By the time the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) rolled around last weekend, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has pretty much exhausted itself in the first half of the year, with its second consecutive year releasing three films in one year – Black Panther in February, the momentous Avengers: Infinity War in April, and Ant-Man and the Wasp just earlier this month. Seeing that it’s their 10th anniversary, we don’t blame them if they decided to kick back during this year’s SDCC, and let its adversary take over the convention for a change.

And take over, they did. The DC Comics universe brought fans into a packed weekend of activities and premieres during SDCC 2018: trailers for the new series Titans (which didn’t really thrill many on the Internet), for new seasons of their current standing TV series – Supergirl (season 4), Legends of Tomorrow (season 4), The Flash (season 5), Arrow (season 7), and other animation series. Wonder Woman 1984 also had a panel in Hall H, in which Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and director Patty Jenkins were present, even gave the attendees a sneak at some of the footage from the film.

Read also: Why do we love Wonder Woman?

 

Not to mention, newly issued comic books, topped with the launch of DC Black Label, featuring DC Comics’ prominent writers and artists (Frank Miller, Scott Snyder, John Ridley, Greg Capullo and more), working on edgier, more provocative and uncensored storylines for the focused Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman characters.

Non-DC Comics fans, do not be disheartened as there are other non-comic books related films and series premiered during the Comic-Con that will have you at the edge of your seats, even one particular DC Comics-based film that may change your mind about the franchise.

 


AQUAMAN


After his debut in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) last year in Justice League, Arthur Curry is given more screen time as anticipated. Jason Momoa reprises his role as Aquaman in the self-titled origins film of sorts, whom after the events of Justice League, gets a visit from Mera (starring Amber Heard) – who reminds us a lot of a certain bright redhead from “under the sea”, calling him home to Atlantis to reclaim his throne as king before his brother Orm (starring Patrick Wilson) does, by declaring war on the surface world in uniting the seven underwater kingdoms.

From the looks of it, Aquaman will pretty much be a Lion King-nesque film, in which two characters of blood fights for the throne to rule a kingdom, much like Marvel’s Black Panther – a storyline that pales in comparison to its Universe’s better film instalments. Well, at least the bar has never been set too high for the DCEU films, and we have the great CGI-ed Atlantis to look forward to in this – all to hit cinemas on December 21.

 


SHAZAM!


As it turns out, Shazam may be the superhero to save the DCEU franchise instead – with a simple magic word. The superhero’s powers and identity fall on Billy Batson (starring Asher Angel), when he came upon an ancient cloaked wizard (starring Djimon Hounsou), allowing Batson to take on an adult superhero form (starring Zachary Levi).

As Batson figures out being Shazam with his foster brother and best friend, Freddy (starring Jack Dylan Grazer), he has to fight off Dr Thaddeus Sivana (starring Mark Strong), who has recently gained his telekinetic ability.

The almost three-minute long teaser filled with snappy humour has already won the hearts of many, including ours, and we can look forward to its release in April 5 next year.

 


GLASS


When it was revealed in the end credits of Spilt last year that the movie is not a standalone, M Night Shyamalan’s next superhero horror-thriller (for the Eastrail 177 trilogy) quickly became one of the more anticipated films by the writer/producer/director in a long while.

First seen in Unbreakable back in 2000, alongside Bruce Willis’ David Dunn, Samuel L Jackson’s Elijah Price was the unexpected villain in the plot twist of Shyamalan’s first film featuring characters with superhuman powers. 19 years later, the brittle but ingenious Mr Glass will finally get the spotlight on him, when Dr Ellie Staple (starring Sarah Paulson), rounds up the three, who are convinced they are superhumans.

Not exactly the most brilliant idea in the world of psychiatry, but it does give Price the chance to coax The Beast out of James McAvoy’s character with 23 personalities. Glass is set to premiere in cinemas in January 28 next year.

 


FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD


More from the next instalment of the Harry Potter spin-off is revealed in its Comic-Con exclusive trailer. Following the disclosure of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald at the end of the first film in 2016, the powerful dark wizard spent almost no time in the prisons of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), as he is seen in most parts of the trailer strutting around unchained, gathering followers for a war against non-magical beings.

For reasons still unbeknownst to many, Grindelwald’s only equal at the time, Albus Dumbledore (starring Jude Law) has his hands tied in coming face-to-face with his nemesis, and instead enlists his former student, Newt Scamander (starring Eddie Redmayne) to do his bidding. (Harry Potter extremists may debate on the reason behind Dumbledore’s hesitant, especially when the wizard is seen standing in front of the Mirror of Erised – a magical mirror that reveals the heart’s deepest desires, with Grindelwald’s reflection staring back).

Nevertheless, all shall be revealed in due time, as the film is set for release on November 16, alongside a reprisal from Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, the Obscurus that has caused much fuss in the first film.

