Q&A 45 Imagine one of your favorite comic book characters at a comic book convention . . . How would they react?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question โ€” then open the floor to comments.

Imagine one of your favorite comic book characters at a comic book convention . . . How would they react?


Well, I expect most would be disturbed. Especially Dick Grayson. Have you ever seen a male cosplay Nightwing? But pushing that aside, one of my favorites I can imagine at a convention is Carol Danvers — promoting her novels.

If you didn’t know, Carol took some time off from superheroing to write semi-autobiographical science fiction novels about an astronaut/superhero called Binary. So she’d fit right into the comic con scene (look, she even has the hat!). She’d be a Special Guest. But not as Special as, say, Joss Whedon. She’d be a Second Tier Special Guest and she’d resent it. And sulk. And then Jessica Jones would show up, with Starbucks (not Starbuck, though, if Katee Sackhoff wanted to join them, that’d be okay, too), and they’d ditch the table and walk around the con making snarky comments about everything and everyone. Then Carol would buy some overpriced Han Solo merchandise and they’d call it a day.


If I could transport any fictional character to a present-day comics convention, it would be Vic Sage, the original Question, if only as an excuse to use these panels from The Question #17:

To unwrap the layers of meta-commentary here, The Question was a Steve Ditko-created Charlton Comics character who provided the model for Rorschach in Watchmen. In Denny O’Neil’s series The Question, which was being published at the same time, Vic is briefly seduced by Rorschach’s ultraviolent, monosyllabic, solitary approach to crimefighting, but quickly discovers it’s not for him.

As developed by O’Neil and later writers (mostly Greg Rucka), Vic is actually pretty lousy at being a loner. He talks a good game. . .and talks and talks and talks, which is the rub. It’s no fun being a serial pontificator if there’s no one to listen to your rants. In other words, he’d fit in great in comics fandom. I’m imagining him now, pulling Rorschach cosplayers aside and using impenetrable Zen metaphors to ask if they’ve really thought about whether that’s who they want to be. And the questions he’d pose at panels? The mind reels.


You know what comics have a lot of? Artists. And by “artists,” I don’t mean the people who actually draw the comics. I mean the characters inside the comics, who happen to also be artists. Just as novelists love to create stories about writers, comic book creators seem to love to project their passion for visual arts on the characters they write. Just to name a few, there’s Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, the X-Men’s Colossus, and, of course, my beloved Captain America, Steve Rogers.

Caps first commercial art job was apparently sci-fi pornography.

Cap's first commercial art job was apparently sci-fi pornography.

So if I’m picturing a comic book convention with comic book characters, I’m picturing one where these three characters have tables in Artists Alley. I’m picturing naive Piotr being absolutely bewildered by some of the fan activity, but taking it all in stride. I’m picturing Steve, in a very meta moment, drawing Captain America commissions, since he was (canonically!) the artist on an in-universe Captain America comic. I’m picturing Kyle — despite being the most professional of the three — continually being sidetracked by long, geeky debates with fans as he sketches in green pencil. And I’m picturing all of them being absolutely flattered by the attentions of people who, for once, aren’t fawning over them because they can throw someone across a room, but because they’re pouring their hearts and souls into the creation of art.

I think it would be a nice change of pace.


Rachel Grey sighed, blowing her long, red bangs off her face as the last grinning, sweaty-palmed fan walked away from the table. He was already texting a message to his friends. He’s probably Tweeting, she thought. I hope he’s not sending pictures of my chest to the internet. If the stray thoughts she’d picked up over the last two hours were any indication, that’s probably exactly what the man was doing. Despite her best efforts Rachel had inadvertently spent the morning telepathically eavesdropping on the mass of humanity filling the convention hall. The people that came to the table in front of her were particularly hard to screen out. Luckily, they weren’t here to see her. No, they were here for her best friend, sitting next to her and surreptitiously wiping her hands with antibacterial rinse under the edge of the table. Kitty turned to face Rachel with the endearing smile that had smote legions of fanboys all morning.

“That’s it for now, I think,” Kitty said.

