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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

What we learned from Comic-Con 2017

Here's the key reveals from the legendary three-day event that has just wrapped up

Cast members Chris Hemsworth, left, and Tom Hiddleston at a panel for Thor: Ragnarok during the 2017 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, California. Reuters / Mario Anzuoni
Cast members Chris Hemsworth, left, and Tom Hiddleston at a panel for Thor: Ragnarok during the 2017 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, California. Reuters / Mario Anzuoni

More than 150,000 pop-culture fans converge on San Diego for Comic-Con International every year, and every year the event offers the geek fraternity exclusives and teasers. Here's the key reveals from the legendary three-day event that has just wrapped up in the United States.

Marvel

Thor has lost his invincible hammer and Black Panther shoulders the responsibility of being a new king. That was the word out of Marvel at the festival.

During the Thor: Ragnarok panel that featured director Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston and Cate Blanchett, there was talk about how the Norse god has evolved, specifically as he has lost his power-wielding hammer, is trapped on a

planet named Sakaar and has to fight in a gladiator contest with the Hulk.

"I've played this character five times now," Hemsworth said. "I got a bit bored with myself and wanted to make something different."

Comedy weaves through a trailer that shows Thor meeting the Hulk and filling him in on his status, saying: "I'm doing my own thing now, I'm not really hanging out with the Avengers anymore, it all got very corporate."

As supervillain Hela (Blanchett) takes over Thor's home planet of Asgard, he must recruit the help of the superheroes, including his mischievous brother Loki, to stop Hela and prevent Ragnarok - the end of the world.

Marvel also premiered footage from 2018's Black Panther, in which Chadwick Boseman plays T'Challa, the new king of fictional African nation Wakanda, who is also a deadly superhero.

"T'Challa is someone who got his power from the people around him and his history," director Ryan Coogler said. "History is something very important to me, my family and African culture."

Marvel also announced that its upcoming female superhero standalone film Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, will take place in the 1990s, before the events of 2008's Iron Man that set Marvel's subsequent film franchise in motion. The villains will be the alien shapeshifters called the Skrulls.

It also revealed new additions to its 2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp film, including Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet Van Dyne and Laurence Fishburne as Dr Bill Foster.

Star Trek

Trekkies got their first look at CBS's Star Trek television reboot, Star Trek: Discovery by way of a trailer that focuses on the re-emergence of the Klingon Empire and their attack on several Starfleet ships.

Fans are introduced to Sonequa Martin-Green's Lt. Commander Michael Burnham, who as previously hinted, seems to be a bit more action-oriented than previous Star Fleet commanders. The trailer gave fans a glimpse of Rainn Wilson's Harry Mudd, an intergalactic conman who made several appearances in the original Star Trek series.

DC

Not to be outdone by their Marvel rivals, DC Comics came to the party too, releasing new footage from the forthcoming Justice League film. All the old favourites were present, both on the panel and on screen. We already knew that Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and Batman would be in the movie, but the new footage DC premiered suggests the Green Lantern Corps – an intergalactic organisation dedicated to protecting the universe – will be making an appearance too ahead of a new Green Lantern film, due in 2020.

Ben Affleck denied rumours of him taking the Batman cape off. Despite the internet beingg abuzz with chat about his impending departure as the caped crusader following his decision to step down as director of the forthcoming The Batman, and more recent discussion around Warners "gently" ushering him out, Affleck denied that there were any plans for him to depart from the role. "Let me be very clear - I am the luckiest guy in the world. I'm so thrilled to do it," he said. "After two films [Warner Bros bosses] Kevin Tsujihara, Sue Kroll and Toby Emmerich have said, 'We want you to be our Batman' - and I believe them."

Ready Player One

Film veteran Steven Spielberg screened the first footage from Ready Player One, which is due in 2018, and it looks like being a post-modern treat for fans of pop culture.

Iconic figures such as Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddie Krueger, the Iron Giant and the DeLorean from the Spielberg-produced Back to the Future all make an appearance in the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel about an eighties-obsessed teenager’s adventures in virtual reality.

Other TV

The new-ish kid on the block, Netflix, was out also in force releasing trailers for their new content, which includes Marvel’s Defenders, (August); a second season of the hit Stranger Things (October), and forthcoming Netflix Original movie Bright, written by Chronicle’s Max Landis, directed by Suicide Squad’s David Ayer and starring Will Smith as a cop in a world where humans and mythical creatures, including fairies and orcs, co-exist.

HBO hosted a Game of Thrones panel and aired some new footage from the already underway seventh season, although they were careful to avoid any spoilers.

They also aired a teaser for season two of Westworld, which was pretty impressive work since the crew have only been shooting for a week. Walking Dead fans were also treated to a five-minute trailer for season 8 of the zombie thriller, as well as the revelation that the new series will begin on AMC on October 22.

Go to www.comic-con.org/cci for the latest.