 


GODZILLA: THE KING OF MONSTERS


There is still much to wonder about what Legendary Entertainment has in store for its third instalment of its MonsterVerse franchise. However, keen-eyed fans of the 1954 kaiju would have already noticed a few Easter eggs within the 2:30-minute long teaser, paired brilliantly with a modern rendition of Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters picks up where the 2014 prequel left off, following the works of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch, and its research on the god-sized monsters, after Godzilla fought off two MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). Things will only get bigger in this instalment, as Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah – Godzilla’s arch nemesis, will at least be the ones making an appearance in the film, as Thomas Middleditch (who plays Sam Coleman) mentioned during the SDCC panel.

Director Michael Dougherty also hinted during the panel that there will be references to King Kong, “breadcrumbs” that will lead the way to the 2020 film Godzilla vs Kong. Showcasing at cinemas worldwide from May 31 onwards, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe.

Read also: Is Superman Broken?

 


ORIGIN


Stepping up their game with its YouTube Originals content, reserved specifically for their YouTube premium subscribers, the new web series has already turned heads with credits including the makers behind renowned series like Lost and The Crown.

With the promise of a new world off planet Earth upon their shoulders, a group of passengers, each having left behind a dark past, are bound for a newly colonised planet for a fresh start. However, as do most – if not, all, films and series with big bands of people aboard a spacecraft in cryo tubes heading to new civilisations, the spacecraft malfunctions, and is abandoned in deep space, forcing the passengers into consciousness.

Slated for a year-end release, Origin stars Tom Felton, Natalia Tena, Sen Mitsuji and more, as their characters come to realisation that their clean slates come with a price tag that may cost their lives.

 


GOOD OMENS


Avid fans of Neil Gaiman would have known for a while now, through his social media feeds, that there will be an upcoming series based on the much loved novel published in 1990, which he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett. Unfortunately, as of the SDCC panel last weekend, there is still no teaser trailer to show off how Crowley (play by David Tennant) and Aziraphale (play by Michael Sheen) will look onscreen just yet.

Other than that it will be released on Amazon Prime in 2019, directed by Douglas Mackinnon who is no stranger to the fantasy world akin to the one in Good Omens, and will also star Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel, Josie Lawrence as the 17th century witch and prophetess Agnes Nutter, and Frances McDormand as the voice of God, alongside notable TV stars such as Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Sian Brooke (Sherlock), and Jack Whitehall (Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father)… fans will have to wait just a while longer for the series to begin, with this behind-the-scenes featurette as a thirst quencher.

 


VENOM


UPDATED: The Venom crew has been real tight-lipped about things, by first releasing its trailer to only the Hall H panel crowd. Two weeks later, it hit the World Wide Web, and as per the teaser released in April, Tom Hardy will star as the Eddie Brock era of Venom, host to an alien symbiote with rather gruesome superhuman abilities, together with Riz Ahmed, who plays Carlton Drake, the inventor of the Life Foundation, and leader in experimenting the symbiote. The anti-superhero film will hit the cinemas on October 5.

 


BUMBLEBEE


Likewise for the folks looking forward to the Transformers film instalment, Bumblebee, which released its teaser back in early June. We can only take Top 10 Nerd’s word on the excitement that is to come to the big screens on December 21.

Set in 1987, Bumblebee’s story begins before the very first live-action film of the Transformers franchise back in 2007 (you know, the one with Shia LaBeouf pre-paperbag-over-his-head days, and Megan Fox). The beloved Autobot, in the form of an old yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle, seeks refuge in a town junkyard off the Californian beach, when he met Charlie Watson (play by Hailee Steinfeld), with whom he grows close to.

Little did Charlie know that taking in Bumblebee means getting away from the pursuits of the Sector 7 agents, led by John Cena’s character, and a handful – as well as a hand full – of Decepticons, primarily Shatter (voiced by Angela Bassett), Dropkick (voiced by Justin Theroux) and Barricade (voiced by Jess Harnell) – paving the way for the  five Transformers films we have seen in the last 10 years.

 


SDCC 2018 MCU 10th ANNIVERSARY EXCLUSIVE PRINT


Saving the best for last, while Marvel may be taking the back seat at this year’s SDCC, it doesn’t mean they will be quiet throughout the ride – it’s their 10th anniversary, after all. Pair that with the launch of Comic-Con International’s spanking new Exclusives portal, and you will get an SDCC 2018 exclusive print illustrated by UK-based Matt Taylor.

In partnership with Mondo, renowned for its limited edition screen printed pop culture posters, Comic-Con International announced at the tail end of May on their social media platforms that the 1,000 numbered-piece, autographed by the illustrator himself, will be available for the SDCC attendees via an online ballot.

The 24”x36” prints are already available on ebay, bidding at as high as USD450 (approx. RM1,830, not inclusive of shipping), more than six times the original price sold!

However, if you’re more than happy with only the second best, Mondo has released a timed edition of Taylor’s Avengers: Infinity War print online, following the variety of versions available at their SDCC booth last Sunday. Priced at USD60 (approx. RM 245), it’s better than nothing, don’t you think?

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