During an average day walking through the teeming crowds on the show floor at New York Comic Con, you might spot an Iron Man, a couple of Deadpools, and Wonder Women aplenty. Maybe you’ve found yourself wondering – “where do the Supes go when the lights go down?” They, like me, headed over to the Wendy’s Presents: Heroes After Dark party.
When I arrived at Sony Hall on 46th Street, smack dab in the middle of some of the swankiest real estate in Manhattan, the line was already around the block. Fans, cosplayers, and industry insiders alike were all lined up, excitedly waiting to experience all that was in store at Heroes After Dark.
As I descended the stairs into Sony Hall, I could hear the thumping music of DJ Elliot, who specializes in techno remixes of nerd culture classics like the theme songs for Stranger Things and Rick and Morty.
Hearing this music at an after-party for New York Comic Con was like the national anthem at a baseball game – absolutely perfect.
The expansive hall was decorated with life-sized cutouts of characters from Feasts of Legends – a new tabletop RPG from Wendy’s. In the game, players fight the battle against frozen to protect the prosperity of Queen Wendy and the nation of Freshtovia from the Ice Jester and his culinary band of villains.
The game, which is based on a d20 style of play, allows players to choose from one of 12 Orders, such as the Order of the Baconator and the Order of the Baked Potato before setting off on their quest to protect the realm.
While I was admiring the life-size cutout of Wendy’s character from Feasts of Legends, a white-coated waiter whisked by to hand me a Baconator Fireball – basically a cheese stuffed burger ball. I imagine this is what Queen Wendy herself might eat for dinner. And maybe breakfast and lunch too (ok I’m projecting).
That’s when the party turned into a fever dream of fast food fantasy. If you love Wendy’s (like me) you’ve probably day-dreamed of unlimited access to their food.
Waiters passed by with a seemingly endless supply of bacon-wrapped chicken nuggets, potato wedges slathered in spicy cheese sauce, tiny apple pecan salads, trays of Johnnie Walker-infused Frosties and, of course, the aforementioned burgers.
The Johnnie Walker Frosty, dubbed the Frosty Walker, was so popular, people at the party were chasing down the waiters for them. I mean, I get it! They were that good.
Speaking of drinks, there were also specialty cocktails featuring the new Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire limited-edition whiskies inspired by Game of Thrones. Guests could choose from variations including “The Unburnt”, “Queen in the North” and “For the Realm” at the Johnnie Walker bar. As fall temperatures roll over New York, these drinks were definitely helpful in fighting my personal Deep Freeze!
To bolster the autumnal mood, three cosplayers dressed as the Sanderson Sisters from the 1993 Halloween classic Hocus Pocus took the stage at Sony Hall to perform a song from the movie – which I’m pretty sure was better than the original. I haven’t seen anyone commit that hard to a performance since Emilia Clark riding dragons on green screen.
The performances didn’t stop after the song was over. Two aerialists vaulted 8 feet into the air to contort their bodies. As attendees drank and ate the night away, they had the opportunity to have their photo taken at a photo booth with backdrops featuring characters from the game. I, of course, took several.
As the night drew to a close, the lights began to dim and the trailer for Feasts of Legends began to play. The crowd watched rapturously as we zoomed over maps of the various nations and the conflicts between them were described.
When the trailer was finished, the Game of Thrones theme song began to play and neon lights depicting ice and fire lit up the stage. The Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo came out onto the stage to thunderous applause. Their set that had the crowd up on their feet for the rest of the night.
In the spirit of New York Comic Con, Wendy’s Presents: Heroes after Dark was a meeting of like minds who love all the best things: RPGs, Wendy’s, Johnnie Walker and, of course, Game of Thrones. If I could, I’d become a Hero after Dark every night!