Over the years, Comic-Con The International in San Diego has been America’s preeminent geek/pop culture conference. That all came to a halt in 2020, when Covid-19 forced organizers to cancel for the first time in five years. Now, in 2022, they are again hosting events in the San Diego Convention Center’s Hallowed Hall (Hall H, Ballroom 20). But the question remains: Can the event live up to its former glory?
Comic-Con was already starting to lose some of its luster well before 2020. Or rather, it feels like an ever-changing event. After years of pushing the indie comics fans and retailers to the sidelines at SDCC, the big Hollywood studios are starting to drop the heat in their convention presentations. (Or, in Disney’s case, reserve some major showcases for their own events, like D23.) Streamers like Netflix have popped up to fill many of the gaps, but the general feeling is that things are changing — again .
This year’s event is scheduled to begin tonight, and many people – fans, studios, journalists – are watching. Perhaps those who have deeply felt the absence of Comic-Con over the past few years will return with renewed enthusiasm; perhaps everyone will move on and the waning interest will wane even further. Regardless, event organizers and their hosts are going all out in hopes of regaining the hype.
“What hype?” you ask? Well, Marvel is definitely back. After a blockbuster presentation in 2019, the studio announced that it will be rebooting Blade with Mahershala Ali, and this year Marvel is back in primetime Saturday afternoon.The studio hasn’t said what it will bring, but fans may keep an eye out for Forever Wakanda, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Miracle, and other items.Warner Bros. has said it will bring black adam and new Shazam Movie. Also on the docket: Dungeons & Dragons: A Rogue’s Honor, Dragon Houseand The Lord of the Rings: Ring of Power.
In other words, there are a lot of credible heavyweights.If there’s anything that could make a dazzling return to conventions, it’s a bunch of Marvel projects and more game of ThronesThe prevalence of sequels and reboots might feel like reheated leftovers, but after nearly three years without Comic-Con, it might also feel like meeting friends after a long quarantine.
Anyway, we’ll keep an eye out. Wired magazine will be broadcasting the event live, and presumably many other outlets will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on. Don’t get too dramatic, but the future of nerds depends on it.