Ready, steady, geek! Last weekend was that time of the year again for the world’s biggest comic convention event over in San Diego, California.
Besides head turning cosplayers and special SDCC comic books and memorabilia releases, gargantuan panels with star studded panellists over at Hall H and autograph sessions with beloved artists and celebrities, legions of trailers for upcoming blockbusters in the next few years were revealed and subsequently, hit the Internet for the unfortunate ones who could not make it to the other side of the world.
We have filtered through the geekdom and singled out a few favourites that you might have missed out (despite the bombardment online), and those that you might not want to miss out on.
1. Justice League and DC Comics
First things first, let’s get the big boys out of the way. DC Comics paved the way over the weekend with the upcoming multi-superheroes blockbuster spearheading the gang. The new trailer release featured more footage from the film, set during the timeline after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, after Superman seemingly sacrificed himself for humanity.
As seen from the Ultimate Edition of the preceding movie, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) made contact with Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), an alien General leading an army of Parademons in search of the Mother Boxes, energy harnessing devices. To battle this instalment’s enemies, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to assemble their own superheroes squad – in time for the 17 November release.
Besides that, sequels have been confirmed for Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and already, Justice League Dark, alongside the highlighted characters’ own films: Batman, Aquaman and The Flash: Flashpoint, as well as for Batgirl and Green Lantern Corps. Whereas on the television front, Warner Bros Television has released trailers for new seasons of the DC-verse shows like Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl.
2. Thor: Ragnarok and Marvel Comics
Meanwhile, in the Marvel Comics universe, they were less kind to the fans, (well, at least those who didn’t manage to attend the panel at SDCC on Sunday), by holding out an official trailer release for the much anticipated Avengers: Infinity War, even though they have showcased footage from the film at the convention, and even during Disney’s bi-annual D23 Expo the week before!
That being said, Marvel Studios did hand out consolation prizes, especially the new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok – due for release 3 November, where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will join forces with The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and even his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to defeat the villainous deity Hela (Cate Blanchett) from the Ragnarok war that would unhinge the entire Asgardian civilisation.
Not only that, the Marvel SDCC panel did focus on the upcoming Black Panther, (once again, sharing footage behind closed doors and only revealing the film poster to the public), with news that Captain Marvel will be set in the ‘90s – before the events of the very first Iron Man movie, Michelle Pfeiffer will take up the role of Janet van Dyne in the future Ant-Man and The Wasp, (meaning she will be The Wasp), and lastly, there will be an upcoming film on Doctor Doom – after his supporting role on the Fantastic Four films both before and after the reboot, with Noah Hawley of Legion and Fargo fame at the helm.
3. Netflix’s Stranger Things 2
Netflix had us on the edge of our couches with the drop of the first full trailer for Stranger Things 2. Releasing on 27 October, our favourite boys – Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) – returns to the normal life in the ‘80s once again after saving their friend Will (Noah Schnapp) from the Upside Down world in the previous season.
However, the alternate universe, discovered by the Hawkins Laboratory scientists, does not seem to want to stay separate from the real universe. In this new season, both worlds seem to merge, bringing whatever monstrous being in Upside Down over to this side, and with it, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown).
4. Netflix’s Bright
The Netflix distributed film will be taking diversity to a whole new level, in an alternate universe where humans co-exist with mythical creatures. Scott Ward (Will Smith) and Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) are doing their usual graveyard patrolling when they stumble upon an Elf (Lucy Fry) in possession of a wand that seems to grant wishes and powers to whomever possesses it. Of course when word gets out, everyone wants a piece of the action, and all hell breaks loose on 22 December.
5. Marvel’s The Defenders on Netflix
Another superheroes assembly will take place under Netflix’s watch, with the coming together of Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Iron Fist (Finn Jones) and Daredevil (Charlie Cox). After enjoying their own respective TV series, the unlikely foursome have to work together to defeat The Hand, an order of mystical ninjas, spearheaded by Elektra a.k.a Black Sky (Elodie Yung), under the command of Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver), who is hell bent in tearing New York apart.
6. Marvel’s Inhumans
Another Marvel verse to hit the TV screens this fall is one from the superhumans sphere of things, besides The Gifted (which enjoyed some screen time during SDCC 2017 but still failed to catch our attention). After a few sneaks at the species in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D series, Inhumans will finally introduce the Inhuman Royal Family to the public, and their home land of Attilan hidden away from the humans.
The leader of the Inhuman Royal Family, Black Bolt (Anson Mount) faces turmoil in his kingdom, when his brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon) threatens to take over his throne and wages war with the humans as an offence.
Inhumans will be the first live-action TV series to debut on the IMAX screens on 1 September, before its premiere on ABC two weeks after the theatrical run on 29 September.
