Last month, San Diego Comic Con at Home took place and it was considered a flop. There was little to no promotion about it at all as Comic Con International assumed that everyone would know that it was transitioning into an online event. Even when it did, not many knew about it the week of and there were a number of people that did not know about SDCC at Home until days or weeks after. This year was a disaster for the event and we can all hope that it will not be an all-virtual event next year like it was this year.
DC and Warner Bros did not have anything planned for SDCC due to it being canceled because of the pandemic. But what they did over the weekend, was DC FanDome. Not only that the online event was successful, Variety reported that DC FanDome drew over 22 million views in the first 24 hours. Comic Con International must be looking at DC FanDome and realizing that they should have done almost everything that DC FanDome done in the first place.
What made DC FanDome successful, is mostly due to the anticipation and the hype around it. There were commercials on television and social media that were shown nonstop for about two weeks before the event. I even searched local ads in the San Diego market about SDCC at Home and there were none that I found. What was also satisfying about how DC FanDome, is that all of the panels, segments, and small skits were on one channel which was the official Warner Bros YouTube account. Nobody had to had different browsers open for different panels on different channels like how it was terribly handled during SDCC at Home. I also noticed the efford of making DC FanDome an epic event from the start where there were virtual stages starting with Wonder Woman 1984. All of those virtual stages were drawn by Jim Lee and it is little details like what we seen that makes this feel like a big deal. Over at SDCC at Home, they just went from panel to panel and that was really it.
Speaking of the panels, the length of most of them were all shorter than the hour long panels that were offered at SDCC at Home and this was a blessing because there was no filler or akward pauses at all during those panels. And DC FanDome is not all about the panels as we also got funny skits such as the ask Harley Quinn one, and the one where Batman Beyond and Bruce Wayne were watching and reatcing to Adam West’s Batman TV show. Those small skits in between usually happens at Comic Con and it sure felt that way when the majority of fans were watching. Also, there were times that cosplay whether if its humans or pets were showcased in between the panels during DC FanDome. San Diego Comic Con at Home had something similar to this, but it did not happen in between the panels.
The biggest interest of DC FanDome is The Batman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. There were other big announcements such as a Static Shock film being produced, the title of the Shazam sequel being revealed, and the reveal of the cast and characters of The Suicide Squad. All of the news that came out of DC FanDome was talked about for days unlike the little content we got at SDCC at Home. Don’t get me wrong, I love the news we got out of The Walking Dead panels and some of the other panels, but they were not talked about by people outside the fanbase like it was with the announcements that came out of DC FanDome.
I do not want to bury SDCC at Home six feet under, but if you compare the two events, DC FanDome knocks out all of SDCC at Home with a single punch and DC FanDome will return in a few more weeks to showcase all of the television offerings and have virtual events for fans. Something SDCC at Home did not have at all. I know that Comic Con international had a short time to come up with content to offer, but DC FanDome also had a short time too and they succeeded wheras Comic Con failed this year.
Looking at DC FanDome, I think of the future of what would happen if Warner Bros never return to Comic Con because when Nintendo never returned to E3, Nintendo produced Nintendo Directs and it has been successful as they still have them to this day. I would not say that DC FanDome will be an online virtual event every year as I believe that eventually, DC FanDome will have their own in person event similar to Star Wars Celebration, or D23. If that happens, we would also have to look out for Marvel Studios too.