This 2016, MegaCon was held over the Memorial Day weekend from Thursday the 26th through the Sunday 29th of May in Orlando Florida and it was not only a fun show, but MegaCon was larger and better than ever!
The celebrities featured at this show were quite entertaining and versatile, featuring personalities such as Haley Atwell (Agent Carter), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), George Takei, William Shatner & Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), John Barrowman & Katie Cassidy (Arrow), Carlos Valdes (Flash), Elden Henson (Daredevil), Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Adam West & Burt Ward (Batman) along with a slew of other actors and genre personalities.
Likewise there were great Comic guests such as the Legendary and entertaining Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Greg Capullo, Arthur Adams, Neal Adams, Adam Hughes along with Mike Zeck and many others as well who signed comics, drew sketches and posed for many photos.
MegaCon also featured Anime guests such as Vic Mignogna who also plays Cpt. Kirk in Star trek Continues, Jaimie Marchi, Cassandra Lee Morris and Colleen Clickenbeard along with others well known to Anime fans. The now nationally recognized MegaCon even featured Cosplay guests such as Ivy Doomkitty, Leeanna Vamp, Cecil Grimes and Spock Vegas along with other well known Cosplay guests.
While my fellow SciFiPulse partners in crime and Cosplay Editors Mike Colon and Ivy Maldonado were busy covering all things Cosplay and roaming the MegaCon convention floor in search of amazing Cosplaying attendees and panels, I was busy attending various Q & A celebrity panels.
Those celebrity panels I attended included Stan Lee, Hayley Atwell, Tom Payne, Anthony Daniels and Elden Henson, all of which were absolutely brilliant, warm, friendly and very entertaining. Of all of these celebrity panels however, those that were especially note worthy were in the first instance Anthony Daniels who plays the legendary protocol droid C-3PO, and his show was unlike any other I attended that weekend!
Mr. Daniel’s panel was more like a one-man show you might see on stage in New York or some other metropolitan city as he entertained the audience, walked in and among them, asked the attendees questions and even brought some on stage with him as a part of his show. He gave amazing personal insights into Star Wars itself as a whole, including The Force Awakens and ultimately let the fans know that it was in fact they who made it all possible and gave them his heart felt thanks before bowing to a standing ovation.
But then he did something that I have yet to see a very well known celebrity do at a convention, and that was walk out into the crowd after his final bow to meet his fans individually. Then seeing the love and affection we all had for him, he made every single fan who stayed behind get in line and one by one had them come on stage to take a free photo with him.
To be sure, Anthony Daniels is not only brilliant and an amazing performer, but also a class act. My only regret was getting in his way while taking a video of his panel, to which I am so very sorry and humbly apologize to both he and the fans.
By the same token Carlos Valdes who plays Cisco Ramon on The Flash was quite personable and had an entirely packed room at what was only his fourth convention appearance, but his first solo convention Q&A panel. During his panel the actor hinted at a possible Flashpoint paradox storyline emerging in future episodes of the hit super hero show as well as even indicating that his character may very well officially become the comic hero Vibe sometime in the show’s future, but what was most appealing was the actor’s affinity toward his fans along with the fans showing him quite a bit of love.
But perhaps most poignant moment in his panel was when a 6 year old fan named Fynnlie dressed as Groot, (who was accompanied by all of her sisters Cosplaying as The Guardians of The Galaxy), came onto the stage and let Valdes know that she had a crush on him. While the entire crowd’s heart melted upon her letting Valdes know that she was head over heals for the young actor, she then went on to ask him who he had a crush on. To which the actor leaned back and turning toward the young fan said in a very sweet yet innocent way, “I’m looking at her right now.”
With that the entire crowd uttered a heartfelt “Aaawwwww . . .” in unison as Valdes then jumped up and gave the young blushing fan a huge hug, with the crowd erupting in cheerful applause.
Likewise, three other panels I attended were also quite memorable and enjoyable as one of MegaCon’s most experienced and personable celebrity hosts Marc B. Lee, sat down with the legendary Stan Lee and the beautiful and stunning Haley Atwell.
Stan Lee’s panel was actually the very first I was able to sit in on Thursday evening, with Stan ‘The Man’ Lee showing exactly why he is as famous and sought after as he is. For actually being 93 years old, he had the wittiest answers to fan questions along with absolutely great stories from his many years as the man behind Marvel Comics.
