SDCC Day 2
So, the most influential panel in our con experience today was a hands down The Shannara Chronicles. Author Terry Brooks was on hand to promise a faithful adaptation taking place not on the movie screen but in a made-for-cable series, and the shocker, on the MTV network. The entire panel gushed laudits for forty minutes. Veteran actor John Rhys-Davies’ chimed in multiple times in his distinctive booming voice, endorsing the cast, the show and the whole production with no reserve whatsoever.
I found it interesting that they never once alluded to the elephant in the room, Game of Thrones, who reviewers will immediately compare this show to. Of course, one look at the sneak peak and you can see this is obviously aimed at a different demographic, but no doubt seeking to tap into the fantasy frenzy stirred up by Thrones. To be honest, if it’s even half as good as they are saying it will be impressive.
The panel wasn’t all just gushing, there were some heart-felt demonstrations and some levity. Maori descended Auckland born Actor Manu Bennett, had a special moment with Terry Brooks on stage, followed shortly after by John Rhys-Davies making a humorous jab at his former co-star Orlando Bloom.
Of course, we saw more than Shannara Chronicles. We saw multiple Marvel and DC panels on things that both comic publishers were doing with their properties. I have to say that my comic focus has definitely been myopic of late, because I was taken aback at the huge changes going on in both universes. Marvel, it seems, has basically sky-dived into a complete fragmentation of their continuity with a cross-book universe redefinition called Secret Wars. This is essentially allowing them to do a plethora of “what-if” style explorations of characters and teams without the guilt of any of it being canon. The big question, which was asked, what happens when this whole exploded universe thing runs out of gas? The marvel writers and editors on hand were a bit vague on where this pel-mel charge into alternate realities would leave them. I guess we all have to buy the books to see if they pull it off.
In the DC camp, huge changes are underway. At the forefront is a completely new direction for Superman. The Man of Steel is no longer the yellow-sun powered god among mortals. He can be cut and he can bleed. No more flying, no more a lot of stuff. The secret identity is going away as well. There will be no less than five books exploring different aspects and time periods of the shake-up for the character. On hand, to give his perspective was comics legend Neal Adams.
As you can see in one of the promo pictures, gone are the cape and tights. If you look at his hands, the cloth wrapped around them is what’s left of his cape. You can also see him bleeding in this shot fighting with non-supers. All the writers seemed very dedicated and sincere in their determination to explore this new incarnation of the character. I have to admit the change has piqued my interest as well.
Other things on the DC front, while superman is powering down, other characters are powering up in a new gods cross-book series which is tied together in Darkseid wars which pits Darkseid and the minions of Apokolips against the Anti-monitor.
We were told that more than a few DC heroes would be temporarily gaining god-like powers. The one that had the crowd oohing and ahhing over was batman getting the new god Metreon’s chair and gaining the power of ultimate knowledge.
You know long ago I had gravitated away from DC stuff. I have to admit that with some of the new explorations, I might pick up some titles again and see if I can get back into it.
The big con-day is tomorrow. Hopefully, I will finally get some good pictures to share.