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DC To Host Batman Bash at WonderCon

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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

 

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Scrubs Reunion: The Band Gets Back Together

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Fans of the beloved medical comedy series Scrubs were recently treated to a thrilling surprise when John C. McGinley, who portrayed the iconic Dr. Perry Cox, dropped a photo on Twitter hinting at a potential reunion project. The image, showing McGinley alongside his former co-stars, sparked a wave of excitement and speculation among fans who have been longing for more adventures with the beloved Sacred Heart Hospital staff.

While details about the reunion project are still scarce, the mere possibility of seeing the gang back together again has sent waves of nostalgia through fans who fondly remember the show’s original run from 2001 to 2010. Scrubs was not just a sitcom; it was a heartfelt exploration of friendship, love, and the chaotic world of medicine, all wrapped up in a quirky and often hilarious package.

At the heart of the show was the bromance between JD (played by Zach Braff) and Turk (played by Donald Faison), whose antics and deep bond served as the emotional anchor for the series. Their dynamic, along with the sage wisdom (and relentless sarcasm) of Dr. Cox, provided viewers with memorable moments that have stood the test of time.

As we eagerly await more news about the Scrubs reunion project, one thing is for sure: it’s time to dust off those old DVDs, rewatch our favorite episodes, and get ready to welcome back our favorite gang of doctors, nurses, and janitors for what promises to be a memorable reunion.

But Scrubs was more than just its main characters. The supporting cast, including the eccentric Janitor (played by Neil Flynn), the neurotic Elliot (played by Sarah Chalke), and the wise-cracking nurse Carla (played by Judy Reyes), each brought their own unique flavor to the show, creating a rich tapestry of characters that fans grew to love.

While the photo shared by McGinley has fueled speculation about what the reunion project might entail, whether it’s a one-off special, a new season, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: fans are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to dive back into the world of Sacred Heart Hospital.

In an age where reboots and revivals are commonplace, Scrubs stands out as a series that has the potential to recapture the magic that made it a fan favorite in the first place. With its blend of humor, heart, and unforgettable characters, a reunion project has the opportunity to not only satisfy longtime fans but also introduce a new generation to the joys of life at Sacred Heart.

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WonderCon 2024:Day One

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Dune Part Two: The Lisan Al Gaib comes for you!

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Welcome back to our struggle for control of the known universe already in progress, the continuation of the journey of Paul Atreides from exile to Emperor, Dune Part Two

So when we last left our intrepid if dubious heroes, House Atreides had been betrayed and virtually destroyed, by a combination of House Harkonnens surprise attacks and the added treachery of Emperor Shaddam and his Sardaukar. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the last surviving heir (so far) of House Atreides and his mother Jessica, have taken refuge on the desert planet of Arrakis amongst the indigenous Fremen, and as far as most are aware, the other remnants of House Atreides are dead as well. And here is where we catch up with everyone, as the struggle for Atreides emergence and dominance begins in earnest! 

The Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is known for her many skills, but her copious note-taking and writings on the large events shaping her world come to the forefront as she takes counsel with her father amidst games of chance on their homeworld. Her life is one of luxury and privilege but alas, Irulan is a trained Bene Gesserit and is well aware that in all likelihood, she will be used as a pawn in the marriage games empires have to go through. Bet she never imagined it could be to a House everyone swore had been utterly destroyed. 

Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Paul is trying to integrate himself into the Fremen way of life, which is admittedly far different from the life he led back on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan. (If nothing else, Caladan has vast oceans.) The Fremen are fiercely independent, gloriously strong fighters, survivors who dare to ride and revere the giant sandworms that inhabit their planet that they call Shai-Hulud, and rightfully distrustful of outsiders. After all, the previous stewardship of Arrakis belonged to House Harkonnen, known for their cruelty and glee at hunting Fremen and torturing their victims, sometimes for weeks at a time. But Paul won his and Jessicas way into the Fremen by fair combat against Jamis, and if nothing else, the Fremen are firm in their beliefs of the old ways. 

