In life, there are winners and losers. And then sometimes you get an Avengers: Infinity War, who plays both sides of the field. That is just how it goes. Even at something as jam-packed with pop culture icons as Comic-Con 2017, there were bound to be some losers amidst all the glorious winners. The thing is, there was something about the offerings this year that made the winners seem really special and the losers really... lost.
The problem with putting together a list like this is that a lot of it is based on perception. If you love Will Smith, you might really take umbrage with Bright being placed in the loser's column. If you absolutely despise Stranger Things (I know... what are the chances?), it might not seem like it deserves all the praise it's getting as a TV show parading as a 1980s movie aggregator.
All that said, Comic-Con 2017 was filled to the brim with winners and losers. Amidst all of this, one thing was made abundantly clear, people LOVE nostalgia. No matter how you feel about the 1980s, it would be hard to argue that that decade has not made a resurgence. This was never more palpable than in the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, the aforementioned Stranger Things, and of course Blade Runner 2049 just to name a few.
However, despite calling this a winners and losers list, one has to marvel at the diversity we saw. Look at movies like Black Panther or shows like Star Trek: Discovery. Now, I am not saying that film and TV have solved their problems with this issue. I am just saying that many of the offerings, if nothing else, featured a step in the right direction.
So sit back and enjoy the Comic-Con 2017 Winners and Losers. Again, what you might deem to be a winner might be at the top of this loser's list and vice versa. So much of what goes into these lists is subjective. One thing to remember is that these are only movies and TV shows. And no matter how you feel about how this content is treated, good or bad, rest assured that there will be more! We start with the winners, kicking off with the excellent Marvel panel and its next big superhero in the waiting.
A big problem with Hall H in the past was that fans gathered around to essentially hear the talent promoting the movie. And then hear them say that there wasn't anything they could talk about with the project. This was not the case this year and it certainly wasn't the case with Black Panther. Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther himself, and the rest of the cast briefly introduced themselves, then they let a clip from the movie speak for itself. Filled with amazing visuals of Wakanda and an action fueled fight, Black Panther set itself apart. It was truly incredible footage to behold. The fact that it gave us a panel that actually talked about the film only bolstered what was already a strong showing. As excited as we are about Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther managed to rise above even that jewel in Marvel's already sterling crown.
Thor: Ragnarok Trailer
There was one thing that was abundantly clear about the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, it was better than the first two films combined. Making this whole thing even more cool is how we finally get to see Hulk talk! Sure, it's babyish but the reason for that has been explained by director Taika Waititi and that only seems to bolster this film's credibility. Another thing making this movie pop is how we get a Thor unlike any other we have ever seen. He's bold, brash and seems to be channeling Kurt Russell in Big Trouble In Little China. Yes, this film is an unadulterated love letter to the 1980s. However, of all the Marvel films that they have on the docket, this one seems to be having the most fun and that alone made it a huge winner at Comic-Con 2017.
Ready Player One Trailer
Steven Spielberg was on hand for the debut of the Ready Player One trailer, and fans were completely stoked. With everything from the Tron light cycles to the Back to the Future Delorean to Freddy Krueger, this trailer played like the ultimate mash-up. For a film that could've seemed like it was behind the curve, Ready Player One actually upped the ante for all future VR films. At a time in his career where it seems like Spielberg might be better suited to continue making Bridge of Spies, it is heartening to see that he can still play in the pool that he helped build. Ready Player One seems poised to again redefine the way we interact with our media.
Blade Runner 2049
Going way into the future, Blade Runner 2049 decided to be more than a panel. At Comic-Con 2017, they made this thing an experience. As a result they took a world that was already mysterious, and made it even more special. If you are a fan of the original film (and who attending Comic-Con isn't at least a Blade Runner fan?), you had to love everything about what Warner Bros. did here. Mixing aspects of VR with elements from both Blade Runner films, they created a world out of this movie in which you could get behind the wheel of a flying car. There is so much mystery and nuance surrounding this franchise, that there honestly seemed like there was no other way to bring this film to San Diego. A winner indeed!
Stranger Things was one of the hottest properties at Comic-Con. They debuted a trailer that totally floored those in attendance. By utilizing Vincent Price's voice from Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this show seemed to out nostalgia even itself. The fact that Stranger Things literally seemed to pick up where the show left off just made it that much more intriguing. First of all, how cool was it that the trailer opened with the kids playing Dragon's Lair only to have the arcade they were in turn into the Upside Down? Or did it? The really cool thing is that our main characters aren't unaffected by what they went through in Stranger Things Season 1. And the best part, with everything revealed in the trailer we still have a gazillion questions about this ever evolving show!
