Nerd Culture

William Shatner and Jason David Frank Are Coming to Phoenix Comicon 2018

William Shatner at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2016.
William Shatner at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0/via Flickr
Phoenix Comicon organizers have announced even more celebrity guests for next year’s event. And it includes a couple of familiar names coming back for another visit.

Star Trek actor William Shatner and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers star Jason David Frank have been confirmed as special guests of Phoenix Comicon 2018, which will take place in late May at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek TV series, was announced as a guest on Wednesday, November 15, via Phoenix Comicon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A day later, Comicon’s organizers announced that Frank, who portrayed the Green and White rangers on the original Power Rangers show, will also be a special guest at next year’s event.

They join Guardians of the Galaxy actors Michael Rooker, Dave Bautista, and Sean Gunn, who were announced as special guests of Phoenix Comicon 2018 earlier this week

Both Shatner and Frank will be making their second visit to Phoenix Comicon. Shatner previously hammed it up during a memorable appearance in 2012. Frank was a guest at the 2017 Comicon.

click to enlarge Jason David Frank of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. - ZIPPO S/CC BY-ND 2.0/VIA FLICKR
Jason David Frank of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Frank's appearance was marred by the drama surrounding the arrest of Matthew Sterling, a Mesa resident who brought multiple guns and weapons into the Phoenix Convention Center during the first day of this year’s Comicon.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, Sterling allegedly intended to kill Frank at Comicon.

He was unharmed, but Frank was stunned by the incident and stated in numerous interviews afterwards that cons and other geek events around the world needed to increase security.

Phoenix Comicon did just that. In July, organizers announced that certain prop weapons (such as replica or faux guns) would be banned and addition security screenings would be implemented at all future events.

In a Facebook video post on Thursday, November 16, Frank said he feels the security at the event is sufficient. He also said he had fun at this year’s event, despite the drama.

“I know there was a lot of talk going on and all this other stuff, but I had a great time,” Frank said. “And I want reassure you guys, as many shows as I've done before...Phoenix by far is the best all-around. I'm saying with security, with their fans and everything like that, so there's nothing to worry about."

Both Frank and Shatner will participate in Q&A panels, photo opps, and autograph sessions during the four-day geek extravaganza, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend.

Phoenix Comicon organizers are expected to announce additional special guests in the days and weeks ahead. 

Stay tuned.

Phoenix Comicon 2018 runs from Thursday, May 24, to Sunday, May 27, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Tickets go on sale on December 15.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.