Monday, July 22, 2013

Comic Con 2013 Coverage (From Someone Who Did Not Attend)

Comic Con, the weekend-long celebration of nerddom, or whatever the media likes to believe is nerddom, has come and gone once again. And, once again, the geekiest boy in San Diego county missed his opportunity to attend.  It's come as a surprise to many of my friends that someone like me is so conspicuously absent from the activities, and I am positive I was missed.

My relationship with Comic Con is tenuous, much like Ross and Rachel's; everyone knows I'm going to end up inside it one day, but its just a matter of time as to when. I attended once in 2006 with me dad, and all I remember was walking around in the main hall (you know the one with all the actual comics, where the real nerds go), and then attending like two or three panels about children's trading card games and nickelodeon shows (the biggest panel I've ever attended was the nickelodeon one). My dad used to take me to nerd conventions a lot when I was a kid, because setting up conventions was more or less his career, and by 06 he was retired and I was a friendless kid in high school so neither of us had much of a life  we both had plenty of time to go do cool shit together. I remember the biggest things going on were the panels for the upcoming Simpsons Movie and Spider-Man 3 (poor little dears were so excited), as well as a lot of press for that summer's upcoming box office disaster, Snakes On A Plane. I wasn't quite the same kind of guy that I was back then. Remember how I said I used to just like Bionicles and trading cards? That was the summer I became a true geek. To put it in perspective, that very same summer I saw Bryan Singer's X-Men 2 for the first time and I have never been the same since. I went from a shy, closet nerd to flamboyant media whore in the span of a summer

Left: me before Comic Con, Right: me after Comic Con

Why I Was Not There

This is all an incredibly long way of saying that I have not, for various reasons, been back since. Why? Laziness, lack of someone to go with for a few years, and that fiasco back in 2011 when the site crashed during sales (even quicker than usual). This was because a panel for the final Twilight film: Breaking Bad or whatever the fuck it was called, had been announced and the sheer volume of nerds who don't normally attend Comic Con (those exist) suddenly buying tickets made it near impossible for anyone else to. To put it in perspective, imagine if there was panel where Tim Tebow was officiating, and you could punch him in the face whenever you wanted. Nerds wouldn't care, but chances are, so many sports fans would come just for one panel it would fuck up the whole system.

I don't even pay attention to sports, and even I don't like this guy.

And then the year after that I was in Ireland. This year, I was just busy, and considering most people who get tickets to Comic Con get them a year in advance (that is, they literally buy them at the convention) it's incredibly hard to get them again. Every time it seems like not that big of a deal, until it comes and I get all upset that I wasn't there when a bunch of big things happen without my presence (let alone my permission). However, I still try to stay in the loop, so lets look at a few things we did find out this year.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Let's start with the least surprising news by far: there is going to be another Avengers movie. Big surprise. While 2011's revelation of the long-planned Avengers movie, and its full unveiling of the cast, is precisely the sort of reason you go to Comic Con, the Avengers 2 panel could not have been that interesting, in my completely less-than-credible opinion. I also imagine it was a dissapointment, and everyone there was secretly thinking "gee, if only we skipped the whole thing and just stayed at home and blogged, that would have been the smart thing to do!"

Okay, as much as I wish, that probably isn't the case, and the panel did have some badass news (and any opportunity to see Whedon in person has to be well worth it). Among them was the news that the next Avengers movie would be based on the Age of Ultron storyline from the comics. You know, the one that's not even a year old. And involves not just the Avengers, but the entire Marvel Universe getting their asses kicked by Hank Pym's robot. Of course, keeping in mind that, in Avengers math, ludicrosity directly correlates with badassery, it should be pretty cool.
Yeah, remember this guy? He's not gonna be in it after all. 

