Nerd Culture

12 Must-See Phoenix Comicon Guests

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Stan Lee

And, of course, there wouldn't have been an X-Men, Incredible Hulk, or probably even Marvel Comics itself without the creative genius of comic book czar Stan "The Man" Lee. Nor would there have been a Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, or any of dozens of other signature heroes and villains that he co-created with Jack Kirby and others during his impressive 60-year career.

If anyone could conceivably rest on his or her laurels after decades of hard work, it'd be Lee, but the 91-year-old still stays surprisingly active in the comic book world. In the past several years alone, he's been busy creating programming for his YouTube channel Stan Lee's World of Heroes and such new characters as the Annihilator. He also constantly pays visits to conventions like Phoenix Comicon, where he'll appear on Sunday afternoon for his own showcase followed by autograph and photo op sessions.

Cary Elwes

Despite what the wiseacres at Family Guy might tell you, Cary Elwes is famous for more than just The Princess Bride. Sure, playing stable boy Westley and the Dread Pirate Roberts is something that millions of geeks (including the several thousand that will cram into his Q&A at Comicon) adore him for, but it's by far not the only thing he's done.

Elwes is famous for playing cads, stuffed shirts, and dullards with aplomb, and has shown off his excellent dramatic and comedy chops in flicks like Glory, Hot Shots!, Kiss the Girls, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Cat's Meow, and even Saw. He was great on such small screen outings as Seinfeld, The X-Files, Law & Order: SVU, and most recently on the reboot of Cosmos.

He'll also gladly sign an autograph for you (in exchange for $20, of course), even if it's Westley's famous line, "As you wish." Plus, he was cool enough to show up at Family Guy's writers room after the aforementioned joke at his expense aired in 2012 and played along in good humor.

James O'Barr

Hollywood is seemingly hell-bent on turning every single good movie from the '90s into bad modern-day remakes that pale in comparison to the originals. Fact. And after years of aborted attempts, it looks as though The Crow will finally be getting a reboot. We were dreading such news, until hearing that James O'Barr, the creator of the gorgeously gothic comic book series, had signed onto the project and gave it his blessing.

Despite the artist once telling our sister paper the Dallas Observer that a remake of The Crow would be "kind of ridiculous," he's reportedly been working closely with Spanish filmmaker F. Javier Gutiérrez on adapting the original source material more closely than the poignant 1994 version starring the late Brandon Lee. As a result, we're eager to hear from O'Barr on Friday about what's going on with the film and whether he truly thinks it will a quality reimagining of the twisted revenge tale of Eric Draven.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.