DC will host a Batman birthday bash honoring the 80th anniversary of the iconic Super Hero Batman at this year’s WonderCon, taking place in Anaheim on March 29-31.
For the eight decades since Gotham City millionaire socialite Bruce Wayne donned the cape and cowl, Batman has served as a symbol of determination, bravery and justice to generations of fans across comic books, movies, television, video games and more. On Saturday, March 30 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., DC celebrates this incredible pop culture milestone by assembling a panel that will be the talk of WonderCon! This panel features legendary talents who have contributed to The Dark Knight’s 80-year legacy:
David Mazouz, stars as a young Bruce Wayne on the hit TV series Gotham
Kevin Conroy, renowned voice of Batman in the fan-favorite Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: Arkham video games
Lee Meriwether, who starred in the 1960’s Batman movie as Catwoman
Roger Craig Smith, the voice of Batman in the Batman: Arkham Origins video game and the popular animated film Batman: Ninja
Jim Lee, DC Publisher, Chief Creative Officer and BATMAN: HUSH artist
Grace Randolph, host of “Behind The Trailer” and Batman pop culture expert
Highlighted by the release of the publishing milestone issue of DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 and the retrospective hardcover DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN: DELUXE EDITION, both out this month, Batman’s seminal history on the page will also be recognized at WonderCon with a “DC Celebrates 80 Years of Batman Comics” panel featuring top DC writers and artists including Greg Capullo, Sam Humphries, Tom King, Joëlle Jones, Scott Snyder and Peter J. Tomasi. Taking place Friday, March 29 from 3:30-4:30 p.m., this panel honors the comic book legacy of the most popular single Super Hero ever created.
WonderCon will also host several spotlight panels featuring top DC talent who have all contributed to Batman’s enduring legacy on the page including Capullo, Jones, King, Andy Kubert, Lee, Tim Sale, Liam Sharp, Alex Sinclair, Tomasi and more. For more details, a full list of panels can be found here. Furthermore, the cover to this year’s official WonderCon Souvenir Program will honor Batman and the milestone issue of DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 with an exclusive illustration by Lee Weeks (BATMAN, BATMAN/ELMER FUDD SPECIAL #1).
DC’s spectacular booth (#1101) will be a can’t-miss destination for fans, featuring DC’s iconic characters and exciting releases including special fan giveaways, a display of Batman cowls from Warner Bros Archives and a packed signing schedule with appearances from the biggest names in comics. Fans visiting the booth will also have the chance to put themselves on Jim Lee’s cover of the milestone issue of DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 with a special, must-see green screen photo booth experience!
Nearby, the Graphitti Designs booth (#1001) will also have exclusive variant issues of DC’s hottest comics including DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 with a variant cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair, available for $25 while supplies last. Other available variants will feature covers by artists Nick Derington (DIAL H FOR HERO #1), Mitch Gerads (HEROES IN CRISIS #7), Jorge Jimenez (JUSTICE LEAGUE #20), Jim Lee (SHAZAM! #4), Francis Manapul (ACTION COMICS #1009), and Lee Weeks (BATMAN #67). Each of these will feature a silver foil finish and sell for $15 apiece, while supplies last. Fans can pick up the official WonderCon T-shirt as well, featuring commissioned art by Weeks.
The Caped Crusader will be the cornerstone of the DC WonderCon panel schedule, with a DC Batman panel every single day of the show, alongside additional programming honoring the best characters in pop culture (panelists and panel times are subject to change).
Friday, March 29
3:30-4:30 p.m. DC CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF BATMAN – Eighty years after his first appearance in DETECTIVE COMICS, Batman endures as one of the most iconic heroes in history. Join a star-studded panel of industry talent including Joëlle Jones (CATWOMAN), best-selling Batman creative team Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo (BATMAN: THE LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH), Tom King (BATMAN), Becky Cloonan (DETECTIVE COMICS #1000) and Peter J. Tomasi (DETECTIVE COMICS) as they discuss the World’s Greatest Detective at this must-see panel moderated by Sam Humphries (HARLEY QUINN). Room: North 200B
5:30-6:30p.m. THIS IS YOUR DC UNIVERSE – DC fans will get an in-depth look at the ground-breaking digital subscription service designed just for fans, DC UNIVERSE. The panel will feature the latest news on original live-action and animated series Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing and Young Justice: Outsiders, alongside a closer look at the incredible line-up of legendary DC films, epic animated movies, comic books, exclusive merchandise and more! Fans attending the panel will receive a show exclusive poster featuring the cast of the DC UNIVERSE series Doom Patrol! Room: North 200B
Saturday, March 30
12:00–1:00 p.m. DC SUPER HERO GIRLS VIDEO PRESENTATION AND Q&A – Fresh off their brand-new series on Cartoon Network, the DC Super Hero Girls are coming to WonderCon! The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends, have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated. Join executive producer Lauren Faust (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) and other members of the creative team as they share new footage and answer fan questions! DC Super Hero Girls airs Sundays on Cartoon Network (check local listings). North 200A.
2:30–3:30 p.m. DC MEET THE PUBLISHERS – Come hear firsthand the latest on the World’s Greatest Super Heroes from DC publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. Combining humor, breaking news and filled with lots of surprises, this panel is the perfect place to find out what the Publishers have in store for your favorite DC heroes and villains. Room: North 200B
3:30–4:30 p.m. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BATMAN! – Calling all Batfans! Batman’s official birthday bash will be the can’t-miss panel of WonderCon. Join the all-star panel featuring David Mazouz, Jim Lee, Lee Meriwether, Kevin Conroy, Roger Craig Smith, and Grace Randolph to celebrate the Caped Crusader and his many incarnations across film, television, animation, games and comics. Room: North 200B
Sunday, March 31
10:30-11:30 a.m. DC BATMAN ART ACADEMY – Sharpen your pencils and bring your notebooks because class is in session! To commemorate the milestone 80th birthday of the iconic Batman, a fan-favorite lineup of artists including Bernard Chang, Ryan Benjamin, and Mikel Janin will offer a unique look into their visual approaches to one of the greatest heroes of all-time – Batman! Room: 210
1:30–2:30 p.m. A LEGACY OF EVIL – CREATING DC VILLAINS – From The Joker to Lex Luthor, Black Manta and more, DC has created a legacy of the greatest villains in all of pop culture. A well-crafted adversary drives the plot of any story but most of all, they are the makers of Super Heroes. Come meet some of the writers and artists who’ve put their mark on the most wicked characters in the DC universe including Joëlle Jones (CATWOMAN), Scott Snyder (BATMAN: THE LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH), Sam Humphries (HARLEY QUINN), Joshua Williamson (JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY), Cecil Castellucci (FEMALE FURIES), and Adam Glass (TEEN TITANS). Room: 213AB
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!