Rachel stood and stretched, rolling her eyes at the thoughts of the clump of boys nearby who stared at her body. “Lunchtime,” she said flatly. “Ideally lunchtime somewhere quiet. Like the moon.” She eyed Kitty consideringly. “I’m pretty sure I could get us to the moon. What do you think?”

Kitty’s face squinched up in distaste. “I never really enjoy my times on the moon, y’know? How about we fly across town to Cal’s for some burgers?”

“Oh, sure,” Rachel said. She smiled. “I fly, you buy?”

Imagine one of your favorite comic book characters at a comic book convention . . . How would they react?

  • Sam

    @Caroline I think the idea of Vic Sage cornering Rorschach cosplayers (and the post-movie fangirls) is brilliant. I’d love to see it.

    @Anika Hah. Carol. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Caroline

    Great choices! Jen, I love that Cap strip, and I totally want Steve and Kyle to share a table. They’d be curious about each other but too polite to ask too many questions! Actually, with those two and Colossus, you might have the most polite trio of heroes in comics. Is that what writers want to imagine their artists are like?

  • Dan

    I bet Hal would chase all the cosplaying girls…at least until he ran into his first scantily-clad female booth assistant.

    Hellboy, Beast and Nightcrawler would probably love being able to move about without drawing too much attention to themselves.

  • @Anika I’ve seen quite a few male Nightwing cosplayers. Dragon*Con is full of them (and my roommate kept pointing them out to me every time she saw one.)

    I love all of these answers. ๐Ÿ˜€ Especially the artists. Kyle and Steve totally need to meet! That would be amazing! Yay artists! (Sidenote – artist was actually on the board for comics family feud at dragon*con for profession most likely for a superhero to have. Oddly, billionaire industrialist/playboy was not.)

    I would totally read a comic where Lois and Clark have to cover a convention. Clark would be confused, and Lois would interrogate everyone.

    Or Peter and J Jonah Jameson. It would be amazing.

  • I love our answers, especially the fact that so many of us went with the assumption that the characters would be on the pro side of the table, rather than the fan side.

    Should I admit that my second potential answer was “Jennifer Walters meets Lou Ferrigno?”

  • @Jennifer With people on the fan side, I guarantee you that Kon-El (Superboy) would go to a Wendy the Werewolf Stalker convention as a fan. Since it is his favorite show. Meanwhile, Arrowette is probably doing a panel since she guest-starred on it once.

  • xenokattz

    I’m IN LOVE with this idea even though I know very little about Steve Rogers or Kyle Rayner. Are either of them out as heroes? If so, the added fannish squee from interacting with them would be hilarious. Or even more so, people who only know one of the jobs or the other.

    I LOL’d at your comment about Kon-el. Because, yes. And he’d totally try to wheedle Arrowette for a meeting with Wendy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I wonder in these universes, would there still be hero cons? I mean, since there are obviously Fantastic Four fans, I’m guessing there must be fans for the JL/JLA/JLS, Avengers, etc. What would cons for them be like?

  • @xenokattz I’m not sure about Kyle — the friend who helped me come up with the idea said that he has a secret ID but is pretty bad at keeping it. Steve has gone back and forth over the years, but at the time he was a commercial artists and drawing Cap, his ID was secret, so those two lives would have been very different.

  • sigrid

    I’m still stuck on Carol Danvers and Jessica Jones walking around a con. Some fanboy would recognize Jessica as Jewel or Knightress . . .

  • Anika

    @Sigrid Which would just make Carol MORE sulky.

  • Carolyn

    @Caroline I’m intensely amused at the idea of Kyle and Steve sharing a table. Largely because I firmly believe that Guy Gardner is also at this Con, because Guy and Cons is canon and he is a fanboy! A Captain America fanboy (well, a “General Glory” fanboy, but I’m assuming if Kyle and Steve are at the same table he’s a fan of the non-parody version too).

    He probably has Opinions on Steve’s run.

  • @Carolyn I’d love to know Guy’s opinions on Steve’s run on Cap! And thank you for your help with this idea last night; it’s good to have smart, creative friends who also love obscure bits of Captain America continuity!

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