What a weekend!
This year’s Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia was phenomenal, and I’m incredibly happy I got to attend, even if unforeseen circumstances only allowed me to make it two out of the four days. Regardless, I had a blast, and this entire weekend was filled with outstanding moments for both me personally, and for my work here at A Place to Hang Your Cape.
The Con opened up on Thursday, and since I had an early day off from my full-time job, I decided to get a head-start on my press coverage. Unfortunately, the show-room was not too filled with exhibits or cosplayers due to the fact that it was in the middle of the week and it was a rather short day. I feel like Thursdays are just a slow day in general for any major event because of people having school and work. Because of this, it was fairly empty. On Friday, though, I couldn’t even get into the building because of traffic all over the area as cosplayers and fans swarmed to the Convention Center. Three hours of driving around for a parking spot and I ended up just going home, praying that the next day would be better.
And Saturday WAS better.
Dressed as Tony Stark (and with my girlfriend as Pepper Potts), I took the train down to Philly and entered the Con. Immediately, I was blown away at how insanely packed it was in the building. We were literally swimming through people dressed in a wide variety of costumes, ranging from Avengers to Anime characters to CW heroes. I tried my best to catch as many pictures as possible, but the sheer amount of cosplayers was overwhelming. Fortunately, I did manage to get some shots of truly remarkable costumes that people had pulled together. I think my personal favorite was a pair of young women who actually made their own Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord costumes from scratch. My second favorite had to have been someone with a better Tony Stark cosplay than mine. I respect people who go all out and put so much time and effort into creating these pieces. If I was as talented with costume design as I am with writing, I’d probably be able to pull something decent together.
Comic Con is all about the attendees. However, in order to get people to come and to keep them entertained, Wizard World must have good vendors. I’m a little upset that I didn’t get to hit all of the tables. There were people selling replica weapons, custom-designed jewelry, Marvel chess pieces, old VHS tapes, vintage comics, Star Wars droid schematics, and much more! I had to clutch tightly onto my wallet to make sure I didn’t drain my bank account. I still made it my job to check out as many tables as I could and to tell most of the vendors how impressed I was with their work.
I can’t talk about Comic Con without mentioning the celebrities. I think the focal points of this weekend’s Con were David Tennant and Billie Piper from Doctor Who, Stephen Amell from Arrow, and Hayley Atwell from Agent Carter. I was always hesitant about spending money to meet celebrities, but this year, I made an exception and splurged on a photo-op with Michael Rooker, famous for such roles as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy and Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead. For someone who always plays a hard-ass douchebag, Rooker is actually incredibly nice and personable. He would wave and say hi to little kids who would peek into his booth, and joke around with people when they came up for an autograph. I tried to have a convo with him when my turn was up, but I didn’t want to hold back the line. I got my selfie with him and told him that I loved his supporting role in the dark comedy Super. Not sure if he heard me, but at least he smiled, shook my hand, and told me to enjoy myself. I can respect that.
Another great opportunity I had was meeting and briefly interviewing the original Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno. I was surprised at how there was no line for Ferrigno’s booth, so I asked a staff member if I could ask him a question or two (after flashing my fancy press pass). I got the nod, and went up to meet him. Once again, an incredibly nice man with a good sense of humor. I asked him what his favorite movie role was, and he told me that it was his part in Cage, an 80s action/martial-arts film. I also asked Ferrigno if people come up to him and mention the Hulk often, and he said that he’s had people ask him for help moving couches and refrigerators and whatnot. Apparently they think he really is the Hulk! Finally, I asked how long he had been working out, and he revealed that it’s been a part of his life for over 51 years. This blew me away. The guy’s biceps were larger than my head, so it’s understandable that he put a lot of work into his muscle regimen. It was just unreal to think of someone working out nonstop since they were 12 years old and then maintaining that conditioning for so long. Kudos!
At one point, I noticed Ben McKenzie (of Gotham fame) with no line at his booth. I asked his manager if I could ask a question or two and I was immediately brushed off. This was understandable, though, I wish the manager was a bit more polite about it. Not a huge deal anyway.
To finish off my day, I attended two major Q&A’s, the first of which involved Hayley Atwell, discussing her role as Peggy Carter and reflecting on the latest news of Agent Carter being renewed for a second season. With Atwell and her character being such strong, female role models for comic book fans and cosplayers, I knew that most of her questions would revolve around feminism and Marvel. Atwell answered questions about her teaming up with more strong female characters in the second season, and how it felt overall to be one of the most bad-ass characters (male or female) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We learned that Dottie may just return in Season 2 of Agent Carter, that we will see more of Carter’s trademark improvised weaponry fighting tactics, and that we might get to experience her further relationship development with other characters such as Jarvis and Daniel Sousa.
I have to say that Atwell is as charming as you could expect to her to be, and though Agent Carter wasn’t my favorite show, I still loved her performance and I’m very happy that she’s given a chance to flex her acting muscles in a second season.
I think Amell’s Q&A drew a bigger crowd, mainly because of Season 3 coming to a close and so many questions regarding his role in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel. I rushed to the line and tried to get a good spot so I could ask a question, but I knew it was a fruitless attempt. Fortunately, there were some good questions posed to Amell. We found out that Amell and David Ramsey (John Diggle on Arrow) are extremely close friends, but virtually everyone on the cast is practically part of a huge family. We also learned that John Barrowman, who has made a name for himself as the sinister Malcolm Merlyn, is a huge prankster with an outstanding sense of humor.
Amell was very secretive about the future of Arrow, but he did confirm how the big bad in Season 4 would be Damien Darhk, and that we can expect many more crossovers in the future because of how much fun the CW crew has with these plot-lines.
One very intriguing thing we learned during the Q&A with Amell was in regards to the #SaveConstantine campaign. As most fans know, Constantine has been cancelled by NBC and will not be renewed. However, Amell has stated that he’s willing to guest star on the show to help boost ratings. One idea he tossed out was Oliver Queen meeting and consulting with John Constantine, who happens to be an expert on the Lazarus Pit. According to Amell, there are countless possibilities to intertwine the various universes and use Arrow and The Flash‘s popularity to save Constantine.
In addition to all of this, Amell took time in his Q&A to touch upon his work with the F&CK Cancer campaign, which you can learn more about right here. One of the reasons Amell has become such a respected celebrity is because of his work on charity campaigns, and his actions during this Q&A only give testament to his philanthropy. Out of everything I’ve seen him do, this had to have been the most impressive and the most respectable.
Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia was a fantastic time. I’m hoping that next year I can get more opportunities to meet celebrities and hopefully get to hear more insight from the biggest influencers in the superhero world.
Did you attend Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia? What did you think? Let us know in the comments or on our Twitter!