NEWS: What is DC FanDome and Why is It BACK?!
Okay, seriously. What the heck is this DC FanDome thing-y and why haven’t I heard one word about it? Yea I’ve been living in quara-limbo for what feels like the past century (it’s only been a year), but c’mon, I thought at the very least massive nerdom news such as this would trickle down to my depression lair.
Chances are, the majority of you are already in the know about this event (heck, you probably attended the event last year didn’t you?). Well, go ahead then. Roll your eyes at me all you want, and then after that please skip the following background information and go to this year’s update at the bottom half of the article.
But for those of you like me, who’ve been mentally checked out since March 2020, let me explain a little background information about this “dome” and how you, too, can enter.
In June of 2020, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment created the DC FanDome, a virtual event platform, to broadcast highlights of their upcoming projects across a multitude of media. It was first announced in response to the cancellation of San Diego Comic-con’s in person event due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Divided into two parts, the FanDome conventions featured pre recorded panels, interviews, sneak peaks and showings, all of which could be accessed for free by the public. The first half debuted on August 22, 2020 and its continuation shortly followed a few weeks later in early September. The virtual platform has since been used to stream the virtual premier of Wonder Woman 1984 in December 2020.
DC FanDome was lauded for the high quality of its online experience. Similar to 2020’s virtual San Diego Comic Con, it featured pre-recorded content. DC FanDome’s presentation, however, set it leagues apart. Warner Media, the parent company of Warner Bros. and DC Comics, fully utilized the editing opportunities that a pre-recorded virtual presentation afforded them, and thoughtfully programmed the event into a well coordinated spectacle.
The convention’s first part, titled “Hall of Heroes”, featured eight hours of content broadcast three times in a row back to back, making it a full 24 hr event. The programming consisted of sneak peaks and exclusive reveals of the newest and biggest titles to hit DC’s film and TV production, comic stands, game studios, etc. The convention’s second part, titled “Explore the Multiverse”, allowed fans to choose their own schedule from over 100 hours of on-demand content including screenings, panel sessions and interviews, and unseen content from the DC multiverse.
The key factors that set DC FanDome’s convention far apart from other virtual conventions were its cohesive visuals and staging. Whereas conventions like San Diego Comiccon were streamed across multiple Youtube channels, all of the FanDome events were broadcast across in-house DC Comic specific portals. Not only did this guarantee smooth transitions and prevent potential video playback errors from copyright (which happened a few times to the San Diego ComicCon panels due to YouTube’s stringent copyright laws), it made the event feel structured and purposeful. It truly felt as if it was an other worldly portal teleporting you to the DC realm.
DC took the feeling of uniqueness a step further by filming its content in a green-screen space constructed especially for occasion. Unlike the typical panel rooms one would see over many a Zoom call, the FanDome’s green screen capabilities allowed for guest streams to be projected side by side along the Dome walls, imitating an in-person interaction. The space helped the event appear much grander across the screen, reinforcing the feeling that this was something for audience members to get excited about. Spliced in between the convention’s most highly anticipated events were quirky sketches, speedy interviews and q&a’s, and tributes to the many years of the DC Universe. These spurts of stimulation broke up the monotony one would usually feel from attending never ending zoom calls and allowed the audience a moment of reprieve. Again, like everything else, these bites made the event feel specific, and much like extravagant commercials commissioned especially for the SuperBowl, it made DC’s online convention all the more a spectacle.
As you can pretty much expect, the DC FanDome 2020 was an absolute smashing success, exceeding 22 million views across the globe, presented in nine different languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish) across 220 countries and territories. Thanks to its overwhelming popularity, DC Comics has officially announced the event will come back for its second year, so y’all better mark your calendars for October 16, 2021!!
But wait. Before we all get too excited, what exactly is going to be revealed at this year’s convention?
…Well, it’s not exactly clear. DC is keeping it pretty hush, hush as of now to increase suspense and intrigue. Figures.
Buuuut… we do have some possible predictions thanks to the good ole rumor mill and past announcements. I’ve included a short list of possible titles of which we can potentially hope to see sneak peaks.
Predicted titles of panels/teasers:
1. The Batman: Will Robert Pattinson finally get his day in the not-so-sunny sun? Jk. But actually can we get some long awaited panel action?
2. Sequels and Triquels: Wonderwoman 3 💪 and Aquaman 2 🧜♂️
3. New Titles: Blue Beetle, Cyborg, and Zatanna … holy heck am I excited for magical girl Zatanna!
4. The Flash: Finally! The film starring Ezra Miller we’ve all been waiting for?
5. The Green Lantern Corps: Hal Jordan AND John Stewart, babbbiiii!
6. Stargirl: It’s on the bubble for a season 3 renewal…
7. More Arrowverse shows: who else besides our newest DC hero Naomi will gets an adaptation?
8. Batgirl: BABSSSS!!! ‘nuff said.
9. Animated goodies: Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two, YOUNG JUSTICE: Phantoms, Harley Quinn, etc.
10. The Other Batman (???): Idk y’all, but there be some rumors of two different Batmen moving forward. Is Affleck actually keeping the cowl? It may actually work if Pattinson’s Batman is going to exist in a stand alone universe anyway. Honestly, if you ask me, it sounds like baseless rumors, but who really knows at this point with the multiverse…
Now, as far as unannounced projects go… those we can only pray for the good DC gods to grace us.
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T. Wu is a contributing writer at All Ages of Geek. You can follow T. on Instagram @kata_the_clown.