Comic-Con 2015: A Summary and Review

The dust has settled since last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, and with it, as always, came a whole host of exciting panels, new trailers (bootlegged or otherwise), and some just plain hilarious moments from some of our favourite actors, actresses, filmmakers and creatives from the film, television and gaming worlds. So what were the biggest and best moments? Here’s our low down of them, in a piece that only scratches the surface of what was Comic-Con 2015.

Batman V Superman

If you weren’t at least intrigued by the concept of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then the trailer released at Comic-Con must have done the job for you. Many of us are still in the camp of being optimistic, but also being aware of the sheer number of characters and plot points being set up in just one film. The issue is, all need to be done well and executed to a successful degree not just for the film itself to work, but for all of the upcoming Justice League/DC universe films to have a ‘legitimacy’ to work too – it is not the steady build-up of characters that the Marvel films did so well (in its first phase at least). The good news is that the trailer, for the most part, looks great, and the film seems to be taking into account many criticisms of the rather divisive Man of Steel – the massive destruction in Metropolis appears to be being given some much-needed humanity and affective drama to what was previously just Zack Snyder doing what Zack Snyder does best. This is tied neatly into what has arguably been the best-received element of the trailer – Ben Affleck’s Batman, or rather, his Bruce Wayne, who appears to be a very cleverly developed character with regard to where he was at the time of all of the Metropolis business. That and his Batman bits look great, too. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor stills seems to be missing something though, a distinct flare that is something other than his somewhat distinctive voice and mannerisms – something which in all of his roles, regardless of their diversity, stands out consistently. Of course we shouldn’t judge this entirely from the short clips he’s in from the trailer, but if that’s what they’re willing to show us, what are they trying to hide? Hopefully the best bits.

Jared Leto Joker

Right from Viola Davis’ first lines it is clear that this will be a character-driven experience – thankfully.

Another upcoming DC film that’s got a lot of attention is Suicide Squad. Rightfully so you might argue – a new Joker, Harley Quinn’s first ever live-action appearance, and Will Smith? It’s going to make some splashes. Indeed what both this and the Batman v Superman trailer do a great job of doing is establishing what the tone of their films will (hopefully) be like; dark, brooding and somewhat insane. How this will pan out when characters like Aquaman make their way into the mix is a perplexing thought though, but for the moment we can deal with a little darkness. This was of course partly done to rival Marvel’s more family-friendly films, making them more distinct, and therefore giving people on the internet more and more reasons to essentially fight to the death over which is better. But also, how happy can you really make a film about the Suicide Squad, a bunch of social misfits, murderers and sadists? Speaking of sadists, the trailer also shows us the first official footage of Jared Leto’s Joker, and it’s been divisive to say the least. Much like Jesse Eisenberg, it definitely seems like there’s nowhere near enough of him to form a proper opinion just yet, but frankly, whilst his line is undeniably cheesy, he does look like the right ‘kind’ of Joker for what the film is going for, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn looks much the same. In fact what the trailer really hammers into the viewer is a focus on the characters, rather than the action. Right from Viola Davis’ first lines it is clear that this will be a character-driven experience – thankfully. The issue here, again, similarly with Batman v Superman, is making sure that they’re all distinct, all work in their own right, but crucially, all work well together – not necessarily literally of course, we’re hoping for lots of inter-squad and cross-character rivalries, and it looks like we’ll be getting this and then some. The Suicide Squad trailer stands out as by far the most interesting trailer from this year’s Comic-Con.

Other things of interest included the newly-rebooted Fantastic Four trailer, and whilst it certainly doesn’t look bad, it still struggles with the fundamental issue that the Fantastic Four just aren’t really that engaging or interesting as characters. Hopefully the new cast can pull it off with some charm though, which might gain them some affection – enough to actually care about their characters – though no one’s forgetting the last time we saw them on the big screen. Which is ironic, given how forgettable those films were.

Deadpool

Unlike almost every other trailer that was bootlegged at Comic-Con (which is all of them, because every Comic-Con trailer is leaked online), the Deadpool distributors chose not to officially release the footage. So if you do wish to view the trailer, for the moment you will have to make do with the poor quality versions of it. Frankly it seems bizarre that after all these years of trailers being leaked, and the viral nature of social media, that the studios don’t just officially release them at the same time as when they’re shown there, but that’s beside the point. Deadpool looks fantastic, in short. But perhaps more importantly, it looks like a refreshing, almost satirical look at the many films that now exist in the superhero genre. It’s good to see a film like this that isn’t afraid to break the fourth wall and be overtly tongue-in-cheek, amongst the otherwise quickly-approaching-over-saturated genre of comic book movies.

Doctor Who also got a trailer for its latest series, and that too looks great; dark, creepy and Capaldi – count us in.

Some more highlights included the first clip from the Sherlock special coming this Christmas, which seems, as the rumours had predicted, to be set in Victorian times, though you never really know with Steven Moffat. Regardless, it looks like more of the same, and that’s certainly no bad thing. Moffat’s other baby Doctor Who also got a trailer for its latest series, and that too looks great; dark, creepy and Capaldi – count us in. Furthermore, Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams’ character seems to have a history with the Doctor, and we’re eager to find out what it is, because let’s face it, you can’t go too wrong with Peter Capaldi and Maisie Williams. Speaking of Williams, to end our summary and review of this year’s Comic-Con (which has certainly been one of the best in recent years), here’s a brilliant picture of her that, providing you watch Game of Thrones, needs no explanation.

Maisie Williams at Comic-Con 2015

By Oliver Rowe

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