The Top Five Things to See and Do This Weekend at Superhero Superfest

Everyone can be a superhero!
Everyone can be a superhero!

We’re just about a week away from Superhero Superfest in Toms River, New Jersey, the one-day family friendly convention that nerdslant has partnered with Press Communications to bring to you! This inaugural run has all the trimmings convention goers would expect from any comic con—including a wide array of comic book artists, vendors, and more—but “What sets Superhero Superfest apart from the rest?” you might be asking yourself. Here are the five things you should be most excited about for this Saturday!


René Auberjonois:

Any true science fiction fan would recognize Swiss-American actor René Auberjonois the instant they saw him. He’s best known for his iconic portrayal of Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which Auberjonois played for the entire series from 1993 through 1999. Filling in the “outsider” Star Trek checkbox (e.g. Spock (Leonard Nemoy), Data (Brent Spiner), and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan)), Odo was anything but archetypal. Unlike previous “outsider” characters in the Star Trek universe, the chief of security Changeling was integral to the overall plot of the series, which was primarily set on a space station and functioned less episodically than its predecessors. This seasonal arc nature allowed for more nuanced character development within which Auberjonois shined; to this day, he’s one of the most beloved characters in Star Trek history.

In addition to his on-screen television roles, Auberjonois has also dabbled in the video game world, lending his voice to Janos Audron in Soul Reaver 2 and subsequent Legacy of Kain sequels, Karl Schäfer in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and the reclusive New Vegas casino owner Mr. House in Fallout: New Vegas. René will be doing a Q&A at the con and signing autographs/taking photos with fans for $35/$20 respectively.


Danay García:

Cuban-born actress Danay García got her big break in 2007 when she landed the role of Sofia Lugo on Fox’s Prison Break, but comic con fans know her best as Luciana Galves on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. García joined the hit spin-off cast last year in season two when the season one survivors reached Mexico. Originally a member of the La Colonia survivor community when she was a recurring character, she later joined the Broke Jaw Ranch community as a main cast member and briefly had a relationship with Nicholas Clark (Frank Dillane). Luciana is one of the toughest female characters in Fear the Walking Dead, repeatedly demonstrating an unfettered reliability when it comes to caring for her fellow survivors and dispensing walkers at high rate, though she’s somehow managed to only kill two named characters during her time on the show.

Despite her stealing departure in “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” in season three, fans can be assured it won’t be the last time we see Luciana. Danay will be doing a Q&A at the con and signing autographs/taking photos with fans for $40/$30 respectively.


The Northeast Remnant and Clan Raquor’daan:

Founded in 1997, the 501st Legion (also known as “Vader’s Fist”) is an international fan-based organization dedicated to the construction and wearing of screen-accurate replicas of Imperial Stormtrooper armor, Sith Lords, Clone Troopers, bounty hunters, and various other villains from the Star Wars universe. With active “Garrisons” and “Outposts” (local units) in sixty countries stretching across six continents, they’re one of the largest themed cosplay organizations in the world. In their mission statement, the all-volunteer organization actively promotes interest in Star Wars, facilitates the use of costumes, and contributes to their local communities. Members of the Northeast Remnant will be present at Superhero Superfest representing all things Dark Side.

Speaking of bounty hunters and soldiers, we’re also proud to have Clan Raquor’daan, the New Jersey chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, coming in full-force to the con sporting their Mandalorian armor. Officially recognized by Lucasfilm Ltd., the world-wide fan organization is present in twenty countries and boasts seventy-four strongholds, clans, and squads with a focus on standardized creation of Mandalorian costumes and culture while raising money for various global charities. Clan Raquor’daan will be bringing their customized holding cells to Superhero Superfest and taking on “bounties” in exchange for charitable donations throughout the entire day. All you have to do is head over to their booth, specify whom you want to place a bounty on (whether that be someone you know or a specific cosplayer) and the mercs will go to work tracking them down and bringing them in for holding.


Become Superhero Certified:

The highlight of Superhero Superfest are the “Superhero Challenges” that con goers are encouraged to participate in throughout the day. After completing select tasks during the convention, Superhero Candidates will receive an official Superhero Superfest cape and be sworn-in at 1:30pm and 5pm, complete with a Superhero Certificate of Authenticity! These tasks include the Nurf Turf Challenge, where participants will be provided with the equipment and targets needed to hone their skills, the Superhero Sprint, where you’ll have to rush in to save a baby from danger (it’s just a doll, don’t worry), and the High Speed RC Chase, where you can test out your driving skills.

In addition, nerdslant will be running several activities and panels over the course of the convention. Head over to the Jedi Academy and become an honorary Padawan after learning the ways of the Force and receiving first-hand instruction from Jedi Masters in lightsaber training. Will you stay within the Light Side or succumb to the Dark Side of the Force? If magic is more your style, then The Harry Potter Experience is, “Just what the doctor ordered,” as muggles would say. Participants will be sorted into the Hogwarts houses, take their O.W.L.S. (Harry Potter trivia), and play interactive Quidditch games to see who takes home the House Cup! Both nerdslant activities come with a certificate upon completion.


Cosplay Competitions and Workshops:

And, of course, what’s a comic book convention without cosplay? We’ll be having two cosplay contests at 1pm and 4:15pm, so don your Saturday best! Still new to cosplaying and looking to expand your abilities? Members of the nerdslant staff, 501st Legion, and Clan Raquor’daan are hosting the Prop Making & Cosplay Workshops so you create the cosplay of your dreams. Full information on each activity will be available at the convention center.


With only a few days left to go, Superhero Superfest is sure to be a convention experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and you can bet there will be plenty more surprises, prizes, and giveaways waiting for you. Doors at the Toms River High School Arena open at 11am. For additional information and ticket sales go to the official Superhero Superfest site, and we’ll see you all Saturday!

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Paul McCue
Editor-in-Chief

Paul is a Children’s Literature grad student at Hollins University. In a past life he studied film and animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He writes female-centric young adult literature and still does some film and animation work on the side to make the inner child in him happy. An avid fan of anime, his first exposure at age twelve was Ranma ½ to which he thought, “Huh… well that’s different.” He often wonders what kind of person he’d be if the world of Fallout ever became a reality…