Comic-Con Roundup

Tom Hiddleston as Loki at the 2013 Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Nick Duke: Welcome readers to a very special column brought to you by the entire comics staff at the Place to Be Nation. This is our first three-way collaboration, so it ought to be a fun one.

As many of you are likely aware, this past Thursday through Sunday was the San Diego Comic-Con, also known as Comic-Con International. SDCC is the premiere convention in all of comics and has been for some time. However, over the past decade or so, it has kind of shifted into an event that spans all of pop culture. Movie studios use it as a launching pad to get a little buzz behind their upcoming films, and this year, like ever year, there was some exciting news to come out of the world of comic book movies. But, before we delve into the news that rocked the convention this week, let’s take a moment to remember that this is a comic book convention after all.

So, fellas, very briefly, in the comics medium, what was the one piece of news, art, announcement, etc., that caught your eye this week?

Todd Weber: I was excited to see pages from the upcoming “Sandman: Overture”.

Nick: “Sandman” is one of those books that I feel my fanboy card might be taken away because of. I’ve still never read an issue.

Greg Phillips: I’ll echo that. I’ve never actually read Sandman (I know…) but the book looks absolutely gorgeous.

Todd: SMH

Nick: I’m not entirely sure what the concept behind “Overture” is. Todd, care to shed a little light?

Todd: In the first issue of “Sandman” in 1989, Morpheus the lord of dreams is captured by a human. “Sandman: Overture” is a tale about why the Sandman was in a weakened state┬áthat enabled┬áhim to be taken captive. Where was he? What happened to him? “Sandman: Overture” answers these questions, so it’s a prequel.

The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III
The Sandman: Overture

Greg: Sounds very cool. I wonder if one could read that before reading the “Sandman” series proper?

Todd: I’m thinking absolutely. There didn’t seem to be a ton of news comics-wise. Both DC and Marvel are chugging along in their “new” universes. It seems like Nightcrawler is coming back to the X-books, but whoop-di-frickin-doo.

Greg: I honestly didn’t see any major comics announcements that blew me away. I guess Nightcrawler returning was the biggest surprise to me. I’m not entirely sure why they killed him in the first place.

Nick: The biggest news of the week in comics for me came out of a Marvel panel. There are few things that get me more excited than seeing the names Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley next to each other. So, with Marvel announcing that those two are re-teaming for the event Ultimate Cataclysm, it pretty much shot that book to the top of my “most anticipated” list.

SDCC really has shifted away from comics for the most part. How about comic-book television? What’s the big takeaway for you two there?

Todd: The first thing that raised my eyebrow was the news about Black Canary joining the cast of Arrow. Game of Thrones had another fun panel where they were finally allowed to talk about the events of the Red Wedding … and Khal Drogo himself, Jason Momoa made a cameo and gave the Khaleesi a nice surprise kiss.

Nick: Mine was the positive reaction to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m pumped about the show, and I’m really looking forward to the Marvel Cinematic Universe being able to bounce back and forth between movies and TV. It’s an approach I’m hoping DC will take in the future because there’s a little DC show out there right now that would be a great addition to the DC cinematic universe that is currently under construction.

Todd: It’s pretty amazing that this level of continuity is being shared between Marvel’s movie and TV divisions.

Greg: Arrow was clearly the most interesting element TV-wise this year for me. The casting of Black Canary was the biggest news, along with the castings of Bronze Tiger (the awesome Michael Jai White) and a version of the classic Titans villain Brother Blood. Also, if you haven’t seen it, the “sizzle reel” Arrow’s creators released yesterday was outstanding.

In the second season, we finally get to see Oliver fight Black Dynamite!
In the second season, we finally get to see Oliver fight Black Dynamite!

Nick: Yes, the Arrow stuff looks outstanding. Can’t wait for season two.

Todd: I did see it, but I’m not sure they really need the redundant Roy Harper character. Arrow is pretty great, and I’m really surprised they killed off the character who we assumed would grow to be Ollie’s main adversary.

I’m also excited about the expansion of the “Once Upon a Time” universe with their “Wonderland” spin-off. I mean, it’s Disney, and this level of fantasy is pretty fun for couples to watch together.

NEXT: Marvel invades Comic-Con