Comic-Con Recap: The Expected and the Surprising

Well, it’s that time of the year again, pop culture fanatics! The 2016 installment of San Diego Comic-Con has been and gone, leaving fans of countless shows, movies and comic books appeased for this year and pumped for the next. […]

Well, it’s that time of the year again, pop culture fanatics! The 2016 installment of San Diego Comic-Con has been and gone, leaving fans of countless shows, movies and comic books appeased for this year and pumped for the next. But this Comic-Con has proved fairly different from its predecessors, as it delivered some expected but also very surprising material to it’s attendees.

Here comes the Comic-Con Recap feat. The Expected and the Surprising:


First up on the SDCC roster was Marvel, who left their panels and halls ringing with standing ovations and legions of hyped fans in their wake. The Expected came in the form of updates on their Netflix shows like Daredevil, which was officially green-lit for a third season and upcoming shows like Luke Cage and Iron Fist, which were both delivered with teaser videos.
But the Surprising included the Agents of SHIELD panel which announced a new addition to the fourth season’s cast, the iconic Ghost Rider!

Vengeance is Coming!

The show’s frontrunners also announced that this version of the Spirit of Vengeance would not be the Johnny Blaze version, but the daredevil, ’69 Dodge Charger-racing Robbie Reyes, from Marvel’s All New, All Different story line.


Like their past SDCC panels, Warner Brothers treated their fans with updates on their future products and more hype for their current ones.
The Expected entailed confirmed release dates for The Flash and Cyborg standalone movies, coming out in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and statements from the producers of the upcoming Suicide SquadJustice League and Aquaman films.

Aquaman's a softie, you say? Source
Aquaman’s a pushover, you say? Source

A balance of the Expected and Surprising came from the next event, in which Ben ‘Batfleck’ Affleck confirmed that he will be directing, producing and starring in a new Batman film, which will be co-written by DC veteran Geoff Johns. All aboard the Hype Train!
And the Surprising packed an even larger nerdgasm with the reveal of the the first trailers for Wonder Woman and Justice League films, each receiving a standing ovation.

Justice League United! Source

Honourable Surprise mention: Conan O’Brien as the panel’s moderator and Ezra Miller cosplaying as Gandalf.



The Expected elements of this panel were quickly overshadowed by the countless Surprises, especially from the guests themselves. As per the schedule, the animated adaption of ‘The Killing Joke‘ was to air before a hyped audience and panel of guests like Mark Hamill and Tara Strong.
The Expected ended there.

Immediately after, some media reps questioned the panel abut the film’s elements, leading to a heated response from the film’s screenwriter. I won’t go into details, but you can read more about the exchange during the panel here and the media rep’s statement about the matter here.
A more pleasant surprise came with the announcement of three new animated films; ‘Justice League: Dark’, ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract‘ and ‘Batman and Harley‘, an original animated film by DC veteran Bruce Timm.


MARVEL Studios certainly delivered with a seamless schedule and awe-inspiring surprises.
The Expected were mostly just some updates on Marvel‘s next line of films; Black PantherGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Doctor Strange.
But the Surprising lived up to and doubled the hype with a new trailer for Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming, with guest appearances from the stars of both movies.

Marvel's Phase Three lineup
Marvel’s Phase Three lineup. Source: Walt Disney PR

But the greatest surprises came from two new castings: the legendary Kurt Russell as Ego (The Living Planet) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Oscar-winner Brie Larson as the feminist hero icon, Captain Marvel.

“Call me Captain Marvel.” Source

Notable Panels

  • The Game of Thrones panel, which discussed the events of Season 6 and Iwan Rheon’s (Ramsey Bolton) thoughts on the the Season 6 episode Battle Of The Bastards.
  • The 20th Century Fox panel, which discussed thirteen new and continuing shows like the upcoming reboot of 24 and the long-awaited Season 5 of Prison Break.


Will San Diego Comic-Con 2017 be able to top this year’s event? With these niche interests now becoming multi-billion dollar industries, one thing is clear: The comics industry is just beginning.