Your intrepid reporter attended New York Comic Con for four days over the weekend, and this was definitely the con back at full force. After skipping 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and coming back in 2021 with a smaller con that many top exhibitors passed on, 2022 saw one of the biggest cons in the United States return with a massive crowd, a bigger Javits Center, and top-tier content. There was too much content for any one fan to cover—I only spent a short time on the show floor, finding it overwhelming especially on Saturday and Sunday—but here was what I observed as the best parts of the con based on my adventures.
10. A Bigger, Better Javits Center
This isn’t exactly new, as the con’s expansion into a larger five-floor panel building was complete last year, but this year the connection between the two buildings was complete and it was much easier to navigate. There seemed to be much more room for panels (more on that later) and the queues were much more orderly. That also allowed Artist Alley and the autograph area to have the lower level to themselves without running into large panel lines.
9. Safety First
The Javits Center made news by deciding to bring back their mask mandate for another year, one of the only cons still to do so. While last year’s vaccine mandate (a city requirement) was gone, the mask mandate remained. The enforcement… well, the con definitely did make sure you had a mask on before you entered. But once people were inside, it seemed to be a bit of a free-for-all. I don’t think this was necessarily a decision of New York Comic Con than a testament to just how tricky it is to enforce any rule on a con of this size. It seemed to be largely up to panels and tables how much they wanted to enforce it, but I do think the overall mandate helped to bring mask-wearing to around 50% as opposed to the much lower number that would have existed without a mandate.
8. Woman’s Day
The Women of Marvel panel is always a highlight of the con when it’s present, and Marvel didn’t disappoint this year—announcing several top-tier new projects. The highlight, however, has got to be a new Rogue and Gambit series by acclaimed Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips. Making her print Marvel debut, she’s taking over one of the most popular couples in comics and will likely be a major new addition to Marvel’s writing team.
7. The Long-Awaited Return
One of many panels to be capped in advance of the start at New York Comic Con, the screening for The Dragon Prince S4 was long-awaited—and I mean LONG. Pandemic delays, showroom controversy, and Netflix uncertainty made many people unsure if the beautifully-animated fantasy epic would ever return. Well, Season Four drops in less than a month, and what’s leaked of the media shown indicates a more mature, higher-stakes show than ever.
6. Scooby Dooby… Who?
Mindy Kaling’s “Velma” was one of many series to get a preview screening at New York Comic Con, and the production team’s decision to race-bend three of the four members of Mystery Inc. brought out all the usual suspects. But what raised more attention was who WASN’T there—a certain Great Dane. A mature-audiences reboot of Scooby Doo without the iconic canine but a lot more gore? The overly snarky trailer didn’t convince anyone who wondered… is this even Scooby Doo anymore?
5. A Fitting Milestone
The 30th anniversary of the iconic Milestone Universe created by the late, great Dwayne McDuffie with collaborators including Priest is reaching age 30, and in addition to the ongoing line of books, DC announced some major plans to celebrate. This includes an oversized anthology bringing in creators from across the company’s talent pool, an event series titled “Icon vs. Hardware,” and a return of the Static Beyond continuity written and drawn by Static artist Nikolas Draper-Ivey.
4. The Legend Returns
Joe Quesada is probably the name most associated with Marvel Comics over the last few decades, responsible for many of their most successful initiatives. So seeing him show up at a DC panel was probably the most surprising news of the con! It makes sense in some ways, as he’s retired from Marvel and is close friends with many of the artists working at DC. He’ll only be doing covers for Chip Zdarsky’s Batman right now—but who knows what’s to come?
3. A First In The Force
Sana Starros, Han Solo’s ex-wife, was one of the first original characters introduced in Marvel’s Star Wars line and a fan favorite. Now she’s finally getting her own solo miniseries, written y Justina Ireland in 2023. This makes her the first black woman to get a solo story in the entire Star Wars universe—about time!
2. A Super Family
In terms of con panels, none had a bigger impact than DC’s Superman panel. Not only did it announce a new family-focused era for the character, complete with a new title for Jon Kent and new costumes for most of the family, but it announced DC architect Joshua Williamson taking on a new advective-less title with Jamal Campbell on art. It’s been too long since Big Blue was the focus of DC’s plans, but the new direction—including backups by Leah Williams and Dan Jurgens—are highly promising.
1. A Fond Farewell
There’s no question which panel had the most electric audience in the entire con—the preview of the third season of Disney’s “The Owl House.” It’s coming back next week for the first of three finale specials, and it was easily the hottest ticket on Thursday’s opening night. Featuring most of the cast along with series creator Dana Terrace (and the always-hilarious Alex Hirsch with a Hooty puppet) it was equal parts celebration of the show with a preview of what was to come. A six-minute sizzle reel of the special sent the entire audience into rapture, and the Q&A period was highly emotional as multiple kids talked about how the show gave them the courage to be themselves and come out of the closet. It’s easily the best cartoon out right now, and Disney’s treatment of it will look really bad in the future.