Marvel Studios won Comic-Con 2016. Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and a special announcement about Captain Marvel had Hall H screaming with excitement. Marvel showed everyone lucky enough to be in attendance that Phase Three of the MCU is going to be huge. It was, truly, the event of the con.
Chris Hardwick graced the stage after a quick introduction from Director of Programming for Comic-Con International Eddie Ibrahim, and what followed was a fun and fantastic show filled with tons of great moments and highlights. Hardwick cracked a few jokes and quickly introduced the President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige and the show began.
The first clips of the night began with the new Marvel Studios title sequence followed by a recap of the heroes and stories of Phase One and Phase Two of the MCU. Fans loved that Marvel had finally returned to Comic-Con after being absent from the 2015 convention. Then Black Panther director Ryan Coogler hit the stage and the crowd roared with applause.
Black Panther will begin shooting in January and Ryan Coogler let everyone in Hall H know that they are making an amazing movie. He then introduced Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Danai Gurira to the stage and each of them was greeted with massive cheers and applause. Black Panther has a great cast and fans can’t wait to see Jordan as villain Eric Killmonger facing off against one of the MCU’s newest and most exciting heroes.
Kevin Feige then let the audience know that many viewers were left wondering just what happened to Thor and the Hulk during the events of Captain America: Civil War. He then introduced a special clip that had the crowd in Hall H bursting out in laughter. Thor apparently decided he needed a vacation from battle and chose to move to Australia. The bit played out like a mockumentary in the style of The Office and Chris Hemsworth showed off his comedy skills like a pro.
Following up the fun of seeing Thor mixing it up with his bland Aussie roommate Dwayne, a new clip of the next film was shown. Thor: Ragnarok looks like the best one yet. The video began with a few behind the scenes shots then quickly went into seconds of footage revealing Gladiator Hulk, the new villain Hela played by Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban in action as the Asgardian Skurge. Blanchett’s character looks amazing and very dark, but aside from the reveal that Jeff Goldblum will also be in the film, the final moment showed Hulk flying through the air getting ready to smash Surtur in the face.
Without any introduction, the room in Hall H went dark and a fog machine started spewing smoke from above. Music swelled as dim lights began to flash and projected images of magical symbols filled the room. After an incredibly impressive laser light show, the lights came up and Benedict Cumberbatch was right in the middle of the stage getting screamed at like he was The Beatles. The vibe in Hall H instantly became a mix of a rock concert and theme park ride and it was glorious.
Cumberbatch was quickly joined on stage by director Scott Derrickson and cast members Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Wong. Each of them got to talk a bit about the film and their characters without revealing much, but the big takeaway is just how snarky and stubborn Stephen Strange is until the Ancient One sends him on a trip through the astral plane. The clip of the moment from the film showed that Doctor Strange is going to be funny and very interesting. We just can’t wait to find out more about Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius and why he is bent on recreating the world.
Once Kevin Feige took the stage again, he asked the already overwhelmed audience if they wanted to see something from one of the newer additions to the MCU. This was the one that fans were waiting on all night and as soon as the Spider-Man logo hit the screens everyone yelled and cheered. The new Spider-Man Tom Holland took the stage and was greeted by a wave of applause that filled the room. Along with Holland was a handful of the supporting cast that couldn’t have been more excited to be there in person.
Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts took the stage to set the record straight that this movie is a high school flick. It’s all about Peter Parker dealing with the struggle of keeping his superhero identity and his personal life separate and then they showed a clip. The movie is funny and warm and filled with entertaining moments that hearken back to the John Hughes days of old. The film is currently ten days into shooting in Atlanta and should be ready in 2017, but the biggest moment had to be when The Vulture swooped down an air shaft with talons pointed directly at the camera. Homecoming looks great.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Spider-Man was a hard act to follow, but James Gunn immediately took the mic and made the audience get fired up. Without any warning Hall H was flooded with Ravagers making their way to the stage and soon the cast of the film was right up there with them. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillian, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki and Kurt Russell walked out to huge roaring applause from the audience. Some back and forth banter happened and made everyone laugh, and then the first debut clip from the film was shown and the crowd loved it.
Baby Groot is the talk of Comic-Con. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 looks fantastic, but Baby Groot is going to be the star of the show. The clip showed a moment in the film where Yondu and Rocket have to escape the Ravagers. It’s a great setup with an amazing payoff that makes the scene in the first Guardians where Yondu uses his yaka arrow look like child’s play. Right after the clip, Michael Rooker took the stage in full makeup and commanded the room. His new fin mohawk looks awesome.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 panel continued on with quick questions and answers from the cast and it was amazing to see Kurt Russell on stage with the rest of them. It was revealed that Disneyland will be opening Mission: Breakout as the new Guardians ride in the park and the preview looked good. The biggest moment of the night came when the Guardians Vol. 2 preview was debuted and Hall H went wild. It’s a fantastic looking follow up to the original and even the moment when Sylvester Stallone pops up in a Nova Corps uniform got a huge response.
Kurt Russell is officially playing Ego the Living Planet and his time on screen with Star-Lord and Drax is hilarious. The dialogue and tone of the trailer makes it look fun and exciting and it’s going to be a treat to watch in theaters. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will no doubt be a blast and it absolutely owned the entire night among all of the other incredible reveals fans got to witness.
The final big reveal of the night came when all of the actors and directors were called back up on stage for one big Marvel family photo. As everyone gathered together and got organized, Kevin Feige casually mentioned into the mike that one more special guest was hitting the stage. Fans went nuts.
Captain Marvel will officially be played by Brie Larson. As soon as the announcement was made the Captain Marvel logo popped up on every screen and the crowd went wild. Brie Larson took the stage and greeted the audience cheerfully. Finally fans know what we were all ready to hear.
Pictures were taken and fans applauded, and the final reward of the night came when Chris Hardwick announced that everyone would be getting a free Marvel Studios hat. It was a rock concert experience that no one in attendance will ever forget. We’ve got a lot of movies to look forward to.