Fans and fanatics of the X-Men gathered during Comic-Con Special Edition over the Thanksgiving holiday last weekend to celebrate all things X-Men-related. The panel featured a slew of influencers who create content in support of the X-Men and bring fans together. Produced and moderated by Chris Riley and Chandler Poling of X-Reads Podcast, the panel featured Khelan Bhatia from Homosuperior Podcast, Michelle Waffle (cosplayer), David Sahagun of Sala Llena Mexico, and Dylan Carter from House of X Podcast and Facebook Group. Panel attendees were gifted a Comic-Con Exclusive print by Marvel artist Bob Quinn (Way of X, Cable: Reloaded).
Surprising audiences, Emma Dumont (The Gifted), Lenore Zann (X-Men '97), Gerry Duggan (Marvel's X-Men Writer), and Fabian Nicieza (X-Force, X-Men) all made virtual appearances expressing their appreciation for the X-Men fan community. Zann gave one of her iconic lines as Rogue from X-Men: The Animated Series followed by a sincere statement, "Our X-Men Community is growing – we are multiplying. Why? Because we are one of the most inclusive communities on the planet…and I promise I'll be seeing you real soon," with a smirk implying she knew she was returning to voice Rogue in the newly announced X-Men 97'. Zann's recording was delivered prior to the show's announcement on Disney+ Day.
Duggan, the current writer of X-Men Comics, had this to say: "You X-Fans are the most opinionated, outrageous, and fun fans around and that's because X-Men comic books are the best comic books in the world. Your passion for these characters is boundless, and that's why this all works. Don't resurrect anyone I wouldn't this weekend…if anything bad happens this weekend, let it happen to Avengers fans."
Nicieza remarked how he's been a part of the X-Men for 30 years. "I can't believe it's been 30 years. You are all a little bit strange, but I love you for it. Thank you very much for making my time with those books very special to me, very interesting, and very important as well in the greater scheme in the characters and titles themselves."
Panel producers Poling and Riley have a history of bringing the community together through their now annual X-Men Fandom Panels at San Diego Comic-Con. Previous years, done over Zoom during the pandemic, were staged as surprise parties. Unsuspecting panelists were brought onto Zoom to discuss their favorite things about the X-Men when suddenly celebrities such as Shawn Ashmore, Finola Hughes, Bill Sienkiewicz, Leah Williams, Cal Dodd, and more would drop into the chat room and surprise these mega fans. Riley and Poling expressed how "it has been a complete joy bringing X-Fans together and helping our community connect and grow. Since launching our podcast here at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, we've had a blast interacting with you all and we look forward to future events and opportunities along the way."
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