The parade of almost everything right about the US (Comic-Con ’16) went head-to-head with the parade of everything wrong about the US (the Republican National Convention). And won, because the latter spectacularly failed to live up to the promise of Chaos in Cleveland, even if this and this happened.
There was almost too much going on at Comic-Con, so here are some of the highlights. Starting off with the best: the Preacher panel debuted a ‘mid-season trailer’—apparently a thing now—which may go a long way to liquefy the nerdrage distracting everyone else from enjoying what is arguably the best show on TV right now.
The trailer shows the Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) almost ready to leave charming Annville to go on the road. “The plan is simple,” Jesse says. “Find God. God wants our help, we’ll help him. If he doesn’t, we gonna kick his ass.” The twangy Justified-meets Hunter S. Thompson-drugs trailer also shows the two angels meeting ‘The Cowboy’ (actual name a spoiler), promising a tidy kill count for the final two episodes .
The panel also had comic creator Garth Ennis reiterating that the changes wrought by the TV adaptation were necessary, following fan complaints about the lack of faithfulness to the source material. “To me, what matters is whether a thing works. And we just got kicked up for a second season so I think it’s working.” There’s that, then.
Moving onto another man of the cloth, The Exorcist panel showed the full first episode of the series that premieres on Fox in September. According to io9, the only thing the show shares with the movie is its universe; the standalone story begins with Angela (Geena Davis) visiting Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) because she believes that her house is haunted, and her daughter possessed.
The second Doctor Strange trailer also dropped, and shows off Benedict Cumberbatch’s questionable American accent, and even more questionable goatee. Neither of which detract from the gut-churning kaleidoscopic CGI, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen in eyeliner, and (whitewashing controversy aside) Tilda Swinton at peak Tilda Swinton. And since all good things come in batches, Cumberbatch also returned to Comic-Con the following day to release a trailer for the new season of Sherlock.
The Black Panther segment of the Marvel Studios panel revealed that Adonis Creed himself, Michael B. Jordan, will be playing baddie Erik Killmonger, while Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia of the Dora Milaje, personal guards of T’Challa. Best of all, Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira will star as Nakia’s boss.
The panel also confirmed that Brie Larson—who won the Oscar and every other known award for Room—will star in Captain Marvel, and that Kurt Russell will play Star-Lord’s father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, who happens to be a planet with a penis.
DC’s Justice League got its first teaser, with Batman (Ben Affleck) attempting to recruit Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman (Khal Drogo) to the cause. In a possible reaction to complaints of joyless drudgery in Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder’s Justice League turns up the Whedonesque quip dial to 10.
As suitable for the role as snarky Batfleck is, the Justice League teaser was overshadowed by the near-perfection of the full Wonder Woman trailer, which shows Princess Diana almost single-handedly tearing through Germans in World War I. The Lasso of Truth makes an appearance too, and magically avoids looking ridiculous.
Mr Robot VR
The joint-best show on TV at the moment, Mr Robot, also had a panel at Comic-Con, and since new footage would be too common for the demented genius of creator Sam Esmail, it debuted a special virtual reality tie-in instead, called Mr Robot VR. Directed by Esmail himself, Mr Robot VR will show a heartbreaking flashback of Elliot meeting Shayla, and taking her on the Coney Island Ferris wheel.
American Gods, meanwhile, topped off their successive casting bombshells (Ian McShane! Gillian Anderson! Crispin Glover! Orlando Jones! Peter Stormare!) with a classy trailer, set appropriately to a haunting cover of “In the Pines.”
Game of Thrones Season 7
Of course, no Comic-Con would be complete without Game of Thrones reminding us that existence will have no meaning until the new season kicks in. For obvious reasons, no new footage was released, but the panel featured a video of the unimaginably meticulous behind-the-scenes creation of props, sets and costumes, and manages to be every bit as exciting.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Ending on low note, Guy Ritchie released a trailer for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. From the trailer, it looks like Ritchie seems to be an adherent of the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, innit’ school of filmmaking, turning the Arthurian legend into an East End caper—although someone should tell him that it is broke, and Snatch was 16 years ago. Bonus cockney points for Charlie Hunnam’s sheepskin jacket, but minus points for his mysterious inability to do an accent from his own country of birth.
Sounds like enough entertainment for the bunker while climate change, right wing bigotry, corruption, terrorism, and despotism duke it out to lord over the scraps of the outside world. Can’t complain.