Marvel Entertainment returns to San Diego to join in on the celebration for Comic-Con International’s 50th anniversary, with all-star panels from Marvel Comics, Marvel Television, Marvel Games, Marvel Animation, and Marvel New Media. This year will also mark a first-ever Hall H presentation for Marvel Television’s flagship series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that will be guaranteed epic. With exclusive announcements, special video presentations, star-studded signings, and unforgettable fan experiences at the Marvel booth, this Comic-Con is one not-to-be-missed – all starting Wednesday, July 17 through Sunday, July 21.
For breaking news and exclusive livestream coverage from Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con, watch on Marvel.com, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Coverage is hosted by Ryan Penagos, Lorraine Cink, Langston Belton, Angélique Roché, Justin Warner, Nore Davis, and Josh Saleh. Tour the convention floor with Marvel, learn about some of your favorite Marvel characters, and don’t miss a beat from the Marvel stage and events within and around SDCC!
Check out the schedule of Marvel Entertainment’s panels and featured Television signing below. A full schedule of Marvel Entertainment booth activities, including additional signings and events coming soon.
MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT PANELS SCHEDULE:
THURSDAY, JULY 18th
Marvel Games Panel
1:30 PM, Hall H
Get an inside look at the latest and greatest from Marvel Games! Attendees will see exciting new content from MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order, Marvel’s Iron Man VR, and Marvel’s Avengers, with many unannounced surprises and panel exclusives. Host Greg Miller (loudmouth at KindaFunny.com) will be joined by Bill Rosemann (VP & Creative Director, Marvel Games) and other special guests from titles throughout the Marvel Games family!
Marvel Television: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
3:30 – 4:30 PM, Hall H
The cast and producers of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return to San Diego Comic-Con in epic fashion as they take over Hall H for the first time ever! Be the first to hear the scoop about the show-stopping conclusion for season six and what awaits in season seven of Marvel’s flagship television show. With your favorite stars in attendance, including Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward, along with executive producers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeff Bell, and Jeph Loeb, this is a must-see panel to celebrate seven seasons with the world’s greatest fans! This action-packed series from Marvel Television and ABC Studios airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.
*Please note: talent is subject to change.
FRIDAY, JULY 19th
Marvel Comics #1000 Revealed: A This Week in Marvel Special Event
12:30 – 1:30 PM, Room 5AB
Marvel’s flagship podcast comes to Comic-Con loaded with secrets, giveaways, reveals, news, guests, and more! And, if you think you’ve got the stuff and want some swag, you can challenge the Marvel crew in a special House of Ideas Throwdown! Join host Ryan Penagos (aka Agent M, VP & Creative Exec, Marvel) along with CB Cebulski (Marvel Comics Editor in Chief) and an array of Marvel creators as they dig into Marvel Comics #1,000, one of the biggest Marvel Comics projects ever assembled, and celebrate Marvel’s 80th Anniversary!
MARVEL COMICS: Spider-Man
1:30 – 2:30 PM, Room 5AB
Get caught in Spider-Man’s tangled web along with Executive Editor Nick Lowe, Assistant Editor Kathleen Wisneski, as well as writers Nick Spencer (Amazing Spider-Man), Seanan McGuire (Ghost-Spider), and Frank Tieri (Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors) to find out what’s on the horizon for all of your wall-crawling favorites! Spider-Man’s mysterious new foe sets his plan into motion! Ghost-Spider joins the Marvel Universe! And New York experiences Absolute Carnage! PLUS – Don’t miss an exclusive giveaway variant comic of SPIDER-MAN: CITY AT WAR #5! The stunning rendering by Skan depicts an homage to the classic AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3 cover by Steve Ditko! Cover image here.
