The Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia was held this past weekend at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This was the fifteenth Wizard World held in Philly and, by all indications, the show is as popular as it ever was with many appearances by comic book creators, professional wrestlers and pop culture stars from TV and movies.
Saturday is, generally, the busiest day of the convention and this year seemed no different. Pop culture star signing areas were packed with fans waiting to meet their favorites. “Dr. Who” cast mates, David Tennant and Billie Piper, had the largest signing areas, by far. However, that is not to say that other guests did not have strong lines. “Arrow” and “Ninja Turtles 2” star Stephen Amell, pro wrestler Sting and original “Green Power Ranger” Jason David Frank were just a few of the popular guests Saturday afternoon. The photo opportunities area also took up a large section of the convention floor.
Artist Alley had a host of top comic book creators last weekend. The list ranged from legends like Neal Adams, Michael Golden and Mike Zeck to current Marvel Comics scribes like Dan Slott and Peter David and DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver. “Deadpool” creator Rob Liefeld’s line for his last signing of the convention wrapped around his booth. Liefeld enthusiastically Tweeted about the show (and Philly’s fans) all weekend.
The exhibitor area was chock full of various types of vendors. Not only were there plenty of vendors selling comics, toys and other memorabilia, but one could also sign up for LASIK surgery, home remodeling or reduce your carbon footprint by switching to a clean energy provider. Next to the exhibitor area was a gaming area, where fans could partake in demonstrations of some of the latest releases.
There were no shortages of fans dressed in costume play. Fans of all ages sported homemade costumes of their favorite characters. Many were frequently asked to pose for pictures. Last, but not least, Wizard World Philly featured a full schedule of programming. Events included panels with comic creators and Q&As with pop culture stars, such as one with David Tennant and Billie Piper, which was streamed live on Wizard World’s CONtv. “Agent Carter” star Hayley Atwell, also held a Q&A, as did Danny Trejo (“Machete”).
The fifteenth Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia was another great success for the convention. Continue to the List below to see more specific coverage from the event. Wizard World returns to Philadelphia next year, June 2-5.
Stephen Amell held a Q&A with fans Saturday afternoon. Amell was very charismatic and seemed to genuinely appreciate his fans and all their support. Amell opened the Q&A stating that he had just met one of his idols, pro wrestler, Sting. The “Arrow” star lightheartedly took umbrage with Sting’s recent billing as “The Vigilante” in WWE. Amell said if there was one vigilante in pop culture right now it was Green Arrow (Yes, he said “Green” Arrow) and, if there were two, the second was Casey Jones (whom Amell is playing in the upcoming “Ninja Turtles 2”). Earlier in the weekend, Amell expressed his willingness to guest star on an episode of “Constantine” if a network opted to pick up the series, now that NBC has canceled the show. “The Originals” star, Joseph Morgan, made the same offer and Amell thought it would be a great opportunity to have them both appear on “Constantine.” He, also, went on to confirm that the DC Comics TV shows were part of the same universe, separate from the DC Comics movies universe. There is potential for characters crossing over between “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Supergirl,” “Gotham” and “Constantine” were it to be picked up again. When asked what major villain fans could look forward to in “Arrow” Season 4, Amell said hints this season suggest Damien Darhk playing a role next year.
Speaking of “The Vigilante” Sting, “The Icon” appeared at Wizard World Philly in full face paint and ring gear. The former WCW, TNA and current WWE Superstar had a full crowd waiting to take advantage of a rare personal appearance in this popular wrestling town.
During his signing, Rob Liefeld confirmed with atombash.com that “Brigade” #0 would be available in comic shops in October. Fans anxious for the return of Liefeld’s Extreme Universe need only wait until July, however, thanks to the release of “Bloodstrike” #1. The opening arc of the new “Bloodstrike” series acts as a sort of prelude to “Brigade.” Bloodstrike has been charged with taking out Brigade’s leader (and Bloodstrike’s brother), Battlestone, and has, finally, locked in on the coordinates of Brigade’s orbiting satellite, as the series opens. “Brigade” #0 was successfully funded via Kickstarter and will be offered for free. According to a recent update on the Kickstarter campaign, “Brigade” backers will receive their copies of the issue 90 days in advance of its wide release. “Bloodstrike” #1 is currently available for pre-order.
Having just completed his run on DC Comics’ “Red Lanterns” series, artist Jim Calafiore (“Aquaman,” “Exiles,” “Secret Six”) told atombash.com that he has completed over a dozen pages of volume two of his and Gail Simone’s “Leaving Megalopolis” creator owned series. After successfully funding the original graphic novel of volume one through Kickstarter, with a subsequent direct market edition published by Dark Horse Comics, the creators are hoping to release the follow up as a six issue mini-series. It is Calafiore’s hope to get volume two out this year and to, potentially, release a six issue “Leaving Megalopolis” mini-series every year.
John Still, creator/writer/artist of “Synergy,” updated atombash.com on the progress of the comic’s second issue, as he sketched a “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan face-off commission. Still revealed the second issue of “Synergy” has been fully written and laid out and he is currently working on the final pencils. He expected to have the issue ready for next year’s Wizard World Philly, if not sooner.
Bryan G. Brown
hiladelphia artist, Bryan G. Brown, spoke about his mixed martial arts-inspired comics to atombash.com. Brown has completed four issues of the autobiographical MMA series, “First Fight,” based on his own experience as a grappler. Brown discussed the difficulty in balancing family life, a full time job and his passions for grappling and making comics. Despite the many restraints on his time, Brown expects to have the fifth issue of “First Fight” out before year’s end. The creator then hopes to complete the second issue of “Monsters of MMA,” the first issue having been successfully funded and fulfilled on Kickstarter. “Monsters of MMA” is a more fantastical approach to MMA, with monsters battling it out in a galactic arena.