Part Of The Journey Is The End

There was an idea…called The Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to fight the battles we never could. – Nick Fury The Avengers

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The MCU is in incredible piece of pop art. Unlike anything that came before it, and unlikely to ever be duplicated. (Many have tried and failed.) The brainchild of a genius producer, ushered in by some talented directors and held together for good or ill, by the charisma of that group of remarkable people.

Avengers: Endgame is the payoff. When Avengers: Infinity war ended, with Thanos “watching the sun rise over a grateful universe.” (Universe is actually less than grateful but he’s nuts.) breath was held and we waited. How would our team, our guys, all of whom were left behind after this rapture, handle this?

They fight, of course. They save the world. That’s what they do. And then they rest. As a critic, it’s hard to come at a movie that has this much to  get done, gets it done (mostly) and also manages to be a hell of a lot of fun, a showcase for the three men and one woman who were basically holding this whole endeavor on their good looking charismatic backs. (And a few other people who were backing them up.)

Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, are incredible performers who have given Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, Steve Rogers and Thor Odinson life and joy and heart, and here they get to pay off ten or so years of work. They are all excellent. (Especially Johansson, Nat’s had a journey y’all.)

Endgame is good. It’s very good. As close to perfect as it could be, from a critical standpoint. And from a fan standpoint, it is perfect.

Rankings:

  1. Avengers: Endgame

Trailers

Aladdin:
Kristi: It’s that soon?
Me: Meh, at least there’s no white people in it.
Aless: That is literally the only thing it has going for it though.

The Long Shot:
I will see it. I’m here for President Charlize.

Gemini Man:
Guys, Will Smith is back. I think we should all be happy about that.

Hobbs & Shaw:
Hot damn, I cannot wait for this. The only thing that upsets me is that it appears Shaw will not be brought to justice for Han’s death. Which is kind of a bummer. But the new trailer does have both Statham and Johnson saying “family” like sixteen times. So you know F&F….

Toy Story 4:
It really does look breathtaking doesn’t it? Even if it feels a little like the plot is a retread of 2. 

And from here on out, beyond that cut, we’re into spoiler land. I AM WARNING YOU.

I’M TOTALLY SERIOUS. SPOILERS HEREEEEEE

Continue reading

Ready for Endgame: Avengers: Infinity War

My feelings about Infinity War are best summed up in the first ten minutes I spent after the movie ended.

Aless, Kristi and I wandered out of the theater and down an eerily quiet Broadway, mostly just staring front.

“Do you want a drink?” I managed to squeak.

“Yeah,” Aless said, we wandered quietly into PJ Clark’s to decompress. (It was late and past last call, so we never did get that drink.)

On the subsequent rewatchings, it’s never quite felt so visceral, but that’s OK, the sheer surprise at the way everyone is reacting is enough to really, really hit you in the gut emotionally. Of course, there was the inevitable discussion, heartbreak and then dismissal, “well, it’s all going to be undone.”

As if the Endgame (heh) is the only point of a story. There’s so much more to telling a story, to watching a movie, than just how it ends. It’s why I’ve never been particularly spoilerphobic. The destination matters a good deal less to me, and I’m always fascinated by those for whom it is a big deal.

But anyway, this movie. This is a good movie. I’m less irritated by Doctor Strange, Thor’s well won intensity is a great match for the more loose Guardians, and my god, Peter Parker and Tony Stark bounce well off of each other. I do sometimes wish we’d gotten Captain America and Okoye making a battle plan together, but this movie is already  ridiculously long.

The thing is, unlike my screams about Aquaman and Doctor Strange, and even Spider-Man: Homecoming and their length, Avengers: Infinity War has about 10 main characters that need to be showcased, it’s length is pretty organic. I have a feeling that the 3 hour long Endgame will also earn it’s length.

But Infinity War, was pretty special. It presented the kind of inescapable status quo, like Winter Soldier, we knew the next two movies were going to have to address it.

