Comic-Con announcements part 2

28 JULY 2014

On Friday I posted a few of the announcements broken in panels, but the last few days were full of even more revelations. Curtains were pulled back, movies were announced, possibilities were teased, and everyone came away with something to look forward to - though some of us have longer waits than others.

First off: out of nowhere, we got wind of a new King Kong movie called Skull Island. I love it when panels blindside us like this. Legendary also announced a Godzilla sequel, which wasn't quite as much of a surprise, but still welcome news.

Also on the new movie front, Guillermo del Toro showed a new trailer for Crimson Peak. I pretty much adore every thought that emerges from del Toro's brain, but given my love of haunted houses, del Toro and anything creepy, I feel like he made this movie just for me. I have to give similar kudos to his "Book of Life" - not only is it about the Mexican Dia de los Muertos but it seems like it will transcend the cookie-cutter storylines and aesthetics of so much recent animation.

We saw Wonder Woman's new costume. The general consensus seemed to be Gal Gadot looks great and the footwear is... problematic.

Batman Vs Superman was a subject of much discussion leading up to the Con. My friends at the panel said it felt flat but everyone else seems genuinely hyped so I don't know who to believe.

That said, everyone I know felt the same way about the premiere of Gotham: they'll give it a shot but they're not on fire for it.

Outlander was huge at the Con. I knew there was a considerable fan base for this but didn't quite expect to see so many kilted people wandering around.

The Mad Max trailer whipped everyone into a frenzy.

While fans were disappointed that Eric, Jason and Alcide didn't make the True Blood panel, they did find out that Jessica is a true-life cosplay nerd and once appeared anonymously on the cover of Time magazine in costume.

On a similar note, Daniel Radcliffe did the floor anonymously in a Spider-Man costume.

Quentin Tarantino is gestating a sci-fi movie in his brain because of course he is.

Chuck Palahniuk excited everyone. I always say that Palahniuk is the go-to answer for "Who's your favorite writer?" among a certain social set to hide the fact that they don't read. But that isn't to detract from his talent - and I think the demand for this panel points to a hunger for literary authors. SDCC attendees have interests beyond fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, and given the rise in interstitial fiction, I hope to see more lit fic represented in the programming.

The Hobbit trailer got mixed reactions. Remember when anything Hobbit-related was a huge Hall H deal? Now only the die-hard fans seem stirred.

If you were wondering how Helix is going to continue season 2 in its arctic setting, it's not: it's going to an island.

We also found out there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in theatres 28 July, 2017. Which means more Rocket Racoon merchandise everywhere, I suppose.

Maybe this is just my friends being die-hard Nathan Fillion fans, but I saw a lot of people get excited by Firefly Online.


Avengers: Age of Ultron got a very favorable response; I've heard more people talk about that than Batman vs Superman. Ant Man seemed to inspire less talk.

Warcraft will focus on the conflict between the humans and the orcs - but anyone can walk into this and enjoy it, no background required.

Jack Black says there will be an "official bucketload" of monsters in the Goosebumps movie. This seems to be one of those films that didn't especially inspire people going into the Con, but now is getting positive buzz.

The earlier Evil Dead talk from Sam Raimi mentioned Bruce Campbell - and it's been confirmed that it would be in a starring role.

Normally there are a few new TV shows that come out of Comic-Con with major buzz. This year, I would say that Ascension (Syfy's space show), iZombie (CW, light-hearted but potentially clever) and Intruders (BBC, ominous paranormal mystery) stirred up an impressive level of interest.

And now for a TV show that never was: after showing a much-hyped panel at Comic-Con, Locke & Key is going to be a trilogy of movies! Now we just need Y The Last Man to become an AMC series.

What we didn't get much of: new comic book news. Comic-Con magician Grant Morrison talked Multiversity and the Spider-Verse panel was a hit, but we didn't hear about too many new titles, if you don't count Image Expo. Then again, everyone was hyped for Sandman last year and we got 2 whole issues in the year following.

In fact, most of the interesting comic book discussion centered on creative decision-making. The Saga panel discussed the death of characters and how we've gotten used to seeing our favorites survive all the time because company interests are financially invested in keeping them alive (and feeding us stories without any real risk.) James Tynion at the Gay Comics panel discussed the tension of being a bisexual writer and having the plotting and development of licensed DC characters in his hands. Maybe these issues only interest writers - it's possible. But I like considering the forces in play in any storytelling.

Oh, and Archie continued its ascent from near-extinction. They announced the launch of a new app on Saturday (with 1000 books accompanying the download) and some new titles, including a Betty and Veronica title where the girls leave Riverdale, go to Europe and exchange identities. They also previewed the upcoming Sabrina title, which will be modeled in the same gothic vein as the best-selling Afterlife title. I was also told some classified info that I absolutely cannot reveal, so I'll just say that 2015 should hold some surprises.

So yes, there was a lot to take in - but most of it wasn't that much of a stunner. Maybe we're all jaded or maybe the news cycle makes it harder to surprise any of us. Maybe it's the fact that so many trailers follow the same formula. But while some panels can still hit like a rush, that feeling of discovery seemed to be missing this year.

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