Comic book, movie, video game, anime, and television lovers from all over the world came together over a three-day period in New York City to celebrate their unified love and passion for all things “geek.” And, at New York Comic-Con, when you see a robot, fairy, superhero, ninja, or some other homemade-creation walk by, you do what is expected of you – take a picture.
As part of AllHipHop.com’s coverage of the 2011 NY Comic-Con, which took place at the Jacob Javits Center this past weekend, I was sent into the lion’s den to partake in the one-of-a-kind experience that tens of thousands of people flock to on a annual basis. I was excited about the opportunity to participate exclusive panels, previews, giveaways, surprises, and more.
The recap will be broken up into categories of Film, Comics, Video Games, and Television. Along with trailers, previews, and exclusive information, at the bottom of the recap, check out a full gallery of exclusive pictures taken from New York Comic-Con. First, let’s get right into the one of convention’s biggest panels – Marvel Studios’ The Avengers:
Marvel Studios’ The Avengers
I mean, what more really needs to be said? Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury, all on the same team and in the same movie! After Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige played the trailer for the crowd, stars Chris Evans, who plays Captain America; Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki; Colbie Smulders, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill; Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson; and Mark Ruffalo, who plays the new Bruce Banner/Hulk, came onstage for a moderated discussion about the film. There were a ton of questions from the audience, and then Comic-Con’s biggest event, an exclusive, world-premiere preview of a scene from The Avengers.
The scene found Bruce Banner hiding out in India where he is cornered and found by Black Widow, who is played by Scarlett Johanssen. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury wants to bring Banner in to help them with a global threat. The exchange between then two characters is great, as is the slowly building tension brewing on-screen. The extra footage we saw was cut like a new trailer, with shots of the Helicarrier, dialogue between Tony Stark and Loki, and some banter between Stark and the Captain. In May, prepare for what could potentially become the biggest movie of all time to be playing at a theater near you!
DC Universe Animated Movies
Another one of the standout panels AllHipHop.com attended was for DC Universe’s Animated Movies. Included in the presentation was a discussion on Batman: Year One, which is now in stores, the animated short Catwoman, which was screened in its entirety for the audience who erupted in applause as the short ended, and a preview of the upcoming film, Justice League: Doom which is set for release in February of 2012.
Wearing a “What Would Batman Do?” shirt, Gary Mierreanu from Warner Home Video moderated the panel, which also included a special appearance by the voice of Catwoman, Eliza Dushku (Bring It On, Dollhouse). Along with executive producer Bruce Timm and casting director Andrea Romano, the “voice of Batman,” Kevin Conroy, joined the panel-members on stage for some questions as well. Fans of the graphic novel should enjoy the film, as it does not stray from the original material at all, which to some could be a point of criticism. Decide for yourself when you see the movie and check out the trailer below:
For those who don’t know, Red Tails is a film about the Tuskegee Airmen that has been in the pipeline for years and was produced by Star Wars creator George Lucas. “This is a film about heroes not victims,” said Aaron McGruder, creator of The Boondocks and the screenwriter of Red Tails. This is an in your face, epic looking, emotional and action packed film for the generation of history and film lovers that feel the Airmen have not been getting their due nowadays in the classrooms. Sitting next to one of the actual Tuskeegee Airmen was the panel’s surprise guest, Aaron McGruder and actors Michael B. Jordan (The Wire, Friday Night Lights) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (CSI).
The actors discussed their own experiences of boot camp, learning how to fly, their undying respect and admiration for the original airmen, and what it meant to them to be a part of a film like this. Some behind-the-scenes videos were played for the crowd, which showed the actors as they were being flown around at Top Gun-like speed. The film also stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston, Method Man, and Ne-Yo.
