The highlights of Marvel's panel at the 2013 International Comic-Con - according to the Screen Rant staff members who were in attendance - included the first footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and early material shown from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, lest we get ahead of ourselves, the next installment in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Thor: The Dark World - the first Marvel release (original films and sequels included) that will test the waters of a Fall season theatrical premiere date.
Thor costar Tom Hiddleston appeared in character/costume as the fan-favorite Loki at Comic-Con; in fact, his appearance seems to have gotten more publicity and attention in general than the accompanying footage shown from The Dark World. Not to worry, though, as the second-wave marketing bonanza for the Phase 2 sequel is getting underway - starting with today's new poster release, followed by the second trailer unveiling later this month (as part of Youtube's "Geek Week" celebration).
While the God of Thunder himself (Chris Hemsworth) and his mortal lady-love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) are featured front and center in the second poster for The Dark World, the one-sheet brings together just about every important character in the film - which includes the villain Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), heroes such as the Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), and those who tend to straddle the fence that lies between good and evil (Loki). Having said all that: if the new poster gives you a feeling of deja vu, don't worry - it's not just your imagination.
Case in point: check out the new poster for Thor: The Dark World (via EW), then compare it to a poster for Iron Man 3 that features a similar layout:
[CLICK POSTERS FOR FULL-SIZE VERSIONS]
Marvel's poster designers seem to feel it's easier to market using the image of the female lead/superhero's main romantic interest clutching their man in helpless damsel-in-distress fashion - kind of ironic in Iron Man 3's case, when you point out who ended up saving who in that film's climax. In all fairness, though, Portman's character in the Thor universe fits the damsel archetype pretty well. Unfortunately, the teaser trailer for The Dark World suggests Jane may still wind up seeming kind of powerless in the sequel (despite her getting an Asgardian outfit).
For related reasons, many fans will probably count themselves as part of "Team Sif," as far as the Thor/Jane/Sif love triangle in The Dark World is concerned. Everyone who isn't concerned with Thor's love life - you'll have plenty of additional material to keep you entertained, between the expanded roles for characters like Sif, the Warriors Three and Heimdall (Idris Elba) - who is visible in the background of the new poster - and a strikingly different (read: grounded and tangible) portrayal of the Nine Realms compared to the first movie, courtesy of director Alan Taylor (a former co-showrunner on Game of Thrones).
Thor: The Dark World opens in U.S. theaters on November 8th, 2013, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6th, 2016, July 8th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017.
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