Comic Con Hangover: A Rundown of the Biggest News to Come Out of SDCC ’13
Every year, the biggest pop culture event in the world San Diego Comic Con is ground zero for all things related to comics, TV and Movies. For fans of such things, this past weekend had many of us glued to the internet as the reports rolled in (one day, despite the complaints of crowding, I do want to visit it in person and do first-hand reports). With so much bombshells being dropped at the annual event, it’s easy for some stories to slip between the cracks. Here’s a rundown (broken down by topic so you can just read the stuff you care about) of what I considered to be the coolest news that broke at Comic Con over the weekend. Of course, usually the weeks following, some of those exclusive first looks start to surface online for those of us not able to attend in addition to further announcements of such projects. Anyway here’s the geeky rundown:
Comic Con believe it or not, actually began as a comic book convention (note sarcasm). As the years went by, movies and TV shows took the stage as the big focus of the event turning it more into a pop-culture convention instead. However, between the previews of upcoming movies, some big comic news comes through every year. Some of which, I noted on the pre-con news roundup. Here’s some more comic news that surfaced:
Fight Club Comic Sequel- I am Jack’s raised eyebrows. It looks like we’re going to be seeing Tyler Durden again, but this time in graphic novel form! Chuck Palahniuk will be writing a sequel set 10 years after the end of the first book, but from Tyler’s perspective as he plans “his comeback” interfering with “Jack” and Marla’s marriage. There’s no date yet, but according to Palahniuk’s statement online, he’s hoping to release it before 2015.
Power Rangers: the Graphic Novel– “It’s Morphin Time!” The original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are returning!…in comic form! Since the original Yellow Ranger actress is long dead, David Yost (Blue Ranger) having a horrible experience on set after he was bullied for being gay, Jason David Frank (Green/White Ranger) tied up with doing cool things like breaking Guinness records for karate chopping boards while skydiving and fighting MMA, and Amy Jo Johnson (still looking good at 40 btw) swapping her Pink Ranger outfit for a police badge in Flashpoint, this is the only way for such a reunion to realistically happen. The series will first launch prior to the Green Ranger’s arrival, so there will be a lot of fun Dinozord action to expect. This is definitely something that may be interesting to the 90’s kids that grew up watching the show…and karate chopping their siblings and friends on trampolines (until it inevitably became a wrestling ring a few years later at the height of popularity of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWF/WWE)
The Twilight Zone Comic- I love the Twilight Zone. However, I’m not so much of a fan of the various attempts to revive on TV, however I will have marginal interest in checking out a comic series, especially since the issues will be “episodic” rather than an ongoing serial that requires you to buy the next comics in order to complete a story. The series will be 12 issues and will be written by J. Michael Straczynski (Spider-man, Superman Earth One). I definitely think I’ll probably snag a copy out of curiosity.
Spidey vs. Agent Venom– Readers of the current Spider-man series “The Superior Spider-Man” knows that at the end of 2012, Peter Parker was killed off when his nemesis Doctor Octopus pulled off an elaborate evil, twisted version of “Freaky Friday” and swapped bodies with Peter Parker leaving Parker in Ock’s frail, dying body and Ock in Peter’s younger, more powerful body. After their climatic final battle, Parker failed to return to his proper body and was killed, but not before breaking through and allowing Ock to see that as Parker, he would have to continue with the legacy Parker leaves behind (you know, the whole “with great power comes great responsibility” bit). Ock decides to not let Peter Parker die in vain and vows to be a better, “Superior Spider-man”. Since then, Ock as Parker has tangled with some Spider-man villains such as Vulture, Boomerang, Scorpion and the Spider-Slayer and dealt out his own harsh version of justice (he went so far as to murdering Massacre, a murderous sociopath, whom Parker let live in a previous encounter.) In addition, Ock-Parker is on the good side of Mayor J. Jonah Jameson (something Peter Parker has never really been able to do) and has incorporated using gadgets and possibly henchmen to assist him fight crime. However, this fall it was teased that not only will Ock still be in the “driver’s seat” but he would also be tangling with Venom!! Venom of course, is something of a reformed villain as well since he took to a new host with Flash Thompson and has since been a hero known as Agent Venom. This will be an interesting arc to see play out. So far, Dan Slott’s been doing great with the series.
MOVIES & TV
Movies have over the last few years dominated Comic Con with exclusive first looks, panels and bombshell announcements. This year was no different.
New X-Files movie? Maybe!- This year marks 20 years since X-Files made us sleep with the light on as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigated alien abductions, ghosts, monsters and so on. The duo reunited this weekend in a special panel which fueled rumors of an announcement of a 3rd X-files movie. However instead of a formal announcement, both actors said that they would be willing to do a 3rd film. I guess that just leaves the studio to go with it. Plus, they owe us a good X-Files movie following the disappointment of I Want To Believe.
