The City of Heroes Convention 2015…

The City of Heroes convention was a weekend of guests from the DC shows, Arrow, The Flash and Gotham, and also the upcoming DC movie’s Aquaman. It was held at the Birmingham Metropole Hilton, and hosted by a compere, who introduced each 45 minute talk, which included three panels and individual talks. There was a main hall for the talks, a hall for autographs and photo ops, and a small vendors room. We went for a weekend pass, which was access to all the talks, and a free autograph from all the guests. We’re not really into the want for autographs and meeting the actors (what do you do with it and what do you say to them?!). We were all set for a weekend of sitting back and being entertained by the actors of a couple of our favourite shows. Did it live up to expectations?

Nope. It pounded them into the ground with a superhero punch. It was great fun.

It all kicked off with a pretty decent light and clip show, then Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Arrow) took the stage. Wow. What a nice guy. Friendly, easy, fun, and open–something which could be said for most of the guests. All were a little thrown by being shown up to the stage and seemingly not knowing how it worked, but unlike some other conventions where runners take mics to them for their questions, and the sound system not being up to task, this was organised, with attendees who wanted to talk or ask questions invited to queue at the each side of the room and take a turn on the mics. Amell dropped a few teases for season 4 of Arrow–that he won’t be wearing the Arrow costume again, and that season 4 will find him pretty settled with Felicity, ‘domesticated’ was his description, but the series will open like the previous three–with him running. I’m not sure what to make of his statement that Oliver is done with being Arrow–I have a feeling it’s semantics, that he will become a new version, the ‘Green Arrow’, and his old costume will return with some tweaks and will be ‘Green Arrows’ costume. Although maybe we’ll get the Robinhood hat…

David Ramsey (John Diggle) followed that and received a huge welcome. He really is a popular character. And he was energetic and talkative. He confirmed that he will have a costume, that they came close to laying the groundwork for John Diggle to be John Stewart Green Lantern, but it was dropped. It seems that with Diggle now written into the comic book universe they are going to let him be his own man. And why not? Diggle is awesome just as he is. But seeing him in the Arrow costume last season… Wow. He needs a costume. Ramsey and Amell had great chemistry together, doing a talk together–and singing together too, ‘Ebony and Ivory’. They confirmed that the Diggle and Oliver bromance will be restored for season 4, but Oliver will have to earn it.

Caity Lotz (Black Canary/White Canary/Sara Lance) was fun and friendly, and shared how she had a background that made her well-suited for the action of Arrow, already doing parkour and martial arts prior to her role. Several attendees shared how they found her uncomplicated bisexuality an inspiration, and when asked who was the better kisser between Oliver and Nyssa she said Nyssa was certainly softer and more interesting as it was her first time kissing a girl. Brandon Routh (Ray Parker/Atom), whose character of Ray seems to get some hate online was warmly welcomed, and with him out of the way of Felicity and Oliver, it seems like fandom is willing to forgive and forget. Plenty of people were supportive of his Superman, another role he had that gets some flack, and he shared his thoughts on the latest Superman–and he commended Cavill for his portrayal, but stated that he did the best with what he was given… Ouch.

Sean Pertwee (Alfred) is looking more and more like his father it’s uncanny. This was his first convention, and was quiet, very humble, and a true gent. Cory Michael Smith (Edward Nygma/The Riddler) was fun, taking the p*ss out of the various British accents in play, and proved his acting chops through just being himself–quite a contrast to his role on Gotham. His insights into the casting process sounds terrifying–auditions in front of lots of people, then in front of execs who check out your look, check out your social media presence, and consider your ‘value’ to them. It’s not all about turning in the best performance it seems. David Zayas was a bit of a revelation–he was a NYC cop for 15 years. He was working shifts on the street then heading off and playing a convict in Oz. It’s great hearing how people’s lives play out. Bumped into him in the loo… Conventions are funny like that.

Jesse L. Martin (Det. Joe West) was awesome, as was Rick Cosnett (Eddie Thorne). Cosnett received a huge reception–clearly I’m not the only one to think he’s hot. Martin revealed that Wally West, Iris’ as yet unseen brother, and the supposedly dead Mrs. West will be showing up in season 2. And Cosnett teased that Eddie has a big choice to make, one that will change a lot of people’s opinions of him. Looks like Eddie is going to the darkside… 😦 I haven’t seen the finale yet. Oh, and Cosnett has an Australian accent with a Southe African twang–and he did an African bum dance. This all you would hope it to be *sigh*. Candice Patton (Iris West) was friendly and attentive to attendees, and she dropped that she has social anxiety–so her being in her job was a bit of an inspiration–and how she’s pleased to be playing a strong woman of colour who has a positive female friendship with Felicity instead of being a competitive one, and that she’s her own woman–not just a love interest. When asked to choose between Eddie and Barry she said ‘why choose? It’s 2015′. I like her thinking. Actually, she stressed that Iris’ journey doesn’t have to be about which man she will choose, as she may well not choose either of them and will still have a part to play in The Flash world. Which I thought was cool–especially with Felicity being little above a plot device for much of season 3 of Arrow being between Oliver and Ray. All three of The Flash gang had a great rapport with one another and it was clear they’re having a blast filming the series. It would seem that Grant Gustin is really busy at the moment to be able to attend a convention like this, and also quite anxious about it too.

Then there was Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones and to play Aquaman). That dude is CRAZY. He was entertaining straight out onto the stage. Walking on, drinking a pint of guiness (one of many…) and teasing the attendees over their questions, being so sweet to the kids (even if, as he said, ‘they grow up to be assholes). One woman from the Netherlands asked if he would attend the disco that night and party with them, she’d already said she didn’t like guiness, so he said that he would go if she downed one of his pints there and then–which she did like any fan with a boogie with a star on the line. When she came up for air from finishing he insisted she smash the glass on the stage, which she did. So funny. I’m sure the organisers weren’t too impressed at that one…

In between talks they promoted the new DC series ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ with this…

Which was AWESOME. I got geekbumps at this. An ensemble cast has already been shown to have so much potential in Arrow, even though season 3 kind of undid some of the characters it had to throw into it;s own mix. Really looking forward to it.

And they promoted Supergirl too…

Which looks like great fun.

All in all it was a brilliant weekend. The venue was great, lots of places to eat with ‘street food’ stalls throughout the hotel selling different types of food, as well as the regular hotel lounge. It was buzzing, with there being another convention there too. Oh and hotel guests who were there for a bodybuilding convention at the NEC. Breakfast was like eating on the set of ‘300’ or ‘Sparticus’–not complaining. The main hall was huge, with enough seating for everyone, and with big screens and a good sound system meant that wherever you were you could see and hear the attractions. We heard some complaints that people had to leave the talks to go get autographs and photo opportunities, and some said those were rushed affairs, but I think they usually are, and the guests all had a couple of talk slots each over the two days so I think you’d be unlucky if you missed a lot. Personally, just there for the talks, it was great, with guest after guest with only 5 minute breaks between and then a break for lunch. The disco on Friday night… Well, it was enough like a wedding reception for me and my other half to make a swift exit. Not us. Aside from that, a very chilled out weekend. Everyone came back on stage for the close–and Jason Momoa smashed another glass. Of course. Oh, he didn’t go to the disco by the way. He said he’d been a little bit drunk and thought it best not to. According to Amell and Ramsay, Momoa is still Khol Drogo according to their alluded to Saturday night meal together at a local pub.

We enjoyed it so much that we’ve booked up for next year already. Can’t wait!

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