Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2014 was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center August 21-24 in Rosemont, Illinois. Entering the convention on Friday, there was a buzz of excitement in the air as comic fans and cosplayers filled the convention center, ready to soak up the experience and proudly show off their love for pop culture. Hundreds of exhibitors filled the convention floors selling merchandise of all types, including everything from the highly popular Funko toys to comic books and memorabilia. Comic book artists were also out in full force, showing off their art and signing autographs for fans.
A number of notable celebrities were on hand to meet with fans, with a big presence from the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including Patrick Stewart, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes. Former Doctor Who Matt Smith was present and had a noticeably large crowd lined up and anxious to meet him. The man himself Stan Lee signed autographs and took pictures with a legion of fans there to meet the mastermind behind Marvel Comics. The Walking Dead was well represented at the convention this year as well, with Norman Reedus, Michael Rooker, Sarah Wayne Callies and Scott Wilson taking time to meet with fans of the massively popular zombie survival show. Other big guests this year included David Bautista and Karen Gillan from Guardians of the Galaxy, Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell, Karl Urban, star of the latest Star Trek films, famed horror director John Carpenter, and the voice actor of Batman: The Animated Series Kevin Conroy.
On Saturday, actors Camren Bicondova, Cory Michael Smith, and Erin Richards from the upcoming Fox TV series Gotham were on hand for a small panel, discussing the show and how much fun they were all having filming it. Cory Michael Smith, who plays Edward Nygma on the show, promised fans that if they stuck with the show for the first half of the season, their minds would be blown by what is to come. He specifically mentioned episode seven, which he had just read the script for and said that fans were going to love it. At the conclusion of the panel, the lights went dim and the pilot episode was screened for those in attendance.
I was pleasantly surprised with the pilot episode and got the sense that the quality of the show will continue to escalate as the first season unfolds. They really nailed the look of Gotham in the show, portraying it as a very grimy and dark city riddled with crime. They did name drop and introduce a lot of well-known villains and characters from the comics in the pilot and sometimes it felt a bit forced, but my sense is that they wanted to get the introductions out of the way in the first episode and clear the way for more linear episodes as it progresses. The team of Jim Gordon portrayed by Ben McKenzie and Harvey Bullock by Donal Logue is going to be a fun relationship to watch unfold, and the first episode shows how far each are willing to go in order to clean up Gotham. The biggest surprise for me was Jada Pinkett’s portrayal as the crime boss Fish Mooney. She establishes herself as someone that is not to be messed with and will not hesitate to kill those unlucky enough to get in her way. I’d give the pilot episode a 3.5/5 Nerdskulls.
For more on the events of Chicago Comic Con 2014, check out our video journal below:
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