Days of Future Past

But if there is one panel that I am genuinely sorry I missed, it's this one. As I mentioned earlier, X-Men, specifically the films, will always have a place in my heart, and Brian Singer's movies, though criticized extensively by some of Marvel's bitchier fans, remain among my favorite films ever made. Since then, in a desperate attempt to keep the series going since Brett Ratner's shitty ending, we've had two Wolverine spinoffs (one of which will not be out for another week, and the other of which was a piece of shit), and a prequel. So when it was revealed that the sequel to First Class would not only be an amalgamation of the original trilogy and the newer films, but also an adaptation of one of the greatest X-Men stories of all time, Days of Future Past, I was already pumped. But I didn't really feel it until I saw the pictures of the entire assembled cast at the panel.

Notice how nobody gave Peter Dinklage a box to stand on. I'm guessing nobody had the balls.

For those of you keeping track, in the above picture are at least five of my favorite actors, including Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence, in addition to five actors I really respect, Game of Throne's Peter Dinklage, Omar "that guy fromThe Intouchables" Sy, James McAvoy, and Oscar nominees Ellen Page, Halle Berry and Anna Paquin. Also Shawn Ashmore. The only guy up there I don't really like is Nicholas Hoult, whose ugly face is mercifully blocked by James McAvoy's more handsome face. There's also some guy from American Horror Story, who will be playing Magneto's son, Quicksilver; a character who will allegedly be appearing in Avengers 2 played by somebody else, because fuck you Hollywood.

Now the reason this upsets me is because, as many of you know, I'm running out of things to be excited about. Now that Harry Potter is over, Dark Knight is over, and The Hobbit is lame, the only movie I'm still really really excited about is this one. This could be the last time so much talent I respect are all at one panel. Seriously, the only thing missing from above is Christopher Nolan, Viggo Mortensen, and a T-Rex to make it perfect. But until Jurassic Park 4 comes out (which it probably never will), this is what I'm most excited for.

But that's not what you're interested in. No, you want to hear the big news....

World's Finest

Far beyond the news that there is going to be a sequel to Hunger Games that will probably be awesome, or the fact that a stuntman from Kick-Ass 2 managed to save a suicidal woman from a ledge, or the news that Bryan Cranston walked the floor disguised in cosplay as his own character from Breaking Bad, was the news at the Warner Brothers panel.
Yes, this is happening.
In typically dramatic fashion, Zack Snyder, director of 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, and a litany of other movies that should have been amazing but were just sort of okay, invited the angry black guy from The Matrix Reloaded to read the "I'm the one man who beat you" line from Dark Knight Returns before this behemoth took over the screen. It's a bit surprising that we should be so surprised: Warner Brothers needs a new direction with the Man of Steel sequel, they need a film to introduce Justice League, and they want to reboot Batman, so why not do it all at once? I'm too much of a skeptical cynic to be completely excited though, and here's why.

First of all, the old Batman hasn't even been dead for that long. I know Warner Brothers wants to move on with their big Avengers ripoff as soon as possible, and, considering that I love both Batman and Justice League, I should be excited right? So how come I'm kind of....well...not? Maybe it's because even a super nerd like me has his limits, and I must admit I'm getting a little fatigued. I'm sure I'll talk more about this in the future, and I will probably see it, but, as far as I'm concerned, my generation already has a Batman. What's it going to be like when they reboot him, again? Is he going to keep the voice? The grit? My thoughts on how a Justice League film could work in the post Dark Knight trilogy context is enough to fill a whole nother post, which I'm sure I'll get around to in due time, so I'll keep it to this. In spite of all my cynicism, there is absolutely no way to look at the above picture and not be a little excited.

The good thing: It's directed by Zack Snyder and takes place in the Man of Steel world, so it's a fresh take on the character instead of another Dark Knight sequel. The lame thing: I't's directed by Zack Snyder. Goodie.

The End

Well, that about does it. It was probably the most momentous year for Comic Con in a long time, and will continue to be for a long time. Oh well, there is one thing I can gleam:
These two missed it too.

Also, I saw the Stones in concert and you didn't. So there.

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