Anthony Canton III
As far as Comic Con’s announcements go, the easiest thing to say would be Avengers: Secret Wars. The truth is Kevin Feige’s plan on display for us to see is the kicker. This universe is expanding and we’ve all been wondering how it will continue to do so. As a fan, it was gratifying to see all of the projects lined up. There’s definitely fun in trying to figure out where the MCU is going on its own but to see it laid out is awesome.
It gives us all something to look forward to. If you want your street heroes and miss Daredevil…you got him back. Did you want to see how Sam Wilson’s journey will continue? We now have a title and a date. From team-ups to solo projects what we got was a reminder that the talk about the MCU was silly. Going forward, the expectation will be to see how tv gets better structurally. Otherwise, the road to what’s coming is here and we can actually enjoy the now of the MCU again. See you soon Kang.
After having the pleasure to attend this year’s San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) festivities, it remains an arduous task to find just one top revelation from the weekend. While part of me wants to think outside of the box (I want to give special mention to Star Trek’s Hall H panel and them laying out a strong framework for their future on Paramount Plus), I can’t help but acknowledge that Marvel Studios were the runaway winners of the weekend.
With that in mind, I will focus on the triad of major revelations that were exclusive to the audience at Hall H. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, Secret Invasion, and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 all showcased first-look trailers for their respective projects. And the three Marvel Studios projects all left extremely strong first impressions that should all have fans excited for the start of 2023. Quantumania’s trailer highlighted how this film will certainly be the highest stakes of the Ant-Man franchise through the introduction of a Jonathan Majors Kang the Conqueror variant, but still keeping the comedic tone from the original core ensemble and the addition of Bill Murray. Meanwhile, Secret Invasion seemingly will provide the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with its first paranoia thriller since Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and I’d argue the series will lean much more into the genre than the film if the trailer is any indication). And to top it off, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3’s trailer was the largest revelation from the panel. James Gunn very much has established this film will mark the conclusion of his run on the Guardians; franchise, and he is pulling all the stops to make this ending as epic as possible in terms of both plot and cinematic scope. There are many distinct talking points coming away from it, but the largest certainly is the highly emotional arc in store for Rocket Raccoon and his origins at the hands of the High Evolutionary.
If there’s ultimately a singular major revelation from SDCC, it’s that fans could be in store for a highly exciting beginning to MCU’s Phase Five in 2023.
My favorite reveal, hands down, was the announcement of the next Avengers films: Secret Wars and Kang Dynasty. My guy AC called out the fickle fans who sit online all day consistently complaining about Marvel and the “no direction” post-Endgame, but anyone paying a modicum of attention to Loki could tell a) who the big bad of this saga was and b) what they were building towards. You don’t populate the world with heroes and then just leave them as such, and Kevin Feige pulling the curtain back on the conclusion of the now-aptly named Multiverse Saga confirmed what we knew. The big bad is Kang, and we are headed towards the only story that can both top Endgame and simultaneously reset the universe to a point where it makes sense that mutants other than Kamala Khan exist and that the Avengers do have to pay for their machinations of time. You see, just because He Who Remains’ TVA was ok with them messing with time doesn’t mean that all the other Kang variants and their TVAs (should they have them) will be. Kang’s line to Ant-Man (you’re an Avenger? Have I killed you before) is the first salvo in the war to come ahead. A secret war, if you will, and seeing that confirmed was pretty damn exciting.
My favorite reveal from Marvel’s SDCC panel was the official announcement of Daredevil: Born Again. Although Charlie Cox’s return to the role in the MCU was no secret (shoutout to #SavedDaredevil), the extent of Daredevil’s role in future Marvel projects was still held close to the vest. And even after confirmation of appearances in Echo and She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, the official announcement of his Disney Plus series was universally well-received. But no one could have predicted that the series would get 18(!) episodes to tell its story.
I recently advocated for longer seasons of the Marvel Disney Plus series, because the six-episode season structure wasn’t adequately serving them, so tripling that output assuages all of those concerns. Daredevil: Born Again is 5 episodes longer than what fans were used to getting from Netflix, which should provide its narrative with more than enough time to breathe so that the show can service multiple character subplots, conclude several arcs, and overall, do the necessary world-building to truly establish the MCU’s Street Level.
Will we see any of the former Defenders pop up? Will we get a split season of 9 and 9 with a break in between? Will the “canon” questions be definitively answered? So many questions were raised by the announcement of Daredevil: Born Again, and I can’t wait to discover all the answers.
Not sure if this is a surprise to anybody, but my favorite reveals from San Diego Comic-Con were probably Spider-Man: Freshman Year and Daredevil: Born Again. These are two of my all-time favorite characters, and to see both of their names pop up in Hall H, headlining projects, was a dream come true. I’ve been craving a solid new animated Spider-Man project for years, and it looks like Jeff Trammell is getting ready to deliver. Learning Freshman Year is going to be a full-blown variant series, as opposed to a mini-MCU prequel, was so exciting. I haven’t been satisfied with a Spidey show since The Spectacular Spider-Man, but this one looks to have everything I could want from a web-head adaptation. Diverse supporting characters, classic bad guys, a unique animation style, and a passionate creative team working behind the scenes. As for Born Again, that one doesn’t take much explaining. Who wouldn’t be pumped about another season, a full 18 episodes, of Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio doing their thing? My eyes will be on Disney+ for the next couple years.