Infinity War also ended a tradition. Aless and I had long ago begun saving a few handfuls of popcorn to chuck at the screen as post credit sequences popped up without reference to Captain Marvel. Of course, the last second of Infinity War and Nick Fury uses his two way pager to let Carol know she’s needed back on Earth. But more on that in a few week.

Next week we cleanse our pallets and get quantum with Ant-Man And The Wasp. (Also, sorry this is a day late!)

Ready For Endgame: Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Last weekend when I watched Molly’s Game I tweeted the below:

If Molly’s Game is the Sorink-iest movie to ever Sorkin, Avengers: Age Of Ultron might be the Whedon-iest Movie to ever Whedon. I’ve long linked the two in my head. They’re both TV Titans, theater dorks, and overfully pleased with their own cleverness.

I also happen to be a big fan of both of them.

There’s a moment in “Once More With Feeling,” the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, where Buffy stops the Scooby’s theorizing about their foe with a simple, “I’ve got a theory, it doesn’t matter.” Her point becomes that as long as they’re all together, they’ll prevail. They do. Of course they do.

Nick Fury delivers a similar speech to The Avengers as they sit around Hawkeye’s kitchen table halfway through Age Of Ultron, then Vision and Cap do the same about a half hour later. Ultron is also full of grey villains who switch sides (Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver), excellent team work, and a deus ex machina of an ending predicated on, “the true avenging was the friends we made along the way!” tropes.

So, yeah, there’s a lot to like here if you’re a Joss Whedon fan. Which I am.

But there’s also a lot to dislike, if you’re a fan of the MCU, which I also am. There’s a pretty steady stream of fans who insist that Whedon “doesn’t get,” Captain America and Thor, and I don’t think that’s it. Neither of them behave out of character in Ultron, but I do think that Whedon isn’t interested in them, particularly.

He is interested in Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, so the movie focuses on them. And, he’s interested, as he always is, in the normal guy who dances with gods. There’s a reason why Xander Harris and Winifred Berkle and Wash are so well fleshed and beloved by the fanbases (Well, maybe not Xander, people have kind of turned on him…) it’s because Whedon’s enamored of that guy.

So Hawkeye gets some real stand out moments, where as Thor and Cap fall a little bit more flat here than they did in The Avengers. Tony, meanwhile, is at his most insufferable here. Truly, it’s astounding how arrogant and misguided he is. But, as always Robert Downey Jr. sells it. I happen to not totally hate the Banne/Natasha pairing, it’s not great but again, it hinges on the performances, ScarJo and Mark Ruffalo do well.

The problem is, I don’t know that Joss Whedon belongs in film, even film that is essentially long form TV like the MCU. If Age Of Ultron were a season finale, the fact that two cast members get basically side lined would be mostly OK. Not great, but OK. But this is an ensemble movie, and two main characters, especially one who was coming off of a huge shift in status quo, like Steve was, and needed strong direction in the first place, like Thor, not having any kind of arc, is problematic.

So yes, the movie has some big problems. But the stuff that works, really, really works. James Spader’s voice performance as Ultron is a hoot. The big action pieces are a excellent. The birth of Vision is a lovely piece of sci-fi whackiness, and my God, that “when you step out that door, you’re an Avenger,” moment is a heart string tug.

But it’s a mess. And Whedon’s gone on record saying he wasn’t interested in playing ball with the Infinity stones storyline, which I think also contributes to Thor’s sidelining. And honestly, watching the movie, you see what it could have been if he’d had his way. It probably would have been quite different. But his reach exceeded his grasp. I joked last week that I think the movie broke his brain.

Whedon took a long break after Ultron, and listen, it’s not like it was unearned. But I think he also knew that he whiffed it, and he needed to regroup. He didn’t get what he wanted and the work was subpar, for him, for the sandbox he was playing in. It’s far from his worst work. (There are some clunky ass episodes of Buffy and Angel and ya know, Dollhouse exists.) It’s also far from his best. Joe and Anthony Russo take it from here, and they do it really, really well.

