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Motor City Comic Con 2017 Photos, Part 1 of 2: Cosplay!

Yondu and Mary Poppins!

Yondu and Mary Poppins. Um, mild spoiler for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

My wife and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. For my 45th birthday, we decided to expand those parameters.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we’ve ruminated from time to time on the possibility of attending comic book/entertainment conventions in other areas outside our hometown of Indianapolis. While researching other Hoosier sightseeing options we haven’t tried yet for our birthdays (we haven’t quite run out of historical sites, odd museums, or pretty nature), I decided to check into American comic-con schedules for the weekend, assuming I’d find nothing within a thousand miles of home. I was surprised to discover a handful of results, including a rather large one at the top of the list.

This weekend Anne and I had the pleasure of attending the 28th annual Motor City Comic Con in the city of Novi, a safe suburb northwest of Detroit, some 300 miles from home. Well established and catering to fans of comics and media guests alike, MCCC is a shade smaller than our two regular Chicago shows, but proved an excellent reason to return to Michigan for our first time in fifteen years.

But first and foremost, per our standard convention procedures: cosplay! Presenting a showcase of all the costumes we photographed during our hours walking through and around the exhibit hall on Saturday. Longtime readers know the drill; hence, costumes from MCCC here on MCC. Enjoy the gallery!

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My Free Comic Book Day 2017 Results, Best to Least Best

Spectacular Spider-Man!

Spidey and the Vulture, both older than they’ll appear in the next film. Art by Paolo Siqueira, Frank D’Armata, and one of the four credited inkers.

On May 6th my wife and I had the pleasure of once again observing Free Comic Book Day, the least fake holiday of them all. Readers of multiple demographics, thankfully including lots of youngsters, flocked to our local stores and had the opportunity to enjoy samplers from all the major comic companies and dozens of indie publishers. This year’s assortment saw a metric ton of all-ages comics far outnumbering the adults-only options, served up by a plethora of publishers great and small, hopefully many of whom will still be around a year from now.

I never grab copies of everything, and this year I restrained myself a bit more than usual. Sometimes reviewing comics can be fun, but I wasn’t in the mood to read that many kids’ comics in a row. Also left behind were a few books based on cartoons and movies, reminders that some publishers see comics more as a second-tier merchandising stream than as a literary medium unto itself.

The fifteen comics in my FCBD 2017 reading pile came out as follows, ranked from Totally Not For Me to I Would Pay Monies For More, complicated by the fact that several of these contain two or more stories. I considered concocting some sort of system involving grade-weighting and averages that would even up the scores, but ultimately I’ve decided to base everything on subjective non-math and internal whims instead. As most listicles are.

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Late Thoughts on “Iron Fist” and the Comedy That Could’ve Been

Iron Fist!

Y’like super-hero tales with costumes and exotic locales? Ha. SUCKER.

Netflix’s Marvel’s Iron Fist, based on the kung-fu super-hero I’ve followed off and on since childhood, is the first time I’ve watched a TV series and wondered to myself if it might’ve worked better as a mid-’90s Pauly Shore vehicle.

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“Logan”: The Old Man and the Series

Logan!

“Wow, Cyclops is an even bigger jerk in the comics. Maybe I should give these a chance after all.”

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls Logan the Greatest Wolverine Solo Movie of All Time!

That’s not a hard claim to make after the soggy mishmash of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the mostly not-bad The Wolverine, a Japanese action-adventure yarn that held up well until the final boss battle pitted Our Hero against a vengeful geezer-mech. The latter’s director James Mangold reunites with The Hugh Jackman for one last assembly with Marvel’s once-merry mutants in what may be the X-Men film least likely to sell a single action figure.

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The Adventures of Alex & Maggie and Their Flighty Sidekick Supergirl

Supergirl!

“Hey, everybody, come look! Alex and Maggie did a cute thing again! Awwww, I love their show!”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I thought so highly of that new CBS series Supergirl that we met four of its stars at two different events last year — Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli at Metropolis’ Superman Celebration; and before that, Chyler Leigh and the Melissa Benoist at Chicago’s C2E2. Fun folks from a fun show.

At launch, Supergirl was a bright, optimistic series about one of the most frequently mishandled members of the Superman family, of which Anne has been a lifelong fan. As an adult she’s been to the Superman Celebration five times with me; as a girl she read all the Superman-related books she could find at our local library and watched Superman: The Movie on videodisc so many times that she memorized it. Literally. All of it. Could recite the entire movie line-for-line from beginning to end. She never could say the same for Supergirl’s movie, which was…well, I haven’t watched it in thirty years, so I can’t fairly say how it ranks compared to Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, but it’s down there. She hasn’t kept up with any of DC Comics’ other TV shows since Smallville, but she was intrigued at the idea and generally happy with season one. Same went for me, despite the intermittent bits of cheesiness I was fine with shrugged off.

Then the series moved to The CW.

(Housekeeping note up front: this entry dives into developments from the March 6th episode. Consider this your courtesy spoiler warning.)

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“Split”: The Most Hidden Personality is Always the Worst

Split!

“You guys seem real nice. You wanna come watch X-Men: Apocalypse with me? It’s like the bestest super-hero film ever!”

Movie reviews may not be meaningful to every reader, whether as standalone essays or as en masse aesthetic bellwether, but there’s a reason the last M. Night Shyamalan film I saw was 2002’s Signs. Light word on the street about his last two projects — the Fox summer series Wayward Pines and the tiny Blumhouse scary film The Visit — hinted that perhaps a comeback was in the offing. The flashy trailer for his latest project Split appealed to me less on his name and more for the opportunity afforded James McAvoy to do his own riff on Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets, or possibly Orphan Black. Sometimes it’s fun when talented actors from other countries play half the characters in a given production with a variety of accents. Sometimes, but not always.

On a related note: I’ve tried not to turn this into a full-on recap of the film, but the things that aggravated me most are largely spoilers, buried further down in the “Nitpicking” section in sum but not in exacting detail. If you’re hoping to catch Split someday with the mandatory Shyamalan “twist” intact, a few sentences here — as well as the film’s official entries on both Wikipedia and IMDb — may give you one hint too many of Shyamalan’s game plan. (This section throws shade and spoilers around for two other films, both more than eight years old. Stop me when that’s a problem.)

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