The Geek Beat: The Big Winners at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

The Geek Beat: The Big Winners at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Jul 25, 2017

Wonder Woman

At this point, there are some things we know we can expect from San Diego Comic-Con each year. You can bet on big superhero moments from the Warner Bros. Pictures and Marvel Studios panels, for example, and for one or two lower-profile, non-superhero movies to generate massive amounts of buzz from a well-executed trailer debut.

You can be certain that a few actors will get caught up in the Comic-Con madness and do something crazy during their panel events, while other actors will do something that – whether planned or not – serves up a nice reminder of the best parts of fandom.

This year's convention was no exception, and it delivered moments that fit snugly into each one of those categories in all the right ways.

Here are five big winners from this year's big show in San Diego.

Marvel's Cinematic Universe

As usual, Marvel Studios delivered an impressive buffet of trailers, clips, casting announcements, and other juicy news about its upcoming slate of interconnected films.

A new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok teased a chatty Hulk pondering his partnership with Thor, while a clip from Black Panther promised intense action and a fresh tone in the February 2018 film. Two high-profile actors joining Ant Man and The Wasp put that sequel back on everyone's radar, and the news that Captain Marvel will introduce the Skrulls to the MCU put the project into the headlines again for the second straight Comic-Con, six months before cameras begin rolling.

Finally, the footage from Avengers: Infinity War wove together every project on the studio's slate – past and future – into one cataclysmic battle that somehow managed to seem like the biggest event so far in a franchise that has already seen this planet, universe, and dimension on the brink of destruction at various points.


Wonder Woman

Going into this year's Comic-Con, there was no shortage of speculation about how the success of the first critical and commercial hit in Warner Bros. Pictures' cinematic DC Comics universe would be reflected in the studio's presentation of its upcoming films. The answer, apparently, was to put Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman front and center at every opportunity.

From the new trailer for Justice League to some of the most virally shared moments from the convention itself (particularly the multiple photos and video of Gal Gadot engaging with young female fans), Wonder Woman was everywhere at Comic-Con. It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the focus of the Justice League marketing campaign has shifted away from Batman and toward Wonder Woman, but at a point when Marvel Studios is still two years away from releasing its own female-led superhero movie, the decision to go all-in on Wonder Woman is a refreshing (and encouraging) move.

WB has had some missteps with its superhero universe, but the studio deserves credit for recognizing a good thing when it has it in Gadot's Wonder Woman.


Ready Player One Hype Confirmed

Although it's certainly not an indie movie by any means, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One wasn't exactly making a lot of headlines prior to Comic-Con. In fact, few people outside of the more plugged-in circles of sci-fi and geek media fans even knew about Ernest Cline's bestselling book or Spielberg's plans to bring it to the screen.

All of that changed with the film's first trailer, which packed an impressive amount of action, energy, and nostalgia for '80s geekery into its relatively brief running time. Any fans of Cline's book who questioned whether anyone – even Spielberg – could faithfully adapt it for the screen suddenly found themselves cheering, while people who had never heard of the project suddenly found themselves with a front-row seat on the hype train.

Doc's DeLorean never looked cooler than it did in those brief scenes from the Ready Player One trailer, and if the soundtrack to the trailer is any indication of what we can expect from the full movie, we're in for a real treat for the ears as much as the eyes.


Doctor Doom

Yes, you read that correctly. Every year, at least one actor or director lets news slip about an upcoming project so exciting that it upstages whatever he or she is at Comic-Con to promote. That's what happened when Legion creator Noah Hawley mentioned near the end of the television series' panel that he was developing a movie about Doctor Doom for 20th Century Fox.

With nothing to go on except Hawley's brief statement, the speculation engines shifted into high gear. Now everyone wants to know whether we'll be getting yet another reboot of Fantastic Four – this time, focusing on the team's infamous nemesis.


Jason Momoa

Not only did Jason Momoa feature prominently in some of the best scenes from the new Justice League trailer, but he also showed off some fresh footage from his solo movie, and had one of the best entrances to a Comic-Con panel in quite a while. Momoa sprinted barefoot into the convention center's mammoth Hall H with a trident in his hand to join the panel, accompanied by the chords of Jimi Hendrix's “Voodoo Chile.”

He lived up to that entrance by delivering footage from two films, then got so caught up in the excitement surrounding both trailers that he broke his chair and had to sit on the stage for the rest of the panel.

Basically, it's Jason Momoa's world, folks. We're just living in it.


This week's question: What were your favorite moments from this year's San Diego Comic-Con?

Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, and various other online, print, and on-air news outlets. He's been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV. You can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.

Categories: Comic-Con, Features, Geek
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