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NYCC 2015 Day Four: There and Back Again

New York Comic Con 2015 04

New York Comic Con 2015 Day Four Writeup. The Sunday of New York Comic Con is very much the winding-down day of the convention. It’s less crowded than it was on Friday and Saturday, it closes at an earlier time, and the energy is a little more subdued. After a busy weekend of non-stop fanboy/fangirl goodness, it’s nice to relax a bit and take things a little slow. I only attended one panel on Sunday, with the small caveat that the panel was four hours long. It was a bit of an endurance test, but once I was in, it was a nice change to stay in one spot for a while instead of running around the Javits Center trying to make it to the next panel. The panel I attended on Sunday was the Warner Brothers Television Takeover, featuring Legends of TomorrowSupergirlBlindspotPerson of Interest, and Gotham. It was very much a mixed bag of offerings; each show had a video presentation followed by a Q&A with some of the cast and crew, some longer than others. Here, in order, are my brief thoughts about the five presentations seen at the Warner Brothers TV panel.

Legends of Tomorrow

I will preface this by saying I am very excited for Legends of Tomorrow, the upcoming CW spinoff of Arrow and The Flash. The show looks great and completely insane, and I love the idea of just taking a bunch of the best recurring characters from those shows and tossing them together as an ensemble. That said, this panel was fairly disappointing. After showing sizzle reels for the new seasons of Arrow and The Flash featuring some new footage, we were shown a trailer for Legends of Tomorrow that has already existed online for months. That was the extent of footage we got for the show, which was followed by a very short Q&A with Brandon Routh, Arthur Darvill, Ciara Renee, and Glen Winter. While it was cool to see Brandon Routh in person (I’m a huge fan of Superman Returns and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), they didn’t offer much new about the show.

Supergirl

This was the most substantial panel of the event, because we were actually shown the entire pilot of the new CBS series Supergirl. The episode is solid – it gets off to a rocky start, but it gets better as it goes along and gets more fantastical. Melissa Benoist is charming as the lead and she seems to be surrounded by a very able cast. Its issues are a very exposition-heavy opening and anything involving Kara’s office life, which mostly feels like a low-rent knock-off of The Devil Wears Prada. Superman also casts a long shadow over the series, acting like the unseen POTUS on Veep (“Sue, did Superman call?” “No.”). After the pilot screening, showrunner Ali Adler, Mehcad Brooks (who plays Jimmy Olsen), and Peter Facinelli (who will play Maxwell Lord, though he is not in the pilot) took the stage. Conspicuously absent was the series’ star, Melissa Benoist, although presumably she’s busy actually filming the series. This was another Q&A that didn’t offer too much we didn’t already know, though Adler did announce that Toyman will make an appearance on the series.

Blindspot

As of this writing, Blindspot has aired three episodes, of which I’ve only seen the first. I thought the pilot was decent enough – it has a good hook, but it falls victim to the problems of a generic network procedural drama and I’m not sure if it’s something that I think would be worth following. The panel opened with a sizzle reel of the events of the first three episodes before opening up to a panel discussion with most of the cast of the series, including Sullivan Stapleton, Ashley Johnson, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Jamie Alexander was not there because she had “come down with a cold,” which seemed like a fairly weak excuse). The panel did little to change my mind on the show, though it revealed some interesting tidbits; for example, there is apparently a secret code hidden in the episode titles of the first ten episodes that reveals a spoiler for the season. Much of the Q&A was geared towards Ashley Johnson, whose work in geek-friendly projects like The Last of Us, The Avengers, and Critical Role makes her a perfect Comic Con guest.

Person of Interest

This is another show that I have very little familiarity with, though based on this panel, I wish I did. It opened with a short Amy Acker-heavy teaser for the show’s upcoming fifth season, and it looked terrific (again, I’ve never watched the show, so I’m judging simply by the context I was given). A panel followed with most of the show’s cast including Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, and Amy Acker, and the passionate fanbase present made this a delight even for someone who doesn’t watch the show. The highlight of the panel for me was Acker, whom I love based on her work with Joss Whedon across various projects, and who was often funny and had a retort for nearly everything. One memorable moment during the Q&A was when a young fan asked if she could hug Jim Caviezel, and then ran onstage and got a big, long hug, a selfie, and another hug and selfie with Michael Emerson. There seemed to be a genuine joy at this panel that wasn’t necessarily present earlier, and it made for a breath of fresh air.

Gotham

This was probably the overall best panel of the day for me, both because I watch Gotham and because the passion present for Person of Interest was again present here. We were shown a sizzle reel of all that’s happened over the first three episodes of the show’s second season, and were then shown a clip from the show’s fourth episode, which introduced Michael Chiklis’ Captain Barnes to the GCPD. It was a very effective scene, and made me eager to see the upcoming episode. Afterwards, the panel was underway with Ben McKenzie, Michael Chiklis, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Cory Michael Smith, Jessica Lucas, James Frain, and executive producer John Stephens. There was a lot of energy in this panel and some newsworthy bits, the biggest of which was Taylor’s announcement that Paul Ruebens would be playing Cobblepot’s father on the series, reprising his role from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Stephens also suggested we “may not have seen the last of Jerome,” and the odd love triangle between Gordon, Leslie Tompkins, and Barbara would “come to a head” in episode eight. This show also appeared to have the most vocal audience (not necessarily a surprise, considering the venue) and the Q&A line was the longest I had seen the entire convention. There wasn’t time for many questions, so when asked by a fan who their favorite villain is, Taylor quickly responded “Donald Trump!” and the panel came to an end.

Overall, this was a fine, laid-back end to a hectic weekend. New York Comic Con is an absolute blast, and if you have any vested interest in anything pop culture-related, I’d highly recommend going. This is a place where any obsession can be celebrated, no matter how weird or obscure. It’s a place where you never know what’s going to happen, who you’re going to run into, or what you’re going to see. I’m glad I got to return this year, and I look forward to attending again in the future (October 6th through 9th, according to signs around the convention; Save the date).

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About the author

Michael Smith

Mike Smith is an avid filmgoer from New York who loves to hear his own voice - luckily his work as a podcaster on FilmBook allows him to do just that. Mike graduated from The College of Saint Rose in Albany with a degree in communications, and is ready to dole out critical analysis of all your pop culture fixations. Mike is the host of FilmBookCast and can frequently be seen at his local movie theater, patiently explaining to his friends that Superman Returns is a misunderstood masterpiece.

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