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NYCC 2015 Day Two: The Desolation of SHIELD

New York Comic Con 2015 02

New York Comic Con 2015 Day Two Writeup. My coverage of New York Comic Con continued today, and the crowd was, if anything, even more pumped than they were yesterday. There were more people, there were more panels, and there were more lines – a lot more. There’s always something going on at Comic Con, and today was no different. But unlike yesterday, today I was trying to get into a panel on the Main Stage. In this case, it was Marvel’s Agents of Primetime, which was mostly about Agents of SHIELD although it covered Agent Carter a bit as well. Getting into a Main Stage panel is different than other ones – you have to be lined up first thing in the morning to receive a wristband, or you will not get in. The Agents of Primetime panel was easily the most crowded line, beating out panels like Adult Swim’s programming block and a 30th anniversary retrospective on The Dark Knight Returns.

The Show Floor

As I mentioned yesterday, I usually walk the show floor whenever I have downtime between panels. There’s so much cool stuff all around, it’s like a constant bombardment of everything you’ve ever loved as a geek. I came across an independent DVD store that was selling DVDs I’ve never seen anywhere else (his selection included the complete series of the Ferris Bueller TV show starring Jennifer Aniston, to give you some idea). You’ll see comic vendors trading rare comics, toy companies displaying their selection, and major companies pulling out all the stops. I stopped by the Marvel booth today as a costume contest was going on. Cosplayers dressed like Star-Lord, Deadpool, Agent Carter, Captain America, Thor, and even Squirrel Girl were all participating.

Another great aspect of Comic Con is the sense of community that you get from being there, and that’s only enhanced when you run into people you know in real life. This happened to me twice today, as my FilmBookCast co-host Mike DeCriscio ended up making an appearance for a few hours. We’ll be doing a special edition of the podcast next week to talk about the convention even more. And, I also ran into the guy who runs Earthworld Comics, my local comic book store from back when I lived in Albany – New York Comic Con is great because you never know who you’re going to see when you’re there, but if you’re someone who knows a bunch of geeky people, chances are you’ll run into a few of them. (Incidentally, if you’re ever in Albany, New York, check out Earthworld Comics, which is easily the best comic book store I’ve ever been to. They have a wide selection, lots of old stuff, and a great staff.)

In Conversation With Seth Meyers

I was a little surprised with how popular this panel was – I’m a big Saturday Night Live fan and I love Seth Meyers, so I was excited, but I didn’t expect the Comic Con crowd to be all over it. It turned out to be one of the hardest panels to get into, with the line extending around the corner. A lot of people were turned away, but I got in and I’m glad I did. The panel began with a montage of clips from Late Night, and then the panel began. It was similar in format to the Robert Kirkman panel I attended yesterday. It was mostly a lengthy interview, then a short Q&A. As you’d expect, it was very funny. Meyers talked a lot about his role in late night television, and how it’s important for a show’s host to present his point of view (Meyers has been doing very sharp political humor recently, and it’s well worth checking some of it out on YouTube).

Meyers also discussed his time on SNL, some of his favorite cast members and sketches (it was a particular thrill to hear him talk about writing Jon Hamm’s John Ham, one of my favorite one-off SNL sketches). He made some jokes about the upcoming election, and he presented insightful thoughts about his career in comedy. It was a fun discussion, but nothing could prepare me for how much I would love the next panel.

A Fireside Chat With Comedy’s First Couple: Samantha Bee and Jason Jones

This is my favorite panel of the convention so far. Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (both formerly of The Daily Show) each have new shows premiering soon on TBS. Bee has Full Frontal, a late-night talk show, and Jones has a comedy show called Detour. The panel was moderated by another former Daily Show correspondent, Mo Rocca, and the result was the loosest, most fun panel I’ve been to this year. Bee and Jones are a comedy dream team; married in real life, their chemistry comes through in their comedy and their improv. The panel began with a sizzle reel from Detour, and then, a short piece by Samantha Bee that was filmed the day before on the show floor of New York Comic Con, reminiscent of some of her work on The Daily Show. Both were hilarious, and when Mo Rocca introduced the two of them and they each sat on far ends of the table, Bee remarked, “It’s just like our marriage.”

The panel didn’t let up for its 45-minute running time. Jones was relentlessly making fun of the camera guy as he tried to capture both of them on film but couldn’t do it quickly. They each agreed they were negligent parents, telling funny stories about their kids that horrify the kids themselves. With Full Frontal, Bee is going to be the only woman in late-night television, a fact that Mo Rocca joked about by asking, “So, how do you plan on representing all women everywhere?” When it was time for the Q&A, instead of having audience members go to the microphones that were set up, Mo Rocca instead hand-picked them out of the crowd and had them come up and sit between Bee and Jones. It was an improvised move that really represents the panel as a whole: just a fun, funny set where everyone could be part of Bee and Jones’ little comedy family for 45 minutes.

Marvel Television Presents: Agents of Primetime

The big panel I went to today was Agents of Primetime, which promised to mostly cover Agents of SHIELD and give a little taste the new season of Agent Carter. The panel delivered what it promised, and the crowd was terrific. Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, came out at the beginning and goaded the crowd into cheering for Team SHIELD or Team Carter in the ongoing DubSmash Wars (if you’re not familiar, check out Hayley Atwell or Clark Gregg’s Twitter accounts). Clark Gregg ran out on stage before he was supposed to just to get the crowd cheering again, which they happily obliged (and started chanting “Coulson! Coulson! Coulson!”). Loeb only spent a little time on Agent Carter, showing a quick video of Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy filmed for the convention where they apologized for not being there, then apologized again by announcing that Dominic Cooper would not be returning for season two – of course, Cooper was standing right behind them at the end of the video, and indeed, Loeb announced Cooper, Bridget Regan, Enver Gjokaj, and Chad Michael Murray as all returning to Agent Carter for Season 2. He then showed a quick clip from the first episode of the season which featured Jarvis showing Peggy how to work Howard Stark’s car. It was a light, funny scene that showcased some more banter between the two, which is one of the show’s greatest strengths.

After that, Clark Gregg came back out onto the stage, and he and Loeb did a quick, pretty funny Q&A. Then, one audience member (possibly a plant?) asked if we were going to see new footage from Agents of SHIELD at this panel. Loeb pretended that he didn’t want to, and he played along with Gregg as he kept goading him into it, eventually announcing that they were going to screen the entire next episode of Agents of SHIELD, which airs Tuesday, October 13th on ABC. I won’t say too much about the episode since I don’t want to spoil it, but I’ll say that the episode itself is fine. It’s not in the upper echelon of SHIELD episodes, but it certainly isn’t one of their worst. The real fun was seeing it with this crowd. It’s always fun to see something with an audience that has an absolute love and devotion to it, and that was the case here. Melinda May has one pretty terrific scene that had the crowd cheering and applauding, and there were a lot of collective gasps as the plot moved along.

And that was the end of my second day at New York Comic Con. Don’t forget, I’ll be tweeting and broadcasting live on Periscope through FilmBook’s Twitter account for the remainder of the convention, and you can always follow me as well if you were so inclined. Tomorrow, my main objective is to get into Marvel’s Netflix panel, which covers Jessica Jones and Daredevil, so you can follow on Twitter to get a real-time recap of that plus everything else I do that day.

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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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