San Diego Comic Con. Thousands make the pilgrimage every year and millions more (raises hand) huddle around various electronic devices and devour every scrap of information that leaks (both officially and unofficially) out of the San Diego Convention Center each July. With the Con having drawn to a close last night we thought we’d share our favorite announcements, reveals, snippets and tidbits from this past week of online nerd sensory overload. Here’s our top five:
5. Spider-Man and Gamora in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
Online doomsaying abounds about MvC:I being an MCU only affair (i.e.:, not including any X-Men or Fantastic Four members due to the same licensing entanglements that keep those characters out of Marvel’s movies), but Spidey being present for the proceedings will go a long way towards making this questionable new installment feel legitimate, and he’s looking reassuringly like himself here, web spins, swings and throws, huge eyes and all, and even a new maximum spider attack that includes dodging some signature Green Goblin pumpkin bombs. Just try not to pay too much attention to the new, higher, Tom Holland-esque voice.
Footage of Gamora has been kicking around online for a while but here we get our most thorough yet. She’s looking awesome in her black and white space armor from the comics, with a slashy, stabby, shooty style that looks to bridge the gap between MvC2 favorites Jin Saotome and Cable. Can MvC:I’s fall release unseat current fighting champion Tekken 7 (which had its own fairly jaw dropping reveal recently), with its classic easy to learn, tough to master gameplay, embarrassment of both single and multiplayer options and endless unlockable content? Probably not, but us old school Mahvel fans can dream can’t we?
4. The Defenders
If you nearly slept through the half assed Luke Cage and literally slept through the downright awful Iron Fist, it’s okay! The gang’s all back for The Defenders, premiering on Netflix August 18th, and if this trailer (and the online buzz for the first episode, which was aired at SDCC) is any indication this will be a return to form for Marvel’s TV bound, street level heroes. Another piece of intel revealed at the con: despite his absence from the trailer, Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher DOES appear in the show, in said very first episode in fact, though little was revealed about his own solo series, besides its logo and that Daredevil’s Deborah Ann Woll will co-star.
3. Hot Toys
With its stateside convention appearances typically an anemic collection of already or soon to be released pieces, choosing to save the earth shattering reveals for Asian cons closer to their home base, Hong Kong toy making juggernaut Hot Toys instead bucked that trend hard and brought the thunder (literally) to their section of official US distributor Sideshow’s booth at this year’s SDCC. A full line unveiled for Thor Ragnarok and the first official appearance of their Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy were the highlights for me, but their burgeoning DCEU and Star Wars Original Trilogy collections also made impressive showings. Nothing from The Last Jedi though, I’m sad to report, not yet, anyway…
2. Stranger Things Season 2
October 27th marks the return of our favorite group of young, small town, Spielberg and King inspired extradimensional dungeon masters. This trailer really does speak for itself and nails the perfect mix of nostalgic 80’s tone and Lovecraftian nightmare fuel that made the first season an instant classic. It would’ve been my favorite thing to come out of San Diego over the weekend if not for…
1. Thor Ragnarok
Yes, I know, Marvel also showed footage of Black Panther and a teaser for Infinity War, but those have yet to show up on line in any official (read: non-bootleg) capacity, but I doubt that they’d scratch me where I itch as much as this here Ragnarok trailer does anyway. Hulk! More Hulk! Hulk talking! And Hulk talking shit! Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie all armored up and badass, Cate Blanchett’s Hela as sexy and evil as all hel! A Thor and Loki team up! if you’ve seen the Infinity War teaser you can kind of guess how things will turn out for the Odinson, here. But this trailer is impossible to argue with. So I won’t.
Elsewhere in the world of collectibles, there’s great things coming out of Hasbro and NECA. Check out PixelDan on YouTube for full interviews and product walkthroughs. Trailers? You want em? We got em. Though for various reasons these are entertainments that we can’t wholeheartedly endorse. Whether it’s because of shitty prior installments, like in the case of The Walking Dead and Justice League, questionable adaptation choices, like, say, Death Note and Ready Player One, or belated updates that may or may not be soulless cash grabs (looking at you, Blade Runner 2049). If you want to look forward to something without feeling slightly slimy about it though, there’s always Westworld.