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SDCC: Marvel Panel
Hydra and the Cosmic Cube?
By Robert T. Trate
July 26, 2010
Concept design of Chris Evans in Captain America
© Bob Trate
Comic Con definitely ended with bang this year as Marvel Comics took center stage in Hall H with big reveals of both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Marvel Producer Kevin Feige brought the two Avengers as well as their villains, directors and co-stars. Saturday morning might have belonged to the Green Lantern but Marvel toped him with two of their best characters.
Director Joe Johnston, Captain America himself Chris Evans and Comic Con favorite Hugo “The Red Skull” Weaving were met with an incredible applause. The downside of Marvel’s panel was that only Weaving has been shooting. Evans has been working five days and done nothing but screen tests. Thankfully Weaving had one scene completed, which was enough to get us through the panel until the film’s release (25 June 2010).
In pre-Red Skull attire Weaving with his troops are in search of “the jewel of Odin’s treasure chest” (Thor connection!). After a crypt is broken into we see what appears to be a Cosmic Cube on a warrior’s skeleton. The scene plays out further and the mystery of what he is looking for only teased us further. What we did notice was that the Nazi troops as well as Weaving had patches and insignias that resembled the Hydra logo. It was very subtle but was visible more than once.
The teaser trailer was a collection of real World War 2 footage projected over Cap’s shield. There was a shadowy silhouette of Captain America revealed at the end. What got the crowd really going was the quick cut of Cap throwing the shield.
What allows us to believe that Joe Johnston knows what he is doing despite The Wolfman debacle is two things. The he Director’s Cut The Wolfman is a far superior film than it’s theatrical release (see Mania’s Column). The more important factor is Johnston citing Ed Brubaker’s Captain America as his favorite.
The Thor segment of the panel was a 180-degree turn from Captain America: The First Avenger. Practically the entire cast turned out to promote the film. Director Kenneth Branagh not only had his hero Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston) the God of Mischief but his leading ladies and one very familiar S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that wasn’t Samuel Jackson. Despite the living embodiment of Thor on stage and Comic Con babe Natalie Portman, Kenneth Branagh ruled the stage. Branagh answered questions with such a knowledge and grasp of the character that if there had been doubt of him as the director it was now gone.
The footage screened was the trailer, twice actually, and it again reiterated that Branagh was the right director for the project. He easily bridges the gap between Asgard and Earth. The film feels epic in scope yet each of the action sequences were gritty and raw. To see the Asgardiansbrought to life didn’t look hokey or strange. Let’s face it, it could have. Instead it was regal and majestic. It was Jack Kirby’s comic book brought to life.
It’s going to be a long wait for this one (5 May 2010). Thankfully there will be plenty of time to catch up on Thor and his part of the Marvel Universe.
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Look for his coverage of The Walking Dead, The Expendables and the JJ Abrams/ Joss Whedon panels.