SALT LAKE CITY — Fans costumed as Wolverine and Mystique were among the comic book and pop-culture enthusiasts who convened Wednesday at the state Capitol to learn the characters' creator will be back in Utah's capital city in March.
Stan Lee, the man behind many of Marvel's most recognizable heroes, is expected to make his third and final appearance in Salt Lake City for FanX 2017.
Lee highlighted the list of celebrity guests for the March 17-19 convention, announced at a news conference by Dan Farr, Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder and show producer.
Last May, Lee announced that he had made his final appearance at New York Comic Con, and the 94-year-old has since been cutting back on his schedule of guest appearances.
“When we heard he was winding down his appearances, we knew we had to get him,” Farr said. “The biggest reward is to see the responses from the fans."
Other confirmed guests include actors Cary Elwes, Wallace Shawn and Chris Sarandon, "The Princess Bride"; John Rhys-Davies, who portrayed Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films; Judge Reinhold, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"; Adrian Paul, "Highlander"; Michael Cudlitz and Khary Payton, "The Walking Dead"; voice actor Tara Strong, "The Powerpuff Girls"; and musician "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Bryan Brandenburg followed the guest announcements with details about the event.
Brandenburg admitted there had been doubts about a FanX convention this year and even detailed scheduling conflicts with the LDS Church's general conference. Ultimately, the schedule was resolved, and the March event at the Salt Palace Convention Center was set.
FanX 2017 also will be "a more affordable experience," Brandenburg said, with ticket prices about 65 percent of those in previous years.
“We will be compressing the event to two days instead of three,” he said.
Brandenburg dedicated the celebration FanX to actress and "Star Wars" icon Carrie Fisher, who died Dec. 27.