July 16, 2012 | 9:52 a.m.
You hear a lot of bizarre alien conversation at Comic-Con International, but the strangest one I heard this year was between a vintage comics dealer and a shocked collector asking about a nice copy of “Iron Man” No. 55, the February 1973 issue that features the first appearance of Thanos. “I’m asking $6,000 for it,” the dealer said Sunday afternoon without irony or wink. “I know that’s high — hey, that’s really high — but that’s next year’s price.” The issue was a nice one (a slabbed copy, a certified 9.6 grade in appraised condition), but that sounded like an example of galaxy-level overpricing to me. I walked over to an adjacent booth where I saw a familiar face, Ted VanLiew, the owner of the Hampton, Mass.-based Superworld. He seemed only mildly shocked by the Never Never Land negotiation and the number of zeros involved. A year or two after you could […]
July 15, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.
Kyle Higgins, best known as the writer of “Nightwing” for DC Comics, is a guest blogger for Hero Complex at Comic-Con International this year. Here’s a time lapse of Francis Manapul, artist and co-writer on ‘The Flash,’ doing a Supergirl piece with an ink wash And, the final piece: Plus two more that Francis completed for the show: –Kyle Higgins RECENT AND RELATED ‘Dark Knight Rises’: Nolan’s masked ambitions Dark Knight Rises’ hits the road Bat flight, Cat fights, Gotham falls Hans Zimmer explains Christopher Nolan’s secrecy Hathaway: Catwoman modeled on Hedy Lamarr Christopher Nolan opens up about Bane choice Christian Bale says goodbye to Gotham ‘Dark Knight Rises’: Tom Hardy as Bane Nolan on his favorite scene in ‘Dark Knight’ Nolan: Hollywood takes too many shortcuts
July 15, 2012 | 9:50 a.m.
Peter Jackson unveiled more than 12 minutes of footage from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” during his Comic-Con panel Saturday, giving fans a glimpse of Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo Baggins, a new female character not from the J.R.R. Tolkien universe and some scenes with familiar characters Gandalf, Gollum and Galadriel. Jackson, who directed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy before taking on Tolkien’s smaller adventure, was joined on the panel by cowriter Philippa Boyens, Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (second unit director and, of course, Gollum), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) and surprise guest Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the trilogy and did “a bit of work” for “The Hobbit.” The panel was the capstone of the Hall H lineup this year. Thousands of fans — more than a few in Middle-earth garb […]
July 15, 2012 | 9:05 a.m.
Is “Man of Steel” laying the groundwork for a Justice League movie? Director Zack Snyder may have been hinting at that during the Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con International on Saturday. “Superman is the jewel in the DC crown,” Snyder told the Hall H audience of about 6,500. “And really what we’re trying to do is get his house in order, and then who knows what’s possible.” Snyder and actor Henry Cavill answered audience questions after screening footage from the film, slated for a June 2013 release. The footage began with glimpses of Clark Kent’s hometown and his childhood while a voice narrated, “What if a child dreamed of being something other than what society intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?” The clip continued to explore the theme of Kent trying to find his place in a world […]
July 14, 2012 | 9:23 p.m.
Flashy footage from the upcoming fifth season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” on Cartoon Network made a convert out of one fan during the show’s Saturday afternoon panel. During the question-and-answer session a guy in a baseball cap got up to inform supervising director Dave Filoni and writer Matt Michnovetz that he’d never seen the show and was just hanging out in the ballroom for the “Halo 4” presentation that was to follow, but after seeing the footage, he’d become a fan. He planned to go out and watch every episode right away. The jovial Filoni and Michnovetz fielded all kinds of questions from audience members more familiar with the show during the hour-long panel, which featured the two men and the panel moderator flanked by four clone soldiers in full armor. While Filoni could only tease certain developments […]
July 14, 2012 | 8:35 p.m.
“True Blood” creator Alan Ball received a warm send-off in his final Comic-Con International appearance as the showrunner of the HBO vampire series, with fans and many members of the show’s cast rising to applaud the man who brought Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels to graphic life for five seasons and is now stepping down from his top post. Aside from that emotional moment, though, the tenor of the panel was high-spirited and even silly with many, many references to romance, nudity, sex and stripping, the latter courtesy of Joe Manganiello’s recent cinematic turn as a male dancer named Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s film “Magic Mike.” The panel kicked off with a preview of the latter half of Season 5 that revealed Manganiello’s Alcide will step up to become pack master and Russell Edgington will create all kinds […]
July 14, 2012 | 4:47 p.m.
Imagine a typical high school life drawing class — except in a bar. Bikini clad models wielding spears pose on animal-skin throw rugs, while earnest artists scratch away in their sketch pads. There’s a DJ, of course; he’s spinning John Denver’s “Country Roads” mixed with techno music. Should anyone get bored, there are stacks of comic books, graphic novels, T-shirts and varied artworks on a nearby table. This was the scene at the Tr!ckster lounge, down the street from the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con International. Now in its second year, the indie-minded pop-up gallery, retail store and event space dedicated to DIY and creator owned art, has ingratiated itself into the fabric of the Con. It’s become an off-campus, clubhouse of sorts for both industry insiders and fans to rest their weary feet, attend storytelling workshops, browse slightly […]
July 13, 2012 | 9:48 p.m.
In the future, Matt Damon toils on an overpopulated, diseased and polluted earth, while the one-percenters — or .00001-percenters — luxuriate on a space station paradise where cancer is cured at the touch of a button. That’s the premise of “Elysium,” South African director Neill Blomkamp’s mystery-shrouded follow-up to his 2009 Oscar-nominated sci-fi film, “District 9.” Blomkamp showed about seven minutes of footage from “Elysium” at Comic-Con, enough to give the audience a taste of the dusty, Third World Earth he envisioned for the year 2159 — much of it shot in a giant garbage dump in Mexico. Damon and Jodie Foster, who plays a government minister on “Elysium,” were on hand to discuss the footage, as was actor Sharlto Copley, who worked with Blomkamp on “District 9.” The footage included some unfinished visual effects of space ships, as well […]
July 13, 2012 | 9:08 p.m.
“I may have to start killing some of these characters to make room for new ones.” George R.R. Martin’s joke while serving as the moderator for the panel devoted to HBO’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” at Comic-Con International on Friday in Hall H really resonated given the large number of characters that feature in the show, adapted from Martin’s novels. But the biggest casting news came last, with the announcement that genre icon Diana Rigg would be signing on as Olenna Redwyne, the Queen of Thorns. Rigg is most widely known for her role as Emma Peel in the ’60s British TV series “The Avengers.” Among the other new cast members highlighted via a short video montage were Mackenzie Crook (from the British iteration of “The Office” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies) as Orell, Clive Russell […]
July 13, 2012 | 6:25 p.m.
Fans of “Firefly” keep the imagined sci-fi Western universe alive, Joss Whedon told more than 4,000 people (many of whom camped in line overnight) in the jam-packed Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con International on Friday afternoon. Whedon also talked about an upcoming comic book series from Dark Horse, which will pick up some time after “Firefly” and “Serenity” left off. The emotional panel, which started and ended with tears and standing ovations, reunited most the main cast of the short-lived but much-loved series. Creator (and “The Avengers” director) Whedon; actors Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin and Sean Maher; and writers Tim Minear and Jose Molina took photos of one another and the crowd as they entered the stage, greeted by deafening applause. “Firefly,” which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, chronicles the misadventures of Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion) […]