What stuck out most was the love and adoration every single fan had for Stan Lee who is without a doubt the Grandfather of all things comics. When Lee asked whether or not he was on the side of Team Cap or Team Iron Man, the crowd went wild when he answered, “I’m a Team Cap guy!”
But by the same token, when he was asked which Hero he would choose to be, he chose Iron Man as Tony Stark is not only a billionaire, with a great suit of armor but is pretty well liked with the ladies. One of the most fun moments however was when Stan Lee was asked which Spiderman was his favorite from the first two actors to play the role, he indicated that he couldn’t really answer as he admittedly has a soft spot for Tobey MaGuire who also happens to be a friend and whose performance he really thought captured the essence of Spiderman. But then continued on saying how it wouldn’t be fair for, “. . . what was the other guy’s name!?” to which the crowd roared with laughter at his Spider-jab as it were.
Marc B. Lee was also complimented by the beautiful Haley Atwell calling him an ‘English gentlemen’ for his very stylish suit and kerchief during her panel, to which Lee informed the Agent Carter star that he was indeed single. But what was most impressive about Atwell was her passion for Peggy Carter and her affinity for both the show and everyone she has been privileged to work with on the show.
Atwell was also simply a strong independent women who showed in her confidence, answers and charm exactly why she was able to bring Agent Carter to life the way she did. Interestingly she also let it be known that she would be 100% willing and ready for a third season of Agent Carter to resume with another network like Netflix for instance. Likewise Atwell indicated that the fans had definitely not seen the last of Peggy carter, letting it also be known that Peggy should even get her own movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The last panel I sat in on over the MegaCon Memorial Day weekend was George Takei’s panel celebrating 50 years of Star trek. The Q&A panel was just Mr. Takei on stage fielding questions from the audience and what most impressed me most was his passionate description of what Star Trek is and means through his telling of how the Star Trek was initially described to him by the Iconic Gene Roddenberry.
Audience members also thanked the veteran Trek actor for his support of the LGBTQ community, with Takei voicing his support of the Gay community in much the same way he spoke of Star trek as it pertains to the tolerance and respect all people must have for each other regardless of race, religion, creed, gender and sexual preference.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of his panel however was when a fan asked Takei who he planned on voting for in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election. While the crowd uttered a low moan upon the question being asked, Takei gave a very spirited answer in which he called out Donald Trump for fanning the flames of intolerance and using people’s fear and ignorance to his own advantage.
Takei likened Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric as akin to what happened to Japanese Americans interned in the United States during World War II. The activist actor and producer even went so far as to say that he would do everything in his power to make sure that “. . . Donald Trump will NEVER be the President of the United States.” to which many in the crowd actually cheered and clapped with Takei’s pronouncement.
Apart from this fan-induced insertion of politics into the MegaCon weekend every aspect of MegaCon, If an attendee was not walking the convention floor itself and shopping for everything and anything a genre fan could wish for, they were meeting comic book personalities, enjoying original artwork in Artist’s Alley, getting signatures and/or photos with their favorite celebrities, or they were mingling with all of the amazing Cosplay which has become a vibrant part of the MegaCon.
And while there was so much more offered at MegaCon, from great panels, to gaming, the very cool costume contest, and fun anime, no matter where you went you were surrounded by the loving energy of all of the attendees along with all of the beautifully created costumes at MegaCon. While I thoroughly enjoyed spending most of my MegaCon in celebrity panels, this Central Florida convention has always really also been about Cosplay for me. SciFiPulse is lucky to now have Ivey Maldonado and Mike Colon onboard as our Cosplay editors and did they have a great time at this year’s show as the Cosplaying community did not disappoint!
The costumes at MegaCon are simply among the best you will see anywhere fans are Cosplaying, with perhaps some of the most fun coming not just from the great diversity of costumes from every genre you can think of and at the end of the day, one thing you can always count on at MegaCon is that you WILL bump into your favorite character who will be happy to take a photo with you.
All in all, this year’s MegaCon DID NOT disappoint and only got better and bigger than ever! Well done MegaCon and SciFiPulse looks forward to the next show!