Heroes & Villains: New Comics and a Look Back At San Diego Comic-Con Excitement

San Diego Comic-Con 2019 has wrapped up and I, for one, am exhausted. I didn’t actually go, mind you. I’m just tired all the time now and I’ve accepted it as my new normal. In truth, I spent the weekend playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and periodically checking Twitter to see when the newest trailer that was relevant to my interests had dropped.

Over the last five years or so the physical act of going to SDCC seems less and less like one of those nerd bucket list things now that all the hottest news is delivered right to your pocket. “BUT THE EXCLUSIVES!” some of you may be saying…all easily purchased online without having to wait in line for a day. 

I’m about ready to declare that you couldn’t pay me enough to go to SDCC…unless you are actually willing to pay me to go to SDCC. I’ll even go to the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut panel that’s being held around back by the dumpsters if there’s a paycheck involved.

In just a moment, I’m going to run down the few pieces of news coming out of SDCC that momentarily made me stop praying for the sweet release of death. But before I get to that, I feel like there was surprisingly little in the way of, you know, COMICS NEWS coming from the COMIC convention, so here are some books OUT NOW that you should totally go to your local comic shop and buy. 

Archie Vs Predator 2: It’s all right there in the title. I recently read the collected edition of the first Archie Vs Predator and it’s just as nuts as one would be lead to believe from the title. AVP2 looks to continue the tradition set by its predecessor by being completely batshit.

House of X: There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book, much of it coming from series writer Jonathan Hickman…from what I’ve seen on Twitter that man knows how to sell a book. I’ve written in the past about how I haven’t regularly read an X-book since the end of Morrison’s New X-Men run and I’m desperate for one that will hold my attention.

Marvels Epilogue: Kurt Busiek AND Alex Ross reteaming for a NEW Marvels story? Inject it right into my veins etc.

On to the con!

Star Trek: Picard

I’ll start off with the trailer that had the biggest effect on me personally…Picard.

Ever since my dad sat me down in the very early ’80s and said “watch this” I’ve been a Star Trek fan (it was the salt vampire episode, for the record). I was old enough when The Next Generation premiered to be excited by the concept that there was going to be a new show and I was even more excited that it didn’t involve Kirk saving the whales. Don’t get me wrong, the whales need saving but spending two hours watching Kirk and crew fart around present-day San Francisco and not trekking the stars didn’t quite do it for me as a kid.

The Picard trailer was everything I could have ever hoped for. It was epic in its scope, it had Sir Patrick Stewart acting his ass off and, of course, there was that last-second reveal that made me uncharacteristically emotional. 

Superman Returns…Returns

Every good fan should ask themselves, “Am I being pandered to?” at least once in a while. Then, as soon as you start seeing the invisible hand of marketing at work you can say, “Of course I’m being pandered to! This is what I want!”

Brandon Routh didn’t really get a fair shake in his outing as Superman way back in Superman Returns. I’m sure Bryan Singer was more preoccupied with his version of a homage to the Donner films as well as thinking about other things than he was with turning in a much needed contemporary Superman movie. So, aside from a couple of wink-at-the-camera moments on Legends of Tomorrow it was safe to assume Routh had hung up his cape and tights for good.

Not so! It was announced that Routh would once again be playing a version Superman in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover coming this fall. Even better during the panel he pulled open his button-down shirt to reveal the Kingdom Come  Superman logo. The mind…it boggles.

The CW appears to be pulling out all the stops on this one and I really hope that there are some more surprises coming.

Marvel Phase 4

Instead of revealing a new five-year plan in Hall H this year, Marvel Studios smartly focused on the near future. Does anyone remember when Inhumans was on the Phase 3 slate? I heartily encourage you to look up the Marvel event where they announced that particular misfire. Sandwiched right in-between the announcements for both Civil War and Infinity War the crowd went positively mild. I’m convinced a call was made immediately following that event that amounted to “Get me the rights back to X-Men…NOW.”

Marvel is doing their thing like the well-oiled cog in Micky’s machine that it is…and that’s okay. I don’t think I’m ever really going to be excited about an Eternals movie, but in fairness, I said the exact same thing about Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man. So, who knows…maybe it’ll be great and I’ll get an Eternals tattoo. 

Watchmen

I’m of two minds on HBO’s Watchmen. From a principle standpoint, DC/WB really did The Original Writer (or however he wants to be credited) dirty by continuing to strip the carcass of the original Watchmen bare and it’s a distasteful move by a MAJOR CORPORATION…but no one should really be surprised by that.

The other part of me is insanely curious about what happens next. I know that Watchmen was said to be unfilmable (I hear there’s even a 3 hour proof of concept film that WB commissioned a decade ago) but the original graphic novel created such fertile ground for storytelling someone was bound to pick it up again one day.

And that’s another SDCC on the books! What were your favourite announcements? 

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