Programming on Saturday:
Star Trek: The convention's programming guide said "Be among the first to see exclusive sneak peek footage from this exciting adventure before its May 8 release. Plus a special guest you won't want to miss, appearing live on the WonderCon stage." I was expecting Zachary Quinto who will be playing Spock as the special guest. He's done the Con circuit before and has bee the surprise guest before. Imagine my joy and delight when the special guest introduced was J.J. Abrams himself. The master. His work is truly awesome. My thoughts: "Wow, so much better than that Sylar guy." Well, after we were shown the clip from the new Star Trek movie, they brought out a few more guests and yep, Zachary Quinto was among them as well as the gentleman playing Kirk, Chris Haines.
The panel, however, left me very concerned for the new movie. All of the actors said they weren't originally fans and that they didn't study the original series to get a feel for the show or characters - that they mostly went with what they were given by the writers (one of whom had never seen a single Trek episode, or so he said). They had the original actors come by and give their blessing and some said some coaching. J.J. Abrams said he hadn't originally been a fan of the show, either. Pre-Hulk, this wouldn't have concerned me.
The first Hulk movie sucked. Really, really, really sucked. Enough that when the new Hulk movie was announced two years ago at ComicCon, the Marvel rep said that 1) the previous movie doesn't exist in continuity and 2) sorry. The second film was made by a fan. Turns out Edward Norton was a fan and he wrote a bunch of the script. He was awesome. It was awesome. I think the difference was in the reverence for the subject. This is why I fear the lack of fandom in the new movie. Abrams, please prove me wrong. I want this movie to rock.
The giveaway table had some Star Trek posters but one of the things I have learned from previous giveaway tables is that you just wind up with a bunch of rolled-up posters you never use so no Star Trek poster for me.
Mondo Marvel: (Make Mine Marvel)
They just showed us a slide show of some upcoming projects and promised us a great reveal on Sunday for the X-Men. Nothing was stunning enough to hold my attention two days out, so I have nothing to write here other than it existed. I wanted to ask what was up with Ms. Marvel and her mysterious non-usage of powers of late but the people on the panel were not the ones who would've known the answer.
The Vertigo panel had its slide show, of course. One thing that caught my attention was the upcoming "Absolute Death" hardcover. It collects all the Death trades plus a few of the short stories that never made it into trade but that I have buried somewhere in my back issues. It'd be nice to get all of those together.
100 Bullets is finally ending at issue 100. The first trade of this was great. The concept was: Here are 100 untraceable bullets. Life gave you the short-end, do what you want with them. And the cool bit was watching the struggle people had with that concept. It later blossomed out into a series involving secret organizations tied to the agent who was handing out the bullets in the first few trades. My favorite quote from this panel had to do with a 100 Bullets video game:
Brian Azzarello: How does a game named 100 Bullets sound?
Man at mic who asked about the game: Cool.
BA: How does a game based on the comic sound?
Man: Not cool.
BA: There you go.
We skipped the Masquerade this year: we were both tired and ready to get on with things.
So, the big reveal? At first I thought it was pretty lame. But thinking a bit more on it, it could be a turning point for the X-men: since House of M and the whole 198 business, the X-men have been staying out of Marvel affairs. The Skrull invasion, World War Hulk, Civil War. All of those things pale in comparison to the forced extinction of your entire species. They've had to deal with people who want to accelerate that and their own slew of villains still. You would think the pending extinction would make people less prejudiced and hateful, but no, not so. So, the big deal is that with the upcoming Dark Avengers hoo-ha, they are going to get involved. The teaser is that something is going to happen in SF that they are going to deal with in their very X-Men way and then Norman Osborne and his Dark Avengers are going to get involved - and they're going to destroy a lot of San Francisco.
There were some great talks about the X-Men coming to San Francisco. Someone else said they loved the scenes in the X-Men with the fictional San Francisco mayor and I concur. I would like to believe that the fictional mayor is representative of the bay area. I think SF is a great home for the X-Men and love that they've moved our way. I like the way the culture is being portrayed in the comic book and am now wondering how well other regional cultures are portrayed in the funny books in general (I'm thinking New York: Spider-Man, LA: Runaways). Matt Fraction promised not to destroy the Golden Gate bridge because that would just be too cliche. This I approve of.
A few things mention about the future of the X-verse:
1) Allusions to Jean Grey: Matt Fraction pointing out the Messiah baby is a red-haired girl with green eyes. Him saying "Jean Grey? She's dead isn't she?" and "What isn't clear is was Jean the Phoenix or was the Phoenix Jean?" and saying about Jean "well, it's almost like she rises from the ashes." Damn it. Someone has been doing too much research on Jean Grey/Phoenix. Please, let her stay dead. Rachel Summers is still in outer space with some Phoenix-like abilities: if you need the Phoenix, bring her back to earth (except they're trying to get the cosmic universe going so I know they won't do that). I just want Jean to stay dead. So do the fans. We really want her to stay dead. She'll be coming back.
2) When asked about the recent issue of the Avengers that had a return of the Scarlet Witch and what the X-Men response to this would be, Fraction let us know that the writers/editors had some plans for that but didn't say what. In Avengers, she seems to be coming back to smack someone down and I don't know if that is a temporary out of retirement for this one bad guy then back to hiding away in a self-created shell in which she can't reach her own psyche or if she's back for good. If she is back for good, can she undo the "No More Mutants" spell? And if she can, will she? And how are the X-Men going to respond? They should be more than just angry. They should be talking War Crimes, Genocide. Yeah, this one has me all a-tingly.
Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker:
More talk of the X-Men that I may have smooshed into the above and some general discussions of what they're writing. Brubaker said he's enjoying Bucky as the Cap and mentioned some Noir stuff he's working on.
We spent the rest of Sunday wandering around the convention hall. I was brave enough to be wearing a Zatana costume and got a couple picture requests. I wonder if I got any snaps that I didn't see happening. We bought some books, said hello to some of the local retailers and meandered in circles until my feet could take no more.
I think had I done the Con on my own as I had done all my other previous Cons, I would have jumped into more panels and pushed myself a bit harder. My honey was with me, though, and was keeping me on an even kilter despite my tendency to overdo it.
Next up: SuperCon in May and maybe dressing up with Rob as Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel (google their kiss and you'll see why). Doesn't look like I'll be making it to San Diego ComicCon again this year. Too bad. The year I went it was the best birthday. (It's always near my birthday - so is the Gilroy Garlic Festival)