“Nothing can stop the (C2E2) Juggernaut!”

What a time for comic book fans to be alive! Just this past week, the female-driven Captain Marvel joined the billion-dollar club while SHAZAM (the original “Captain Marvel”) hit theaters in his own fabulous film. In other news, Netflix’s binge-worthy “Umbrella Academy” got renewed for a second season while the creepy, yet original Joker trailer also dropped. Perhaps the biggest news in nerdom was how presale tickets for the much-anticipated Avengers: Endgame managed to shut down movie sites unable to keep up with demand. So whenever you hear someone mention the phrase “superhero fatigue,” don’t say anything. Just casually walk away…and laugh. 

April 25th can’t get here fast enough!

C2E2 (Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo) has proven itself the ultimate pep rally for popular culture by bringing an Avenger to our doorsteps. I’ll never forget how excited I was when I learned that Paul Rudd, Ant-Man himself, was one of their featured guests. Going from an awkward teen hiding his copies of “Secret Wars” for fear of bullying to having my own teenagers idolize them today has been surreal. Just as it has been hearing my co-workers at the proverbial water cooler plainly discuss Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Seeing comic conventions go from “geek to chic” has come with a price i.e. larger crowds, longer lines, and occasional bedlam. C2E2 would prove no exception though, looking back, I’d say it was well worth it. While no two C2E2 experiences are the same, I’m now going to share mine…

Ant-Man Cosplay 2019 C2E2

The first indication we were in for it was when I had trouble finding parking space despite having prepaid and coming early on the usually much-calmer Friday. After about 25 minutes of slowly weaving up the multi-level garage, I finally found a narrow spot on the roof t settle in. Then it was a matter of navigating through the immense McCormick Place (the largest convention center in North America) and getting through the security check-point which started last year; a grim reminder of the world we live in. By the time we made it onto the familiar red carpeting of C2E2’s main floor we were ready to kiss the ground. However, I soon forgot about my sore legs and feet after coming face-to-face with Godzilla! The only movie I’m as excited to see as Avengers: Endgame this year is Godzilla: King of Monsters and this replica featured his new, slimmer look.

SH Monsterarts

Godzilla SH Monsterarts1

Godzilla SH Monsterarts3

Godzilla SH Monsterarts2

The impressive prop was designed to lure conventioneers into the S.H. Monsterarts booth which was perfectly fine as far as my son, Luke, was concerned. Both he and my eldest, Alex, are diehard Godzilla fans and particularly fond of these products which aren’t cheap but do tend to sell out quickly. Once that happens, you can expect those prices to increase dramatically. I recently pre-ordered their new 2019 King Ghidorah and have a feeling it will go fast – especially since it’s such a fantastic design.

S.H. Monsterarts King Ghidorah 2019

S.H. Monsterarts 2019 King Ghidorah!

Since my kids are old enough to venture C2E2 on their own, we’ve developed a sort of “divide and conquer” strategy. Regardless of where we go, we always use the large MARVEL Comics section as our rendezvous point. Both of the two major comic publishers, MARVEL and DC, boast spacious areas with fun activities and swag such as calendars, posters, and preview comics. This year MARVEL brought artifacts from their now-canceled Netflix shows to torture us with. I saw this because gazing into that glass case was like staring at a funeral memorial, inspiring a true sense of loss.

Daredevil Season 2 Costume

“The Swear Jar” from Luke Cage

What a difference a year makes. Last year at C2E2  Charlie Cox a.k.a. Netflix’s “Daredevil” was the featured guest. We met him and thought he was the nicest guy, anxiously awaiting his “upcoming” third season which would later prove one of the best seasons of ANY comic-related show. That the series would be canceled shortly thereafter seemed unfathomable. Of course, the end of “Daredevil” and the rest of MARVEL Netflix series was less about performances and ratings than it was Disney’s friction with Netflix over their plans to create their own streaming service. I don’t blame either party (it’s just business, folks), although one Daredevil cosplayer had no problem stating which side he did. Of course, you’d have to be able to read braille to know which one.

I’ll let you translate this on your own…

I’m told I’m overly optimistic believing my favorites like Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, Deborah Ann Wols’ Karen Page, Mike Coulter’s Luke Cage, Simone Missick’s Misty Knight, and Jon Bernthal’s Punisher will eventually make their way to Disneys service but, then again, if Sony and the MCU can share Spidey, James Gunn can return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool can survive the FOX merger, anything is possible.

Yet another inappropriate message courtesy of Deadpool

I didn’t go crazy buying merchandise this year, though that shouldn’t imply I wasn’t tempted. There were so many vendors in that hall every time I’d make a rotation, I’d find someone I’d completely missed before. I was looking for a Captain Marvel zip sweatshirt (her uniform colors) for my daughter but was unable to land one.

Luke was drawn to the video gaming aspect of C2E2 and really enjoyed the Mortal Kombat panel. Afterward, he met Richard Divizio (the actor that game makers filmed and digitized into numerous characters) and got to “duke it out” with him.

Luke battles Richard Divizio!

Later he got to play “Jedi” with a realistic lightsaber at the STAR WARS thread.

C2E2 has some of the best cosplayers and this year was no exception.  As soon as we split up, getting their photos was a priority. Lots of representation from MARVEL…

DC…

STAR WARS…

And much, much more…

Another C2E2 tradition is the appearance of National horror host, Svengoolie. After lunch, I headed downstairs to the main entrance and awaited his arrival.

Coming Up…Svengoolie fans assemble!

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