Catching up: San Diego Comic-Con 2012 reflections

Superheroes and villains have been in the news a lot lately. My heart goes out to the families of the victims of this past weekend’s shooting tragedy in Colorado. Let’s look back for a moment to happier times.

San Diego Comic-Con 2012 included the usual movie and television previews, toys and games, large numbers of brave fans in costume (also known as cosplay), and even some comic book announcements. Although I missed Spike TV’s coverage a few weeks ago, I caught much of G4’s programming, including its three-hour block on Saturday, 14 July 2012.

The CW's upcoming "Arrow" TV series
The CW’s upcoming “Arrow” TV series


Of the movies previewed, I’ve become more interested in the science fiction remakes Total Recall and Dredd, as well as animated comedies ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania, and Rise of the Guardians. A few other flicks caught my eye, including Django Unchained, Looper, Elysium, and Pacific Rim.

Of course, there are the obligatory prequels and sequels, including James Bond in Skyfall, comic book superheroes Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, Star Trek 2, and last but not least The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

Live-action TV

With the recent genre TV season ended, it was bittersweet to look back at departed or soon-to-end series such as Awake, Fringe, and Spartacus. Fortunately, there are lots of new shows to look forward to this fall, including supernatural melodrama 666 Park Ave. and postapocalyptic Revolution.

I’m a longtime fan of DC Comics’ Green Arrow, so I’ll definitely try the CW’s Arrow, which gives Oliver Queen the Batman Begins/Smallville treatment. I hope that it can focus more on Ollie’s awakening as a champion of social justice and archery prowess and less on the soap opera aspects, but the trailers are a mixed bag.

Of course, there’s lots to watch in the meantime, like midsummer cable shows such as Leverage, Warehouse 13, Alphas, and White Collar. As a longtime “Whovian,” it’s nice to see the cast of Doctor Who (and Torchwood) treated as returning heroes. We’ll see whether CBS’s Elementary will be a worthy companion to the BBC and PBS’s Sherlock and Masterpiece: Mystery.

Beyond the speculative fiction of Fringe, other procedurals with twists that I recommend include Castle (fanboy shippers), Person of Interest (domestic espionage), and Grimm (modernized fairy tales).


I’m disappointed that Batman and the Brave and the Bold and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are being replaced so soon, but at least Young Justice and Green Lantern: the Animated Series will be joined by new lighthearted Teen Titans Go! episodes. As I’ve mentioned before, Star Wars: the Clone Wars is carrying the torch for space opera on TV and continuing to expand George Lucas’ universe.

I’ve enjoyed the worldbuilding of Avatar: the Legend of Korra and the underrated Tron: Legacy. I suspect that the next animated Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles will be better than the live-action revision would have been.

Comic books

In comic books discussed around Comic-Con, I’m amused that Marvel is also doing a “soft reboot” with its “Marvel Now” after the much-criticizedDCnU” of the past year. I’ll be sorry to see Ed Brubaker leave Captain America, which he presented as a technothriller, and I hope that Marvel can rein in its proliferating Avengers and X-Men titles.

I’m still sifting through various “Batfamily” issues, but I’ve enjoyed some of DC Comics’ series after its continuity revision. Superman and Wonder Woman have benefited most from de-aging and new creative teams, and (some) Green Lantern and the Flash have changed the least. DC’s treatment of its female characters and younger teams still leaves something to be desired, however.

Of the comics from publishers other than the “big two,” I’ve enjoyed the Star Trek: the Next Generation/Doctor Who — Assimilation crossover, the similarly retro Steed and Mrs. Peel, and Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s atmospheric adaptation of Conan the Barbarian: Queen of the Black Coast.

I’ve been busy with work, games, and summer activities, but I hope to post my belated reviews of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises soon!

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