The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con is over, but all of the major announcements, reveals and overall experiences are still coming into focus, as we catch up on sleep and get our minds back in order. With the convention now behind us, we're looking back at some of the best things we took away from the convention (we'll save our major disappointments for a different article).
Our list will contain events, panels and even the parties that go on during the 'Con - we'll have links to more extensive coverage where possible, as we've been cranking out articles nonstop for days. But then, THIS. IS. COMIC-CON. It is not for the feint of heart or spirit.
THE EW PARTY
The Entertainment Weekly party usually occurs deep into the 'Con (after the biggest movie panels on Saturday night), and it is one of THE most exclusive affairs of the weekend. All the biggest stars show up for a tour through EW's celebration of geekdom - complete with a stop for a photo portrait, often on such fun props as the Game of Thrones Iron Throne. As you can see above, Screen Rant owner Vic Holtreman was in attendance (although, that's how he typically looks while lording over us :-P).
Basically, if you want the upscale, star-studded Comic-Con experience, you want the EW party.
Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman
Undoubtedly the biggest movie reveal of the convention was the teaser for Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The footage was leaked online (and is being pulled down just as quickly), but basically, we got to see 15 seconds of comic books' two biggest titans eyeing each other up for what looks to be an epic showdown. In the leaked version, one fan's all-too-audible geekgasm pretty much sums up the feelings of fans the world over.
While it wasn't a major focus in Hall H, Snyder tweeted out our first official image of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman immediately following the panel, solidifying this new vision of DC's Holy Trinity. Bring on Justice League.
Marvel's Avengers 2 & Ant-Man
Marvel Studios always knows how to OWN the big Saturday night slot in Hall H - and although they still managed to get some serious hype out of having most of the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast show up for hijinks and sizzle reel footage reveals, the studio was admittedly more reserved in its Comic-Con promotional campaign than usual.
After so many behind the scenes shakeups, Ant-Man was on hand to present its new director and remaining cast members - to an almost insultingly tepid reaction from the crowd. Luckily, studio frontman Robert Downey Jr. was on hand, helping The Avengers 2 win over the 'Con with some nice dance moves and well-placed rose tosses. An appearance by Josh Brolin (aka Thanos) may not have been the epic finish some hoped for - but it was pretty cool.
Meanwhile, the Age of Ultron sizzle reel has many fans excited for what looks to be The Empire Strikes Back of Marvel movies.
King Kong & Godzilla: Dawn of Monsters
Two big movie monsters got new movie deals out of this year's Comic-Con. Legendary Pictures confirmed that Godzilla 2 was happening, then upped the ante by teasing that the sequel may be full of iconic kaiju, such as Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah. Even those who didn't enjoy director Gareth Edwards' reboot will likely be pleased at the thought of a movie where the big "G" is going to be doing a lot more throwing down.
Meanwhile, the studio faked everyone out with the teaser that turned out to NOT be Jurassic World, but rather the announcement of a King Kong prequel, Skull Island. While at first that may seem underwhelming, it's true that we've never seen an extensive origin story for the big ape who menaced Manhattan. More to the point: With two iconic giant monsters - and some giant monster-killing robots - all now under the roof of the same studio, we marvel at the possibilities for crossovers and/or team-ups (see what I did there?). For fans of these films, SDCC 2014 was a goldmine.
DC TV Pilots
Along with their returning hit series Arrow, DC and Warner Bros. TV had a three new DC Comics TV shows to promote at SDCC 2014: Gotham, The Flash and Constantine. A special screening event was held in addition to panels about each show, giving the fans (and subsequently the world) their first taste of what each of these shows is about, and which ones are worth their viewing time.
With the silence now broken, we're starting to reveal our own thoughts about The Flash premiere's strong and weak points, as well as critiques of Gotham and Constantine. However, no matter the ultimate fate of each show, it was clear that WB was willing to invest heavily in these projects, if 'Con presence is any indication.
...We're just super bummed we didn't get to try the zipline through Gotham activity while at the convention.
Pleasant Surprise Trailers: Mad Max & Jupiter Ascending
Aside from big superhero flicks, 'Con attendees dig in some deliciously pulpy genre flicks, and this year Warner Bros. made some much-improved impressions with two previously underwhelming projects, Mad Max: Fury Road and Jupiter Ascending.
Fury Road brings back Mad Max Trilogy director George Miller for a new chapter about Mad Max (not reboot, prequel or sequel - just a new tale starring the Max character) and as you can see above, the results like pretty entertaining. Think The Road Warrior with modern effects and you'll get the idea. Tom Hardy looks the part of Max (no Mel Gibson this time), and Charlize Theron looks like she holds her own as Imperator Furiosa. Fury Road has jumped much higher up on our most anticipated list for 2015.
Meanwhile, we got a more extensive look at Jupiter Ascending from Matrix Trilogy makers, The Wachowskis. The Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis vehicle previously looked like a gumbo of every major sci-fi trope one could think of, but in a new trailer (not available to the public - yet) we get a much more extensive breakdown of the plot to help contextualize all the far-out (but often gorgeous) visuals.
Best of all, the Comic-Con trailer for Jupiter Ascending succeeds in building the world of the film - a world where canine/humanoid splice warriors (Tatum) and dragon-man henchman do battle in the streets of cities, and Earth is but an entry on a galactic corporation's balance sheet. Jupiter Ascending may be another box office risk for The Wachowskis, but as an original property it looks distinctively unique, and visually stimulating. Here's hoping it will be a pleasant surprise in the February doldrums.
Another year, another Comic-Con done and over. Some may say that this year was something of a letdown in terms of what we got (as opposed to what we thought we would get) - but clearly we have six examples of positive experiences we took away from the convention - with many more not listed here.
Were you at Comic-Con 2014? Did you follow our coverage? What were some of YOUR favorite headlines that we didn't list here? Let us know in the comments!
The San Diego Comic-Con International takes place every summer in San Diego, CA.