When I managed to get tickets for my second Comic Con last year, I told myself that the awesomeness could only get better. This time round, I knew what to expect and knew how to make the most out of the geekiest weekend in the year. And oh, did it surpass all my expectations.
Not only did my friends and I manage to get into Hall H for Saturday, we were in the room when Marvel and DC pulled out some of their best presentations in a while and stole the whole damn convention.
Marvel really pulled out all the stops for the presentation for Doctor Strange, opening up with a display of technical sorcery that involved smoke machines, a light show, and some dramatic music.
Benedict Cumberbatch has been our Internet Boyfriend for a long time, so it was no surprise when he was greeted with a giant roar of glee when he appeared on stage, looking tired (he only flew in the day before from shooting Sherlock in London) but happy to be there. He also visited the Hall H line the night before, to the delight of many.
Sadly, despite queueing up since 5am Friday morning, my friends and I were too far back in the line to catch a glimpse of the Cumberbatch. Still, judging from the footage they showed, there’s much to look forward to with Doctor Strange, including a riveting scene where Strange meets the Ancient One for the first time.
2Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Everyone was wondering what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was going to bring to the table, and boy, did they outdo themselves.
Remember how Tom Hiddleston made an appearance as Loki in full costume a couple of years ago? This time round, Marvel brought out a gang of Ravagers (the outer space gangsters that captured Yondu) in full costume, running through the Hall H crowd. They also put on a hilarious skit that had everyone cheering even before the cast came out.
But the roof really came down when Michael Rooker came out as Yondu in full-on makeup and costume, right after Kurt Russell was officially announced as playing Star-Lord’s dad, Ego. The Guardians footage shown to the Hall H crowd had everyone in stitches almost immediately, but it was apparent that Baby Groot stole the whole damned panel.
The Wonder Woman trailer was my personal favourite out of all the DC presentations, and the mood in Hall H was electric when Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, and director Patty Jenkins came out.
I only wish they could’ve stayed out a bit more to talk about Wonder Woman’s journey, but Warner Bros packed eight movie panels into a two hour presentation slot, which made things a little rushed for everyone involved.
— Geek Crusade (@geekcrusade) July 24, 2016
Apologies for the shaky picture, but it is impossible to understate just how crazy it was when Marvel Studios Kevin Feige casually announced Brie Larson as the new Captain Marvel at the end of a stupendous Marvel presentation.
— Geek Crusade (@geekcrusade) July 23, 2016
Suicide Squad was easily the most anticipated DC panel that Saturday, and no wonder too, as DC trotted out the entire squad to a round of raucous applause, with the biggest cheer for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Jared Leto’s Joker.
Will Smith, who plays Deadshot, took charge and seemed to be the leader of this ragtag group of supervillains, launching immediately into the infamous story of how Leto sent a live rat as a gift to Robbie. It’s also worth mentioning that the wraparound screens were back in Hall H this year, and DC whipped out some truly amazing promo art for the presentation.
Alas, the movie didn’t quite live up to expectations for Head Geek Nicholas Yong (see our review).
— Geek Crusade (@geekcrusade) July 23, 2016
The arrival of Henry Cavill, aka Superman himself brought Hall H to its feet when he was officially brought out as part of the Justice League cast.
Sadly, there wasn’t much time for him to say anything, but the look of wonder and awe on his face as he soaked in the atmosphere said enough. Superman was back, and Superman was home.
When Marvel revealed that the official title of the new Spider-Man movie was Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans speculated that this was a dig at the fact that Marvel had regained the cinematic rights to the character.
But at the Hall H panel, it was revealed that Homecoming would be a straight-up high school movie, so it’s looking likely that it’s more a teen coming-of-age thing rather than a dig at Sony.
They had only been shooting for 10 days at this point, but the footage shown proved that the casting of Tom Holland as our favourite webslinger was nothing short of genius, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Peter Parker.
Marvel knew exactly what they were doing when they brought out the director and cast of the new Black Panther movie to start off their presentation. In light of recent events, this was a powerful statement to everyone that the fate of one of the world’s first black superheroes was in good hands.
