It’s less than a month before the 2014 Phoenix Comicon will be upon us, and that means it’s time to start putting together a game plan to help maximize your Con experience. Sometimes the coolest activities are all up in your face, like autograph opportunities with Stan Lee and Bruce Campbell; but there are a slew of spectacular sequential art celebrations to be had that might slip through the cracks if you don’t dig deep enough.
So what are some of these “don’t miss” and potentially overlooked events? I’m glad you asked! The main focus of Comicon is (and always should be) comics, and the industry wouldn’t be what it is today without the imagination of a handful of this year’s special guests. For fans of comic-book history, here is a list of three currently scheduled PHXCC panels that feature legitimate living legends of the comic industry.
Wolverine: The Most Dangerous Mutant (
June 5, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. UPDATE: June 7, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.) – (UPDATED: This panel time has been changed.) This is one of the first panels of the 2014 Con and promises to be one of the best. I can’t say that I understand the logic behind this timeslot (when most attendees are getting off work and/or trying to pick-up their badges), but nevertheless I recommend that you make every possible effort to catch this one, with its special guest panelists, Len Wein and Chris Claremont, talking all things Wolverine.
Mr. Wein is the co-creator of Wolverine and the man who introduced the character in the pages of Incredible Hulk #180 – 181, then reimagined the Canadian hero as the mutant we know and love today (in Giant-Size X-Men #1.) Mr. Claremont picked up the reins of Wolverine soon after (in Uncanny X-Men #94) and further developed the character of Logan during his legendary 17-year run on the X-Men books.
Spotlight: Chris Claremont (June 7, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.) – If you can’t make it to the Wolverine panel on Thursday (or even if you can), you’ll get another opportunity to see/hear Chris Claremont on Saturday afternoon when the creator gets his very own “spotlight” panel to discuss his run on the Uncanny X-Men and other highlights of his amazing writing career; including his work on Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Iron Fist, Marvel Team-Up, Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel.
Did you dig the movie, X-Man: Days of Future Past? Chris Claremont is the man who wrote that original comic-book story. Ask him what he thinks about Wolverine getting top billing over Kitty Pryde (the primary hero in the comic version.) If you dare miss this panel, you’ll be wishing you could go back in time yourself to rectify that wrong.
Hulk Smash Puny Human (June 8, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.) – Writer Len Wein and artist Herb Trimpe had one of the greatest runs ever of The Incredible Hulk (circa mid-70s), and the team even co-created the Wolverine in the pages Incredible Hulk #180 – 181. They’ll look back at ol’ Jade Jaws and how they influenced the character and his supporting cast.
Mr. Trimpe is the seminal Hulk artist of Marvel’s Silver Age and his work has been in everything from Ant-Man to The Mighty Thor, including Marvel’s take on that other infamous big green meanie, Godzilla (circa 1977 – 1979.) Don’t miss an opportunity to ask Herb who would win in a fight between the Hulk and the King of Monsters.
In addition to his work on Incredible Hulk, Len Wein also co-created Swamp Thing (with artist Berni Wrightson) and has written for everything from The Flash and Superman to The Amazing Spider-Man and Man-Thing; he even served as Marvel’s editor-in-chief for a brief period in the mid-seventies.
These panels offer an awesome chance to meet these incredible comic-book veterans and learn some of the history behind some of your favorite characters. Be sure to follow Phoenix Comicon 2014 at phoenixcomicon.com for the latest updates on these events and everything Comicon.
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