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Marvel and DC are both skipping WonderCon for the first time in years... at least, officially

Neither publisher will field either a physical presence or panels at the Californian event this year

Image credit: Wondercon: CCI/Marvel: Marvel/DC: DC

WonderCon 2024 attendees might notice an unexpected absence at the Southern California event this weekend: for the first time in years, there will be no official presence from either of the so-called 'Big Two' comic book publishers at the show, DC and Marvel Comics. Not with booths, and not with any official panels either.

In some respects, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise; neither Marvel nor DC exhibited at the 2023 installment of the Anaheim, California show, with Marvel having been officially absent from the show floor for a number of years by this point. DC, which is based in nearby Burbank, has been irregularly present as an exhibitor in recent years; the company skipped 2023 and 2022, but was present through 2019 and was scheduled to be present in 2020 before that event was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.

However, just because the companies haven’t been on the show floor in the past few years doesn’t mean that they haven’t been at the show — at least in the case of DC. (Marvel rarely strays across the country from its East Coast HQ, traditionally; outside of San Diego Comic Con, the company traditionally limits convention appearances on the East coast of the U.S.) Last year, DC held court with a 'Dawn of DC' panel (we know because we were there!) as well as a screening for the Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham animated movie; in 2022, DC lacked an official publishing panel, but had both a DC Showcase Animated Shorts panel, as well as panels for the DC adaptations Naomi and Superman & Lois. This year… not so much.

The lack of presence from either publisher shouldn’t be taken as a slight against the show, however. Since the pandemic shutdown, both Marvel and DC have notably scaled back convention appearances, concentrating on the biggest shows in the country like SDCC and New York Comic Con. WonderCon, for its many lures — like the Gail Simone spotlight panel this Saturday — is firmly the smaller of the two SoCal shows when compared with its San Diego brethren. (Both Wondercon and SDCC are owned and operated by Comic-Con International.)

This also doesn’t mean DC and Marvel fans should feel as if the show won’t offer anything for them, either. In addition to the afore-mentioned Gail Simone spotlight, this year’s show also includes guests including Marv Wolfman, Colleen Doran, Dustin Nguyen, and Steve Orlando. You can follow along with all of Popverse’s coverage from the show here.

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Graeme McMillan

Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.


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