Several aerial dogfight clips from the movie were shown as well, and it looks absolutely amazing. The dogfights actually make the hairs on your back and arm rise with their realistic and stunning effects and cinematography. On January 20, 2012, make sure you are supporting this film in theaters. Check out the official film trailer below:
Sony Pictures (Underworld: Awakening, Total Recall, Ghost Rider)
The Con’s last film panel was for Sony Pictures upcoming slate, and although the crowd thought that it would only be seeing a sneak preview of the new Ghost Rider film Sprit of Vengeance, instead there was an exclusive world premiere trailer for the fourth film in the Underworld franchise. There was also a five-minute preview sequence from the upcoming Total Recall remake starring Colin Farrell, and a 3D preview of Ghost Rider. Yes, he actually pisses fire in the new movie!
But, let me speak briefly on the first two things the crowd witnessed. If you liked the past Underworld movies, you are going to feel right at home, as it seems that the only thing different about this one, other than them filming in 3D, is the fact that there now exists a Lycan in the film that is well over 15 feet tall. Oh yeah, and Kate Beckinsale is back. Total Recall, on the other hand looks like an absolute blast! This is not the Arnold version re-done for the new generation; this is a stand-alone, newly interpreted world for both actors and moviegoers alike. When the footage ended and the crowd chanted for an encore, Sony Pictures must have smiled to themselves knowing what they have in their arsenal for next summer.
The panel officially kicked off though when Ghost Rider directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor were brought to the stage to preview scenes from the movie, talk about the extremely unorthodox and dangerous ways that they use cameras for filming action scenes in particular, and what Nicholas Cage smells like. They answered, “Vanilla.” The directors of Crank and Crank: High Voltage were clearly crowd favorites. They knew the type of people they were surrounded by, embraced them, and gave one of the funniest and most entertaining panels of the Con. Check the film’s trailer below, and make sure you give Ghost Rider another chance when it hits theaters in February of next year. (Make sure you totally forgot about the original film when you do.)
One of the first comic-centric panels that AllHipHop.com attended was the DC All Access panel for Batman, one of the stars of DC’s recent “New 52” initiative which rebooted all existing comics from #1. Creators from each comic iteration of Batman, including: Detective Comics, Batman, The Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, and more were all in attendance to talk about their pure love for the character and the need to flesh him out, as not just a hero, but as a person as often as each of them can within their own series.
It was revealed that the current iteration of The Dark Knight has a more thorough horror-theme found within the issues, the introduction of brand new characters like The Dollmaker in Detective Comics, and the inclusion of some Justice League members who will be making appearances at some point throughout the different books. The Dark Knight creator David Finch promises says that upcoming issues will be bigger shocks to fans than anything they have read before!
The next comic panel focused on Marvel’s Ultimates Universe, which has had one of the most successful comic runs in the last decade. With Ultimate versions of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, Hawkeye, and more all having their own series and roles with the Ultimates Universe, the opportunity for giant spectacles, crossovers, and creative ideas is common. The first and largest focus of the panel was on Miles Morales, the first Black and Hispanic teenager to fill the shoes of the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker.
Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso spoke on the reasoning for Miles’ introduction as the new Ultimate Spider-Man, the impact that rapper and actor Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) had on the decision for the new character’s look, and what is to come for Miles in the future. New issues of all of the Ultimates comics are on stands now!
Batman: Arkham City
After showing the crowd the stunning trailer above, the moderator brought out three panel members that worked on the follow-up to Guinness’s World Record Holder for the “Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever.” The video game’s director, Sefton Hill, was brought out followed by Kevin Conroy, the infamous voice of Batman, and Coheed and Cambria member Claudio Sanchez who wrote an original song, “Deranged,” for the game’s soundtrack.
Among the topics brought up was the giant scope of the game, which is promised to be five times bigger than Batman: Arkham Asylum is the roster of villains which now include Hugo Strange, Joker, Two-Face, The Riddler, The Penguin, a playable version of Catwoman and many more. The concept of the game itself is just huge and so are the sounds, the fighting combos, the interaction between characters, and more. Fortunately for gamers, Batman: Arkham City is available now in stores so you can see for yourself just how amazing this game, looks, sounds, feels, and is.
