Fantastic Endings: San Diego Comic-Con 2014 (Wrap-Up)

cc4My most hectic blogging period of the year is over, and with little left to say of Sunday’s events, I’m once again using my last Comic-Con post to share my final thoughts and mention some missed opportunities fans lamented over the weekend.

Overall though, how were this year’s festivities? Can’t really say. I was far more detached from the Con, didn’t have time to truly immerse myself in it like I have in years’ past. Not to mention, I’ve been soured on a lot of the gross fanaticism surrounding the event in recent years. Learning from last year, I’ve taken to skipping the Marvel.com and DC official liveblogs for this reason. Maybe I’m just getting older and more jaded.

Among those conspicuously absent from the Con were Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot, already the subject of a great deal of fanboy animosity over its untraditionally youthful cast, among other things. There’s also the controversy over African-American Michael B. Jordan playing the Human Torch, normally a white character (I have much to say on that subject, but such is a topic for another day). Either way, Fox could’ve scored a huge coup winning over fans with an early panel this year. The Four are most most known in the comics for their regular interaction with the larger Marvel universe, even introducing several Marvel mainstays like Black Panther and Namor the Sub-Mariner in its pages. Without the rights to those characters, Fox will no doubt have an uphill battle convincing fans the team are compelling enough characters to go it alone.

Many were also disappointed J.J. Abrams and Star Wars Episode VII did not make an appearance, merely Disney and Lucasfilm’s new animated show Star Wars Rebels. I kind of expected it; VII is still a year-and-a-half off at least, plus Disney would probably rather save such a panel to bring people into its own D23 expo in August.

I suppose I should also comment on the lack of Shazam news, with no official confirmation that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will playing either Captain Marvel or Black Adam in a new movie. It’s not a project I’m particularly passionate about, but I suppose an expanding slate of DC films is worth getting excited about regardless. As long as the script has evolved to a place where it’s not a Superman: the Movie ripoff (*ahem*, William Goldman), this is one to watch for.

Finally, Marvel surprised many when news outlets attempting to pre-emotively ruin their surprise, did not actual reveal their surprise, that Joaquin Phoenix is being courted to star in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange adaptation. I’m going back and forth on this one. There is an ethereal, out-there, otherworldly quality to Phoenix and the projects he chooses. He’s built quite the reputation for himself over the years, starring in several subtle, intense roles that make him an interesting pick for Strange. Yet he looks nothing like the character, whose rugged good looks are a defining aspect of his personality. The Strange of the comics has always struck me as more of a swashbuckler, a charmer with humility, an Errol Flynn with a mind to help people. Needless to say, Phoenix’s quirky, even mousy persona doesn’t quite fit that. Jean Dujardin, on the other hand…

As always, I’m wrapping up with Kevin Smith’s yearly talk. This year his Q&A is conspicuously absent from Youtube, limited to only his nonetheless entertaining account of visiting the set of Star Wars Episode VII:

I have some evolving thoughts on Episode VII which I’ll discuss in a future post as well.

That’s about all I have. As always, thanks so much for following and being patient. Hope you all enjoyed this year’s coverage, which I’m praying I’ll have more time for next year.

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