For those of you who don’t know, today was the second day (though technically the first full day, since Thursday was just a “preview night”) of New York Comic Con and Anime Festival. I absolutely love comic conventions, and since I’m currently based in New York, of course I had to go. This was my second time at NYCC/NYAF, and I must say, I’m impressed with the changes they’ve made from last year. The con is much more spacious and has a more impressive guest list than ever before. Since I had a blast today, I thought I’d share some of the highlights here.
Being the animation enthusiast that I am, of course I was overjoyed to see that Adventure Time had a huge presence this year. There were several posters in the walkway outside the exhibitor hall, including one giant eye-catching banner above the main event hall:
I also recognized the same humongous inflatable Finn and Jake display from San Diego Comic Con, looming above the Cartoon Network booth. Everyone who visited the booth got a free special edition Finn figurine.
Of course I did my share of shopping, but I won’t bore you with that. By far the most interesting part of my day was the Marvel Ultimate Comics Reborn panel. For those of you who have been living under a rock, you may not have heard about Marvel’s recent relaunch of its popular alternate universe line of comics, Ultimate Marvel. Here’s all you need to know about Marvel’s Ultimate line of comics: they’re the same superheroes from Marvel’s regular comic book series, but in an alternate universe where writers are free to do things they could never do in regular Marvel continuity. So if a writer wants to permanently kill off Ultimate Spiderman and reinvent the superhero with a new man behind the mask, that writer has full freedom to do so.
This decision to replace Ultimate Peter Parker (remember: separate from original Peter Parker, who is still alive and well in the Amazing Spiderman series) caused a media circus the likes of which are rarely seen for comic book developments anymore. Not because Ultimate Spiderman’s writer Brian Michael Bendis decided to kill off Peter. Oh no. It was because the new Spiderman is a half-African American, half-Latino boy named Miles Morales.
There was a surprising amount of backlash against this decision, mostly fueled by various forms of veiled or open racism. Many of the fans perceived the decision as being an attempt by Marvel to be “politically correct” and decided to boycott the character. Despite the fact that these fans were in a (albeit sizable) minority, the response was truly disheartening.
To my knowledge, Marvel hasn’t said much in response to these complaints, as well they shouldn’t. This panel, however, was an open forum for Marvel executives and creatives to discuss the changes behind the Ultimate Universe’s flagship character and other upcoming news for their Ultimate line of comics. It was interesting to hear Marvel defend the character as being a wholly original creation, and one that they had been planning for a long time. It was also nice to be reminded of the overwhelming support for the new character among the majority of Ultimate Marvel readers.
There were also some sneak peeks of upcoming events in Ultimate Marvel, including Ultimate Comics Spiderman…
…Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, the alternative version of The Avengers…
…and Ultimate Comics X-Men.
That was the only panel I went to today, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. That’s about it for my Friday adventures at New York Comic Con/Anime Festival, since I turned in pretty early today. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow and Sunday, though!
Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
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