7. Call of Duty: WWII Nazi Zombies
The first-person shooter video game will return to its primary roots set in the Second World War in this upcoming instalment, slated for a worldwide release on 3 November for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
For Call of Duty: WWII, players will be part of the 1st Infantry Division going through iconic historical battles on the Western Front such as the Normandy landings, the Battle of Aachen, the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge.
Besides that, the Zombie mode also returns, in which players head into an alternate history through the snowy Bavarian village in Mittelburg, where the Third Reich’s research on necromancy went awry. As a dark and sinister plot unfolds, it threatens to unleash an invincible Nazi army of the dead.
8. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye artist wins Eisner Award
Besides the excitement of trailer releases for upcoming films and TV shows, and the SDCC also hosted the Eisner Award, the Oscars of the comics industry if you will, celebrating the creative works seen in comic books and graphic novels.
This year, the award piqued our interest, especially when Singaporean artist Sonny Liew managed to nab three of his six nominations for his rather controversial graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Liew was awarded Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia, Best Writer/Artist and Best Publication Design, for his novel that chronicles the life of a fictional Singaporean character from the 1950s to the present.
When The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye was first released in 2015, it was borne into a world of controversy with its content that features the likes of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the opposition politician Lim Chin Siong. So much so that the National Arts Council withdrew its SGD8,000 grant saying that the novel contains “sensitive content”!
9. Marvel x Black Eyed Peas graphic novel: Masters of the Sun
Speaking of graphic novels, hip hop/rap group Black Eyed Peas released their debut novel with Marvel comics over the SDCC weekend. Penned by frontman Will.i.am with artworks by Benjamin Jackendoff and Damion Scott, who is currently heading art duties for Ghost Rider, and whose his drawing style has been influenced by the hip hop culture.
Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles takes place in a futuristic Los Angeles, when alien invasions are at a peak, and humans are mutating into zombies. Amidst all the chaos is Zulu-X, who is thrown into the action-packed pages that blend music with comics, alongside real life representations of the city’s culture of gangs, hip hop and street dance.
10. Star Trek: Discovery
Alongside returning TV series favourites like The Walking Dead and Westworld, Star Trek: Discovery launched its first trailer for the series set for debut on 24 September – more than 10 years since the lauded Star Trek: Enterprise.
The two-part premiere series (the second chapter begins in January 2018) embarks on the USS Shenzhou, with Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) as Captain and Michael Burnham (Sonhequa Martin-Green) as First Officer, alongside the Captain of the USS Discovery (Jason Isaacs) with his crew.
The crews are thrown into battle when they come upon the Klingon T’Kuvma (Chris Obi) uniting 24 great Klingon houses against the United Federation of Planets – basically, the origin of the cold war with the Klingons much talked about in the many Star Trek remakes and reboots that followed.
11. Doctor Who 2017 Christmas Special
Following the unorthodox announcement of a female Doctor for the next regeneration, the longest running British sci-fi television series revealed the first trailer for their upcoming Christmas special, in which the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, will finally hand over his reign to Jodie Whittaker.
Seeing that it will be Peter Capaldi’s and showrunner Steven Moffat’s last episode in Doctor Who, they decided to go out with a bang by bringing back to the screen the very First Doctor, with David Bradley reprising his role from the 2013 docudrama special An Adventure in Space and Time. The episode will also feature Mark Gatiss once again taking on an acting role in Doctor Who (this will be his fourth) after spending much of his time as a recurring writer for the show, and not to mention, the return of The Doctor’s most recent companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie).
12. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
The second trailer for the modern day espionage action film comes with more footage of what the movie will be about when it releases on 22 September. In this sequel, the Kingsman agents – Eggsy (Taron Egerton), Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and Merlin (Mark Strong) – have to join forces with their American counterparts in the Statesman – Tequila (Channing Tatum), Champagne (Jeff Bridges) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry) – when their headquarters along Savile Row is destroyed by a secret New World Order organisation called The Golden Circle, headed by the diabolical criminal mastermind Poppy (Julianne Moore).
13. Ready Player One
Finishing off our highlights big is the Steven Spielberg’s rendition of Ernest Cline’s 2011 debut novel, Ready Player One. Set in a dystopian future of 2044, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) brings us away from a world plagued with energy crisis and global warming into OASIS, a virtual reality simulator that enables players to live in a world controlled by haptic technology.
Amidst the VR-setting filled with pop culture references like Iron Giant, Freddy Krueger, Tron, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and Master Chief from Halo, is an Easter Egg, whom the creator of OASIS James Halliday (Mark Rylance) planted in hiding before his death.
PS: Oh, and one more thing, there will be a reboot of the 1997 film adaptation of the black-ops agent whose soul was sent to hell, Spawn. The creator himself Todd McFarlane has announced over the weekend that the Image Comics icon will hit the silver screens once again in a more horror spectrum for the superhero film genre, especially since the film will be going to Blumhouse, the one responsible for shriek shows like Paranormal Activity.