There was a lot of great stuff in Hall H today at Comic Con — but Marvel Studios blew it all out of the water. We saw so many incredible reveals just now. Including mind-blowing Captain America 2 footage, a big chunk of Guardians of the Galaxy... and a short teaser for Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron. Yes, you read that right.
Top image: Agent M/Twitter
Spoilers and stuff ahead.
We're going to pretty much work our way backwards here, starting with the end of the panel. Which is when Joss Whedon came out and revealed:
Whedon basically showed a short teaser in which soundbytes from the first Avengers played over video showing metal being put together, with sparks flying. At first, it looked like a new Iron Man mask — and then we pulled back and it revealed the trademark mask of the Avengers' great foe, the robot Ultron. And then we read the above movie title.
Which pretty much would have killed us all, if we hadn't already been destroyed by what we'd seen before. Including:
Considering Marvel's huge space opera only started filming 10 days ago, they had an amazing amount of footage to show us. We see a desolate alien world, where Peter Quill, aka Starlord, is going inside an ancient temple. He uses a light globe to illuminate the interior, and then goes to steal an old alien orb.
Some alien cops come in with big guns to stop him. "Drop it now," orders their leader, Borath (Djimon Hounsou). And he asks Quill who he is. "Starlord," he replies. "Who?" Borath asks. "Starlord, man. Legendary outlaw." Starlord is wounded. "Forget it."
Then we see someone activate a wrist transceiver, and we're in an alien prison, where five creatures have been arrested on Zandar. We see holographic "rapsheets" for all five of them — Drax the Destroyer, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a personal death machine, Rocket Raccoon, who has over 50 charges of vehicular theft and escape from lockup, Groot, a houseplant/muscle, and then Starlord himself.
Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) narrates the whole thing with intense snark, especially when he gets to the part about how Peter Quill calls himself Starlord. Listening to this, Quill cranks up his middle finger as if he's working a creaky machine. Later, Quill is in prison and Drax is listening to his personal stereo, which is playing a bouncy "gamba gamba" tune. Quill is offended — and then he gets tased.
And then we saw a montage of tons of action footage, including a two-headed alien shooting a gun, a prison riot, tons of Gamora putting the smackdown on people, Rocket Raccoon shooting a big gun with a vicious look on his face.
The footage ends with John C. Reilly saying, "They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy. What a bunch of A-holes." And we see the five of them lined up, like the Usual Suspects.
And the actual Guardians panel included the whole main cast, including Michael Rooker (Merle from Walking Dead!) as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Hounsou as Borath, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Benicio Del Toro as the Collector, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, and Chris Pratt as Starlord.
Asked about his character, Pratt joked, "I play a Fedex executive who goes down in an plane crash and has to go live on an island."
Then he actually described his character: "Starlord is like this guy who lives in space. He's kind of a jerk, he had a hard time as a kid, and now he goes around space making out with hot alien girls and kind of just being a rogue and a bit of a jerk. And through teaming up with these guys finds a higher purpose for himself which is to really care about... this family that he's found."
Saldana explained that she originally thought of Gamora as a tough "feisty" woman, but then realized that "she's an assassin. I play an assassin from space."
Lee Pace described Ronan: "He's a very complicated Kree. He's a beast. He's an iconic character from Marvel since 1967."
And then Djimon Hounsou made everybody lose their minds when he described Borath as "a great ally to Ronan and Thanos." That last name being a bit of a surprise — the cosmic villain we glimpsed at the end of The Avengers.
People lost their minds again when Gillan peeled off her red-haired wig to reveal that she had shaved her head to look like the famously bald Nebula. "I'm sorry, I just got an urge, it just got better of me. I was a little worried I was going to look like an overgrown fetus it's true. But it's liberating." Image via Ethan Anderton.
We saw a ton of footage from this film, which really backed up the idea that it's a paranoid spy thriller as well as just a fun superhero action movie.
We saw a complete scene, which was very reminiscent of one of the best moments from Drive. Captain America gets into an elevator at SHIELD headquarters, and then Crossbones (Frank Grillo) gets in with him, with a couple of other guys, all heading for Operations. They're talking about spy stuff, but Cap notices they have their guns out. And then a bunch of guys in suits get in, heading for Operations. And there's something hinky about them, too. Someone says "fuck you contract," randomly.
Even more guys get into the elevator and say "Records." And then Cap is surrounded by a ton of guys. In a small glass elevator. He's massively outnumbered in a tiny space.
Cap says, "Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?" Nobody does. They attack, and he hits emergency stop, and all of these guys are trying to kill him at once. There's a wristband which is magnetized, and it gets attached to the wall of the elevator, and then Cap's wrist is stuck in it so he's fighting with one hand trapped. He basically kicks the hell out of all these guys, using their own weapons against them. It's amazing. Eventually Captain America gets his wrist free so he can fight two-handed.
At last, it's just Cap and Crossbones, who says "it's nothing personal." He tases Cap over and over again, and Cap just keeps coming. Cap throws him into the ceiling. Cap is standing in the elevator, surrounded by prone bodies and broken glass, and he reaches down to grab his shield, with a loud clang.
