Thursday, July 24, 2014

Comic-Con 2014 - Preview Night: Jami's Impressions of the Exhibition Floor and WB's Sneak Previews of "Constantine" and "The Flash"

Written by Jami Ferguson
Comic-Con International: San Diego has returned to the San Diego Convention Center, starting with the Preview Night on Wednesday, July 23, to be followed with the additional four days running Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27. 2014 marks the 45th year for the show, making it the country’s longest continuously-run comics and popular arts convention. Here's Jami's thoughts on the Preview Night, the Exhibition Floor, and WB Television's Sneak Previews of "Constantine" and "The Flash."

Comic Con Preview Day Wednesday
If I were rich…….

As we walk into the exhibition hall, my husband’s eyes light up and he starts naming the things he would own if we were rich. It’s clear that a large portion of our imaginary fortune would go directly to Sideshow Collectibles. You would likely be greeted at our front door by Han Solo in carbonite, or a life size Boba Fett statue – probably both. As I roll my eyes as wives do, I have to admit that some of their stuff is pretty cool. I slow down as I approach an amazingly accurate Predator bust, which is definitely the figure I see guarding our fictional mansion’s front door. 
Around the corner is a Delorian and Marty McFly. The price is labeled tbd (to be decided) but money is no object in our alternate reality. Marty seems to come with a backpack, skateboard, save the clock tower flyer and camcorder – all items I understand. What I don’t understand is the collection of eight hands mixed in with these items. Maybe, real life rich people would actually change out the hands or let someone touch Marty and his Delorian.
Just a few steps further and we find something even better. I’d been thinking small with miniature figures, why not have a life size hot wheels Darth Vader Car. I’d have to learn to drive a 6 speed manual transmission but I be the coolest mom driving carpools? The hot wheels girls seem to be getting more attention than the car and again I move on.
Guardians of the Galaxy is well represented on the exhibition floor. I know nothing about the Guardians of the Galaxy except that Nathan Fillion has a cameo of some sort in the film, which means that I will be at the theater on August 1st. Looking at the character stand-ups there is a good chance Nathan Fillion will be the voice of some strange creature and I don’t know if I’ll see his handsome face. That’s okay though, his voice is worth the price of admission. I do think the raccoon guy is pretty cute and as I call it “raccoon guy” I realize how out of my element I am.
I like a good superhero movie, and I have been known to nerd out over "Firefly."  In the exhibition hall, I’m surrounded by long lines of people looking for those comic con exclusives, many of whom are in full (and amazing) costumes and I’m already irritated at people bumping into me. I stop to get a picture with Coulson’s car from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," grab a quick eyeball (yep that’s a giveaway at the Marvel booth) and I leave my husband with his people just in time to catch the fall TV previews in the upstairs ballroom.
Sneak Previews
"Constantine" is playing first and although I’ve missed a couple of minutes I have no problem figuring out what’s going on. Matt Ryan plays John Constantine, a man whose soul has been condemned to hell. Constantine battles evil and hopes to one day save his own soul as well. The whole thing has a very "Supernatural" feel to it with demon traps and creepy eyes. I know "Supernatural" didn’t invent any of those concepts but I miss the days when that show was all about finding and fighting demons. Based on episode one of "Constantine," I want to see more.
Next up is "The Flash." Grant Gustin plays the Flash and episode one gives you all the basics of how he became super speedy. A significant back-story, including a traumatic childhood event is established and by the end of the episode it appears he may have his first nemesis. The cast includes Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order"), Danielle Panabaker ("Shark," Friday the 13th, The Crazies) and Tom Cavanaugh ("Ed," "Royal Pains"). It was also cool to see a cameo from "Arrow" (Stephen Amell) himself too as both superheroes occupy the same world (even if it isn't the same one as the cinematic universe).

Both "Constantine" and "The Flash" will air this October. Each of the premiere episodes were solid enough to make me want to see more. Right now, the only show my whole family watches together is "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." While "Constantine" is not appropriate for my 2nd grader, "The Flash" appears to be a show that we could all get to watch together. For some reason, "iZombie" which was scheduled to be shown was canceled so I can't comment on that, but the other two looked very interesting. All in all, this was a great start to Comic-Con 2014!

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