Next week, things come back to Earth, for a little while, at least. Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War come due, and once again, we’ve got two movies that I like a lot. Especially Ant-Man. (Also, really, except for Dark World there aren’t any MCU movies that I dislike. And even that, I more nothing than hate.)

Ready For Endgame: Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy

A very strong case can be made that 2014 was the best year for the MCU. (I’d say only 2018 can give it a real go…) It was the year that gave us my personal pick for the greatest superhero film of all time, and expanded the universe we’d all fallen in love with beyond even what Thor had shown us.

Let’s start with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which I think deserves much more serious consideration in the genre than it gets. It deals more elegantly with the themes of the surveillance state than everyone’s beloved The Dark Knight, presents a grappling with the reality of turning humans into symbols and going past your expiration date, like Logan and manages to fit into the Marvel formula perfectly and wring some killer performances out of Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.

Not to mention, you could remove Captain America from the proceedings entirely and you’d still have a political thriller where a badass spy played by Samuel L. Jackson has to deal with being betrayed by the politician that he protected his entire career played by Robert Redford. Which would also be an incredible movie. What do you get if you take Batman and The Joker out of The Dark Knight? Huh? A slightly crazy DA loses his fiance to the mob and a police captain fakes his death? OK, that would also be a pretty good movie, but not as good.

My point is that The Winter Soldier rules. Chris Evans is perfect in it, it gives Natasha Romanoff real stakes, something she was surely and deeply missing in her previous appearances. It brings back Bucky Barnes, setting up Cap’s stakes for the rest of the series, and introduces us to Sam Wilson, The Falcon, the second best sidekick in the series. (The best is Rhodey.)

It’s action scenes are tight, it’s mystery well thought out and it’s twists well executed. And it’s funny, you guys, and it has Robert Redford. It’s amazing. It’s the greatest superhero movie ever.

Also, it sparked one of my all time favorite “Wait, what?” fangirl conversations that Aless and I ever had over pancakes after watching a Marvel movie (Margaritas before, pancakes after.) “Is…is Captain America a virgin?” (We concluded that, no, no he is not. We don’t think…but he might be? He definitely never got to have sex with Peggy, which is very sad for both of them.) (The rest of the pancake session was spent guessing which Agents characters might be HYDRA. We did not consider Grant Ward, like even a little. What a well executed twist that was. You didn’t see it coming but in retrospect it made perfect sense.)

Guardians Of The Galaxy, is not the best superhero movie ever, but it’s a very, very good one. Few superhero and sci fi properties embrace fun and dorkiness with such aplomb, (I’d say Legends Of Tomorrow might be the only other one I can think of that really hits the balance just right.) And Guardians is so confident in what it’s doing. While it starts with a scene that’s so maudlin it might be heavy handed, young Peter Quill at his mother’s bedside, the air is almost immediately taken out, when our would be swashbuckling hero hits play on his walkman and dances to his destination.

Guardians is full of moments like that, setting up moments that we should know by heart and just undercutting them enough that they work on their own but feel different because of the humor, the characters and my god that soundtrack.

The strength of both of these movies really does seal up 2014 as the best year. (Again, 2018, with three super strong entries is a close close second.)

Next week, we get into the movie that may have broken a legend, but did give us a controversial ship, and some good jokes. We give Avengers: Age Of Ultron another go. I don’t think my opinion on it will change much, which is basically that it’s a glorious mess. And it may have broken Joss Whedon’s brain. We can’t be sure.

Ready For Endgame: The Avengers

I remember when I first saw The Avengers I was underwhelmed. I’ve come to love it, really, but just, in that moment, I’d seen it all before. In my review of the movie, I laid out the ways director and writer Joss Whedon was playing his usual song in a new key here.

I understand that Cap relaying the battle plan was exciting and new to other people, but I’d seen Buffy do that six times. The iconic hero pose circle shot, which is wonderful was a more cinematic version of Angel’s “Let’s Go To Work,” final moment. (This single greatest end shot of a TV show ever.) Tony’s change of heart to fight the good fight alongside his friends had been handled by Mal Reynolds before.

