Mission Report: Denver Comic Con

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This last weekend, agents made their way to the young Denver Comic Con.  Though the show is only 5 years old, that didn’t stop it from hitting a preliminary attendance count of 114,900, breaking the previous year’s record by several thousand attendees.  2016 isn’t the first year it’s broken it’s attendance record, though.  As a matter of fact, DCC has crushed its previous year’s attendance record each year since inauguration.

Their continued growth can be attributed to several things.  First and foremost, baby conventions always have problems, and DCC has done a tremendous job of fixing a few of those issues each year as the teams of Pop Culture Classroom, and the volunteers figure out how to make it better.  The second is through their list of awesome guests, and fun programming.  This year, those guests included Marvel powerhouses like Stan Lee, Hayley Atwell, and Clark Gregg.

Though their schedules didn’t allow for them to do a group panel, convention goers were still able to check out individual panels from the former president of Marvel, founder of S.H.I.E.L.D, and its amazing director.

Stan the Man

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If you thought Stan Lee would be sluggish on stage because of his age, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Stan remains the powerhouse that he’s always been, and the man is sharp as a tack!  He uses a great mixture of false ego and self deprivation, talking himself up and cutting himself down when it’s appropriate.

If you’ve ever been curious just which one of his characters is Stan’s favorite, it’s Spider-Man.  A character that almost never got off the ground at all.  Can you imagine a world without Peter Parker?  Stan couldn’t, which is why when he was turned down after pitching the character, he snuck him into a comic that they were about to end because of slow sales.  Turns out, that run of Amazing Fantasy was the the highest selling one of the bunch, so Pete got to live to web sling another day!

While the panel was mostly all laughs, there were some serious moments as well.  For example, when asked about the X-Men, Stan said that he created them because he wanted people to see that ‘No one is bad solely because they’re different’.  This is a notion that we’re still trying to drive home today, but can you imagine how much that ideal went against the current when the X-Men were originally created in 1963?

Outside of the comic book world, we also got a small glimpse into his personal life.  Though his parents didn’t share his passion for the arts, his mother always encouraged his love for reading.  Without that, we could have never had the Marvel world that we do today!

Founder of S.H.I.E.L.D

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I’m not ashamed to say that Hayley was the panel I was most hyped to see.  Not only was Agent Carter an extremely important show but Hayley Atwell has always been such a strong voice for women, and she doesn’t stop there.  Hayley champions diversity and equality as well.  All of these factors made it a real treat to get to hear her speak for an hour.

To all of you Agent Carter fans, we know you’re not done fighting for the show, and you should know that Hayley isn’t either.  Though her new show Conviction may complicate things, she assured fans that she’d work non stop if that’s what it meant to bring Peggy back.  It’s still too soon to know if the huge petition to bring the show to Netflix will do anything, but her hope doesn’t end there.  She mentioned that even if the show doesn’t make its way over to Netflix, she’d be open to a film as well, just as a way to wrap things up.

Of the things she’d like to see the next season (or movie) to revolve around in the event that they occur, she mentioned she’d love to see the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D!  Hayley also mentioned that it would be nice to see more of Peggy’s backstory, or even what her future is like.  Personally, I’d love to see the founding of S.H.I.E.L.D, but honestly, so long as it’s more Peggy and team, I’m up for whatever!

While it will surprise no one to know that Hayley’s favorite Marvel character is Jarvis, it still does the heart great to hear!  Obviously, she’s Team Cap, and when it comes to the comments she made about Sharon and Steve’s ‘incestuous relationship’, and the backlash her comments sparked, she mentioned that any comments made about a comic universe should be taken with a grain of salt with a big ol’ grin on her face.

Her whole panel was a delight, but I have to say that my favorite moment was this interaction:

Fan: What do you think Peggy’s life ends up like without Steve Rogers?

Hayley: I think the first season of Agent Carter shows us exactly what she does without Steve.  She’s very capable.

The Director

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You know the best thing about Clark Gregg?  He is every bit as big of a fan as the rest of us.  When talking about his involvement in the MCU, he said that he kept expecting someone to tell him that he was dying, and all of it was just the Make A Wish foundation fulfilling his last wish.  Said involvement was just as much of a wild ride as you’d expect it to be, too.

For example, when he mentions New Mexico in Iron Man 2, he had no idea what was actually in New Mexico.  When he asked, they laughed and said ‘Oh, yeah!  You’re going to go find Thor’s hammer!’. That’s how Clark found out he had a roll in Thor.  For an actor, it’s just great to know that you’ll be in another film, but for a fanboy it’s HUGE!  He’s still so surprised that he’s allowed to be a part of this universe, which makes him even more endearing to fans. The very fans that he’s still thanking for bringing him back to life.

Are there parallels to the #CoulsonLives movement and the #SaveAgentCarter movement?  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but I will say don’t give up!

I unfortunately had to leave Clark’s panel early, ironically for a photo-op with Clark.  The photo-ops are set up on the other side of the convention, and everything was running late.  That was a bit of a mess, but it did result in the below shot.  When I tell you he’s as much of a fan as the rest of us, it’s not hyperbole.  The guy was just as excited to see our ladies of S.H.I.E.L.D cosplay as we were to see him! 13509021_10153707320738034_7206383670423970889_n

Did you make it out to Denver Comic Con?  Let me know what your favorite moments of the show were here in the comments, or hit me up on twitter!  We’ll see you for the next mission, Agents!

Photos by Amelia Emberwing & Epic Photops

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