Marvel Animation Celebrates Marvel’s 80th Anniversary
3:30 – 4:30 PM, Room 6A
Join Cort Lane (SVP, Animation and Family Entertainment), Kalia Ramirez (Director, Family Entertainment – Development & Partnerships), writers Mark Hoffmeier (Spider-Man: The Animated Series) and Marty Isenberg (X-Men: The Animated Series), and fan-favorite voice actors Josh Keaton (Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble) and Jennifer Hale (Wolverine & the X-Men, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy) as they take a journey through highlights of over five decades of Marvel cartoons. Including behind-the-scenes dish on the making of classic shows, a run-down of all ten of Spider-Man’s series, and a 10th anniversary retrospective of Marvel’s Animation division, this is a panel you don’t want to miss! Plus a special in-memoriam look at Stan Lee’s greatest animation moments.
SATURDAY, JULY 20th
Women of Marvel: 10 Years and 200 Episodes
10:00 – 11:30 AM, Room 5AB
Celebrate ten years of Women of Marvel panels and 200 podcast episodes! Join hosts Sana Amanat (VP of Content & Character Development, Marvel) and Judy Stephens (Producer, Marvel) and special guests to talk 80 years of Marvel history, what it’s like working as a woman in comics, and the future of the industry.
MARVEL COMICS: Next Big Thing
1:45 – 2:45 PM, Room 6A
Legendary writer Jonathan Hickman is joined by Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski and other Mighty Marvel Guests to bring you all the latest and greatest news straight from the House of Ideas! Learn what comes next for the X-Men after the senses-shattering revelations of the House of X and Powers of X!! Plus, stick around for a few things we can’t even hint at yet!
MARVEL COMICS: Marvel Fanfare with C.B. Cebulski
3:00 – 4:00 PM, Room 6A
This is your chance to meet the head of editorial at Marvel! In an exclusive and intimate panel experience, Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski, along with superstar talents including Rob Liefeld and Skottie Young, will talk about anything and everything involved with Marvel Comics. What secrets are held in the House of X? Can Venom prove himself a true hero in Absolute Carnage? When is Dazzler’s next album coming out? What were C.B., Rob and Skottie’s favorite Marvel characters as kids, and how do they feel about those characters now? Ask these questions and more in the Q&A! PLUS – Don’t miss an exclusive giveaway variant of SILVER SURFER BLACK #2, Giuseppe Camuncoli’s take on Carnage soaring the spaceways on Silver Surfer’s board! Cover image here.
SUNDAY, JULY 21st
Making Comics the Marvel Way
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Room 5AB
A slew of Mighty Marvel guests take you behind-the-scenes and show you how a Marvel comic book is made! Learn about every aspect of production including writing, penciling, inking, coloring, editing, and more – with creators on hand to offer personal insights and anecdotes. If you’re interested in the ins-and-outs of the comic book industry, this is the one panel you can’t miss!
MARVEL TELEVISION AUTOGRAPH SIGNING SCHEDULE:
Please note this signing is a ticketed event and passes will be available on a first-come, first-served lottery basis beginning when the floor opens on Friday, July 19 at the Marvel Booth (#2329).
FRIDAY, JULY 19th
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Signing Event
3:30 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)
Midnight Mass: The Blood of Life
The isolated island community of Crockett receives a mysterious new head priest, full of secrets and a brand new testament under a very unusual Messenger of God.
Meet poor Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford), freshly released from prison and wracked with guilt over what got him there, a stupid drinking accident that caused the death of his ex-girlfriend. The last thing he wants to do is go back to Crockett and the judgment of the mostly religious community there, his disappointed family, and the nightmares of his ex’s death that plague him. But where else would have him? Resignedly on the ferry, he goes.
Riley’s dad Ed (Henry Thomas) isn’t the kind of man who talks very much at all, much less about his feelings, or his very real disappointment in his elder son. Riley’s teen brother Warren (Igby Rigney) has no idea what to say to him either, and just generally keeps mum. Riley’s mom Annie (Kristin Lehman) is accepting and loving, hesitant in how to help her eldest son but never wavering in her faith in the help of our lord Jesus. Mom seems to think a good heaping dose of the Church would set Riley right but is surprised to learn that the old priest of the Parish, Pruitt, has taken an extended leave of absence from the island, and his newcomer replacement Father Paul (Hamish Linklater) is young, charismatic, and bursting at the seams to tell the whole island about the gifts he brought them, most especially what he claims as a new testament under a messenger of God.
