ComicCon Highlights (by D.Calvert)

We were approached by Dom, a friend of SDGS, offering to share his thoughts on ComicCon 2016 and we are delighted to share the article that was written by him and has been edited by us. 
Comic-Con Highlights – Please note this contains spoilers! 

Comic-Con has been and gone and has, once again, got me excited about the coming year for the films and TV shows we all know and love. I spent the whole weekend watching any trailer and reading any report that came out from the convention and boy did it get me excited about what’s to come! Here are the top three exciting projects that gained my attention the most, although there are plenty more that I just didn’t have time to write a report on (such as Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, which looks pretty good).

 

The Flash

I don’t think there was a more talked about series finale this year than Flash season 2 with the setup of adapting the ‘Flashpoint’ storyline from the comics. Prior to the trailer that was shown at Comic-Con, all we really knew was that Barry (Grant Gustin) had radically changed the past to save his mother and Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) – or at least a version of Wally, who was adopting the ‘Kid Flash’ identity. This trailer offered some clues, but raised so many more questions and overall excitement about where season 3 might be heading.

 

What most excited me was the revelation that we are going to see the return of the Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher), as we have only seen this version of the character appear in a couple of episodes so far. We see him celebrating at the chaos Barry has caused despite now being Barry’s prisoner, and coining the term ‘Flashpoint’. It reminded me of what the villainous Zoom (Teddy Sears) said to Barry after he (SPOILER) killed Barry’s Dad: ‘Now, we are the same’. Reverse Flash taunts Barry and shouts ‘Who’s the villain now?’. Seeing Barry lock up rival speedsters and manipulate the speed force (similar to Zoom last year) may suggest that they are partially right, and Barry is on the line between hero and villain. He may need to do plenty to convince many that he is still the do-gooding hero. Overall, I am incredibly excited by the teaser and I’m glad it hasn’t given away every secret, e.g. Harrison Wells and Tom Felton’s mysterious character.

 Justice League


 

Sadly for me, I did not have a positive experience of ‘Batman Vs Superman’ earlier this year. I felt it lacked coherency, was over-stuffed and had a number of decisions that were misjudged and badly handled (Martha, Doomsday, Superman not saying a word, etc, take your pick). However, I have to say the trailer for Justice League looks like the DC extended universe will take a massive step in the right direction. It has retained the best bits of its predecessor (BATFLECK!) and realised that the series needs some humour and fun; a memorable moment is Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) remarking to Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) that he understands that he talks to fish. This suggests that perhaps we will move away from the religious comparisons and droning on about their God-like status and just admit that superheroes are simply fun, ridiculous characters that help us escape from real life.

 

Well done to whoever chose White Stripes’ ‘Icky Thump’ to soundtrack the trailer. I was impressed as I watched it, because I never once thought about the Avengers or the Marvel cinematic universe, unlike the previous two DC efforts. It just felt cool and distinctive, which should be good news to anyone. The new Barry Allen/Flash (Ezra Miller) never made me think about how much I love the TV Flash and compare him negatively which I thought was bound to happen. He’s socially awkward and watches ‘Rick and Morty’, I instantly loved this guy and it looks like he will offer some much-needed humanity to the DC universe. The only negative is that we have already got our first glimpse despite being a year and a half from release and that may mean that we will get too much content shown before the release. However, I am now incredibly excited by the film and, who knows, maybe we have got a classic in the superhero genre on our hands.

 Doctor Strange


 
One of the most exciting films to be released this year is Marvel’s Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. The film looks like it will successfully open up the mystical elements of the MCU and the Inception-esque effects look impressive to the point where 3D may actually be appropriate, rather than just a gimmick. The score, along with the effects, helps to create a strong sense of intrigue and excitement, which is needed to gauge audience interest about a largely unknown character. The film promised to be trippy and has clearly followed up on this promise by doing something distinctive in the genre. To me, it looks as if we may well have another success for the MCU and a successful follow-up to Civil War. The film gives little away including Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous role. Seeing two acting titans in Cumberbatch and Mikkelsen going up against each other will be worth the price of admission on its own. Any fear that the film looked too dark and serious has been swept away with a nice one-liner, reminding the audience that we are still in the ‘fun’ Marvel universe.

 

On the subject of Marvel, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel should prove to be great casting and the reports from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnorok, suggest that the good form may well continue for the MCU.

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