So, while the novelty of The Avengers was lost on me, it’s that very profitability, the excellent execution of a formula I’m fond of, that’s made it hold up over the years, and my god, does it hold up.

The action is exciting, the team coming together, or not, is fabulous, the one liners delightful, and that final battle, is the stuff of legend.

But we’re not going to talk about that. I mean, we have. In the past. When I’ve written about The Avengers. Today, I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about Phil Coulson.

Phil Coulson was created for The MCU, meant to be a one off quick way to introduce SHIELD in Iron Man, he really took off when Jon Favreau liked working with Clark Gregg. Gregg was a long time Marvel fanboy and took the job at his wife’s (Jennifer Grey. They are my favorite C-List celebrity couple!) urging, saying when else was he going to get a job like this?  I’m a big fan of Gregg’s, because he’s in the Aaron Sorkin Repertory Company, and I’m convinced it’s that experience that convinced Whedon to make him the lynch pin here. The, “you lack conviction,” speech is straight out of the West Wing playbook. (Frankly, part of what I’ve always loved about Whedon is that he’s like Sorkin, but uses magic in his stories instead of patriotism.)

I was one of those people who was wrecked by Coulson’s death. All Whedon fans have their one that they’ll never forgiven him for. And I’ve gotten emotional over others. (I’m not made of stone, the phrase, “I am a leaf on the wind,” makes me gasp sadly. I too wish we had lived to see Winifred Berkle avenged, and Anya’s death in Xander’s arms is a real heartbreaker)  But Coulson is mine. (Yes he came back! But that took a while!)

Anyway,  Coulson, who’d already had some standout moments in the previous movies, really shines here before his death at Loki’s hands. His familiar banter with Pepper (I love that they were pals. Seriously.), his giddiness at Cap, his familiarity with Thor, it’s all of it hitting just the right notes.

I miss Phil Coulson. I mean, as much as anyone can miss a character that never really went anywhere, but I sort of fell out on Agents Of SHIELD a few years ago, I might catch up someday, but I have so many superhero shows to watch, and not all of them shitty WB relics or luke warm adaptations of my favorite comics characters either.

The Avengers is a stunning acheivement in franchise storytelling. What comes directly after is uh…less essential. Next week, we take on Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. One is a delightful action movie throwback that I love, the other, I got kinda bored and watched a bunch of Lonely Island Videos in the middle of.  Guess which is which!

Ready For Endgame: Thor And Captain America: The First Avenger

There are certain movies that are very hard for me to separate from the first time I saw them. These are usually because of the people I saw them with, or because I saw them as a kid. But with Thor and  Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s really because of timing.

People might not remember that these movies came out within months of each other, when The Avengers was a certainty but still a whisper. And everyone was still scoffing at them. “Right, like a Thor movie is going to work.” And because I was getting ready to finish my English Lit degree, I even added, “what is Kenneth Branagh doing?” (The film nerd in me was less skeptical about Joe Johnston because I’d grown up with The Rocketeer, and that the guy who made that was making a Captain America movie made perfect sense to me.)

But there’s something about these movies and the way that they act as a doorway for the MCU and the fact that they came out the summer I finished college that feels kind of perfect to me. There’s of course my epic, “Glen literally pulled Chrissy and me out of a bar at the end of a bar crawl to go see it,” Thor story. He was pissed as hell, because we hadn’t told him we were going on the crawl, his words, “I’d have gotten tickets for tomorrow if I’d known this was your plan.” Of course our very cogent response was, “PFFFF, we’re not that drunk! Let’s get pretzels, and HOLY SHIT THAT IS ONE HOT MAN RIGHT THERE ON THE MOVIE SCREEN!” I told this story in my toast at their wedding. I left out the hot man parts. The fact that these two people are parents now brings me such joy.