We’ll get back to that whole ball of issues in a moment, the other interesting characters of Crockett Island. Bev Keane (Samantha Sloyan) is the nightmarish overly polite and gently, almost lovingly condescending neighbor Christian woman you’ve ever loathed, the kind of person who explains away every last thing her Church may do wrong or contradictory because, after all, God works in mysterious ways. Pfft. Of course, Bev immediately ingratiates herself as the second to the new Father Paul in their services and is the first to start covering up his transgressions as they become more rampant.
Newcomers to Crockett Sheriff Hassan (Rahul Kohli) and his son Ali (Rahul Abburi) present a burgeoning problem to the plans of Father Paul and his shadowy companion, for they are both practicing Muslims. The practical side of investigating these so-called ‘miracles’ and strange happenings falls on Hassan’s shoulders, as he already struggles with barely-concealed racism and suspicion from his fellow islanders, and of course his son is being wooed away from him by the promise of actual, tangible miracles, but from a different whole faith and God. Father Paul definitely does not practice a traditional Christian faith and relies far too much on making use of the eucharist, the ceremony of the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ turning into bread and wine and, well, consumed.
Wade (Michael Trucco) and his wife Dolly (Crystal Balint) are lifers of the island and both in general interested in one thing, the advancement of their own family, specifically their daughter Leeza (Annarah Cymone), who happens to be in a wheelchair. And that happens to be the canny Father Paul’s first real miracle-with-a-cost that he demonstrates to the astonishment of the parishioners, after a heartfelt and rousing sermon, Father Paul commands Leeza to rise, to stand, and to walk. And lo, she does. What parents wouldn’t wholly dedicate themselves to a cause after seeing this happen to their beloved precious daughter? The fringe benefits of healing, and power, the ones that come at a mighty, currently unnamed, cost, are simply a nice bonus.
Joe Collie (Robert Longstreet) is the town drunk, and while his reasons for drowning his sorrows in the sauce might be understandable, absolution wears a very different face when it comes from Father Paul. While Leeza might be willing to forgive Joe, and even as Joe begins attending the newly-formed Al-Anon meetings on the island of course hosted by Father Paul, redemption might’ve been better sought from medical professionals, and not this newfound method of religious worship.
Dr. Sarah Gunning (Annabeth Gish) is the islands’ kind of all-around medic, and this is how she and Riley’s old friend Erin (Kate Siegel), also newly returned to the island, a few months pregnant but traveling quietly alone, met when Erin comes to the Doc for obstetrics. Sarah’s older mother Mildred Gunning (Alexandra Essoe) has many medical and mental issues, and Sarah struggles in their shared home, to take care of her addled mom and balance her own life. Then Father Paul takes it upon himself to visit one of his oldest parishioners, bringing the sacred host and wine with him to give directly to Mildred, who starts looking and acting so much better under his loving care.
The show is very much a slow slow burn, with a lot of the actual action taking place in the last two episodes. Much of the beginning and middle episodes feature two people just sitting alone, having quiet and seriously in-depth conversations about heavy subjects – grief and repentance, what happens when we die, the disasters that come as a result of addictions, how our actions’ consequences reverberate to those we love around us, faith and the foibles of man, and of course, the giving of oneself over to a higher power, for strength, and guidance, and love.
Except, for the higher power that Father Paul brought back with him, to share with his beloved flock of Crockett Island, while it may be extremely powerful and full of what could be considered miraculous magic, everything comes at some kind of a cost. And when the Messenger of God is finally revealed to the shocked denizens of Crockett at Easter Mass, with Father Paul rapturing on about rebirth as the bloody massacre begins in earnest, it’s faith, not in any kind of God or religion, but faith in each other, that may save a few hardy souls.
Question the wisdom of your religious leaders along with the rest of us in a fine slow-burn addition to the Flanaverse, Midnight Mass is on Netflix now!
Saw X: It ain’t brain surgery!
Legendary executioner Jigsaw returns to exact revenge on a cadre of scam artists who promised him a bogus cure for his cancer!
