Former WWE superstar Shane Helms was thankfully the only “Hurricane” to pass through South Florida during Florida Supercon.
Around 40,000 fans from pretty much every facet of entertainment met some of their favorite stars, voice actors, animators, artists and writers from July 3-6 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Lines formed early for some of the event’s headliners including Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo on “Game of Thrones”). Many waited dressed in costumes inspired by the popular book and HBO show. A common choice was the moon of his life Khaleesi. Others wanted a glimpse of who has been hinted to play Aquaman in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie. Mamoa, in good spirits, was part of a Q&A session. After, he could be seen surprising one young fan from behind with a kiss on the cheek.
Manu Bennett was another crowd pleaser at Supercon. The star of “Arrow,” “Spartacus” and “The Hobbit” movies appeared very fan-friendly, giving lots of hugs. Bennett reunited with cast members of “Arrow” and “Spartacus” for various photo opportunities and panel discussions. “Power Rangers” of different eras were also big this year. Austin St. John, the original Red Ranger, was featured throughout the weekend with former co-stars including Walter Jones, Karan Ashley and David Yost.
St. John also stood strong as the enforcer in the corner of Hurrican Helms, Green Arrow and Link (with Navi) for their Florida Super Championship Wrestling main event against Cobra Commander, Chun-Li and Dr. Mindbender (with Cobra army). Portraying Mindbender, Jeff “Flex Magnum” Epperley recalls many years ago attending Championship Wrestling from Florida shows on Wednesday nights at the Miami Beach Convention Center. He lived a dream, wrestling for FSCW in the same building.
Along with Helms, fellow grapplers Jerry “The King” Lawler, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Ted DiBiase posed for photos and signed autographs. DiBiase participated in a Q&A prior.
Michael Kingston of the “Headlocked” comic series was joined by contributors Helms and Lawler, a very talented artist in his own right. The trio hosted a Q&A session. That was followed by a packed house of 2,500 enjoying Florida Super Championship Wrestling, which combines cosplay with pro wrestling. The organization hosted a fun, stellar show every evening of the convention. It is truly a brilliant concept and a unique attraction.
More than 250 guests filled the convention center halls. Ernie Hudson, Brian O’Halloran, Nichelle Nichols, Liam McIntyre and “Community” creator Dan Harmon were among them. A convention such as this wouldn’t be complete without cosplayers out in full force. Much like in prior years, at the top of the list was the charismatic and always entertaining Deadpool. Characters from Disney, DC, Marvel, video games and even childhood favorites like Transformers and Power Rangers inspired the masses to dress up. Many went for the cash and prizes in the costume contest.
With so many vendors, video game rooms, movie screenings, parties and other gatherings, it is really virtually impossible to see it all in one day. Florida Supercon Founder Mike Broder and his crew do a superhuman effort to make sure everyone leaves with smiles on their faces. To see how big this convention has grown in less than a decade, it’s pretty incredible. I also like how it started from the ground up and how he enlists the services of people close to him. It truly feels like a family affair.
It keeps getting bigger and better, learning from one year to the next. The decision to move the event from the Miami Airport Convention Center to the Miami Beach Convention Center helped the convention run a lot smoother. There was a ton more room for the massive crowds. Operations in general were helped with a staff that knew what they were doing.
The same people behind this successful endeavor are taking it a step further by adding Magic City Comic Con in January; thus going along with the saying, if you build a convention with guests and things people want to see, they will come.• Sunday is the final day of the 2014 Florida Supercon. It is 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door. The Miami Beach Convention Center is at 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, 33139.
• For information on the Magic City Comic Con in January, visit http://www.magiccitycomiccon.com/.
• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN. Look for upcoming interviews with some of the stars from the event.