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Marvel Studios at Comic-Con: Highlights From Thor: Ragnarok, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and The Wasp

Let’s not waste time on pleasantries. It’s San Diego Comic-Con. Hall H. Marvel Studios panel. Go.

Thor: Ragnarok

The big news: Hela isn’t the only villain in the movie (hello, Surtur, you big ole fiery demon), and The Hulk speaks! Sure, he’s had dialogue before, but here he gets a couple of full sentences. The rest of the trailer showcases more of everyone who got a bit of the short straw in the enormously popular teaser released earlier this year. So, hello to Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie (and her kickass armor) and Cate Blanchette’s Hela (and her love of Snyder-esque slow-mo action shots), and welcome back Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. But, seriously, guys – The Hulk speaks! Plus, Thor’s eyes are straight-up glowing at the end there. That’s probably significant, comic book lore-wise. Or maybe they just did it because it looks cool.

My reaction: And the Guardians of the Galaxy-ification of the Thor universe continues, with the Norse god forming his own Avengers/Guardians team with Hulk (their Groot and Drax combined), Valkyrie (their Gamora) and Loki (their, um, Rocket?). I’m not quite as instantly down with this as others because, hey, I’m one of those weirdos who liked the Thor universe well enough already. However, these trailers are starting to win me over, even if Hemsworth’s slightly re-worked version of the character this time around feels like it’s been filtered through his heavily ad-libbed idiot relief character in Ghostbusters. But that’s just what Hemsworth needed to do to stave off boredom. As he told Hall H, “I’ve played this character five times. I got a bit bored. Spoke with [director] Taika Waititi], spoke with Kevin [Feige] … …it was about pushing myself.”

Ragnarok is due this November.

Captain Marvel

The big news: The movie will be set in the 90s, feature a pre-eye patch version of Nick Fury (still played by Samuel L. Jackson, though) and use the shape-shifting alien race known as The Skrulls as the villains.

My reaction: The 90s? Well, shut my mouth. I didn’t see that coming. Apart from the entirety of The First Avenger and the occasional flashback in films like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, these Marvel Studios movies do not tip their toes in period settings. That’s more of a Wonder Woman/X-Men: First Class/Days of Future Past/Apocalypse thing. In fact, it’s highly likely the next main X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, will be set in the 90s.

So, why is Marvel switching things up now, and why with Captain Marvel? Absent some time travel trickery, won’t this limit Brie Larson’s time in the MCU? You can’t have 20something Larson enjoying an origin story in the 90s, and then popping by one of the modern day Avengers movies looking exactly the same as if she wasn’t supposed to be nearly 20 years older. That is, of course, unless Captain Marvel enjoys some Wonder Woman-esque immortality I don’t know about.

Whatever. They’ll figure it out. It’s a comic book world about a woman who will end up fighting aliens. Maybe that fight takes her to somewhere in space where time moves differently, and she has her own Captain America “person out of time” experience upon returning to Earth. Perhaps this is even setting her up to eventually replace Cap as the MCU’s star spangled hero.

Sadly, though, this movie won’t arrive to answer any of those questions until March 8, 2019. The rumors about Larson actually debuting first in Avengers: Infinity War remain just rumors at the moment as Marvel offered no announcements on that front at Comic-Con.

Ant-Man & The Wasp

The big news: Michelle Pfeiffer has been cast as Janet Van Dyne, Laurence Fishbourne is playing Bill “Giant Man” Foster and the villain will be The Ghost.

My reaction: So much for those Catherine Zeta-Jones-as-Janet-Van-Dyne rumors. I guess Michael Douglas will just have to cope with his character’s long lost wife being played by someone other than his real life wife. However, Pfeiffer is a fine choice for the role, and now follows Michael Keaton as another actor from the original Batman movies to re-enter the comic book movie world in a role-reversed fashion, going from one of the villains in Batman Returns to one of the heroes (or so we’d think since Janet is the original Wasp) in the new Ant-Man.

As for Fishbourne as Giant Man and the reveal of The Ghost as the villain, good for them…which is my way of saying I don’t have much to actually say here because I don’t know the Ant-Man comics well enough to comment. I at least know The Ghost isn’t even an Ant-Man villain; he’s an Iron Man baddie who is an industrial saboteur given to fits of paranoia.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is due July 6, 2018.


  1. I am not down for the casting of the original Wasp at all. And yes, I know I should celebrate an “older actress” getting a substantial role, but I feel that this is a missed opportunity. The first movie established that the microverse or whatever exists pretty much outside of time and space, so I actually thought that if they pull her out, she wouldn’t have aged at all. Which would make her younger than her own daughter. Which would create a TON of story opportunities!!!

    1. Maybe the microverse is where they’ll send Brie Larson to explain why she will not have aged from the 90s to the present-day battle with Thanos.

      But, of course, that joke doesn’t make any sense since the casting of Pfeiffer establishes that time apparently moves normally in the microverse. I guess I hadn’t really second guessed any of this because almost from the get-go the rumors of Catherine Zeta-Jones playing Janet established Marvel’s intention to cast an older actress in the role, but you are right that with everything they said about the microverse in the first movie it doesn’t actually hold that time will move the same there.

  2. You lucky folk with san diego comic con. I wish blighty had something comparable. They have some poorer version in the east midlands with david prowse the bloke banned from alk things star wars and jeremeny bulloch the man who originally voiced boba fett for 30 seconds if yoy still have a vhs player to watch him on. Oh the things i could say to those two. No movie premiers. Even doctor who goes to san diego first. I suppose we have wicket from the ewoks. Warrick davis is always a laugh bit often he dont show uo so your left with ewok number 2 and 3 aka very poor and bitter dwarfs upset that they never had the same fame as warwick.

    1. Just to be clear, I didn’t actually nor have I ever made it to San Diego Comic-Con. That shit’s expensive. I’ve made due with going to conventions closer to me. The biggest I’ve been to was last month in Denver which claimed to have over 110,000 people in attendance. By comparison, SDCC claims to attract over 170,000. More importantly, SDCC gets the big panels whereas we get celebs who are either in-between projects (e.g., Nathan Fillion, Catherine Tate) or living off the convention money they get from going around the country talking about their now very-old movie/TV show(s) or are so new that they’ll do any of these things for money (the Stranger Things kids).

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