Marvel Studios Outdoes Itself at Comic-Con, Again

James Akinaka
Movies Marvel
Movies Marvel Comic-Con

Marvel Studios‘ annual panel has become a staple of San Diego Comic-Con, and this year somehow managed to up the ante over previous years — which is no small feat. Between full cast appearances from Marvel’s next two movies (Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther), along with previews of two more films on the horizon, Marvel shamelessly overwhelmed fans who had waited all day (or more) for a seat in Hall H.

And of course, Marvel also squeezed in a post-credits-style reveal, which — unlike Spider-Man: Homecoming ‘s final scene — thankfully turned out not to be a dud. Dive in with us for the best moments of this year’s Marvel Comic-Con panel.

Catwoman Joins Ant-Man & the Wasp as the First Wasp

Based on some early animatics released at the panel, there’s much to look forward to from Ant-Man & the Wasp, out next July. The Ant-Man sequel will feature a Wasp suit for Hope van Dyne that’s much yellower than the one in the first movie’s post-credits scene. Giant-Man will also be returning after his memorable debut in Captain America: Civil War.

Perhaps the movie’s biggest news is the fact that Catwoman herself, Michelle Pfeiffer, is joining the cast as Jane van Dyne, Hope’s mother and her predecessor as the Wasp. Pfeiffer delivered an unforgettable portrayal of Selina Kyle in 1992’s Batman Returns, and it looks like she’s joined the ranks of actors who have made the jump from DC to Marvel. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the character.

The Skrulls are the Villains of Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel, due out on March 8, 2019, will be taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe back to the 1990s. Like Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain Marvel will take place before the present-day events of the MCU. Most intriguingly, the film’s time frame means that we’ll get to see Nick Fury before he loses his left eye.

Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers will be going up against a prominent race of villains from the comics: the Skrulls. We can only imagine how much of a riot it’ll be seeing Nick Fury and Captain Marvel battling the shapeshifting aliens.

Hulk Stays Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok

Director Taika Waititi and the main cast of this November’s Thor: Ragnarok were on hand to offer more tidbits about the film. Mark Ruffalo revealed that since Avengers 2, Hulk has repressed Bruce Banner and remained Hulk for the last two years, since he enjoys being a gladiator on Sakaar. Meanwhile, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has continued to masquerade as King Odin in order to preserve his rule over Asgard.

Rachel House, whose character has remained under wraps, appears to be playing an assistant to the Grandmaster of Sakaar. Actor Jeff Goldbum revealed that the Grandmaster is the brother of the Collector, who last appeared in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Both brothers are Elders of the Universe and have been around since the Big Bang. Like the Collector, could the Grandmaster be another link to the recurring Infinity Stones?

Marvel also released Ragnarok‘s new trailer at the panel, so we’ll just leave it here for you to bask in all its glory:

Black Panther Takes Down Ulysses Klaue

The Thor: Ragnarok vacated the Hall H stage in order to make room for the cast of the next Phase Three film, Black Panther. T’Challa, still mourning his father’s death in Civil War, is forced to defend his country when Wakandan exile Erik Killmonger returns as a contender for the throne. Director/writer Ryan Coogler described his experience on the Hall H stage as surreal, since last year he was sitting at the back of the room as a fan. Coogler has been a Black Panther fan for much of his life, and he’s infused the film with his vision for the character.

Andy Serkis is back as Ulysses Klaue, and Serkis is excited because he’s getting back his right arm (in cybernetic form) after his ill-fated tussle with Ultron in Avengers 2. Sadly, it means that one of the MCU’s prominent references to Star Wars will thus become undone.

Coogler brought some new footage exclusively to the panel, and the action looked insane. In one scene, T’Challa goes with Doja Milaje members Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita N’yongo) to a nightclub, where they interrupt Klaue’s meeting with CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman, reprising his role from Civil War). A massive, two-level fight breaks out, and Klaue’s cybernetic enhancements are no match for T’Challa.

Poor Ulysses Klaue. Seems like he can never find his luck. February 16, 2018 can’t come quickly enough.

Director Joe Russo Releases First Infinity War Trailer

Because Marvel is Marvel, they saved the best for last. Infinity War co-director Joe Russo surprised fans to release the first footage of the next Avengers movie, due out May 2018. It turns out to be the same footage that premiered at D23 last week, but it was just as spectacular.

A wounded Thor crosses paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Mantis wakes him up aboard their ship. Loki gives away the Tesseract to someone else as Earth lies in ruins. Peter Parker debuts in his Iron Spider outfit from the end of Homecoming. Vision is in a prison, Steve Rogers has a beard, and Natasha Romanoff has gone blonde.

Finally, Thanos pulls whole planets out of the sky and tosses them into battle like comets. “Fun isn’t really something one considers when balancing the universe,” he says. “But this does put a smile on my face.”

Unfortunately, Marvel’s PR department seems to be saving the trailer’s mass release for a future date, so it still isn’t available online. Hopefully that will change soon. In the meantime, let’s thank Marvel for giving fans too much to talk about.

James Akinaka
James Akinaka arrives at Fandom by way of Wookieepedia. He covers Star Wars, superheroes, and animation and has mastered the art of nitpicking. Since he works in publishing, he reads far too many books.
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