One of the many companies and longtime presence at San Diego Comic-Con is DC Comics. As a response to San Diego Comic-Con’s physical event cancellation, Warner Bros. and DC hosted a DC-themed virtual convention called DC FanDome Saturday, August 22.
The virtual 24-hour-long event went live on its online website. No lines were necessary, no tickets were needed, and there were no panel rooms packed with fans. All that was needed was a computer screen, smart phone, or tablet, completely free of charge and available to all DC Comics fans and audiences from all over the globe.
DC FanDome allowed fans to see new announcements and trailers for various upcoming DC films, TV shows, video games, and comic books. The event also presented virtual panels featuring interviews from the cast and creators of the variety of upcoming DC projects from TV shows such as The Flash and Titans, to films like The Batman and Wonder Woman 1984.
The virtual DC convention's Hall of Heroes kicked things off with a panel for the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 film, which featured director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Kristen Wiig (Cheetah), and Pedro Pascal (Maxwell Lord), as well as a new trailer for the film. Afterward, fans tuning in live were treated to more announcements and panels for more upcoming DC projects. Announcements included the Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League video games. Among the many virtual panels were the Shazam! panel, the upcoming Black Adam starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Wonder Woman's 80th birthday celebration, Zack Snyder's cut of 2017's Justice League, and much more.
For fans who missed a panel, or announcement, DC FanDome presented an encore presentation immediately afterward. Encore live streams of the event continued until Sunday, August 23.
Virginia Davila of Imperial was one of the millions of fans who tuned in live for DC FanDome. Davila enjoyed the virtual convention and praised the efforts of DC Comics and Warner Bros. in creating the global experience for the fans at home during these difficult times.
"I’m very proud of DC for putting this together for fans, especially after the months where we’ve had of no cons, movie theaters, etc.," said Davila. "The experience was fangirl worthy."
According to Davila, what impressed her the most was the way DC integrated the fans throughout the virtual con.
Ixchel Perez of Los Angeles also tuned in to the virtual event. According to Perez, she has been a longtime DC fan going back to her youth starting with Batman: The Animated Series.
Perez has been to many conventions like San Diego Comic-Con in the past. Due to the ongoing pandemic, plans to attend this year's con were canceled and like so many others, she had to get used to the new virtual experience.
"I feel like people are getting the hang of it, but it just isn’t the same," said Perez. "Conventions are about more than just the panels or premieres. Conventions are about like-minded people coming together in celebration of something they love. They’re about the outcasts who may feel like they don’t belong finding a community where they feel like family. They’re about people feeling open enough to let their freak flag fly. Conventions are where people are free to be whoever they want to be."
Perez was not just a fan tuning into the live stream of panels and announcements. Her Wonder Woman cosplay was featured in the Wonder Woman 1984 virtual panel. Her cosplay was met with praise from the film's cast and director who commented that she "looked like Gal Gadot's stunt double." For Perez, who is a disabled cosplayer, it was an emotional and gratifying moment. In an Instagram post by Perez, she stated, "In the eyes of the world, my disability is always the most prevalent thing about me. Yet before Gal Gadot and the entire cast of Wonder Woman 1984, I was a hero. This is proof that cosplay can transform anyone into whatever hero they want to be."
Perez stated DC created a unique and revolutionary experience and hopes they carry the torch forward, moving beyond the pandemic.