Star Trek: Discovery
If ever a show made a splash at the Con this was it! Considering that the original three season Star Trek could (and probably does!) have a convention of its own, it was nothing short of epic to see this franchise return to its home on the small screen. The fact that it had been delayed in the past, only seemed to the pique the audience's generation spanning interest. On top of that, fans also got to see a new trailer that showed just how far this series has come from its days of breaking new ground way back in the 1960s. As we said at the beginning, Comic-Con is great at building hype but not so great at sustaining it. Star Trek: Discovery not only met expectations, it showed all interested parties that good things really come to those who wait.
With LCD screens set up all over the Hall H ballroom, Supernatural fans not only got to see a show from the band Kansas, they also got to find out about this show that literally has had a supernatural existence. With a storyline that seems like it could have peaked a long time ago, Supernatural is continuing to push boundaries. With stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki on hand to dish about the show, there was also a healthy discussion about the spin-off show which features Kim Rhodes. For a series that has be on the airwaves for as long as Supernatural, it was awesome to see them still being viable in today's ever changing television landscape.
Avengers: Infinity War
Before getting into the losers, let's talk about a mixed bag. Avengers: Infinity War, on the surface, was a major win for Comic-Con itself, but a major loss when you go outside the hallowed halls of the San Diego convention center. After showing off the first footage a week earlier at D23, Marvel dropped the same trailer once again for the SDCC crowd. Problem was, after fans unable to attend either convention patiently waited a full grueling week to see it for themselves, Marvel and Disney outright refused to show the teaser online. The Avengers: Infinity War Comic-Con footage is said to be incredible. Jaw-dropping, even. It gives fans their first look at Chris Evans' transformation from Captain America into the bearded Nomad. Black Widow has gone blonde. Thor meets the Guardians of the Galaxy. Spider-Man uses his Spidey senses for the first time. And Thanos crushes a planet. A major win for those in attendance at Hall H, but lets remember, there are thousands of people at Comic-Con who waited in line and couldn't get in, aside from the poor bast-ages at home, so it's more of a lose situation. As those unlucky enough to lose a seat in Hall H didn't get to see the big fuss. Sometimes you really can win and lose at the same time. Now, onto the losers in this whole scenario.
X-Men and Deadpool Fans
Did Fox not know when Comic-Con 2017 was? Did they forget that you need to bring it to get it at this thing? Sadly, Fox had to the opportunity to wow people with some piece of Deadpool 2 news. They could have brought out some of the New Mutants. Instead, they put all of their eggs in the Kingsman: Golden Circle basket, and as a result they ended up with egg on their face. Man Fox, you had all of Hall H and this is what you used it for?
"Let me be very clear," Ben Affleck said when asked, "I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part in the universe. I'm so thrilled to do it." These were Batman himself's words at the Warner Bros. Hall H panel. However, with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice being hailed as DOA, and all the other DC Films before Wonder Woman also being vilified, Affleck's words rang a little hollow. This is actually sorta sad. Ben Affleck could actually be very good as Batman. The problem is that he has directors who have gotten in his way. Sadly, Hall H did nothing to make people think his days as the caped crusader weren't numbered.
This film always seemed like a problem child. In fact, just what is this film and does Will Smith really see his pact with David Ayer as a way to help his career? The synopsis of this film says that Smith is a (human) police officer who joins up with an orc played by Joel Edgerton. Their goal is to find a magic wand that could do some damage in the wrong hands. In the world of the film, humans live alongside fantastical beings (like orcs and fairies). Naturally, the police have a unit committed to solving supernatural crime. In the hands of a Barry Sonnenfeld this film could've had a different life. In the hands of the capable David Ayer (he's just not in his element), it seems to be a bombastic shoot-em-up that almost plays a comedy. Nothing about Bright's Comic-Con experience seemed to help it look like anything other than a giant poop emoticon.
You have FX's Legion, Fox's The Gifted and Inhumans and there wasn't too much to say about any of them. Okay, move to The Punisher trailer which clearly elicited the loudest reaction. The Defenders seems to have the goods, but by combining the 4 Netflix shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) how could it not? With such few offerings to elicit excitement, one has to wonder if perhaps with everything Marvel has going on might they be spreading themselves too thin?
Game of Thrones
The problem with Game of Thrones is it seems like every one but them wanted to be there. While other panels were gleefully spilling secrets and having fun, Game of Thrones appears to have gotten lost within their own hype. They gave us a teaser for episode two, "Stormborn," and then precious little else. They didn't have many cast members. On top of that, they came to Comic-Con and didn't tell anybody anything they didn't already know. Maybe they just don't care? Maybe the show is so big they don't need to care? The problem, if this is true, is that once you stop caring the fans eventually catch on and then nobody cares.