July is usually remembered for the 4th of July, Independence Day, with a lot of fireworks, picnics and the red, white, and blue. July is also a time for oppressive heat, sitting on the beach getting sand in your trunks, or maybe just enjoying some fun in the sun. For even a few fanatics out there (and I’m speaking from experience because I’m married to one), July is revered as the halfway point until Christmas, hence the hours and hours of “Christmas in July” sales on shopping channels, making an enormous debt on my wallet. However, for me, July means San Diego Comic-Con and the best trailers, interviews, reveals about everything in geekdom. That’s my Christmas!
I know there are tons of columns, blogs, news articles and geek websites that have already covered every single aspect of Comic-Con, so why would I want to stick my toe in the water that crowded with big, ugly feet and well-manicured Pedi’s? Well, I thought I’d weigh in from the aspect of an author. We know the stories, we love the stories, but the question is, how are they being told? Granted, I am basing my opinions on trailers but you can learn a lot about a movie in under two minutes.
As with most comic book movies today, they cannot stay 100% true to the source material but they do try. I mean, Ultron was created by Hank Pym, not Tony Stark, but did so to make it relevant to the Avengers. This is a prime example of what I’m talking about. One of the best movies to hold true to form in its transition from book-to-screenplay is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them since the screenplay was written by author J.K. Rowling. This is one movie that cannot be faulted for not being true and, besides the fact, it looks absolutely amazing. I love old New York and to throw magic into that noir setting is a treat for me.
There were so many more movies represented at Comic-Con, from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Kong: Skull Island, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and more but these films were the cream of the crop.
Wonder Woman took an early turn out of the gate by starting her adventures in World War I vice World War II, though the sentiment behind this was mainly because there hasn’t been a superhero movie done in that era before. To be honest, I think that putting Wonder Woman in World War II would bring too many comparisons to Captain America: The First Avenger anyway, so it was a good choice. They are sticking to her mythology, so that’s good news to me, and her fighting scenes in the movies are killer. Plus it’s about damn time Wonder Woman got her own movie anyway. Lynda Carter has been waiting for more than 40 years to pass the torch and Gal Gadot was the best decision Warner Brothers made in casting this movie.
I don’t want to go back-to-back DC, so let me jump into Doctor Strange next. I really have mixed feelings about this. The trailer was amazing. The special effects reflect the incredible power of the mystic arts as created by artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan “The Man” Lee. The casting was undeniable as Benedict Cumberbatch and the rest of the cast are incredibly talented, even with the haters trolling about Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. What bothers me is Baron Mordo, as portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. In the comics, Mordo was a jealous, ambitious protegé of the Ancient One that turned to evil when Strange was picked over him. They seem to be more allies than adversaries in the movie. I’ll have to wait and see if there’s more to their relationship.
Justice League was definitely the surprise of the convention. Not only did they show the first image of the entire league standing together, but they also gave a quick glimpse of the trailer. It was a wonderful blend of humor, drama, and action that is making this the most anticipated movie of 2017. Another brilliant casting effort that includes Ezra Miller has more of the wit and humor of Wally West from the Justice League cartoon rather than Barry Allen in the comics. Jason Momoa is quite brooding as Aquaman, but I love the “talking to fish” comment by Batman. It’s been the running joke on Aquaman over the years and it plays out perfectly. Cyborg looks intense, yet vulnerable, as played by Ray Fisher. It was just a brief glimpse, but it continues to show Zack Snyder’s influence in the DC Extended Universe.
I will continue my look at the Comic-Con on Wednesday with a review of the upcoming TV series and what they’re bringing next season. Until then, head over to YouTube and check out all the trailers from San Diego Comic-Con.