Somewhere between the Vesuvian nerdsplosion that is San Diego Comic-Con and the Mets-like hometown disappointment of its New York cousin lies the spirited and sensational WonderCon. Usually located in San Francisco, this year WonderCon is happening in Anaheim, a place I just now learned is not a section of L.A. (They have their own post office and everything.)
If you aren't going (like, how do you even get to Anaheim?) properly timed check-ins to ye olde Internet ought to net some cool breaking news, as well as Twitpics of Power Girl/Poison Ivy/Zatanna cosplay. (I call that one the Neopolitan.)
Here are the 13 things you want to keep an eye on.
12:30 p.m.: Get Thee to Middle-earth
Unless Gandalf is keeping new footage of "The Hobbit" under his (very tall, pointy) hat you won't see clips at new WonderCon, but LOTR fanatics can still check in with the gang from TheOneRing.net. The brain trust from Middle Earth's finest web community will host a panel, and will also show you where to get a discount on the finest Elven jewelry.
1:30 p.m.: Spotlight on Mark Waid
A legendary comic book author, Waid has done some outstanding work for both DC and Marvel. Right now he is tearing it up with a revolutionary run on "Daredevil." Considering that there are reboot rumors for New York's favorite blind lawyer, now might be a good time to get reacquainted with the character.
3 p.m.: 1982 Remembered
Now that Alamo Drafthouse has announced that they are recreating the Summer of '82 with a season-long series of screenings, it is all but universally accepted that it isn't just nostalgia – the summer that gave us "E.T.," "The Thing," "Blade Runner," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," "The Road Warrior" etc. really DID kick ass. A panel of experts will try to break it down, as well as look ahead to summer 2012 to see if it can compare.
3:45 p.m.: '21 Jump Street'
It's the final stop on a publicity tour that has taken Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill across country in ridiculous biker shorts. If all the rave reviews haven't convinced you, I'm sure the antics of these two bromantically involved stars will get you motivated to check this flick out.
It'll be curious to see if they clear the family-friendly main ballroom for the (no doubt) F-bomb-laden panel, or maybe the boys will be on their best behavior. If you get a question in during the Q & A, ask them if the sequel will be called "22 Jump Street." They totally love that one.
6:30 p.m.: Superman vs. The Elite
If you are a fan of the DC Animated Original Films series you've probably thought that some of 'em were good enough to play in a theater. ("Batman: Year One," "Wonder Woman," and "Green Lantern: First Flight" especially.) Well, I've been to more than my fair share of Cons and the opening night premiere of the latest animated DC movie is always a treat.
This new one, based on the 2001 Action Comics one-shot "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way" looks like one of the best ones yet, and there'll be a post-screening Q & A with George Newbern (voice of Superman), writer Joe Kelly and Grand Caliph of the DC Animated Universe Bruce Timm.
Also Check Out: Get full coverage on WonderCon 2012 from MTV Geek
10:30 a.m.: Spotlight on Scott Snyder
There's a man who has revolutionized the way we consider the iconic character of Batman and brought him to an entire new audience. That man's name is Christopher Nolan. Then there's Scott Snyder who's been knockin' it out of the park lately with terrific, quintessential Detective Comics and Batman runs. In an era when to be classic is to be radical, Snyder (whose current "Swamp Thing" run is nothing to sneeze at, either) is a true comics talent.
11 a.m.: 'Adventure Time'
I haven't gotten around to watching "Adventure Time." (What, you want I should lie to you? My trusted readers?) However I know it is freaking awesome and chances are you are insane for it. Well, the producer will be up there answering questions and maybe showing some new stuff. Hit refresh on Twitter like a beast and maybe you'll get some scoop.
12:30 p.m.: 'Sound of My Voice'
I may have to double check, but this might be the first time a film that premiered at Sundance is getting the comic book convention treatment.
Don't let the movie's provenance scare ya. From writer/star Brit Marling (of the mediocre "Another Earth") comes an absolutely fantastic low-budget sci-fi head-scratcher about time travel, religious cults, investigative journalism and creepy basements. I absolutely love this movie to pieces, so take advantage to get in on this one early.
1:15 p.m.: 20th Century Fox Panel a/k/a the Big Event
I can't even say the word "Prometheus" without quivering. The greatest movie of 2012 (I'm pretty sure) will debut some footage and two dudes named Ridley something and something Lindelof will be there.
Are you kidding me?! Ridley Scott is returning to space and Damon Lindelof is the one taking him there. The glimpses we've seen so far look amazing and I fully expect to be parsing every moment of this panel for connections to the larger "Alien" tetralogy. (I guess that's sexology if you include "AVP" and "AVP:R," though sexology really sounds like a Prince album.)
The cherry on top will be a presentation for the goofy-lookin' "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I'm just hoping for its sake they don't try to follow-up after "Prometheus."
2:30 p.m.: Universal Panel
This will include footage of "Transformers Go Swimming" (also known as "Battleship"), with a visit from director Peter Berg, model-turned-actress (allegedly) Brooklyn Decker and Alexander Skarsgard. We don't know if Skarsgard will be bringing the little circle he puts over the last "a" in his name.
Of more interest (at least to me) will be an early peek at the potentially awesome "Snow White and the Huntsman." I still can't get over how terrific that first trailer looks. The director Rupert Sanders will be there and I will PayPal $5 to the first person who asks him what it was like to work with Julia Roberts.
3:30 p.m.: 'Lockout'
This one is a bit of a mystery – which is usually a good thing for events such as this. Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace face bad guys in a prison in outer space. Luc Besson co-wrote the script. The ball's in your court, WonderCon. Wow us!
4:15 p.m.: Sony Panel a/k/a The Other Big Event
Okay, I got this idea for a character. He's kind of a dork, but he's got a big heart. He gets bitten by a radioactive... I dunno... something gross. A silverfish. He then discovers he has its powers, and with it, responsibility. I'll call it "The Amazing Silverfish-Man." You like it? I dunno, I think it still needs work.
Anyway, "Amazing Spider-Man." You wanna see new scenes, Sony wants to show 'em to you. Emma Stone and director Marc Webb (Webb!!) will be there, too.
Also: there's a new "Resident Evil" movie. It's called "Resident Evil: Dear God How Many Of These Are We Going To Make." It stars Milla Jovovich and was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (probably.) I can't wait to half-watch this at my friends' house when we're waiting for pizza to show up, either.
More importantly: did you ever see a movie called "The Brothers Bloom?" It was a fun, crafty movie with Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo. The dude who made it, Rian Johnson, has a new one about time travel called "Looper." Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Paul Dano are in it and my spies tell me it is terrific. After WonderCon, we'll know more.
6:30 p.m.: Ralph Bakshi's 'Wizards'
The King of Adult Animation, Ralph Bakshi, is gracing WonderCon with his presence. It is the 35th anniversary of his futuristic fantasy epic "Wizards" and if you've never seen it before, there's not much I can say to prepare you. It is some freaky stuff with psychedelic mix of animation techniques. Bakshi's a real quirky character, so an opportunity to see him speak should not be missed.
This the day to just explore the booths on the show floor. And for those of you at home to play along as friends send pics of their discoveries.
Remember, if anyone asks, yes, you absolutely can take giant steel swords home on a plane.