New Kick Ass 2 Trailer “Kicks Ass– Kick Ass 2 is a few weeks away from releasing in theaters and this weekend a new extended trailer was posted online. The first movie was a refreshing change of superhero movies with it’s ultra violence and shocking potty-mouth of Hit Girl mixed with Nicholas Cage (aka the internet’s favorite actor…mostly because his head looks awesome photoshopped on everyone). The new trailer introduced us to Christopher-Minse Plasse (aka McLovin from Superbad) in his new supervillian digs demanding people to refer to him as “The Motherfucker” as he goes on a mission recruiting and naming his league of supervillians. We also see Hit-Girl training Kick Ass to be a better fighter. Three Years ago in the original movie, when Chloe Grace Moretz was just a child, her swearing as Hit-Girl was humorously shocking, however, now that she’s a teenager, it sort of comes off as mean, angry, troubled teen but still brings a chuckle without the jaw dropping that followed her “c-bombs” in the first film. Jim Carrey was also shown as veteran hero “Colonel Stars and Stripes” displaying his dog’s ability to bite crotches and it showed bits of the final battle between the heroes and villains, which appear to have changed locations from the graphic novel’s Times Square setting. None-the-less the trailer did its job of getting me pumped for the movie.
Superman Will Have a Sequel…With Batman!- Superman and Batman have been teaming up for decades in the form of comics, cartoons and videogames. At Saturday’s panel, Zach Snyder revealed that he’ll be working on a sequel to Man of Steel and then invited an actor onstage to read a quote from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”, before directing everyone’s attention to the big screen in which a Superman and Batman logo combined.
Personally, I have mixed feelings leaning more toward the negative aspect. With the success of The Avengers and well over a decade of trying to make a Justice League film get off the ground, I can’t blame DC for wanting to unite their 2 most popular film franchises together (sorry Green Lantern). The success of this film would definitely open the door to a Justice League movie. However, I don’t know if it’ll work out right. First and foremost, Christian Bale is unlikely to return having wrapped up his stint as Batman, so in addition to getting used to Supes sharing the screen with Batman, we also have to get used to a new Batman as well….unless they park a dumptruck of money on Christian Bale’s yard and ask him nicely. Not to mention this was attempted about 10 years ago and it didn’t happen. I think it’ll happen this time, but I’m pretty unsure about how this will translate, but here’s the big reveal anyway:
Hunger Games Catching Fire– Finally! We get to see a sneak peek at the next Hunger Games movie! The next film will focus on a Hunger Games All Stars event of sorts, in which, winners of past Hunger Games compete in an all new deadlier event. Of course, readers of the books know that this is where the proverbial shit hits the fan in terms of unrest against the capitol and the 12 districts of Panem as they drift closer to civil war. I’m pretty pumped as this was my personal favorite of the books. The one that follows….yeah not a fan.
Ender’s Game Crew Distances Themselves From Orson Scott Card– With a proposed boycott of the film due to Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card’s statements against gay marriage, the cast and crew of the upcoming Ender’s Game movie used their Comic Con panel to say that they do not share Card’s belief or opinions.
“Ender’s Game” presents such a clear message of understanding and reaching out to others.” Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood said adding “I think it’s slightly bitterly ironic that those themes that are present in the book are not carried through on his particular view on gay marriage.” Hood also said that he optioned a book and not an author and hopes that despite Card’s personal beliefs, he hopes that the book can still be appreciated as a great work of art. Actors Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield also voiced their support for gay marriage.
Personally, I agree with Hood’s comments. Ender’s Game is a great work of Science Fiction and one of my favorite books. I myself support gay marriage, having some really cool gay and lesbian friends that I believe should have the right to marry. However, I do not get wrapped up in boycotts of things. To me, the people working on a product shouldn’t suffer for one associated person’s insensitive comments. Whether they are making sandwiches to pay their bills, or making a film of a beloved book, the ones not making the comments are the ones that’ll likely be hurt most by a boycott, not the person making the comments. Enough soapbox ranting, either way, let’s just hang out and watch a hopefully fun science fiction movie together this fall!
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron– It’s no secret that after grossing over a billion dollars, that we’ll see the Avengers assemble again in the near future. At the end of the Avengers movie, there was a post-credit tease showing Thanos alluding that he may be the next “big bad” that will square off against the team. However, a teaser showed Iron Man’s helmet with sound clips from the movie as the helmet bent and formed until it resembled the face of Ultron. A few things can maybe be assumed at this point with the teaser trailer. First, it looks like The Guardians of The Galaxy will probably be dealing with the mad titan instead of Iron Man and company. Secondly, depending on if this will proceed or follow Edgar Wright’s Ant Man, Ultron may have a tweaked origin. In the comics, Ultron was a robot created by Hank Pym (aka Ant Man) which develops and Oedipus complex and eventually becomes a nemesis for the Avengers. If it pre-dates Ant Man, we may see Ultron being a product of Tony Stark…which actually could be pretty cool. The movie’s title also shares its name with a recently wrapped Marvel Comics event, which takes place in a dark future, in which Ultron has taken over the world and is rebuilding it in his image. So if they go that route, that would make another Marvel movie set in a dark future along with X-men Days of Future Past. Finally, it’s kinda hard to do an Ultron movie without the inclusion of Avenger’s token cyborg The Vision, Vin Diesel has been rumored to be in talks with Marvel about a role; the speculation is that he’ll be playing The Vision.
