Comic-Con wouldn’t be Comic-Con without a major presentation from Marvel Studios, which has become the cornerstone of Hall H’s film lineup. Thousands of fans camped out overnight in front of the convention center for the last panel of the day on Saturday, July 20th, 2013, and were not disappointed. Tom Hiddleston kicked off the presentation in a big way by showing up in full blown Loki mode, encouraging the crowd to scream his name, then declaring: “It seems I have an army.”
We’ve already seen plenty of footage from “Thor: The Dark World”, but got an extended look here with a long battle scene involving Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) battling a army of bad guys. The scene segued into an extended montage of scenes from the film. Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster, but by the looks exchanged between the two women in Thor’s life, a love triangle definitely seems to be brewing. I don’t want to spend too much time here, because really, while it was more and new footage, it was exactly the same kind of footage we’ve already seen in past trailers.
More exciting was the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” footage, which of course, the general public has seen none of up until this point. While “Captain America: The First Avenger”, set in the 1940s, was an old-fashioned, swashbuckling adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones, “Winter Soldier” is much darker, sleeker and appropriate for the modern world that Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers now inhabits. The footage begins with an extended sequence inside a futuristic elevator wherein Cap is slowly surrounded by a group of bad guys led by Frank Grillo as Crossbones. “Before we begin,” Cap quips. “Would any of you gentlemen like to get out?” Of course no one leaves, and it’s one one twelve inside a 10×10 metal box. A montage of brief action scenes followed, which concluded with a mysterious figure picking up Cap’s shield, slowly revealing Sebastian Stan’s titular Winter Soldier. The panel with nearly the entire cast revealed Scarlett Johansson as the second lead of the film, as Black Widow and Cap have become partners since the events of “The Avengers.” Emily Vancamp, winning the role of Sharon Carter after a long, extensive search, was glimpsed only briefly, and added during the panel that the character is very much in introduction mode, though she should of course continue to be a presence in future Marvel properties.
It was wholly unexpected since filming only commenced very recently all the way over in England, but the entire cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy” also came out on stage, led by a bulked up Chris Pratt as the newest Marvel superhero, Star-Lord. After a confirmation of who each actor was actually playing in the film (Benicio del Toro is The Collector, Lee Pace Ronan the Accuser and Karen Gillan has gone completely bald to play Nebula), it was time for – shockingly finished looking – footage to be unveiled. Starting off seemingly dark and serious with Pratt’s Peter Quill trying to steal something valuable and immediately getting caught by Djimon Hounsou’s Korath, the tone immediately shifts as Quill lets loose on his captors quick quips worthy of Tony Stark. Thrown into jail with other intergalactic outlaws like Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer, a raccoon named Rocket and “houseplant/muscle” Groot, the group who call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy are clearly an island of misfit toys poised to be the faces of one of the funniest and most entertaining of Marvel movies.
But they weren’t done just yet. When Kevin Feige stayed behind and introduced Joss Whedon, the crowd knew something big was about to be announced. He didn’t say much, just told them to run a clip, and up on the screen came the title card: “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Screams and applause thundered, and it was over. All in all, it’s clear that despite the temptation to pull out of Comic-Con altogether in favor of Disney’s own D23 convention, Marvel still reigns as the King of Hall H.