Sunday, August 3, 2014

Marvel San Diego Comic-Con Recap


BY DAVID BERCK

A lot of things went down at San Diego Comic Con this year. Some people on the floor said it seemed more low key, but there was still plenty of buzz happening. As one of the "big two" in comics, Marvel certainly had a good amount of announcements going on and here's a somewhat brief recap of some of what went on.

For Marvel's cinematic universe, it was announced that Evangeline Lilly will portray Hope Pym, the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), in Ant-Man. The movie is starting production this month, which is a little nerve wracking for some of the fandom, but Empire sat down with Marvel movie boss, Kevin Feige, and he reports that everything is fine, pointing to the time table for Iron Man 3 which was much more visually demanding. Corey Stoll was introduced as the villain, Yellowjacket. Interestingly enough, this character had a whole two-issue life span in the comics but is using a hero name that was a popular iteration for Hank Pym as an Avenger.

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron made a splash just by virtue of the entire cast showing up on stage complete with Robert Downey, Jr tossing flowers to the fans and offering a special flower to Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos, which was then promptly eaten. Chris Hemsworth also joked about not having been turned into a woman yet as Thor, referencing the upcoming changes for the comic. Later on, Collider spoke to Marvel cinema boss, Kevin Feige regarding Brolin wearing the Infinity Gauntlet on stage and he confirmed that seems to be "the direction things are headed." Some take that to mean Avengers 3 is definitely about Thanos and the Gauntlet, but Feige is very good about not saying specific things. Check out the edited panel video from the Age of Ultron panel below for some fun.

The Guardians of the Galaxy sequel was announced before the release of the first movie which has since garnered an estimated $94 million on its opening weekend. Perhaps the biggest news out of the movie panel is that there was no real new news about phase three. We know it begins with Ant-Man and will include Captain America 3 and Avengers 3, should include Thor 3 and is speculated to introduce Doctor Strange (possibly with Joaqin Phoenix in the title role??) into the movie universe, but that's about it. For TV, there will be a comic based on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that will be called...wait for it...S.H.I.E.L.D. As uninspiring as the title may sound, they've tapped top notch writer, Mark Waid (Daredevil, Hulk), to head up the scripting.

For comics, there was a good amount of talk regarding the upcoming Spider-Verse mega-event that promises to feature every Spider-Man ever. Yes, this also includes all the Spider-Women, too! There will be a new ongoing Spider-Woman comic that will also include femme Spideys Anya Corazon/Spider-Girl, the newly revealed Gwen Stacy/"Spider-Gwen" (whaaaaaaat? I know!), and the also recently revealed Cindy Moon/Silk. Other titles include Edge of Spider-Verse, Spider-Verse Team Up, and Scarlet Spiders (calling all Spidey clones!).

 A now well-known character twist coming up is the female Thor. Early on, there was some speculation that Angela would be taking the place of Thor Odinson, but she's already been shown in a graphic with the new Thor and has a new series coming up, Angela: Asgard's Assassin. In regards to the woman who will be taking the place of Thor, current Thor writer, Jason Aaron had a little something to say during Marvel's "Cup of Joe" panel. He said that, as the author of Thor for two years now, he knows what Thor's name is (addressing the speculation that another person can't be called Thor, because Thor is Thor) and goes on to point out that, since the inception of Thor's journey, his story has always had an element of transformation that began with a crippled man stumbling upon a stick in a dark cave that changed his life. This left the audience with the impression that Thor is Thor and Thor is going to be a woman. In fact, Marvel Editor-in-Chief said, "With Thor, she is Thor, she holds the hammer and the title. Lady Thor or She-Thor was never on the table," during the Women of Marvel panel. This only seems to muddy the waters a bit more as to what actually happens with Thor Odinson as Aaron talks about the new woman as an equivalent to the character we've become accustomed to, but Alonzo talks about her as if she's a different character.

The Avengers also didn't really see much in the way of big announcements at Comic Con. After all, Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) taking over as Captain America was already all over the interwebz. Sam will also be heading up the Captain America and the Mighty Avengers series as well. It's interesting to note that with the big changes to both Thor and Cap that Marvel has chosen to make the reveals on television, using "The View" and the "Colbert Report" as their avenues for announcements. You know Wolverine is dying, right? In fact, he will be as dead as Marvel is willing to make him next month. The Death of Wolverine has been building steam for the past few months now, but when Wolvie gets the big dirt nap, there won't be any shortage of Wolverine titles. Marvel announced a couple of new mini-series called The Logan Legacy and The Weapon X Program, respectively. "Death of Wolverine" is still attached to the titles of both lines, so don't think Logan is going to die and just keep on keepin' on...at least, not yet.

Some of the biggest announcements may have come at Marvel's "Cup of Joe" panel, hosted by Joe Quesada. A portion of the short presentation was focused on the upcoming Star Wars titles planned for release beginning in January. It was announced that Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder) will be writing the main Star Wars title with John Cassady (Astonishing X-Men, Captain America) putting pencil to paper for art. In addition, Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Journey Into Mystery) and Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man, Fantastic Four) will be teaming up, beginning in February, for an ongoing series focusing on Darth Vader's rise to power and Princess Leia will get her own mini-series as told by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson (Generation X, Marvel Knights: Spider-Man), starting in March. All three series will take place immediately after the original Star Wars movie, or A New Hope to the non-old fogies.

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