X-men Days of Future Past- Holy crap! All throughout the week leading up to the official panel, there’s been incredible news on a seemingly daily basis. First, was the anti-mutant campaign for Trask Industries (led by Bolivar Trask, who creates mutant hunting giant robots called Sentinels and will be played by Game of Throne’s Peter Dinklage) which revealed the first look at the robots. Next came a few photos of Old Xavier and Magneto in their futuristic military-esque uniforms, but most surprisingly was a headshot of Bishop a previously un-announced character for the film. At Saturday’s panel, footage reportedly showed a time traveling Wolverine bridging the timelines of the dystopian future featuring the cast of the first 3 X-men movies and the 70s featuring the cast of X-men: First Class. I’m probably going to go ahead and say out of all the news coming from Comic-Con this past weekend; this is one that got me the most excited and it’s still like 2 years away!!
Guardians of The Galaxy Revealed- Part of Marvel’s “Phase II” will feature the galactic team of misfits known as Guardians of the Galaxy. Since the movie has only been shooting for a few weeks, there hasn’t been much to reveal other than a clip featuring Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot and rest of the gang in a cosmic prison. However, some props including Nova Corp costumes, Star Lord’s helmet and concept art showing the final designs of the principle characters were revealed over the weekend. Although there’s no word on who will be voicing Rocket Raccoon, the panel did feature a bald Karen Gillian (!) along with cast-mates including Michael Rooker (Merle from Walking Dead) and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar).
Godzilla Footage Shown– I’m pretty much going to be scouring over the internet in the coming weeks to see panel footage from this..even if it’s crappy cell phone footage. Of all the footage reportedly shown, Godzilla is the one that I really want to see leaked. From reports of the panel, it looks like we’ll see Godzilla square off against monsters..and Brian Cranston. Of course there will also be lots of destruction as well, I mean it is a Godzilla movie after all.
Dawn of the Planet of The Apes– When it comes to the Planet of the Apes movies, I really liked the original Charleton Heston film and I was pleasantly surprised with the reboot/prequel from a few years ago. It looks like the next film (due Summer 2014), will be set 10 years after the events of the last film after the flu virus was released killing most of the humans. Caesar will be returning as the central character and will once again be portrayed in motion capture by Andy Serkis. As expected, the film will focus on a group of hyper-intelligent apes led by Caesar feuding with human survivors. Plus, can’t hate on Caesar in war paint.
Walking Dead Zombies are Evolving– Last year, The Walking Dead gave fans a long sneak peak at the upcoming season. This year, they ran the same play and released an extended Season 4 trailer of all new footage to wet our appetites for zombies until the show premieres in October. Last year pumped everyone up for the Prison vs. Woodbury showdown. As a comic reader (or a fan of the show that has friends that read the graphic novel), it was no big secret that the final showdown turned out to be highly anticlimactic in comparison to the whiplash shocks from the graphic novel’s version of the showdown. This year, we see Rick and company dealing with a seemingly smarter group of walkers (aka zombies) along with some possible betrayals from within the group of Woodbury refugees. It’s not quite as exciting as last year’s pump up for the Prison story arc, but on the bright side, we do see Tyresse use his awesome hammer and Daryl training a newbie in zombie killing 101.
Axe Cop- From time to time on here, I’ve mentioned how I love the web comic Axe Cop. The series began with a 28 year old comic illustrator drawing and bringing stories that his 5 year old brother came up with. The result was a hilarious and extremely random series. Axe Cop as a character, is self-centered, immature (trick-or-treats on his own, celebrates his own birthday with a candle of himself) and unapologetically sexist (“all girls are on the dumb list”). In other words, it’s a hilarious and fun comic series to get into.
This weekend, the comic was brought to life as part of Fox’s Animation Domination HD lineup (ADHD get it?). The preview episode featured Bat Warthog-Man trying to find his friends. The show was every bit as random as the comic and hearing Nick Offerman deliver fun Axe Cop lines such as “Stop crying. I don’t like it.” comes off as a tamer version of his Ron Swanson character from Parks and Recreation. I think the show appeals to fans of the web comic, but its randomness may alienate newcomers unfamiliar with the story. There were plenty to like in the show; such as Army Chihuahua, Gray Diamond’s douchey need to high-five a lot, and Axe Cop being in his night patrol cat suit. However, I feel like it would have benefited with Bat Warthog-Man’s origin story and Axe Cop’s encounter with “The Girls”, whom he deems are too dumb (via a list that he made) to join his team to rescue Bat Warthog-Man’s friends. I really think Fox should have kicked off the show with “The Fruit Stand” episode as I feel that would have been a much more fitting intro to the Axe Cop mythos. I do feel like the YouTube motion comic did a better job preserving the tone that the web comic carries, as the animated show somewhat has signs of adult interference in the tone of the writing. However, with that said, I’m pretty glad to see that Axe Cop is now animated and will joyfully tune in each week. For those wanting an introduction, I’d recommend checking out the YouTube motion comics or reading the comics at the official site.
That’s it from this year’s event. Did I miss a bombshell? Which announcements are you most excited about? Do you share my opinion of Batman hanging out with Superman in the next film? Let me know in the comics below!