Street Fighter x Tekken
Yoshinori Ono, producer on every Street Fighter game ever produced, was the sole speaker at Capcom’s panel for their new, highly anticipated game, Street Fighter x Tekken. The game, which will not be released until March 6 here in the U.S., is the ultimate crossover fighting game. Capcom is known for this kind of game, along with the Resident Evil series, and the true favorite, Marvel vs. Capcom, that also has an Ultimate version being released next year. Surrounded by a room full of Con attendees dressed as their favorite characters, Ono previewed the game for the crowd to enormous applause and excitement. Check an exclusive NYCC gameplay trailer below:
Marvel Interactive: (The Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3)
One of the most highly anticipated games of 2012 is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. After some amazing gameplay and a new trailer was shown to the crowd, a video was played that had Marvel villian Galactus fighting a number of other characters. The video was confusing as it appeared that Galactus was the playable character fighting a team, but that couldn’t be, could it? As a matter of fact, it could! It turns out that Galactus is now a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which also includes a total of 12 new characters between the two sides.
A world-premier game trailer was then shown for one of next summer’s most anticipated films, The Amazing Spider-Man. Attendees were told that not only would Activision, who makes the game, be bringing back the open world platform of the beloved Spider-Man 2 video game, but that the engine used to create Spidey’s new fluid movement and actions was like nothing ever seen or experienced before. Look out for the game to hit store shelves around the same time as the film hits theaters next summer!
Marvel TV: Anime
Did you know that two of G4’s most successful shows are anime versions of Marvel characters Iron Man and Wolverine? Well, now you know. With the recent finales of both series occurring last week, Marvel has prepared their second roll-out of shows which include the X-Men and fan favorite Blade. Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, was the sole panel member, along with a surprise appearance from the voice of Wolverine, Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes).
After seeing a brief preview of Blade, which looks absolutely stunning and is voiced by Harold Perrineau (Oz, Lost) who recorded a brief video for the Con, the audience was treated to a full preview of the first episode of X-Men. For fans of Anime, the shows look amazing. For fans of comics, the shows look amazing. If you’re a fan of one and not the other, shows like this are the perfect way to bring the best of both worlds together, and they have certainly succeeded. X-Men will be premiering this Friday on G4, while Blade will be debuting in early 2012.
The Walking Dead
One of the last panels I attended was for the hit AMC TV show, The Walking Dead. Graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman was in attendance, along with executive producer Gale Ann Hurd and almost all of the cast. Along with a ton of questions asked by the audience, we were treated to an exclusive preview from the Season 2 premier which aired this past Sunday. Not only is the tension and gore cranked up to 11 in the new season, the characters come to terms with some large revelations themselves. Each character’s arc and traits were detailed by the actor who plays them. At the conclusion of the panel, each actor was asked for their ultimate weapon choice in case of a zombie apocalpyse. The answers included crossbow, sword-chucks, and a flamethrower. Check out a preview of the new season below:
2009’s Black Dynamite is an infamous and critically acclaimed Blaxploitation film that took the world by storm and is now preparing for its animated series’ counterpart premier on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2012. In attendance was star and director Michael Jai White, alongside executive producer Carl Jones to discuss the show, offer an exclusive preview of what’s to come, and answer questions from the fans. This was certainly one of my favorite panels from New York Comic-Con, and I can guarantee that the animated show will not disappoint! Keep your eyes out for a sequel to the film as well that Michael Jai White says he has a number of ideas for already. Check out most of the panel itself in the clips below:
With that, the 2011 New York Comic-Con was over. Next year, if you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and come check out a true “experience” in every sense of the word. If you can’t wait until next October, every summer in San Diego, the West Coast Comic-Con features previews of some of entertainment and arts’ biggest things coming in the future.
Be sure to check out our coverage next year as well, and keep your eyes peeled for AllHipHop Comic Week, which is coming soon!