann is a Midwest cosplayer, and has been cosplaying since 2014. Her many interests include superheroes, Disney, and all kinds of fantasy. Her first claims to nerd-dom were the anime Sailor Moon and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. She is also an avid runner and has completed several half-marathons.


  1. The individuals doing the Red Skull and Hello Kitty were the same pair of guys, so it is a false statement to say there were several groups, as it was the same group different days, Please note they have been doing them since at least 2015, this is the first time Rose City has made an issue (Emerald City did make an issue in 2015). Here is a link to a photo of them.

    • In the IO9 article I referenced, the convention director stated that there was at least one other group in addition to the Hello Kitty group, as well as having noticed and uptick in Nazi cosplay.

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