Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

WonderCon recap Part 2: 'Prometheus' and 'Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' impress, 'Community' returns and Batman isn't crazy

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You can check out the first part of our WonderCon coverage here.

Batman isn't crazy and DC Comics commits "story genocide"

As part of WonderCon, they put on the Comics Arts Conference, which means smart people offering fancy opinions about comic books. It's kind of great. I had the chance to see a few of these sessions, including "Batman vs. Iron Man: Can Biology Best Technology?" (Answer: Probably not), "What's the Matter with Batman?" (Nothing diagnosable, apparently) and "Story Genocide, Fanboy Tears: The Moral Questions of DC Comics' 'New 52' Project" (Yup, genocide!).

To elaborate a bit more on some of this, the Batman versus Iron Man looked at what circumstances each could win a fight in, and while Iron Man generally had the edge, Batman's intelligence, planning and sheer drive left him with some hope. As for what's wrong with him, they ran down potential disorders he could have from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder, and ultimately concluded that the character has experience trauma but doesn't suffer from any of these disorders. As a fan of this stuff, it's nice to see it being treated seriously (or, as seriously as it's possible to take it).

I will be first in line for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "Sound of My Voice"

One of my favorite things about a convention is when something new comes out that gets me excited about something I wasn't excited about before, or when I can discover something brand new. The former happened with "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" thanks to a fan-friendly showcase including a creepy-even-for-him intro narrated by Tim Burton, contagious enthusiasm from the author whose novel the movie is based on Seth Grahame-Smith and footage that makes Abraham Lincoln look like a character out of "The Matrix." They also did a nice job lending the project just a touch more gravitas by citing some of the darker, lesser-known elements of Lincoln's actual life.

The "Sound Of My Voice" panel gave WonderCon attendees the first 12 minutes of the movie. It's a fascinating fictional look at a cult (or, as the film's writers described them, fringe groups), set here in Los Angeles. They also have an aggressive viral marketing campaign, including having faux members of the cult at the convention recruiting, teaching their secret handshake and passing out wristbands. Two of the film's stars also appeared in character before the main panel began. You can take a look at a viral site they have set up at 4twentyseven12.com.

You can watch the first 12 minutes of the movie here:

"Prometheus" isn't an "Alien" prequel, OK guys?!

The "Prometheus" panel may have been the one with the most buzz of the weekend, as fans waited with bated breath to get to see the latest project from Sir Ridley Scott. It's not an "Alien" prequel, but it is apparently set in the same universe. Rumors about how it sets up what fans know from the other Alien movies are running rampant, but that speculation is just going to ramp up as fans were given just a taste more. The film's also written by Damon Lindelof of "Lost" fame and stars Charlize Theron and the hottest new star of the day, Michael Fassbender.

The panel included a brand new trailer:

"Once Upon A Time" and "Community" fans may have peed themselves with joy

As a comedy nerd, I went to see the "Community" panel, mere days after it made its return to television with significantly increased ratings. This meant catching the end of the "Once Upon A Time" panel, where I was sitting in front of a group of girls who were screaming and exclaiming "OH MY GOD" at regular intervals for something I didn't realize had such a devoted fan base yet, and has me intrigued enough that I'm planning to check out the show.

Then the "Community" panel started, and we got a peek at the episode that's going to air a week from Thursday, including an excellent tweaked take on corporate advertising that fans of "Chuck" might enjoy. (That's my slightly obscure reference of the day.) The panelists, which included several of the shows stars, writers and series creator Dan Harmon, seemed to have a renewed enthusiasm following their return with better numbers. Harmon still let himself get dark as he is wont to do, though, with a couple remarks that could have got him in a bit of trouble, leading to much shushing by fellow panelist and African-American Yvette Nicole Brown.

All of this is just a taste of the con experience; be sure to stay tuned for more of our pop culture coverage at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, and more WonderCon next year. (Be sure to go back and check out part one of our WonderCon coverage!)

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