[23 October 2013]
New York Comic Con felt smaller this year than the prior year, when AMC’s The Walking Dead dominated the show, from the exterior to the floor and to the merchandise. This year, the hit show did have a presence and a prime time panel, but there were no round table chats with actors for the press and there was no RV teeming with zombies out front of the Javits.
Perhaps Robert Kirkman didn’t want the show’s zombies overshadowing the 10th anniversary of his original The Walking Dead zombie comic book, which was reissued with a new limited cover from Image, and was celebrated with a panel as well. I’m not caught up on the stories, but the latest issue of the comics, #115, is purported to be the biggest ever as four various factions are poised to clash.
What else was missing you ask? LEGO didn’t have a presence as they apparently spent all their promotional budget earlier this year on a giant Star Wars X-Wing model unveiled in Times Square. I was hoping to get a glimpse of their rumored The Simpsons line of products, or hear what they were considering to release next in their Cuusoo-series, the latest and second design being the Delorean from Back to the Future.
Marvel did give out promotional LEGO super-hero figures at their panel, but they lacked any events or promotions for Thor: Dark World aside from a banner. A petition circulated online to bring the cast to NYCC but I guess it didn’t work. Attendees ask Tom Hiddleston to follow up on his impression of Owen Wilson doing Loki sadly. Many announcements were made to further the Avengers universe across other platforms, like video games and comics (of all things), such as the Avengers World and Avengers Undercover books, the latter featuring a cast of teen heroes, and Marvel Universe Live, a “live-arena spectacular” (view trailer here). Another major Marvel announcement was the reprint of Miracleman, a late ‘80s comic by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, in early 2014 with modern touches and a new conclusion.
Their booth was dedicated to The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show and when fans weren’t wrapped around the booth trying to buy merch, they posted next to Lola, Agent Coulson’s red Corvette from the show, though they couldn’t touch it.
I had also hoped to check out demos of the new Metal Gear game from Konami or to see demos of Sony’s PlayStation 4 or Microsoft’s Xbone, as the next level of the console-wars begins just one month from now.
Video game-wise, I did watch the demo of the South Park Stick of Truth role-playing game from Ubisoft. It had all the flatulent and juvenile humor of the show, great dialogue by the original voices and tongue-in-cheek jabs at the RPG genre itself. However, it didn’t seem to have an active-time-battle system, which meant the battles appeared slow as you had to wait for an attack to complete before you could issue more actions. Hopefully there is an option to speed things up in a final release (View a trailer here. Their other big title on display was the highly anticipated Watch Dogs which was originally set to debut with the launch of the new consoles but has since been pushed back to Spring 2014.
I also demo-ed a couple of games at Nintendo’s booth, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Skylanders Swap Force both on the 3DS console. The latter is a fun platformer that was easy to grasp. Though I only tried it with one character, the game supposedly allows you to store more characters on the cartridge so you don’t have to actually swap them out on the portal, which will encourage you to bring the game on the road. A holiday must have I’m sure.
The Zelda game was also quick to pick up and I felt instantly at home with it since the graphics recall the SNES classic A Link to the Past. There was some new moves for Link, namely one where you turn paper thin and glide against walls, presumably a 3DS inspired trick. The developers have since revealed the two worlds are Hyrule and “Lorule” with its Princess Hilda. I’m not sure what to make of it, but Zelda is having a big year already so unless the game is terrible, it will likely be huge. (View a trailer here.)
Of course there were many, many things I missed at NYCC, including the Chucky anniversary panel and, well, any panel really. But here are a few notable moments that occurred on the grounds:
* A couple, one giving birth to an alien and the other dressed as Red Sonja got engaged at NYCC
* A deluxe version of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was a prize for one lucky attendee, and the set should be out before the end of the year.
* Macaulay Culkin dropped in for a Robot Chicken panel looking alive.
* Sylvester Stallone was signing autographs at the event, but getting one would set you back $400 (a photo was $450).
* Buzzfeed’s pics of “Creepiest things said to you while cosplaying”.