It’s been three years since the last in-person San Diego Comic Con, and Marvel Studios went above and beyond for their panel in Hall H, giving us a full look at Phases 4, 5, and 6 in the MCU. We have a new trailer She-Hulk Attorney at Lawand those present were able to view exclusive teasers for Ant-Man: Quantum Mania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3and a new crossover series event called Secret Invasion. The panel ended with the first teaser for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Wakanda forever was already in development when Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa in 2018, Black Panther— died of colon cancer in August 2020. Director Ryan Coogler, Marvel’s Kevin Feige, and many others didn’t know Boseman was sick at all. They decided not to recast T’Challa or try to insert the character through visuals, although most of the other main cast members return. “His portrayal … is iconic and surpasses any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” Feige said in a December 2020 statement.
The finished film is in many ways a tribute to Boseman, and the trailer evokes that sense of loss in the almost elegiac cover of No Woman No Cry. There is even a picture of a street mural in honor of the deceased T’Challa. T’Challa’s mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) and sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) mourn the loss of their brother, with Ramonda currently sitting on the throne. “I am the queen of the most powerful nation in the world and my whole family is gone,” she says in a single line of dialogue. “Didn’t I give everything?”
“I promise you, I can feel his hand on me right now,” Coogler said of Boseman during the discussion. “The passion and genius of Chad, his culture and the impact he has had on this industry will be felt forever. We put our love for Chadwick into this movie. We also put in our passion.”
Lots of familiar faces. Among the new ones is Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the king of an underwater tribe believed to be related to the Maya. The trailer also introduces Riri Williams, aka Ironheart (Dominic Thorne), a teenage tech genius who is Tony Stark’s protégé in the comics. We see her bond with the equally brilliant Shuri, and another shot shows her sewing the Ironheart costume. (Thorn will also play Riri in the upcoming Iron heart series on Disney+.) The last shot in the trailer is of the new Black Panther, shown only from behind, advancing on the battlefield. Shuri becomes the Black Panther in the comics and maybe she will do the same in Wakanda foreverunless there is another dark horse candidate lurking in the background.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be released in theaters on November 11, 2022.
She-Hulk Attorney at Law
Marvel also unveiled a new trailer for their She-Hulk Attorney at Law series. According to the official premise: “She-Hulk Attorney at Law follows Jennifer Walters as she leads the complicated life of a lonely 30-year-old lawyer who is also a 6’7″ green superpowered Hulk.” Mark Ruffalo to appear as ‘Smart Hulk’, Tim Roth to reprise his role as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination from 2008’s The incredible Hulk, and Benedict Wong will return as Wong. Jameela Jameel plays Titania, She-Hulk’s super-strong rival; Ginger Gonzaga plays Walters’ best friend; and Renée Elise Goldsberry plays Amelia.
The first trailer came out in May and introduced us to Jennifer, who has just been asked to head the superhuman law department at her firm. But then her cousin Bruce Banner gave her a blood transfusion and she gained some of his Hulk powers. Banner becomes her mentor, teaching her to channel her powers by focusing on her anger and fear (also known as “the foundation of any newly existing woman”).
During the panel, series creator Jessica Gao called the show “Marvel’s first true half-hour comedy”. It seems to have a sitcom vibe to it, with some superhero action thrown in for good measure, although Jessica is that rare superhero who isn’t really all that aspiring to be one. The new trailer begins with Jessica sleeping peacefully in human form as a giant green hand enters the frame. It is the Smart Hulk who wakes her up with a loud signal, causing her to transform into She-Hulk. Who said that there can be no comedy element in scientific experiments?
Watch the Hulk/She-Hulk practice montage. “You’re about to embark on a multi-year journey,” Smart-Hulk tells her. Lesson one: “Spandex is your best friend.” She-Hulk copes with any task. The Smart Hulk reluctantly says that he can become a lawyer again if he wants to, which causes She-Hulk to break the fourth wall (a risky tactic) and address the camera, “That’s not what he really means.” She chooses the law.
