Stephen Amell, Sebastian Stan, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher Among Top Celebrities Scheduled To Attend Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia, May 17-20

PHILADELPHIA, March 19, 2018 – Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) continues its 2018 schedule with its 18th trip to the Pennsylvania Convention in Center City Philadelphia at Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia, May 17-20. Stephen Amell (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Sebastian Stan ( Captain America franchise), the Justice League trio of Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher, Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones”), Dave Bautista ( Guardians of the Galaxy) and the Lord of the Rings tandem of Sean Astin and Billy Boyd headline the roster of celebrity guests scheduled to attend the comic con and pop culture extravaganza.

 

Stan, Momoa, Dormer, Fisher and Astin will appear on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20; Momoa and Bautista will attend on Saturday only; Amell will attend on Friday only; Boyd will appear Friday through Sunday.

 

Other notables scheduled to appear to date include Joe Flanigan (“Stargate: Atlantis”), Jewel Staite (“Firefly,” “Stargate: Atlantis”), Michael Rosenbaum (“Smallville,” “The Justice League”), Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”), Holly Marie Combs (“Charmed,” “Picket Fences”) and Thomas Ian Nicholas ( Rookie of the Year, American Pie). More celebs are scheduled to be announced closer to the event.

 

Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia will also feature non-stop live entertainment, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings hosted by stars and directors and more. Details to follow soon.

 

Wizard World is the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley in Philadelphia will feature Greg Capullo (“Batman,” “Metal”), Jim Steranko (“Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Captain America”), Mike Grell (“Green Arrow,” “Warlord”), Greg Horn (“Phoenix,” “Venom”), Kurt Lehner (“Gargoyles,” “Marvel Action Hour”), Katy Farina (“Rick & Morty,” “Steven Universe”), Bob Camp (“Ren & Stimpy”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies”), Stuart Sayger (“ROM,” “Micronauts”), Steve Geiger (“Punisher,” “Spider-Man”) and many others.

 

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The fifth event scheduled on the 2018 Wizard World calendar, Philadelphia show hours are Thursday, May 17, 4-9 p.m.; Friday, May 18, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

 

Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

 

For more on the 2018 Wizard World Philadelphia, visit http://wizd.me/PhiladelphiaPR .

Review: The Avengers

By Edward Gambichler

“I have an army” – Loki
“We have a HULK” – Tony Stark

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a a 40 year old unabashed “comic book geek” , I can lay claim to having seen just about every comic book film adaptation ever made. These have included Richard Donner’s and Bryan Singer’s “Superman” and “X-Men” films, Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Christopher Nolan’ versions of “Batman”, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, as well as Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s “Sin City” and “The Spirit” . Whenever the studios optioned a comic book to be made into a film, the producers hired what they considered to be the best director for the job in developing the property. The criterion for these directors ranged from being favorites in the “genre” , studio darlings or flavors of the month, to just plain competent or knowing how to hold a camera. When Marvel Comics announced plans to create a studio with the express goal of independently adapting and releasing their titles for the big screen, they seemed to have upped their game. Under the guidance of producer Kevin Feige, and with the release of “Iron Man” and its sequel “Iron Man 2”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Thor”, and “Captain America: The First Avenger”, the seeds were being laid for what was about to be an unprecedented undertaking……..combining all of these properties under one movie……….”The Avengers”.

 

 

 

 

 

