Monday, July 30, 2012

SDCC 2012: Panels Part 4: DC, Buffy, and more Buffy

I didn't have tickets to Saturday of Comic Con, so no panels that day. :( I came back on Sunday with a plan and a vengeance. The plan went to crap anyway, but I still managed to go to 2 panels and a screening.

1) DC Nation

I sat in on this panel primarily to make sure I got to see the next one, but it turned out to be really awesome. The panel consisted of animation producers: Glen Murakami, Mitch Watson, Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath, and Jeff Prezenkowski, who were moderated by the always hilarious and foul mouthed Kevin Smith. He restrained himself and only cursed about 10 or 15 times. They revealed new DC cartoons that would air on TV and they sound fantastic!

Beware the Batman sounds like an awesome new show. Unlike previous animated Batman shows, this one is made completely with CGI. Just the processes to get the lighting were very complex and surprisingly realistic.  This new show offers a different Batman than in series past. He is 5 or 6 years into his career as Batman and in his early 30's. I liked that they talked about how his demeanor changes from Bruce Wayne to Batman. Batman has a clipped, efficient way of speaking while public Bruce Wayne doesn't. Private Bruce is very introspective, a little obsessive, and very particular about things. I was surprised to see a younger Alfred wielding guns beside Batman in this poster.

Alfred is never a major player in the action, but supports Bruce behind the scenes. It will be nice to see him in a different role than usual. His sidekick will not be Robin as usually, but instead Katana, who I had never even heard of before that day. It will be interesting to see how her role will differ from Robin's. The villains will be very different as well. Instead of recognizable villains like the Joker or the Penguin, they have chosen to go with more obscure villains that aren't well known, like Mr. Toad. I haven't watched a Batman show since Batman the Animated Series, but I would definitely watch this show.

The other show that looks crazy awesome is Teen Titans GO. It takes the Teen Titans characters and puts them in much more light hearted, cartoony situations. All of the original voice actors from Teen Titans will return to voice their respective characters. I only saw the original show here and there, but what I did see was impressive. I will definitely keep my eye out for this one.

2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer 20th Anniversary

When I heard about this panel, I wasn't very impressed because big names like Joss Whedon or Sarah Michelle Gellar weren't going to be there. I decided to go because I met Nicholas Brendon that day and I really wanted to see what he had to say about being on the show and seeing what he was doing currently. There were some surprises from the beginning. The panelists were listed to be Kirsty Swanson (Buffy from the film), Jane Espenson (writer), Scott Allie (Dark Horse editor), Clare Kramer (Glory on the TV show), Nicholas Brendon (Xander from the TV show), and Georges Jeanty (illustrator for the comic book). Kristy Swanson wasn't there, but Randall Batinkoff, who played Buffy's boyfriend in the movie and broke up with her answering machine, was there instead. Also surprise guest and fan favorite James Marsters was there was well.

Nicholas Brendon was hilarious throughout the panel and made everyone laugh. He almost didn't even get the role as Xander, but I am thankful he did. Even though his character never had special powers or abilities, he was a significant character in the Scooby gang. James Marsters didn't even want to do the show at first. He was desperate for work to support his new family, but he was reluctant to work on Buffy. He watched one episode and he was sold. He also talked about Spike's changing role on the show. He started as a villain who could have just left with one episode, but then returned as the Big Bad in the following season. Later, he became the annoying neighbor after he was chipped and stayed with Giles and Xander. He failed as a Cordelia replacement and thought he was going to be fired, but the writers always molded his character in an organic way to fit the show. Marsters was surprised that the character had such longevity and how he was constantly surprised and challenged as an actor on the show.

Scott Allie talked about the evolution of the comics over time. When the show was still running, the show and the comics didn't interact much until Fray, which Whedon wrote. It built a relationship between the two and made it possible to continue the show in comic book form for seaon 8 and 9. The actors were happy that the story continued in comics. James Marsters mentioned that his time with that character is over and it's great that Spike can live on in comics. The panel ended with a quiz with comics signed by the panel as prizes.  I consider myself a hard core Buffy fan, but I would never remember Buffy's home address or know how many total vampires she killed over 7 seasons (133).

This panel was wonderful and it's nice to see that the Buffy fandom is still alive and well. I hope more of the cast will come together at later Comic Cons like Firefly's cast did this year.

3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer screening: Once More with Feeling

After this panel was the singalong screening of the awesome Buffy musical episode, Once of More with Feeling. It was wonderful to see it on the big screen among other fans of the show. My boyfriend even agreed to watch at least the first 2 seasons of the show with me because of it. Yay! I hope to see this again next year.

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