And to top it all off, they also announced that Danai Gurira (aka Michonne from The Walking Dead) was joining an already stellar cast!
Warner Bros ended off their two hour presentation slot with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which involved a flustered Eddie Redmayne running around handing out wands to fans in the front row to help him turn the lights on.
Of course, this was just a gimmick, and soon everyone in Hall H was given wands to help get the house lights up, resulting in a truly awesome sight.
— Sherlock (@Sherlock221B) July 24, 2016
Co-creator Mark Gatiss (aka Mycroft Holmes himself) revealed that they were only two weeks away from wrapping up shooting Season 4 of massive fan favourite Sherlock, which prompted Cumberbatch himself to comment that they had something like 26 pages of dialogue (!!!!!) to get through the next week.
But as is tradition now with Sherlock, creators Gatiss and Steve Moffat have released three words that relate to each of the three new episodes premiering next year (at least, we hope it’s next year). They were three names: Thatcher, Smith, and Sherrinford.
It’s the third one that’s proving the most mysterious of all. Sherrinford is widely considered to be the third Holmes brother, and has so far only been vaguely hinted at. But then Gatiss tweeted this picture with another familiar face:
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) July 25, 2016
“Blud”, if you remember, is how Mycroft greeted Sherlock after he came back from the dead in Season 3, and is slang for referring to one’s own brother. Will we finally get our wish for a proper Hiddlesbatch showdown?!
11The Walking Dead
The cast of The Walking Dead was understandably cagey when discussing which character met their death at the end of the S6 finale, but the panel was still lots of fun.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s entrance in character as Negan (complete with his trusty Lucille!) was sheer geeky joy at its best, but it was star Andrew Lincoln who stole the show.
While in the middle of recounting a series of pranks that co-star Norman Reedus had played on him, Lincoln attempted to get some payback and blew some glitter into Reedus’s face. Unfortunately (but fortunately for the rest of us fans), some of the glitter stuck to Lincoln’s face and beard, which had the whole of Hall H in hysterics.
12Game of Thrones
The Game of Thrones panel every year features the actors who played dearly departed characters from the show. Well, maybe not for Ramsay Bolton.
But when actor Kristian Nairn, who played the loyal Hodor, got on stage, Hall H erupted with chants of “Hold the door!”, referencing the beloved character’s backstory and how he ended up getting killed. It was enough to make the most cynical of fans feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
— DaleyPearson (@Daley_Pearson) July 25, 2016
The only reason Thor: Ragnarok is so far down this list is that they’ve only just started filming this about two weeks before the presentation and didn’t have anything much to show us.
But director Taika Waititi surprised us with a short video that told us what Thor and Bruce Banner had been up to during the events of Captain America: Civil War, which brought many a laugh to Hall H.
It then ended with some truly gorgeous concept art for Ragnarok, complete with the Hulk battling Thor in a gladiatorial setting. We can’t wait to see what the movie will bring to the MCU canon!
14Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
My friends and I didn’t know what to make of this panel before it started, but after director Luc Besson showed some AMAZING footage of his new movie, the crowd went nuts.
Starring Cara Delevingne as Laureline and Dane DeHaan as the titular Valerian, Valerian is based on a French comic of the same name, and looks to be a rollicking ride the likes of which you’ve never seen before. The art direction and CGI in those few minutes were truly jaw dropping, and when Ethan Hawke and Rihanna suddenly appeared onscreen, cheers of delight could be heard around the hall.
Unfortunately, Valerian is due for release only in July 2017. Why do we have to wait so long?!
15Hall H Proposals
People proposing to their significant others at cons isn’t a new thing, but this year there was not one, but two proposals in Hall H!
The first was during the Aliens 30th anniversary panel on Saturday, after which the newly engaged couple were invited onstage to get a picture with the cast and director James Cameron.
There was also another proposal during the Supernatural panel on Sunday that was full of geeky references.
And that’s Comic Con wrapped for another year!