The Return Of Wally West, Donna Troy And Darkseid – Siike Donnelly Explodes At Megacon

Siike Donnelly is reporting for Bleeding Cool from Megacon. Seriously, you try to stop him.  Photo at right by Pat Covey.

Like all things when I’m involved, it started with a bang!

I’m not the shy type anymore. I’m not easy to intimidate. And my philosphy when it comes to asking anyone a question is simple… “the worst they can say is no.” No isn’t a word I fear when it comes to meeting and talking with anyone in the comic book or film industry. I don’t back down. Luckily, DC Comics and Entertainment don’t make it hard for you to approach them. In fact, DC is making a BIG splash here at MegaCon, talking with fans, asking what they like and don’t like, and constantly evolving and adjusting to please as many long term and new fans as possible. I admire that. Tremendously.

To put it into perspective, I’m in Orlando, FL, home of Disney’s biggest theme parks, and Marvel has little to no presence here. It’s sad. Avengers comes out in 3 months, and X-Men vs Avengers starts next month, yet all I hear are crickets. It sucks for me as a fan, because I want to tell Marvel the books I do like and address things I have concerns about as a fan, much like me and many other fans did today at the DC All Access panel. But I digress.

I have a lot of random bits of information that I’ll try to make sense of. First off we found out that last year, here at MegaCon, is when the minds at DC decided to meet up and being creating the new 52. I thought that was awesome. Not in New York or Los Angeles, but here in Mickey’s backyard. Just awesome. This year, DC’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue will be written by a little up and coming writer named Geoff Johns, and drawn by someone fans may know- Mr. Jim Lee. The story will focus on Pandora, the mysterious hooded woman from the end of Flashpoint and all issue 1′s. Apparently we will see her POV on the three universes combining, what her motivations are, and what events and characters she’s watching closely in this new 52. There will also be a four page spread that folds out within the book, drawn by Lee. Backup stories in the free issue will feature art by Red Hood & the Outlaws’ Kenneth Rocafort, who was just the nicest guy in the world to me, giving me a free signed issue of #6; and another backup drawn by Flashpoint Superman’s Gene Ha. This book is so awesome that Eddie Berganza still finds it hard to believe it will be given out for free. I agree with him, and naturally think it’s the coolest thing ever that we are going to get such an amazing book.

Speaking of Geoff and Jim, a fan asked about Darkseid as well, wondering if he was going to be a big cosmic threat coming up to whatever DC’s new 52 was building towards. The guy didn’t think he was going to get an answer, but Dan Didio replied “yes.” There is a reason an introduction to Darkseid was being set up in the first Justice League arc, being the first threat that they unite to battle. When he returns, more heroes will have to unite in order to stop him, giving us a new crisis event most likely.

Another fan asked about the Kord Industries and New Gods references in O.M.A.C. to which the panel replied was obviously intentional. There will be future references to these characters and many others. That led us to a young man that asked about Wally West, to which of course I clapped and seconded. Dan and Eddie gave an answer that is going to keep me at bay with nerd rage for a while longer. He said because there were de-aging Barry, they didnt want him to be the same age as Wally. Plus they didnt want to take away Wally’s kids and family or make him a teenager again, especially with Bart already in that role. Dan also pointed out that someone close to him is a big Donna Troy fan, and Donna was given the same treatment when Wonder Woman was made younger in the relaunch. Their answer was that they are simply focusing on establishing the characters they started out with in this new 52, but not saying those other characters don’t exist or aren’t around in some way. They understand that everyone’s character is someone’s favorite. They just ask us Wally and Donna fans to be a bit more patient with them and those characters will be seen once more.

After the panel, I approached the group with my Nerd Nation podcast co-host, Gene Hoyle, and we got a chance to talk with each of the panelists for a few minutes, get a few pics, and get some one-on-one time. Dan and Eddie are always nice to me, remembering me from San Diego Comic Con last year and my endless, annoying messages on Facebook. They were very cool and humored my extreme nerdiness. They also loved that I was wearing my We Can Be Heroes shirt, which you all still need to donate too. I have just over 50 reciepts for my collage and want more. It’s a great cause.

To my surprise, Tony Bedard knew who I was. I went up to introduce myself and before I could he said, “Are you Siike Donnelly?” I was shocked. I think I even lit up like an embarrased Christmas tree. He mentioned that he’s read some of my articles on Bleeding Cool and recognized my picture from a recent piece I had done. I can’t tell you what it meant to me that the writer of Aquaman, the almost writer of Outsiders at one point (my favorite DC team), R.E.B.E.L.S., and books in the Green Lantern universe actually knew who I was. It was beyond cool. He spent a few minutes talking to me, allowing me to nerd out, as did Kenneth Rockafort, who again hooked me up with a free signed comic because I buy Red Hood & the Outlaws digitally. I asked if he’d sign my Kindle Fire, but the comic is way cooler.

We hit the floor. Saw the Nerdy Show crew. I bought 3 Tri-Force Mike shirts. 1 for me and two to pass out as prizes at our panel tomorrow night. I bought Mike’s comic. I also did what I really, really wanted to do which was buy comics from all five of our panelists on the panel tomorrow. I purchased some of Kate Carleton’s work, Mike Wagganer, Manny Cartoon, Martin Pierro and the CosmicTimes crew and signed up for a bronze membership for the Hero Initiative, who will also have a table in the back of the room during our panel for people to sign up at after we are done. Great cause, do it.

Lastly, I want to talk about someone who became a hero of mine today. Gene Hoyle is a guy I’ve been doing a podcast (www.blogtalkradio.com/nerdnation) with and have known for over six months. A friend of his, and a big part of the future of our show is a man we call Grazitron. You may know him as Jack when he calls in. Now I don’t have the money to support as much as I want to with WeCanBeHeroes, Gary Friedrich, Cancer Research, Aneurysm Research, and the Hero Initiative. I give what I can and hope it makes a difference. Jack however, had a bit more spending money on this trip than Gene and I, and I personally feel he did something cool with it.

Jack collects Golden and Silver Age comics. He loves art and appreciates what goes into make a great comic book. He loves the classics, along with the people that created them. Today, Jack not only signed up for a Silver Membership at the Hero Booth, which costs $100, he also put $15 in their tip jars, bought some merchandise, then went to the bidding room after the show to spend $5200 on a few different art pieces. All of that money goes to help guys like Gary Friedrich and other creators of classic stories that need help with medical bills, housing, etc. Granted, Jack got some awesome pieces of art and comic book history out of the deal, but he also did a very selfless and heroic thing in my book. He gave to a cause that helps people less fortunate, people he looks up to. It was a cool day for me to not only be around guys that create heroes, but be around an actual one.

So to Jack, Gene, Susy, my friend Joshua Yehl, Tri-Force Mike, Aaron Haaland, the many talented creators I met today, and anyone else I sadly may be forgetting in the midst of my head hurting while typing all this, THANK YOU! I had an amazing first day at a convention that was bigger, funner, and more exciting than I feel people give it credit for. I look forward to returning tomorrow. Good night all. I’m off to a VIP party. My first ever. I’m a lucky man.

-Siike (seek) Donnelly, @ExplodingBullet