Or rather, the elder Fremen are, most particularly the famed Fedaykin fighter and Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is adamant in his unshakable belief that Paul is the foretold Lisan Al Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World, that will lead the Fremen to peace and paradise. Stilgar’s steadfast belief in Paul’s potential only grows, and he manages with just that to convince a great many of the other Fremen elders. The younger generation of Fremen however, of which Paul’s beloved Chani (Zendaya) is a part, generally scoff at the legends of otherworldly prophets and Arrakis as a fabled green, wet heaven. In the beginning, Paul himself swears he doesn’t want to be the Messiah, only a Fremen fighter amongst the rest of them, hundreds of years of the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit practice of spreading useful religious propaganda as seeds on various planets, is working double-time against him. It doesn’t help that Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) is expounding on that myth as much as she possibly can. 

And why would she do that? Survival yes, but also, Jessica is a thoroughly trained Bene Gesserit and knows of plans within plans within plans. Jessica also has many secrets of her own, and one very important one happens to be that she’s pregnant with Paul’s sister. The Bene Gesserit bodily control may be something out of legend, but even Jessica, possibly Reverend Mother Mohiam’s best and most fractious student, will have trouble with the trial the Fremen are insisting she go through to become truly one of them. The Reverend Mother equivalent of Sietch Tabr, known as their Sayyadina, is old and dying, and the Fremen have to have a Reverend Mother. Jessica tells Paul this much and explains that each culture is different in their trial to become a Reverend Mother, so she honestly doesn’t know what to expect. The reality happens to be worse than she could’ve imagined – Jessica must drink the Water of Life, a deadly poison that comes from Shai-Hulud (sort of), and come out the other side of it. And Jessica manages to do it, barely, with almost all of the consequences going to the poor fetus in her womb, the girl that will grow to become Alia Atreides, an insane legend in her own right. But for now, the unnamed fetus is awake and aware and full of the memories of generations of Bene Gesserit women that came before her – before she was even born

Paul participates in razzia raids amongst the Fremen as they work to take out the spice mining operations of the Harkonnens, immerses himself in the vastly different desert culture of his chosen people, and perhaps most importantly, his romance with his beloved Chani only grows stronger. After declaring his desire to join the fierce fighter elites amongst the Fremen known as Fedaykin, Paul is told by Stilgar that he must summon and ride one of the giant sandworms, the embodiment of Shai-Hulud where the Fremen get their terrible tooth Crysknives from. And after much sendup, in a glorious scene of blinding sand and huge monstrous killer worm-riding, Paul is triumphant and riding atop the sacred creature, his Maker hooks set properly to control the great beast, waving at great distance to his fellow Fremen as Chani looks on in bemusement. 

But that’s all external, and inside Paul is beginning to become divided on what he wants to do. As Jessica pushes the Protectiva hard amongst the women and priestesses of the Fremen, she is also pushing her son to become much larger than he ever wanted to be, if nothing else a conqueror can take revenge for the destruction of House Atreides and the death of her beloved Duke Leto. Paul may have earned his place amongst the Fremen and been given new names – Usul, meaning the strength of the base of the pillar, as his private name within the Sietch; and Muad’Dib, from the small mouse survivor of the desert, well versed in desert ways, called ‘Instructor-of-Boys’ in Fremen legend, as his open-use name – but now everyone wants Paul to be something greater, and potentially more destructive, than what he currently is. It only gets worse when Paul begins to suffer prophetic dreams, and visions when he’s awake, prodding him further to his destiny as an epic conqueror of worlds. Nothing can be done for it, Paul convinces himself that he must take the Water of Life himself, to awaken the sleeping prophet inside himself, and allow him to hopefully See a path through the future. 