These individual threads had been woven by an impressive group of talent including directors Jon Favreau ( Iron Man ), Louis Leterrier ( Hulk ), Joe Johnston ( Captain America ) and the unlikeliest choice of all, Shakespearean actor-director Kenneth Branagh ( Thor ). All that was needed was a for a filmmaker to tie all of these strands together in one blockbuster of a movie that would rise to comic book fans expectations. Whenever a film adaptation had failed miserably at the box office or if filmmakers took such liberties with a comic book character that the final product was unrecognizable, fans have asked that one question that until this point had been unanswered…….”Why didn’t they get a comic book geek to direct this movie”? Well I’m happy to say, after seeing the Friday 9:15am IMAX 3D showing of “The Avengers”, the fan’s wishes have been answered……….with creator director Joss Whedon. Not to disparage the contributions of the aforementioned directors. Their films ( dealing with the individual members of the Avengers ) were faithfully executed and delivered the much needed build up. However, the Avengers movie, itself, is on a whole other level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The film opens deep within an underground laboratory under S.H.I.E.L.D.’s military jurisdiction. The laboratory is run by Dr. Erik Selvig ( played by Stellan Skarsgard ), an astrophysicist and friend of Thor ( played by Chris Hemsworth ) who was recruited by Director Nick Fury ( played by Samuel L. Jackson ) to study and unlock the mysteries of the Tesseract , the “Cosmic Cube” recovered after Captain America’s ( played by Chris Evans ) defeat of the Red Skull. Unfortunately, the energies of the Tesseract are suddenly triggered into creating a portal which brings the villainous demigod Loki ( Thor’s half brother played by Tom Hiddleston ) to Earth. Loki, with the help of a few possessed S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, hijacks the Tesseract and cuts a swath of destruction through the installation…..making good his escape. Realizing the overwhelming threat he is up against, Director Fury implements the Avengers Initiative. The Avengers are a group of special individuals ( who are comprised of Steve Rogers AKA Captain America, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man ( played by Robert Downey Jr. ), Dr. Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk ( this time played by Mark Ruffalo ), Thor, and S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives Natasha Romanov AKA Black Widow ( Scarlet Johannson ) and Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye ( played by Jeremy Renner ) who are meant to be a first-strike team brought together to deal with global emergencies……the ones that are beyond S.H.I.E.L.D.’s capacity to handle. Fury needs them to recover the Tesseract and shut down Loki before he can open another portal, unleashing an extraterrestrial armada the demigod needs to aid him in conquering Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

First, the performances. Not surprisingly, Robert Downey Jr. owns the role of billionaire Tony Stark and Joss Whedon’s dialogue is a perfect fit for the sardonic Mr. Stark. In his second outing as Cap, Chris Evans holds his own with Downey Jr. ( since the script calls for their two characters to butt heads ). And I cannot think of a better man for the role of the god of thunder than Chris Hemsworth. And ably representing the planet Earth’s espionage and homeland security force is the returning Sam Jackson, Clark Gregg ( in the role of fan favorite Agent Phil Coulson ), Scarlett Johannson, Jeremy Renner, and newcomer Colbie Smulders ( in the role of Fury’s second-in -command Maria Hill ). That leaves me to discuss the performance of Mark Ruffalo as everyone’s favorite gamma irradiated green goliath and it just so happens to be my favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

In many ways, Mark Ruffalo had the hardest job in the entire cast. While the other actors had established their characters in the previous films, Ruffalo is the third actor to portray Dr. Bruce Banner. Actor Eric Bana gave us the tortured doctor in director Ang Lee’s psychodrama, while actor Ed Norton was a serviceable Banner in Louis Leterrier’s cinematic nod to the Lou Ferrigno/ Bill Bixby TV series. However, when Norton and Marvel parted ways with citing Norton’s issues with being part of an ensemble……Ruffalo stepped into the role of Dr. Bruce Banner. AND HE NAILS IT. Ruffalo’s take is both inspired and understated. This is not the whiny man-boy with daddy issues that Bana portrayed. Nor the hyper-ventilating, meditating, aikido practicing flower nut portrayed by Norton. Ruffalo’s Banner is a man who has come to not only make peace with the burden of a raging alter ego, but find amusement in the eggshells that other people have to walk on in order to deal with it. I could not get over the confidence that Ruffalo displays in inhabiting the role. Ironically, Banner is the one person who recognizes the destructive potential in bringing together these dysfunctional individuals as a team and Ruffalo conveys this brilliantly. And finally, after two films, the special effects team has finally given the fans the Hulk they deserve. Out of all the members of the Avengers on the screen, the audience cheered him the loudest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, as for the film I cannot say enough. Whedon handles all of the character and script demands with a deft hand and on a large and epic scale. The final battle that takes place in Manhattan between the Avengers and Loki’s hostile alien army in the final act will make you think you stepped into a panel drawn by comic artists the like of Bryan Hitch and John Byrne. And although a mid-credit scene not only promises an even greater epic for a sequel, it also extends the boundaries of this cinematic comic universe even more. Joss Whedon didn’t just give us the Avengers. He gave us the one thing that Sony and Fox Studios haven’t been able to deliver with their optioned Spiderman and X-Men franchises……………….Joss Whedon gave us MARVEL. And taking a page from legendary Avengers co-creator Stan Lee ( whose cameo at the end of the film is both witty and poignant ), I have one thing to say to Mr. Whedon as a fellow comic book geek……………

“Excelsior”!

Nuff Said’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Stay after the very end of the credits for another scene that is decidedly more “Whedonesque”.