NYCC 2015: The Good, The Not-As-Good, And The Ugly

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This year was the tenth annual New York Comic Con — and my fifth in attendance — and it was a pretty good year. I did my usual run of the panels and screenings, fitting in as much as I could in the four glorious days of nerddom. Here’s my summary of the best, the worst, and the “meh” of this year’s con.

Thank you for partying with us! You're the best Fans in the world! Save the date – October 6-9, 2016

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The Good

Lucifer: Now this is exciting. Lucifer Morningstar—yes, that Lucifer Morningstar, Mr. Devil himself—has decided to take a vacation, so he’s managing a bar in Los Angeles. He’s charming, he’s inappropriate, he’s British, and he’s got the power to get people to confess their forbidden desires. He meets up with a female detective who doesn’t fall for his tricks or his bullshit, and the banter is priceless. Think Constantine meets Castle—but if both shows were about ten times better. This one’s genuinely funny, though I already worry that the budding romance/attraction between the two protagonists will take over and weaken the actually interesting parts of the show. And Lucifer‘s also got killer music: Beck, Cage the Elephant, the Black Keys, etc. The best part? Lucifer’s based off of the character in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Win. Look out for this one on Fox.
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Daredevil Season 2/Jessica Jones: If you haven’t heard about this one, you’ve been living under a rock beneath a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean. Seriously—this is a big deal. Nerds were lining up hours in advance to check out this screening, and they got a teaser trailer with Elektra and the Punisher. A few teaser trailers for Netflix’s Jessica Jones also dropped, and it looks like this show’s going to be the next big thing, especially for fans of Daredevil.
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The Venture Bros. Season 6: I’m always a fan of any panel with Doc Hammer and Chris McCulloch, because they’ll pretty much just say whatever pops into their heads, and they’re hilarious. They showed the teaser trailer for the next season of The Venture Bros., which will have a few changes: The Monarch’s back, Dean’s in college ,and Rusty may suddenly be rich. This will be hitting Adult Swim on Jan. 24, 2016.
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Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship: I love Robot Chicken, and I love Seth Green. You can really tell this series was done by legitimate nerds because their comic references are always on point. For this panel, the minds behind the show premiered their trailer for the next Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, which plays heavily off of the Batman v. Superman buzz. This one will be premiering on Adult Swim on Oct. 18. Season 8 of the show is coming up as well, with special guests John Krasinski, Tatiana Maslany, Carrot Top, Steve Aoki, and others.
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Con Man: If I were to pick one thing from NYCC 2016 that I was the most excited about—the #1 thing I’d most recommend to someone—then it’d be this. This is the brainchild of Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, about Tudyk’s experiences at conventions and as a character actor. The project was funded pretty much entirely by fans; 46,000 people donated to the making of the series on IndieGoGo, making it the third highest fund-raised film project across all platforms. Tudyk plays a fictionalized version of himself, Ray, who is mostly just known as the pilot of a spaceship on the short-lived show Spectrum (::cough::cough::Firefly::cough::). Con Man recounts Ray’s awkward experiences as a celebrity and his relationships with his fellow actors and fans. Many other greats make appearances in the show: Fillion, Felicia Day, Seth Green, Sean Astin, and many more. Check this out on Vimeo.
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Firefly: This definitely wasn’t my first Firefly panel; it seems like there’s one every few years—and with good reason. This show’s amazing, and its cancellation is a major sore spot with many nerds—myself included. Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Jewel Staite, and Alan Tudyk were on this panel, and the humor and chemistry of this cast is really what makes the Firefly panels the most fun.
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Alan Tudyk surprises Fans and joins the #Firefly Reunion Panel! #NYCC

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Batman: Bad Blood: OK, Internet, this new, awesome-looking Batman movie has the same subtitle as a Taylor Swift song. Cute. Now, to the real news: This looks great. It takes some balls to have a movie with “Batman” in the title but have Batman mysteriously die/disappear within the first few minutes. Risky, but it allows some other badass characters to get into the limelight: Batwoman and Batwing.
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Protectorcorns: I’m not a fan of Progressive commercials, but I have to give it to them—this was a pretty clever marketing ploy. “Protectorcorns,” aka random people dressed up in Progressive uniforms and unicorn heads, were there throughout the convention to save people’s places in line. All you had to do was tweet @Protectorcorns with your location, and they’d save your place while you went off to the bathroom or got a snack or whatever. For those who don’t have line-buddies, this was a pretty smart deal.
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Panels on Education, Diversity, Professional Development, etc.: They don’t seem like the most glamorous panels to go to, but they’re definitely important. This year there seemed to be more panels on diversity, education, and the nitty-gritty sides of nerddom than I remembered there being in past years. I personally enjoyed The New Geeky Journalism; hopefully we’ll see more of these panels at future cons.
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The Not-As-Good

Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter: You know it’s going to be interesting when Jon Glaser shows up to the panel in a neon yellow jumpsuit. To be honest, I’m not sure if this one’s interesting in a good way or a very bad way. Glaser came up with the idea of this series based on some articles of clothing. It seems to be a bizarre antidote to the popular supernatural shows of late—Teen Wolf, I’m looking at you. I generally trust Adult Swim, with a few exceptions, so I’m curious to see how this one will go over.
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NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay: I love cosplay competitions, but unfortunately, it feels as though NYCC doesn’t have the right formula to make the show the best it could be. Last year the championships kicked off with a preview of a Cirque du Soleil show, which really hyped up the audience, but this year it was just the championships. And while the costumes are fantastic, having the competitors march on and off the stage, then taking a long break for judge deliberation, and then simply naming the winners is an anti-climactic end to a Saturday at Comic Con. There’s just not as much drama as there should be, and the lack of entertainment during the judges’ deliberation period really drained the energy from the room. But either way, the stand-out cosplay of this year was Kratos (God of War), The Thing (Fantastic Four), Spartan Batman, Deadshot, Barf (Spaceballs), Jareth (Labyrinth), Queen Amidala (Star Wars: Episode 1) and Honey Lemon (Big Hero 6). The third place winner was a Ganondorf cosplay from The Legend of Zelda; second was Angela from Asgard’s Assassin; and the 2016 champion was a giant Hulkbuster cosplay from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
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Hulkbuster is here! #NYCC

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LexCorps WiFi: Every year WiFi is an issue at the Javits center. This year, the marketing team behind Batman vs. Superman decided to provide free WiFi while promoting the film. Clever, but for most of the con, in order to get the free WiFi, you had to provide your email and sign up for updates about the film. And then the WiFi was still inconsistent once you did.
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The Splat: All That Reunion: I loved All That, and I was excited to hear that Nickelodeon was launching The Splat, a block of old-school 90s cartoons. So I was really looking forward to this reunion panel, which was absolutely packed with other people also tied to their 90s nostalgia. Lori Beth Denberg, Kel Mitchell, Josh Server, and Danny Tamberelli were all in attendance, and the panel was fine—though not extraordinary—until the start of a particularly awkward Q&A with excited fans.
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Crackle’s Supermansion: In case you’ve forgotten how much Seth Green loves stop-motion animation and superhero parodies, he’s the executive producer of this show, which features the voice talents of Bryan Cranston, Keegan-Michael Key, Jillian Bell, and Green himself, among others. It’s a bunch of heroes, led by Cranston’s aged hero Titanium Rex, living in a mansion together—but of course they’re all offensive and incompetent in their own special ways. It’s definitely not the first show of its kind—it’s tough not to think about Robot Chicken and Drawn Together, among others—but it’s still not bad. Parts of it don’t work as well as they should, but there are plenty of hilarious moments. The hero Black Saturn, based off of Batman, is my personal favorite, and addresses a lot of the ridiculous aspects of the Dark Knight’s character. You can watch this series for free on Crackle.com.
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The Ugly

Supergirl: No, thanks. I’ll take a pass. Poorly acted and predictable, with a main character who looks like her interests include drinking frappuccinos and shopping at Forever 21. I’ll be leaving this one alone.
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Containment: I’ll pass on this too. The whole mass-contagion horror story is a bit too played out for me. Here’s another Walking Dead-esque show, but without the fun of the zombie apocalypse. A Middle Eastern guy carries some really bad infectious disease with him to America (surprised? Of course the brown guy did it), and the disease breaks out in Atlanta, causing big, scary government people to come in and deem it a big bother and quarantine the city. And of course there’s a bunch of personal drama and healthy people who are just trying to survive the disease, which, by the way, seems to be a mix between the flu, a cold, rabies, and epilepsy. Because that’s totally 100 percent believable. As is the medical response in the show. And the quarantine. You’d be better off sticking to The Walking Dead.
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