Nerd Culture

Phoenix Comicon Announces First Wave of Guests for 2013, Including J. Michael Straczynski and the Cast of Babylon 5

Nerds of the Valley who've been waiting with baited breath to learn who's headlining next year's Phoenix Comicon finally got their answer this morning.

Organizers of the annual four-day event, which goes down around Memorial Day, began announcing some of the special guests for the 2013 version of the 'con within the last few hours on Facebook and the news is likely to delight fans of iconic science fiction series Babylon 5.

J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of the series (as well as a prolific sci-fi and comics author in his own right), will be appearing at Phoenix Comicon, as well as a big chunk of Babylon 5's cast.

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"You wanted guest announcements? We've got them! And they are epic!" organizers stated in the post.

Indeed, especially for those obsessed with the syndicated space opera, which ran for five seasons from 1993 to 1998 and is celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. The lineup of castmembers from the show making an appearance includes Bruce Boxleitner (who portrayed Captain John Sheridan), Claudia Christian (Commander Susan Ivanova), Jerry Doyle (chief of security Michael Garibaldi), and Patricia Tallman, and Lyta Alexander.

While Boxleitner, who's career in television dates back to 1973, is well-known for his time on Babylon 5, he's also famous for playing the titular role in 1982's Tron and starring in such memorable television shows as Bring 'Em Back Alive and Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

Several of the Babylon 5's aliens will also make the trip to Phoenix for Comicon, such as Julie Caitlin Brown (Na'Toth), Stephen Furst (Vir Cotto), Mira Fulan (Delenn), and Bill Mumy (Lennier). Walter Koenig, who's best known as Chekov on the original Star Trek and guest-starred in numerous Babylon 5 episodes as Alfred Bester, will also be appearing.

Comicon organizers also stated that they will be announcing additional high-profile guests for next year's event on Facebook over the next few days, as well as during the months leading up to the event. They've also stated that announcements will only be taking place solely online, unlike in year's past where they also held a special kickoff party at Phoenix Convention a few month's prior to Comicon and announced a majority of the special guests.

In the meantime, there's been a vast amount speculation by Comicon fans about who else will be appearing at next year's event, as well as plenty of people making requests for who they'd like to see. Some of the wish lists include actors from classic sci-fi shows like Battlestar Galactica, current nerd favorites like The Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory, and even some of the stars of this year's blockbuster flick The Avengers.

Time will only tell if Comicon organizers are able to make such hopes a reality.

"There will be many guest announcements from the different areas of the convention over the coming days!" on Comicon organizer stated on Facebook. "This is just the first and December is just the first round of announcements for 2013."

Phoenix Comicon 2013 takes place May 23-26 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Pre-sale daily admission starts at $15-$25. More info in available on the Comicon website.

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