First off, be aware, that this is what I call an interleaved sequel, a movie set between previous films in the franchise. In this case, Saw X occurs after the events of the very first Saw film, and before Saw II. Everybody got where we are? Good! Into the madness, we dive!
So, as we all know, John Kramer’s been diagnosed with cancer, very aggressive brain cancer, and likely doesn’t have much time left. And he’s tried everything under the sun, doing a ton of meticulous research, we’d expect nothing less from our master of the art of murder, and not one thing has worked. Yet one man from the support group for cancer sufferers, Henry (Michael Beach), offers an off-the-books supposed miracle cure, and John jumps at the chance.
Why does this nonsense always sound too good to be true? Because it is. Deleted scenes from the first Deadpool movie already told us why traveling to Mexico for any kind of medical cure is a sublimely stupid move, but Kramer is desperate. And while he might be sick and dying, John Kramer has never been what anyone could call stupid. So the villa out in the Mexican countryside, the affable cab driver Diego (Joshua Okamoto) professes surprise at Kramer being highjacked for his good, the nervous muttering from assistant Valentina (Paulette Hernandez), the side-eyeing from little housekeep Gabriela (Renata Vaca) and her tequila, and most especially the smooth and smarming reassurances of head “doctor” Cecilia Pederson (Synnove Macody Lund), all leave a kind of sour taste in John’s mouth.
The whole cluex4 scene is done in the style that the Saw films are known for, where we the audience are treated to cut-together explanatory scenes in a flip-flash fashion of usually about two minutes, for poor John when he realizes he’s been hoodwinked and just how badly, seems a little contrived. But then it’s entirely possible that we the audience truly expected our genius mastermind of the infamous Jigsaw murders to have realized what was happening sooner, and got enraged along with Kramer. And cheered as he prepared to take his bloody and ultra-violent revenge!
First up in our grand guignol of executions is the return of Jigsaw’s first protégé, Amanda (Shawnee Smith). And despite her avowed reverence for Jigsaw and his proven “therapy”, Amanda does waver a bit when the scammers are put through the paces of their specially-made Saw traps, and they shriek and blubber and bleed out. The appearance of the ringer of the bunch, Parker (Steven Brand), doesn’t even slow our beloved engineer of the damned down, because we knew Jigsaw would have his other apprentice waiting just off stage, the deliciously vicious Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). Even the monkeywrench of involving little-boy soccer fan Carlos (Jorge Briseno) in the traps, is just another cog in the machine that is the brilliantly plotting mind of John Kramer.
A fine addition to the Saw legends, showcasing a return to the beloved style and panache of the original Tobin Bell-starring Jigsaw films, Saw X is splashing gore and gallons of blood in theaters now!
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off,” Netflix’s latest series, is a rollicking journey through the world of video game culture, blending nostalgic references with a fresh narrative twist. Centered around Scott Pilgrim, portrayed with magnetic charisma by Michael Cera, the show skillfully integrates gaming elements into its storytelling, creating a delightful homage to the video game subculture.
The series cleverly employs pixelated graphics, power-up animations, and game-like sound effects to bring the virtual world to life. These visual cues, reminiscent of classic video games, enhance the storytelling and resonate with audiences familiar with the gaming landscape. The attention to detail in recreating iconic gaming moments is commendable, creating a visual and auditory treat for enthusiasts.
The exploration of video game culture goes beyond mere aesthetics; it becomes an integral part of the characters’ identities and interactions. The script intelligently weaves gaming terminology and tropes into the dialogue, effectively blending the real and virtual worlds. The series navigates the challenges and triumphs of the characters through the lens of gaming, making it a unique and engaging experience for both gamers and general audiences.
The ensemble cast, including standout performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, and Chris Evans embraces the gaming theme with infectious enthusiasm. The chemistry between the characters is palpable, adding emotional depth to the series.
“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” successfully taps into the zeitgeist of video game culture, offering a nostalgic yet contemporary take on the gaming phenomenon. It’s a must-watch for those who cherish the pixelated roots of the gaming world while providing an accessible and entertaining narrative for a broader audience. The series takes off not only in its title but also in its ability to soar within the ever-expanding realm of Netflix originals.