Captain America, I saw with my friend Lisa, which was the first time we’d hung out since graduation. I then saw it like 5 more times, because I wasn’t really working that summer, so had a bunch of spare time. It was what cemented Cap as my Marvel Guy. (At the time Batman was still my DC guy. I hadn’t fully fallen for Dick yet.) And whenever I go back and look at Phase 1, I realize it’s still the movie that I’ve watched the most. (Iron Man is close behind, btw.)

Anyway, my personal experience of these films aside, they’re both solid, and deeply enjoyable. Thor especially, is a treat. I think people tend to forget how charming it is. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are all in on Thor and Loki from their first moments on screen, and while it’s small scale is probably because no one was sure if this whole thing was going to work, it’s in the movie’s favor that it gets a quiet intimate scene where Thor explains the nine realms to Jane on a rooftop, or Thor and Selvig getting drunk together, or Sif, Loki and The Warriors Three sitting beside a fire discussing Thor’s banishment. Branagh uses his Shakespearian ear perfectly in these scenes, letting them breath and the actors relish in their ridiculous dialog, and melodramatic plots.

 The MCU in general is a miracle of casting but Captain America: The First Avenger might be the most clean example of this. Everyone in this movie is pitch perfect for it’s throwback tone. None more so than Hayley Atwell and Chris Evans though. Dear lord are they magical. Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers might be the only two love interests I’ve ever cosplayed BOTH of, because I love them both so much. (Having cut my hair again, I might bring Peggy back this year…) But seriously, there’s so much about this movie that’s absolutely right, that I have trouble not smiling.

I’ve written literally thousands of words about The MCU, and it’s hard to explain though, that the reason is because of these two movies and the people I was hanging out with at the time being so excited for them. I seriously doubt I’d have gone to see them in the theater if it weren’t for these folks, which is why it’s very hard for me to separate the movies themselves, which are great, by the way, from the experience of watching them for the first time. So I fail as a critic in this essay, because I’m too attached. (Also, if I’m frank, I watched them on a Saturday afternoon and I’ve had some wine, and I’m a little buzzy. Blogging is all about honesty right?)

Next week we talk about The Avengers, which, if you’ll recall was the first movie I ever reviewed here on The Fangirl’s Dilemma, and that was 10 years ago and that is disgusting. 

What was the cost?

Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is very good and very surprising and you should go see it.

It is a very good part 1 of a series finale. The performances are all great but especially Josh Brolin and Zoe Saldana.

If you don’t want Avengers: Infinity War spoilers I suggest you take your butt some place else because I am not ok and this is now a place place for others who are not ok.

OK?

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E

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G

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S

I think I might have been OK if it weren’t for Spider-Man. Seriously. I mean, the Not OK began when Thanos killed Loki and Heimdall in the first five minutes, cemented when he sacrificed Gamora to obtain the soul stone being kept by a specter of The Red Skull, but I could have handled that.

But man, when Peter looked at Tony and said he didn’t feel so good, I LOST it. And then Bucky AND Sam, AND T’Challa AND Wanda AND all of the Guardians except Rocket and Nebula?

Somewhere George RR Martin is shaking his head and shooting off an email to Joe And Anthony Russo and Kevin Feige asking who hurt them?

Then we got the post credits. It is deeply fitting that Nick Fury’s final moment is an aborted mumbling of the word “motherfucker” AS HE PAGES CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Yes, Carol’s gonna fix this because she has to.

Look, the movie was great. I can’t wait to watch it again and be traumatized all over again.

Rankings:

  1. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers!

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Aless and I have workshopped some alternate names for this movie that we are very excited to see: Lando! Khaleesi In Space, Woody In Space, The Young Chewbacca.

Deadpool 2: Just, holy shit, it looks good.

Venom: I mean fine, I love Tom Hardy, it looks freaky but awesome.

The Meg: YOU GUYS IT’S A MOVIE WHERE RAINN WILSON AND JASON STATHAM FIGHT A GIANT SHARK BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME. THIS IS GOING TO BE MY NEW FAVORITE FOREVER.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: God it looks so dumb. Like SO dumb. I’m gonna love it so much.

