Ira Madison III’s Comic Con Diary, Day Two: Meet The Black Power Ranger

A.k.a. the roving party reporter of the night

Today, I became the black Power Ranger. Not literally — I’m not going to be moving to Angel Grove to fight Rita Repulsa’s minions anytime soon. But I did take a pretty dramatic photo as the black Power Ranger at Lionsgate and Nerdist’s Power Rangers party, one of the hottest tickets of the night with guests like Emma Roberts, John Barrowman, Joss Whedon, and Stephen Amell (who still has me blocked on Twitter for tweeting “dad” at him, so I made sure to avoid him).

I was determined to investigate the convention floor while trolling for a Funko doll of Patty from Ghostbusters. Two friends said they procured one, so I headed to the Funko booth where she wasn’t, but they did have a Slimer in the Ecto-1. Slimer was kind of gross in the new Ghostbusters and the toy was not cute — I would have passed even if I could have purchased it. Unfortunately, when it comes to Comic-Con exclusives, you have to be there at 6 a.m. to get Funko wristbands and, honestly, who the hell has time for that? 6 a.m.? I didn’t even get home until 3 a.m. I’m good.

While on the hunt for Patty, I was caught by the lure of comic book back issues. What first got me into comics was visiting Collector’s Edge in Milwaukee and swiping through old issues of Marvel comics, from the ’60s through the ’80s. My obsession with Spider-Man was born this way; I’m always in the mood to collect old back issues I don’t have. Most of them at Comic-Con were too expensive for my taste, or I already owned them, but I did seriously consider shelling out $100 for the Black Cat’s first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man. Some guy near me kept haggling the seller on an Action Comics #1 and after he did so for half a damn hour, the seller knocked $15 off the issue. Sure! At least he has Superman’s first appearance now.

I never did find a Patty by the time I had to swing over to the MTV Fandom Awards — though chilling in the bleachers and talking about tattoos with Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey was an acceptable trade-off. The next party was something called DJ Hodor, and I’m not sure if the actual Hodor became a DJ after dying, but the line was wrapped around the block and we’ve already established I’m not an insane person.

Luckily, IGN’s Heroes vs. Villains party was starting soon, so I skipped over there. Set at Fluxx Nightclub, the party itself was completely incongruous to the crowd. Kanye West blared while fog filtered through the club like a West Hollywood discotheque, not a place filled with fellow nerds who were busy talking and not dancing while on Molly. Still, it was the first to feature a photo booth and there were fun Warhol-esque pictures of superheroes and villains scattered around the club.

My next party attempt was sneaking into Nylon’s, which did not happen despite a friend loudly exclaiming that I was THE roving party reporter of the night. But it killed enough time till I got to the Power Rangers party, where nerds were finally drunk enough to dance and I’m pretty sure I spotted Joss Whedon getting down on the dance floor.

The highlight of the party was a celebrity I will NOT mention sliding underneath a black curtain with their party guest for an “intimate” moment beneath the bleachers. That and haranguing drunk John Barrowman into a selfie and catching a glimpse of the original black ranger, Walter Emanuel Jones. When it came time to take my photo booth photo and pick a ranger color, I saw him and told the photo booth attendant, “Mastadon.” He was confused. I clarified that I meant the black ranger.