Everyone, San Diego Comic-Con has come and past and I, like many people, was not a part of the lucky few who saved up and waited on queue for hours to get a pass, only to be denied as the odds were not in my favor. Instead, I did as I have done since I got Twitter: I tracked hashtags and relevant accounts for events, information, and to find out if anyone would throw something at David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. One day I’ll make it there, but this time-honored tradition will have to do.
Nonetheless, it was clearly a lively event this year, with the end of Marvel’s Phase 3, the upcoming end of Arrowand the continued rise of nerd culture in pop culture. With that, here is a top-five round-up of the happenings from San Diego Comic-Con.
5. I Guess the X-Men Are Back?
Listen, if you’re not reading the current X-Mentitles, here’s a brief recap: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Prof. X, and Wolverine are alive. Most of their affiliates have been in another dimension, created by Nate Grey, where they can’t love one another. The X-Men from the past are home now. The school is in Central Park. That’s about it.
The X-Men have been to hell and back, literally. In some ways, the decimation of their numbers felt like wild story turns to grab attention. In other ways, it felt like since Marvel didn’t make movie money from the franchise, so fuck Xavier and his school. However, Jonathan Hickman is giving them a makeover. After the House of X and Powers of X miniseries, Charles Xavier and his school of super-powered proteges are bouncing back hard with six different titles, which will see a variety of teams for Marvel’s favorite mutants.
My personal favorite of the announced: X-Force. Imagine a black-ops team for the X-Men, because you can’t constantly have Wolverine killing hate groups on TV, for public consumption. They operate in the shadows, to do the dirty work. They’ve been described as the mutant world’s CIA and will feature the Xavier Academy’s weirdest little redemption story in Kid Omega, everyone’s favorite wild card.
4. Cartoon Network Is Still Smarter Than We All Thought
How do I put this honestly? Cartoon Network has the swag of early Nickelodeon with just better, more timely stories. Comic-Con has always been a good stop for how weird the Turner Broadcasting-owned animation-focused channel and its late-night offerings, from Adult Swim. Maybe it’s because they’ve accepted the fact that adults make their content so there is always going to be a certain maturity if you let adults work without bounds.
Either way, the Steven Universe movie trailer looks brilliant. Even though the show ended in January, the movie looks to slap its happy ending away and give us a little more to snack on. Also, Estelle is singing more and the soundtrack will include Chance the Rapper, keeping up the show’s great musical track record.
Also, Rick and Morty has Taikia Waititi coming in for an episode and truthfully, I don’t know if I’m excited about it or worried my psyche hasn’t recovered from Pickle Rick yet.
3. HBO Did a Good Job
Alright, here we go, everyone. I’m going to only give Game of Thrones one sentence: The smartest thing they did was not have Benioff and Weiss come to the GoT panel because someone on Reddit would have paid an attendee to either ask a fucked-up question or throw food at them.
With that out of the way, let’s go over the important things: His Dark Materials, Watchmen, and Westworld. All these projects had trailers drop during the convention to the praise of fans and viewers alike. Each show carries with it an all-star cast with actors like Regina King (Watchmen), Tessa Thompson (Westworld) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (HDM).
The premium cable network is coming out of its most successful show with a clear future that leans more in the sci-fi/fantasy direction that GoT recently fostered. The real question is whether they’re chasing a new major hit or if the network is going to be willing to contort for success? Which reminds me…..
2. DC Universe TV Shows Won’t Die Because of HBO MAX
Which is a good thing, since there was a worry that with the advent of HBO MAX, the fledgling niche streaming service would die off soon. Thank God we’re going to get second seasons of Titans and Doom Patrol, the latter available on both streaming platforms.
In addition, we got a preview of the upcoming Harley Quinn cartoon from the streaming service, who are committed to the adult feel that they’ve cultivated since the start of their original content. Featuring Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) as Harley Quinn, Lake Bell (How to Make it In America) as Poison Ivy, Alan Tudyk (Doom Patrol) as the Joker, it looks insane — in a fun, promising way, for a show built on the back of a woman who is in love with a psychopathic murderer.
Finally, Young Justice got confirmed for a fourth season and with seven episodes left, a traitor in the team and Darkseid basically just existing, the show’s season finale is probably going to be explosive.
1. The MCU decided it wanted to blow our minds
This is a company that explains its franchises’ timelines and release dates by phases. With Avengers: Endgame and Spiderman: Far From Home completing Phase 3, what does the fourth phase have coming for us? Well, Lady Thor, diversity, and Disney+.
Seriously, if you thought the house that Mickey Mouse built would let its new cash train fall, you’re stupid. Over the next two years, we will be stuffed to the brim with content, in a post-blip world.
In theaters, we will be getting, in order: Black Widow, The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder. All of which are featuring all-star casts, with Salma Hayek, David Harbour, Awkwafina, and the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor.
As well, Disney+ is Walt Disney’s entry into the streaming wars and Marvel properties are some of their top priorities. With that, Kevin Feige will be contributing: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, What If…?, and Hawkeye. Personally, the idea of What If….? as a show is a great investment in storytelling, because they are some of the most mind-bending stories that Marvel writers have ever come up with. Do you want to see a world where Captain America never goes into the ice? You might get it in this animated series. There are endless bounds for potential.
Also, for Phase Five, which will hopefully include the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Mahershala Ali will be Blade. Somehow, this feels like Ali showed up, with both Oscars in his hands and said, “So, we’re rebooting Blade,” and left. Hopefully, by then no one will remember him as Cottonmouth.