Cosplay Corner: Costume Season and Red Shirt

Hi everyone! It turns out this is becoming a more difficult to maintain feature than I thought it would be. But I’m determined to keep it going, at least through what I call “Costume Season” (Renn Faire to My Birthday Party). I’m working on a few things for Costume Season, all of which I’m really excited about.

I really should have taken some pictures here, but I didn’t think of this until I was already on my way to work, so…that wasn’t going to happen. Anyway…here’s a breakdown of what I’m working on…

Renn Faire

I still haven’t settled on what weekends I’m going, but it would appear that I will be attending both the New York Renaissance Faire and the Pennsylvania Rennaisance Faire. At both I plan to wear a costume I put together, which I am deeply excited about…Renn Faire Lady Poe Dameron! I’ll be wearing the same base pieces as my costume from last year, the white dress and brown corset belt. To bring the specifics to it, I added an orange maxi skirt, grey lace up tank top, that looks like a bodice. I’m also going to wear a Rebellion/Resistance symbol necklace and a black and red flower crown. I’m crazy excited about wearing this.

Lead East

I’m sad, this is the first time in maybe 8 years? That I’m not going to make it to Lead East, the 50’s car show that’s been a mainstay of Katie and my summer since we’ve known each other. But I have a good reason, I’m going to Austin with my family! So we’ll see how that goes.

New York Comic Con

I’ve finally settled on my costumes (though I’m still working out which days I’ll be wearing them)

Poe will be coming back. (For a full breakdown of my Poe Dameron Costume) as will Peggy Carter (ditto)

But I’m working on Sansa Stark! I’ve got it mostly done. I bought a wig, cape, faux fur piece now sewn onto the cape and black maxi dress. All that’s left is creating a Direwolf sigil, and I have an idea of how I’m doing that, I just need to get it done. I have a few months, but I wanted it settled by mid September at the latest. This is going to be a part of a group effort, so I’m quite excited about it and know I can’t screw it up. When I’m done with it I can move on to my other new costume.

Red Hood! When I put together the Red Hood closet cosplay a few weeks ago, I realized how good it looked and decided that I wanted to finish it up and make it ready for a con. I need to buy a red domino mask, and a white hair extension. I’m also going to buy a fresh black tee shirt, and some red cotton and iron on, and then re-enforce with hand stitching the Red Hood symbol. I have my leg holster from Poe, and I need to buy a prop gun. I’m waiting for the NYCC weapons regulations to come out, because I’m not interested in spending a bunch of money only to be immediately confiscated.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead on these, but I’m excited for them.

Halloween

Depending on my plans, I’ll either be wearing a modified Poe (my Disneybound Poe dress, with the vest and chest piece from the full costume) or Sansa. If I’m at a party, it’ll be Sansa, a bar, Poe. If I’m with the nerds, then it’ll be Jason.

Hallow-Reenie 2016: Teen Drama

My Birthday Party! I’m still trying to figure out when I’m having this party. I don’t want to have it actual Halloween weekend, for a couple of reasons that are very boring. The next weekend, when I’d ordinarily have it, my parents are away (I like having my parents at this party…) and it’s my 10th high school reunion, so there’s some working around to be done. Anyway, the theme this year is Teen Drama, and I’m torn between two costume choices.

I want to do either Brooke Davis or Blair Waldorf. For both I’d be wearing my Jessica Jones wig. For Brooke, I found a blue skirt on Amazon that looks kind of like a cheerleading skirt and blue tank tops aren’t hard to come by.

Blair is even easier because I have plenty of dresses and headbands left over from the time when my entire wardrobe was Blair Waldorf approved.

I had settled on Brooke, but then Mary said that she would do Serena if I did Blair…this gave me doubts.

Closet Cosplay

This is a simple one! I’m off to see Star Trek Beyond tonight, so I had to channel it some how.

I have this red tunic shirt, so I’m wearing that, and jeans and for the picture I picked up my Poe blaster to stand in for a phaser!


I’m a red shirt, so I mean, I probably won’t make it out of today alive…but I had to do it!

