Comic Con NE: The League Of Ordinary Gentlemen

March 6, 2017

It's not who you are underneath. It's what you do that defines you."  --Batman Begins

I'd never been to a Comic Con before. With all my years of Groupon Jedi training and mom's basement Batcave detective work, the great celebrations of geek culture, comic books, sci-fi and cosplay had escaped me. I'd always wanted to attend THE Comic Con, the OG of CC in San Diego, but it's a hike, everyone bitches about "how corporate and Hollywood" it's become, and you can get the Millennium Falcon to haul you across the galaxy cheaper than hanging out with a bunch of Star Lords on a late July weekend in Southern California. Fortunately, with the success of Comic Con, the proliferation of geek culture and the fact that every other movie is a super hero film these days, Comic Cons have exploded and are all over the country now. And while regional cons may lack the Death Star-like power of the original, the chance to meet some childhood heroes, spend too much money on toys and rock out with your Spock out within 30 miles from home, while not breaking the bank, has some appeal. Thus, alongside my own little Batkid and some of my local Super Friends we made our way deep into the heart of dorkness, to The Mall of Justice (specifically an abandonned JC Penney at The Hanover Mall in Hanover, MA) and hit up The Northeast Comic Con 2017!

Now, obviously these sorts of affairs aren't for everyone. But for the masses of Massholes who still read comics, wish they were bit by a radioactive spider or dream intergalacticly, this is a fun way to spend a Saturday. The entire affair toed that "I want to make fun of this but also I'm here and having fun and I know how much fun they're having" line. Which, to me, is exactly the sweet spot a grown adult person should be in when surrounded by plastic swords, monster puppets and Batarangs. There many of the prerequisite cosplays du jour, many with a definiteively South Shore flair, like...

Deadpool, with a local ethnic holiday twist...

Original TV Batman Who Takes A Cheap Shot At A Successful Local Actor Gone Hollywood Who Actually Plays Batman In The Movies...

Suicide Squad hottie and Joker gal pal Harley (Hahley) Quinn, easily the most sought after cosplayer photo, for obvious reasons...

And in an odd ironic retro nod, we found "Possible Constriuction Worker Going As Constructicon Megabot Devastator" ("Dude, is that Devastatuh?")

How and why a grown man would choose the blue collar Transformers version of Voltron I'll never know, but hey - we don't judge! We celebrate the unique, outrageous and ridiculous. And no, you're not allowed to think, let alone say, "Imagine what he could have done if he didn't spend hours turning himself into a giant plastic bearded five-robot superbot!" For me, the most fun was meeting and having a Bat-Off with "Undersized Possible Road Worker Or Fireman Batman With A Great Voice"...

It's a Bat-Off, NE ComicCon style. #necomiccon

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He had the voice and the passion, and the patience to goof around with me, so he's Bat-tastic in my book.

The day wasn't just about people playing dress up and superpower-free make believe. There were toys and comics and unique finds and retro goodies galore on sale around every corner, something for the casual or obsessed collector and fan.

Don't pretend you aren t eyeing those New Kids posters. You've been loving those forever.

Plus a chance to showcase local artists, writers and animators. Like the guys behind LAZERMAN, two local dudes who ran a kickstarter and made the dream of publishing a kickass comic book come true (I lost their card, so let's pretend their names are Awesomeman and Superguy, OK?)

And how about John Mars, a jovial fellow with a twisted sense of humor who does this crazy rabbit and alien art...like a double rainbow, I have no idea what it means, but it's pretty rad.

Comic-Cons are all about just this; costumed nonsense! Laughing with and at others and/or yourself! Artistic, creative and nerderiffic expression! And, of course, the fulfillment of childhood dreams. LIKE SITTING IN THE ORIGINAL TV BATMOBILE!

The heroes the South Shore deserves (these Super Friends filmed at The Mall of Justice)

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Shockingly comfortable, wouldn't you know. Lousy gas mileage, but chicks dig a guy with a vintage ride. 

This was as close as we were getting to meeting the marquee star/attraction of the event, Adam West and Burt Ward, aka TV Batman & Robin. The price for a pic we could have stomached, but the two hour wait was a bit much. Plus, when I got to say, "Quick! To The Batmobile!" in earnest. So all is good in my Bat-hood.

I wouldn't expect anyone to be overly impressed by any of this. There are no pyrotechnics or Hollywood CGI seminars. No A-Listers. No flashy premieres or wrldwide trailer debuts. This is Comic Con done South Shore style. Would have been cool if the fellas and I had really gone the distance and done The South Shore Avengers (Packie Man, Mr. Scratch Ticket, Coffee Run and The Foreman, all doing battling vs. their arch nemesis, The Bookie), but alas, it was our first time. Maybe we can hook up with The Lazerman guys to develop the story, have John Mars handle our concept art, talk to a few new pals about costume work, and who knows? We might become stars of a circuit and world dedicated to people showing little interest in the mundane and ordinary of this world. They live here like us, but they dream of a world bigger and wilder, with a greater calling than working 9-5. And for just a moment a failing mall halfway between Boston and Cape Cod becomes The Mall of Justice for the regular guys, thew townies...and their dreams are fulfilled. Like Bowie said, "We ca be heroes...for just one day."