Nerd Culture

Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest vs. Marvel Experience: A Head-to-Head Guide for Geeks

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See also: 7 Must-See Guests at Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest

Up until a few weeks ago, the two events were going to go head-to-head as TMX, which will be open daily through January 3, was originally scheduled to kick off this weekend. Due to unspecified reasons, however, producers chose to move its opening to Friday, December 19.

And while Fan Fest and the Marvel Experience are no longer in direct competition with one another (and both are going to be thrilling experiences to attend) there are still a certain amount of geeks who might not have it in their budgets to afford both, what with it being the holiday season and all.

If you've got the money, by all means you should go to both. Trust us, true believer. Fan Fest offers the opportunity to get in some Comicon-style shenanigans during cooler climes, while TMX boasts what should be an unparalleled experience of becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, having an four-dimensional adventure in "hyper-reality" with The Avengers, and living your superhero dreams.

But if you have to choose, we've done what geeks everywhere have been doing for years and matched up the two events in a head-to-head showdown.

Costumes and Cosplay: Both Fan Fest and Marvel Experience encourages its attendees to come in costume. And given the nature of the latter event, its producers especially welcome cosplay of Marvel Comics characters. That said, they aren't going to bar anyone from entry if they're dressed as someone from the DC Universe (in case you want to pull a crossover) or any other geek-friendly franchise. According to the Marvel Experience's website, however, any sort of accessories or mock weaponry is not allowed. Because of that, as well as the fact that any Phoenix Comicon gathering is going to (naturally) going to be a cosplay paradise, the edge goes to them.

Winner: Fan Fest

Fun Factor: Spending a day at any sort of Phoenix Comicon-produced event is a total blast and a half, especially when you factor in all the costumes, panels, programming, guests, and special activities. However, it doesn't offer such thrills as motion rides, climbing walls with Spider-Man, hologram blasting, or the chance to enter "hyper-reality" like everything the Marvel Experience is promising.

Winner: Marvel Experience

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