 

Summer Time, And The Conning Is Easy

I was really disappointed that this year Reed Pop didn’t hold Special Edition, as it was one of my favorite cons last year. But I was saved, still getting a summer convention, because Heroes & Villains Fanfest, which had been swallowed in a Snowpacoplyse in January was rescheduled for this weekend.

So I drove all of twenty minutes to Seacaucus, NJ, and Juli and I met up to enjoy The Fanfest. As is the case with most smaller cons, it’s a matter of deciding if this one fits your interest. And as great as Fanfest was, it could have basically been renamed Arrow-fest, which was great for me, as I’ve seen every episode of Arrow, and really only continue watching because of how much I like the cast. (The show it’self is just, meh…)

I did get to create an awesome moment, in getting a photo op with Katie Cassidy and Caity Lotz, dressed as Black Canary. They both got really excited by my costume and I really like the picture that came out of it.

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But, that wasn’t the highlight. The highlight was (as usual) John Barrowman. I insisted that we attend his solo panel, where, as is his style, he took questions, told stories, sang and interacted with the fans.

Look, I’ve had a lot of fun fan engagement, between stage doors at Broadway shows and Comic Conventions. But, and I think it has something to do with him being from theatre, there’s nothing quite like Barrowman. His passion for his work, his fans and his general life (of which he admits he has quite an awesome one), is beyond compare and always worth checking out.

On Day 2, we saw him and his sister (and co writer) Carole together, and that was also exciting. Those were actually the only panels we attended, besides the Costume Contest.

We spent most of Saturday at the DC Cosplayers East Photoshoot, where my Black Canary fit right in, and Juli’s adorable take on Supergirl was a huge hit.

The second day we went Marvel, me as Captain America, and Juli as Wolverine. We had a lot of fun, although we were pretty hung over.

Overall though, I’m glad I did Fanfest, though if there hadn’t been a Living Social coupon, I don’t know that I would have laid out the full price ticket. It better fit my interest than Wintercon back in December, but it was still a little too small to be a full on trip

City of Brotherly Fun

I spent a lot of time going back and forth deciding whether to go to Wizard World Philadelphia this year.

But then Beth (who lived in the apartment with me and Juli) was going. And then Kristi wanted to go. And somehow I ended up there. I also ended up with a new cosplay, meeting Anthony Mackie, chatting with more people than I had at a con in a while and doing a tequila shot. (A dude bought it for me, and then he promptly left. Kristi and I were quite put out by this. When a girl accepts a shot from you, the social contract says you have to at the very least chat awkwardly with her for a half hour. RUDE!)

Anyway, this is turning out to be a con season to remember (in that it’s actually a con season…) and it may have a sea bound finale that we can only dream of.

I owe so much of that to Kristi. It’s hard to describe exactly how amazing becoming better friends with her this past year has been, and what exactly shifted in our relationship. I guess it’s just the proximity thing…with three family weddings in the past year, we spent a lot of time together. But however it happened, I’m glad it has. (Also her insistence that we’d be friends if we’d met under different circumstances.)

Anyway, the show, I missed the Captain America panel due to me being unable to navigate on streets I am unfamiliar with. But I did catch the Thor and Agent Carter groups, which was pretty significantly cool. Especially the Agent Carter stuff as Haley Atwell and Dominic Cooper are all goofy british charm. (Tom Hiddleston is also that, but it doesn’t bounce as well off of Chris Hemsworth’s broish Aussie thing, that I completely adore…)

The cosplays went well, although the discomfort caused by my attempts at curling my hair were in vain, since by the time I got inside the 87% humidity had flatted my super straight hair. (The twists still worked, and another Peggy recommended a hairspray I should use…so in October, I should be better…)

Anyway, I know this is a lame write up, but I was completely overwhelmed. I haven’t been to a big con in a while, and there’s a lot to take in. Especially since I was only there two days, both of them being weekends I felt very overwhelmed. But I did have a great time.

Next up is Heroes And Villains Fanfest! That’ll also be fun!