SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2012 WEEKEND WRAP-UP REPORT

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An absolute EXPOLOSION of news, footage, posters, concept images, casting announcements, and more rocked the San Diego Comic-Con Saturday and Sunday. These past two days have been filled with so much awesomeness, that it was exhausting trying to keep up with it all. Sadly, I wasn’t able to be there on the Con floor myself, but here’s a recap of all of the really major stuff that went down, divided into several sections:

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Firefly Reunion Panel:

Joss Whedon and a good chunk of the cast were present for this ten year reunion of the crew of the Serenity. Highlights included Joss breaking down when someone in the audience asked him what the fans meant to him, and Joss explaining how the series would have ended. Oh, and before you ask — yes, Adam Baldwin brought “the hat.” Here’s a video of the panel in its entirety:

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Marvel Studios:

The folks at the House of Ideas don’t show any signs of slowing down at all. In fact, they are charging full steam ahead with four huge announcements at the convention.

First up, Marvel unveiled a concept painting and set a release date for their film adaptation the 31st Century superteam, The Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket Raccoon made the cut, ladies and gentlemen!

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Next, Marvel Studios announced that Thor 2 and Captain America 2 would have subtitles, rather than Iron Man‘s more traditional numeric titling. They are…[drumroll please]:

I’m not sure what “The Dark World” in the Thor universe refers to, but that Captain America subtitle sent me into a quivering, mind-bending nerdgasm. If you’ve never read “The Winter Soldier” storyline from the Cap comic books, then you are in for a HUGE shock. That’s all you’re gonna get out of me.

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Iron Man 3 had a massive presence at the convention, with a magnificent booth that featured all of Tony Stark’s previous armors, as well as this brand new set of heavy metal duds:

Fans instantly went on the warpath, with many complaining that the suit had “too much gold,” or that it was a weird, dull, beige-y gold. There was also some speculation that this suit is a result of the “Extremis” experiment — meaning, it’s composed of sub-microscopic particles that actually retract into Tony’s skin. We’ll have to wait until next summer to know for sure. Director Shane Black and Robert Downy Jr. were also on hand to screen some footage for the attendees that featured a sequence of an evil Guy Pearce obliterating the Stark mansion in Malibu with a helicopter, and a scene revealing Ben Kinglsey as Iron Man’s greatest foe: The Mandarin!

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Finally, Marvel announced they were moving ahead with director Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie! No release date or cast was revealed, but they did screen the test footage that Wright shot, which was reported to be absolutely incredible. Marvel also commented that the Ant-Man suit would be a variation of the design featured in Robert Kirkman’s Irredeemable Ant-Man series.

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Superman: The Man of Steel:

Director Zack Snyder and Superman himself, Henry Cavill, were both on hand to promote the upcoming reboot. They screened a sizzle-reel for the fans in attendance, which was said to be extremely dark both visually and tonally. It sounds like Christopher Nolan’s influence is going to have a huge impact on this film, and I’m not sure that’s a good way to go, especially in the wake of the vivid and bright spectacle of The Avengers. Warner Brothers also unveiled this new poster, which features yet another textured, basketball-rubber costume.

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The Hobbit:

Director Peter Jackson screened a 12-minute sizzle reel, then dropped a huge bombshell on the Comic-Con attendees when he said that he wants to shoot additional footage for the two films, which may result in either extended versions or another entire film altogether, making The Hobbit into a trilogy! That’s absolutely incredible when you consider how slight a story The Hobbit is, and how much material they’ve already had to mine from Tolkein’s appendices and apocryphal material, or create outright. Ol’ PJ may be spreading himself a bit thin here if he decides to go through with this, and could be heading into *gasp* George Lucas territory. Here’s a photo of Martin Freeman in his blue hipster hat at the Con.

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Jeff Carter

Jeff is the defining voice of his generation. Sadly, that generation exists only in an alternate dimension where George Lucas became supreme overlord of the Earth in 1979 and replaced every television broadcast and theatrical film on the planet with Star Wars and Godzilla movies. In this dimension, he’s just a guy from New England who likes writing snarky things about superheroes, monsters, and robots.