San Diego Comic-Con

Who’s Your Daddy! (Part II)

Being Comic-Con virgins, we’re still feeling rather overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the whole event. Yet, Saturday promises to be even more levels of crazy awesome, so come along as I preview the panels I hope to attend, all in keeping with the theme of ‘fatherhood’.

No Ordinary Family is an upcoming television series from ABC. Starring the Fantastic Four’s Michael Chiklis and Buffy’s Julie Benz as parents, it features an regular family of four that becomes everything but after their plane crashes.  It’ll be interesting to see if, unlike Heroes before it, No Ordinary Family can avoid comparisons to established superhero stories like the Fantastic Four and The Incredibles. In particular, Chiklis’ father role seems all to familiar – will he be able to make it his own? No Ordinary Family is on Saturday at 3.15pm in Room 6A.

Fringe is built around the father-son relationship of Walter and Peter Bishop, played by John Noble and Joshua Jackson respectively. Season 2’s cliffhanger ending, however, saw the alternate Olivia return to our dimension, so it remains to be seen if the father-son dynamic which characterises the show will give way to the budding love story between Peter and Olivia. Fringe is also on Saturday at 3.15pm in Ballroom 20. Yes, at the same time as No Ordinary Family above!

Thor remains one of the biggest movies to be featured at Comic-Con this year. The Marvel blockbuster will be hoping to ride on the amazing box office performance of the two Iron Man movies, especially in building towards to the 2012 “Avengers” event. Interestingly enough, the few stills we’ve seen from the movie so far feature the All-Father Odin pretty heavily, so there’s no doubt that we’ll see Sir Anthony Hopkins in a relatively major role (as befitting someone of his talent) shaking up Asgard with his fatherly dictates. His throne is one of the highlights here at Comic-Con’s showfloor, and no doubt, we’ll get to learn a little bit more about Odin and his sons, Thor and Loki very soon. Thor shares the spotlight with Captain America: The First Avenger on Saturday at 6pm in Hall H.

Castle is one of the few crime shows that truly go beyond the genre and develop a life of its own. Richard Castle, played to perfection by geek favourite Nathan Fillion, is more than just the typical snarky comedian child-like man who partners the strict, stern, by the books woman (a formula repeated in Warehouse 13 and Bones). The true depth of Rick Castle comes from his relationship with his daughter, Alexis (the extremely talented Molly Quinn), one that is as much father-daughter as it is a best friends forever. No matter how crazy the episode’s main plot get, we are always happy to see Castle and Alexis work their excellent chemistry on the screen. Castle will be featured on Sunday at 10.30am in Room 6CBF.

Merlin proves that the BBC still has what it takes to produce an international, mainstream hit. The fantasy series introduces a slightly revised version of the Arthurian mythos, by focusing on Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and Morgana in their youth. Perfectly cast as Merlin, actor Colin Morgan anchors the show, now in its third year and still going strong, as the titular character. However, it is the fatherly wisdom and guidance of Merlin’s ward Gaius, played by Richard Wilson, that fuels this show. It is Gaius who, after the death of Merlin’s real father, whom he lost at the end of the last series, will continue to provide the young wizard with paternal care and understanding. In a slick contrast to this relationship is the fragile, fractured one between a young Arthur (Bradley James) and his father Uther Pendragon (Buffy’s Anthony Head). It’s anyone guess what the future holds for both father-son pairs, but perhaps Comic-Con will be able to shed some light on things. Merlin is at 11.45am on Sunday in Room 6CBF.

There’s so much to see and experience here in San Diego and it’s still all quite mindblowing for us. On a personal note, I wish my father, himself a comic book geek in his youth, could experience some of this with me. I can’t wait to go home to Singapore and share just some of that Comic-Con magic with him.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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