Her Halkynism makes her the perfect choice for the head of Superhuman Law, as “more and more eccentric superhumans are emerging from the tree” according to her boss Holden Holloway. Her first client: Blonsky/Abomination, who greets her with a cheeky “Namaste”. It’s a clear conflict of interest considering Blonsky tried to kill her cousin Bruce, but Holloway doesn’t care. And this gives Jennifer a higher public profile. When Titania breaks into the office looking for trouble, She-Hulk goes into battle and her life as a superhero begins in earnest.
Wong emerges through the portal, warning, as usual, of a grave existential threat to the universe. We see Blonsky transform into Abomination in his cell. And at the very end, a mysterious figure somersaults into the frame and takes a fighting stance. Fan speculation is that it’s Daredevil, but we don’t get it very well.
She-Hulk premieres on Disney+ on August 17, 2022.
Stage 5 and beyond
She-Hulk as well as Wakanda forever will mark the end of the fourth phase of what is officially called Multiverse Saga (including the fourth, fifth and sixth phases). Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania the fifth phase will begin with its release in February 2017, 2023.
The Marvel panel included an exclusive teaser for the film (not yet released online). The footage begins with Scott Lang reading his memoir (appropriately titled Watch out for the little guy) when he learns that his daughter Cassie has been arrested. She worked with the Van Dynes, and the family seems to be fine. But then something goes wrong with the mysterious device and they are all transported to what appears to be the quantum realm. MODOK makes a cameo appearance, but the biggest revelation is a villainous version of Kang, a character first introduced in the ending. Loki.
Also in 2023, a film by James Gunn will hit the big screens. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3scheduled for May 5, 2023. According to the logline, “Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to protect the universe as well as protect his own. A mission that, if not carried out successfully, may very well lead to the end of the Guardians we know.” Footage from the Comic-Con preview revealed that this version of Gamora is now with the Ravagers and doesn’t remember Peter.
Looks like we’re learning more about Rocket’s origins on the planet known as Half the World, and fans are finally getting a good look at Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock, whose power comes from the Soul Stone. The film will also feature the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) as the villain, also known as Herbert Wyndham, an earth scientist who tinkered with chaos magic. In the MCU, he is responsible for giving Wanda and Quicksilver their superpowers.
Marvel also showed a trailer secret invasion, a six-episode crossover series featuring Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury that follows a faction of shape-shifting Skrulls that have infiltrated Earth. The footage shows Fury stepping out of the spaceship to meet Maria Hill (Cobie Smolder) at a bar on Earth looking pretty worn. Fury will team up with his former Skrull ally Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) to stop the Skrull invasion.
The panel clearly lacked any new footage relating to Miracles, scheduled for release on July 28, 2023; obviously the footage wasn’t ready in time, but chances are we’ll see something at D23 later this year. Same for Echo as well as Loki S2, which is also scheduled for release next summer. Above Iron heart drops that fall Blade— with Mahershala Ali stepping into the shoes of vampire hunter Wesley Snipes — and WandaVision spin off Agatha— centered on Wanda’s neighbor witch — 2023 will end on November 3, 2023 and December, respectively.
As for 2024, Anthony Mackie will star in a feature film. Captain America: New World Orderslated for release May 3, resigned to taking Steve Rogers’ shield at the end Falcon and Winter Soldier. That same spring, Charlie Cox returns as Matt Murdock in Daredevil: Reborn. This was not a surprise, as the character made a brief appearance in Spiderman: No Way Homewhile Vincent D’Onofio’s Kingpin appeared briefly in Hawkeye. (The comic’s storyline depicts Daredevil’s defeat at the hands of the Kingpin.) Still, it’s nice to see it officially confirmed.
The fifth phase will end on July 26, 2024 with the release of Thunderbolts., centered on a team of villains, possibly led by Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), introduced in Captain America: Civil War. As for the sixth phase, it’s mostly still a twinkle in Feige’s eyes, but it will start with a reboot. Fantastic Four (tentatively scheduled for November 8, 2024) and will end Avengers: Kang Dynasty May 2, 2025 and Avengers: Secret Wars November 7, 2025
Image from YouTube/Marvel Studios listing
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