The problem with that plan, is that Bene Gesserit are almost exclusively all women, and only they are supposed to know how to transmute poisons internally, along with all sorts of other “witchcraft”. But Jessica has been training Paul in forbidden Bene Gesserit ways all his life, and as much as Paul might rail and even quail against it, there is no denying his incoming destiny, crushing any resistance he may have with all the force of a giant sandworm hunting a spice blow. And even when Paul has finally given in and taken the cursed substance almost mockingly called the Water of Life, it falls to another strong and prophetic in her right female in his life, his beloved Chani, to save him from himself. But even Chani can’t stop Paul’s destructive destiny as the conqueror of the known worlds, guilty of slaying millions upon millions of people in his quest for vengeance, thinly disguised as peace. 

Over on the Harkonnen homeworld of Geidi Prime, “Beast” Rabban (Dave Bautista) is disgusted and enraged at the continuing Fremen raids against the Harkonnens on Arrakis, and terrified of what his uncle the notoriously cruel Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), will do to him in response. The Baron’s nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), heir apparent or na-Baron to House Harkonnen, demonstrates his blood-inborn savagery in a slaughter of the remnants of House Atreides gladiator-style, as his birthday celebration. Pleased with the spectacle, the Baron commands Feyd-Rautha to take control of the fight against this Fremen rebel known as Muad’dib, as Rabban is proving himself more and more useless. And any tool or toy that the Baron finds broken or unusable, is destroyed before being discarded. 

As the legend of Muad’dib grows off Arrakis and circulates among the Imperial worlds, the Emperor grinds his teeth in frustration and the Bene Gesserit, led by Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) as the Emperor’s Truthsayer, begin pushing forward their plots and machinations. Lady Margot Fenring (Lea Seydoux), a criminally underused character in this respect, demonstrates her willingness to be a pawn in Bene Gesserit machinations, but never forget, strong Bene Gesserit women have been breaking their own rules for generations. Just look at what Jessica did. 

As the raids and rebellion on Arrakis continue, both the Emperor and the Baron become more and more desperate, sending in mercenaries and smugglers in the hopes they might have more luck. And aboard one of those smuggler’s vessels happens to be an old hand at being a smuggler himself, the warrior troubadour with the scarred face given him by “Beast” Rabban himself, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Reunited with his beloved Duke’s only son, Gurney finds himself swept up in the legend of Muad’dib in the making along with everyone else, though at least from Gurney’s point of view, Paul is using the messianic angle to take revenge for House Atreides. 

Finally, in an act of what could be considered the ultimate in arrogance, Emperor Shaddam Corrino himself comes to Arrakis, along with Princess Irulan and many others of his Court, the Baron, and Feyd-Rautha in tow as well, to crush this upstart Muad’dib and his Fremen warriors. Sadly for all that the powerhouse actor Christopher Walken plays him, Emperor Shaddam Corrino is shown as a doddering old man, cowed in the face of Muad’dib’s overwhelming vitality and growing-ever-stronger legend. And there is where we will end the review, for the final confrontation between all key players in the Known Universe is full of spoilers and derivations from the original opus of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune

For those of you who stuck around long enough to get to the end, after all, Dune Part Two is almost three hours long itself, if you are fans of the original novel and the zany Lynchian masterpiece that was the first Dune film, you may be disappointed or even angered at the changes made to the story for the climactic end scenes. Director Villenuve has an eye for making grand epic scenes like Paul’s sandworm ride but can be a bit scattered when it comes to piecing the story together with all the key players needing to be involved in a way that can be understood by any layman. Dune in any form is a rich, vast universe of storytelling, and even an almost three-hour-long sequel simply can’t cover every last bit that’s in the novels. But if nothing else, the film is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and should bring a whole new legion of fans to the many worlds contained within Dune

If you want to dive further into the Dune-iverse, do yourself a favor and read the Dune prequel books written by Herbert Jr. and Kevin J. Anderson. Until then, dive into the sands of Arrakis along with Shai-Hulud and scream vengeance to the skies with Paul Muad’dib Atreides in Dune Part Two, in theaters now! 

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