Thoughts on Wizard World Cleveland 2016

Wizard World Cleveland 2016 marked Wizard World’s second convention in Cleveland, Ohio and it was bigger and better.  Fans flocked to the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland to see their favorite actors and creators.  On Saturday, February 27, 2016, the second day of Wizard World Cleveland, attendance was in the thousands.  Many came to get their picture taken with Chris Hemsworth who plays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Other celebrities at Wizard World Cleveland 2016 were Brent Spiner (Star Trek: TNG), Jason David Frank (Power Rangers), Jason Mewes (Clerks, Dogma) and many more.

Courtesy of Wizard World (https://twitter.com/WizardWorld/media)

As with any other comic conventions, there were plenty of cosplayers at Wizard World Cleveland.  The popular characters cosplayers came dressed as were Deadpool and characters from the new Star Wars film, as well as some classics like Batman and the Joker.  There were also some blasts from the past that the casual pop culture fan may not recognize such as Hanna-Barbera’s Penelope Pitstop and Milestone’s Static Shock.

 

Also, panels such as THE WOMEN OF S.H.I.E.L.D., TIME TRAVELING WITH KAREN GILLAN and LET’S SHUT DOWN SOME STREETS: THE RUSSO BROTHERS gave fans who came out to Wizard World Cleveland 2016 some insight into behind the scenes stories from their favorite movies and TV shows.

 

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Wizard World Cleveland Day 1 (2-20-15) Photos

MAN OF STEEL Review

 

 

Ever since this movie was announced back in 2010, I have been looking forward to seeing Zack Snyder’s vision of the Superman legend.  Tonight the anticipation paid off.  Man of Steel is one of, if not the definitive Superman story.  I’m not going to put any major spoilers in this review because I feel any plot points are best experienced while watching the movie.

Man of Steel, of course, focuses on the beginnings of Kal-El/ Clark Kent/ Superman, from his birth on Krypton to growing up in Smallville to when he puts on the suit.  One thing that sets Man of Steel apart from any other Superman movie or television show is that the audience is only sees key points of Clark’s childhood in Smallville.  Snyder takes a page out of the Nolan-directed Batman Begins utilizing flashbacks for Clark as a child.  Another welcome change in the introductory Superman story is no Lex Luthor.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Luthor but I feel the whole Lex as Superman’s first villain has been played out.  It was a refreshing change of pace for the major bad guy to be someone from Krypton than a Earth man like Lex.  The cast is perfectly chosen especially Henry Cavill and Amy Adams who play Superman and Lois Lane respectively.  The real surprise was in Russell Crowe’s role as Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El.  Unlike his bland performance in Les Miserables, Crowe shines in this film.

As much as I love Bryan Singer and his work on the X-Men movies, Superman Returns was horrible.  The reason for this was that Singer tried to continue what Richard Donner and Ilya Salkind did on the original Superman movies including using the John Williams theme sans John Williams.  The result was a convoluted mess that left Superman fans confused and disgusted.

As to how Man of Steel compares with Superman The Movie, there is really no fair reason to draw a comparison.  Both films present a vision of Superman that is representative of the era they were filmed.  Like the original 1978 film, Man of Steel is a seminal work and one that could set the stage for later cinematic outings for other DC Comics properties such as Justice League, The Flash and Wonder Woman.  Early ticket sales projections have prompted Warner Brothers to lock in Snyder and company for a sequel to Man of Steel.

Disappointment Over DC Comics’ Decision to Let Orson Scott Card Write Superman

Last Wednesday, it was announced that DC Comics was starting a digital comic series for Superman called Adventures of Superman similar to the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight digital series.  Adventures of Superman does not begin until April 29 but this digital series is already making waves among the news websites and blogs.  The uproar is not over the character but the writer that is writing the first two chapters, Orson Scott Card.  Card is the author of the science-fiction novel, Ender’s Game and a fanatical Mormon.  The author’s views on gays and marriage equality and his association with the right-wing group, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) are the reasons that there is outrage that DC Comics would hire Card to write a Superman story.

I have been a Superman fan since 1990 and have had a few issues with how DC Comics has handled its best known property, but this is, for me, a slap in the face.  When I first heard of Card’s views on gays, I decided from that moment that I would not support any work of Card’s.  It is true that the man is entitled to his opinion when it comes to the issue of gay rights and it is also true that he probably is able to separate those views from his fiction writings but the money he makes off those writings goes toward NOM and whatever other hate groups that Card donates money to.

I’m not saying that DC Comics should prevent Card from writing Superman, but I will not buy a Superman story written by Orson Scott Card.