Men’s Open Olympia Competitor James Hollingshead Cosplays as Kratos from “God of War” Video Game at Comic Con

The 2022 Tsunami Nutrition Cup winner wielded an axe and donned the pale skin of the Greek and Norse-inspired god character.

The 2022 MCM London Comic Con took place Oct. 28-30, 2022, in ExCeL Exhibition Centre. At that event was a section dedicated to the action-adventure video game series God of War, developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The protagonist of the God of War franchise is the demigod Kratos — a warrior first introduced to the gaming world via his build-up to a battle with the Greek god of war, Aries, to avenge the death of his family. Kratos’ iconic look includes a full beard, ghostly pale skin, and a red stripe that wraps around the left side of his head, shoulder, and torso.

At the 2022 MCM London Comic Con, Kratos showed up in person. Well, perhaps not the actual Kratos, but Mr. Olympia competitor James Hollingshead cosplaying as Kratos. Check it out in the video below, courtesy of his YouTube channel:

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Hollingshead as Kratos

The video opens with a time-lapse of Hollingshead in make-up with a team of artists tasked with turning the IFBB pro into the embodiment of the god of war. Following that is a montage of Hollingshead in cosplay, taking photographs with spectators and other cosplayers at Comic-Con. Hollingshead’s massive lats, shoulders, chest, and sheer muscle density make him a standout figure among the wandering crowd.

Hollingshead’s tenure as Kratos extends back to his first trip to Comic Con in May 2022 to build toward the worldwide release of God of War: Ragnarök on Nov. 9, 2022. The game received a 10 out of 10 score from IGN.

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Hollingshead at the Olympia

Hollingshead made his Mr. Olypmia debut in 2021 with a 12th-place finish. Only the top five ranked Men’s Open competitors at the Olympia are directly offered qualifications for the Olympia the following year. Olympia champions retain lifetime qualifications for the division they won. That meant only two-time reigning, Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, 2019 Mr. Olympia Brandon Curry, Hadi Choopan, Hunter Labrada, and Nick Walker could take an extended off-season to prepare for the 2022 Olympia, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.

Hollingshead took a more extended off-season as well and ran the risk of needing to win a pro show to secure an Olympia invitation, rather than grind through multiple shows to qualify on points via consistent finishes, per the Olympia Qualification System.

That risk paid off when Hollingshead claimed the win at the 2022 Tsunami Nutrition Cup in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 9, 2022. With that win came his ticket to enter his second consecutive Olympia, where he will surely aim to improve upon his 12th-place debut.

Featured image: @hollingshead89 on Instagram