We also saw lots of other footage, in which Cap and Black Widow go into an ancient SHIELD headquarters, digging for old secrets. Robert Redford, as Alexander Pierce, is telling Steve Rogers that SHIELD wants to protect people, but sometimes building a better world means tearing the old world down. And SHIELD has enemies. "You know how the world works," he says.
We see Scarlett Johanson standing in a graveyard looking sad. We also see Anthony Mackie, as the Falcon, riding in a car.
The latter part of this footage involves showing a lot of super insane SHIELD hardware, including jumpjets, the Helicarrier and various other massive vehicles, while Nick Fury and Captain America debate spy ethics. Fury says "I've neutralized lot of threats before they even happened." Cap responds, "I thought the punishment usually came after the crime." "SHIELD takes the world as it is, not as we'd like it to be," says Fury. "This isn't freedom," Cap says. "This is fear." And Fury tells Cap to keep his eyes open.
We see Cap jumping out of a jet and fighting and lots of stuff blowing up, and Black Widow kicking pretty much all the ass, and abseiling into a super tall structure, shooting in all directions as she goes. We see a bus exploding and another shot of a graveyard. And more awesome fight scenes, that we just caught a glimpse of.
The Falcon flies into an aircraft carrier while being chased by multiple jets. Captain America is on a motorcycle flying, and there is tons of kickfighitng. And then we saw what looked like the SHIELD helicarrier blowing up and crashing into the river.
And then we see the Winter Soldier, formerly known as Cap's sidekick Bucky, reach down and pick up Captain America's tarnished, burnt shield, and look at the camera with his gaze especially intense in black smeary eye makeup.
During the panel, Evans explained that Cap's culture shock in this movie is not so much about discovering the existence of the Internet, but more about the societal differences between the 1940s and now. "He comes from a world where people were a little more trusting, and the threats weren't as deep... Sometimes the actions you have to take to prevent certain threats compromise some of our civil liberties [and] that's tough for Steve to swallow."
Meanwhile, Johansson said the Black Widow and Cap have a new relationship in this film. "They have a shorthand together, they're kind of partners. They run missions together. They have a lot of interaction." We didn't see them interact much in The Avengers, but now they have a relationship that they've built, and this might let us see a different side of Black Widow as well.
"It's like an odd couple, we each have different approaches to morality," said Evans. "Dichotomies are sexy, I tell you what."
Samuel L. Jackson cautioned that "almost everything that comes out of Nick Fury's mouth is a lie. Sometimes he has to figure out, 'Am I lying to myself?'"
Anthony Mackie, who plays the Falcon, says the whole movie is just them "just handing out business for two hours," and his character has "wings and guns."
Cobie Smulders, who plays Maria Hill in the film, says "SHIELD is picking up where we left off after the Avengers [and] the battle of New York, the world is still reeling fro the reaeal of aliens and superheroes. SHIELD is trying to find its place in this new world."
And Emily Van Camp, who plays Agent 13, aka Sharon Carter, would only say that "it's a great character to play."
Marvel's Kevin Feige said this story would be pretty close to the "Winter Soldier" arc from the comics, as it relates to Bucky Barnes. "It's not a twist" for comics fans — but Captain America won't see it coming.
We thought we were just going to see a trailer from this movie — but instead, we got a live performance from Tom Hiddleston, in costume as Loki. In which he ranted about humanity and our propensity to gather in the sweltering heat just for a chance to enter this "Midgard palace" known as Hall H. Check out a video here:
We'll add a better version if and when we find one. Hiddleston was hilarious and awesome, saying: "I am Loki! Of Asgard! I am burdened with glorious purpose. Stand back, you mewling quim. The bright year of freedom diminishes your life's joy in mad scramble for a place in his chamber. In this meager palace of Midgard, the arena they call Hall H. You should have let me rule you when you had the chance. Yet here you are! Kneel! Your ears yearn for untold stories. Your eyes crave unseen sights... your imaginations ache and hunger. Where are your Avengers now? Claim loyalty to me and I will give you what you need." And he made the crowd shout his name again and again. Then he said, "It seems I have an army."
The actual footage from Thor 2 included some stuff we've seen in the trailers already. Thor and the Warriors Three are fighting a bunch of dark elves, and they're annoyed at Thor for horning in (so to speak) on their glory. Then a big giant rock monster shows up and they tell Thor it's all his. He strides up to it and gives it a chance to surrender, then smashes it to rubble.
The new footage showcased something terrible and apocalyptic threatening Earth and Asgard. Thor goes to Loki for help, and says he wishes he could trust his brother. "If you did, you'd be the fool I always took you for," Loki responds. The Warriors Three threaten to kill Loki if he betrays Thor, and then Jane (Natalie Portman) gives him a smack. "That's for New York." "I like her," Loki says.
There are ominous hints that the very fabric of reality could be torn apart, and then lots of scenes of dark elves and a sinister mask on the ground. Thor says he'll find a way to save everyone. And at one point, Thor's hammer flies down a street and around a corner, then into Thor's hand, so he can use it to smack a dark elf.
Then Loki has, indeed, betrayed Thor — and he asks only one thing of his new evil allies: the chance to watch Earth burn. Thor tries to catch his hammer, but his hand is burned. "No!" he shouts.
Images via Marvel unless otherwise labeled.