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Amazon Prime Video has had a growing presence at San Diego Comic-Con; over the past few years, it's expanded its offsite footprint from a small corner of MLK Boulevard to taking over an entire block. This year, the Amazon team has been here for several weeks, creating three unique experiences to promote three of its upcoming shows: The Boys, Carnival Row, and The Expanse.
Visitors, however, are treated to more than 10-15-minute sojourns to these shows' worlds; upon entry, guests also receive five silver coins to "spend" within the immersive experiences or on select food and beverages (don't worry, though — the churros are free). Some intrepid attendees can also earn a gold collector's coin or gain access to a secret comic book shop if they can find and solve certain hidden clues. There's even a looming 40-foot glass tower overlooking it all, but the heart of Amazon's space is the activations. Read on for what you can expect from each.
THE EXPANSE: HEADING THROUGH THE RING TO ILUS
The fourth season of The Expanse comes out later this year, and fans of the show (and especially fans of the book series, who have an inkling of what's in store this season... ancient alien technology, anyone?) will receive a taste of what to expect. The experience starts out with guests getting their own Belter tattoo before joining some UN reps on the Rocinante. After a brief flight through space, you'll land on the planet of Ilus, where there's an inter-galactic skirmish you can't help but get wrapped up in, no matter how socially awkward you may feel when talking to immersive actors.
There's a lot of strife on Ilus, and the world is a dusty one, peppered with tusk-like alien protrusions. After fleeing the fight, however, you'll be rewarded with a futuristic cup (that comes with a lid, of course, which is perfect for no-grav imbibing).
THE BOYS: BLOODY F***ING SUPERS!
After traveling to space, you can head to the equally exotic locale of an electronics store with a Cadillac smashed through its front window. Welcome to the world of The Boys, a place where there are superheroes aplenty, and everyone pretty much hates them.
Inside the store, you're tasked to find clues, destroy evidence, and avoid getting stabbed while your guide (from the show's eponymous clandestine organization, no less) colorfully opines on how much everyone despises superpowered people. (His boss, for example, "Would f*** his mom if it would give a Supe a hangnail." It's here where I should note that both The Boys and Carnival Row experiences are are 18+ only.)
CARNIVAL ROW: TO BE A CREATURE OR TO BE A HUMAN?
Arguably the most immersive experience, however, is the neo-Victorian alleyway of Carnival Row. After deciding whether you're a Human ("the privileged aristocracy") or a Creature ("a mythological scrappy immigrant"), you enter a charming alleyway full of wares for purchase. Before you can get much shopping done, however, you're whisked into a secret establishment of debauchery, replete with dancing, singing and subtle references to brothel-like behavior. The ambiance here is breathtaking — as dark and moody as the shopping thoroughfare was bright and busy.
If you're lucky (and this writer sure was!) you might even get pulled into a cozy little nook and told about an evil entity, neither human nor fae, that likes killing people and dressing itself in body parts. If the show has half of the atmosphere as this experience has, it'll be worth the watch.
AND ONE TOWER TO OVERSEE THEM ALL
These experiences themselves are well worth what I'm sure will be a multi-hour wait to get in. In the middle of the space, however, there's also "The Tower," a looming, multi-colored mountain that brings to mind memories of the Aggro Crag from the old Nickelodeon show GUTS. The Tower is more than just a shrine to Prime Video programming, however; every hour there is a performance that highlights one of the three aforementioned shows. Once you go through the experiences, I highly recommend you chomp on some free churros and take in one more performance before braving the streets of Comic-Con once again.
The Amazon Prime Video Experience will be open from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 21 at San Diego Comic-Con.
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