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Stars come out at Phoenix Comicon on Saturday

Julie Newmar, Burt Ward and Adam West reunited for a panel recalling Batman.
Julie Newmar, Burt Ward and Adam West reunited for a panel recalling Batman.Photo by Karen Sweeny-Justice

Saturday at Phoenix Comicon 2014 was a fantastic day for the thousands of attendees who crowded the Phoenix Convention Center in downtown Phoenix, Ariz.

Phoenix Comicon 2014 logo.
Phoenix Comicon 2014 logo.Photo by Karen Sweeny-Justice

Programming Saturday in the North Ballroom kicked off with a panel reunion the brought together the stars of television’s Batman: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar. Newmar stole the show, even introducing her brother, who was the one who insisted she be a part of Batman. An attendee surprised even the panel of stars when a moderator invited him onstage, where he proposed to his girlfriend. (She said ‘yes,’ by the way.)

Next up was John Barrowman, who made an early appearance during the break between panels when Comicon staff had audience members onstage dancing. Barrowman danced, left the stage and then returned for a humorous and lively hour of questions and answers. The multi-talented actor even sang, and he frequently noted how he was ‘embarrassing’ his husband Scott, who was seated in the first row of the packed ballroom. (Barrowman commented on the breaking news regarding the overturning of Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban and happily noted that he and Scott will celebrate 21 years together next week.)

Bruce Campbell was the next headliner, followed by Barrowman’s co-star in Arrow, Stephen Amell, with actor Nathan Fillion from Serenity, Firefly and Castle wrapping up daytime programming in the North Ballroom.

Despite complaints about movement to and from the North Ballroom where ‘big’ name guests appeared, concerns about the behavior of line control volunteers, and the excessively long lines at the center’s food court, the vast majority of attendees were genuinely pleased with the guests, panels and vendor hall offerings. Comparisons with the much larger San Diego Comic Con were mentioned, with some attendees saying the size of the Phoenix con is just about right.