By Marc Woodfork
Another year, another convention has come and gone. Native San Diegans are relieved and happy to have their city back. Gone are the cosplayers, and the LARP’s and the goths, and super fans. No more crowded streets in the Gaslamp District. No more overstuffed trolley cars for the morning commute. And best of all, prices for everything has returned to the normal rates. Comic-Con International 2019 is over.
This year promised to be bigger and bolder than any other before. This was the 50th Con. It did not disappoint. This year’s convention had everything you would expect, and much more. Many A-list celebrities made surprise appearances to the delight of many who attended Hall H – none bigger than Tom Cruise, who crashed the “Terminator” panel to introduce “Top Gun: Maverick” to the world. Most major film studios made their usual appearances and brought A-list actors along to introduce upcoming projects.
Marvel Studios continued to set the benchmark to what a Comic-Con panel should be. Convention-goers waited many hours, and some even camped overnight to get a seat in Hall H for their presentation. And when they were finally let in, Marvel Studios put on a show – a show only they can do. Phase Four of the Marvel Universe was introduced, which outlines projects going into 2022. Angelina Jolie, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johansen, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, and so many others turned up. One of the loudest ovations came at the end when Mahershala Ali came on stage and put on a hat with the word “Blade” on the front signifying that he would be reprising the role in the reboot made famous by Wesley Snipes.
Films weren’t the only highlights; TV made a big impression this year. The streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu brought their “A” game to the convention. All of the streaming services have incredible new content upcoming. Amazon made the biggest noise for streaming. Their new series “Carnival Row,” starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delavigne created a lot of buzz. As well as AMC’s zombie apocalypse series “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead.”
With all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the major film studios and all the new TV series upcoming, Comic-Con 2019 was able to stay true to their roots. Above all else, Comic-Con is about comics and artists. By walking the convention floor you can certainly see that point was not lost. The most popular booths on the floor were the ones who had artists signing books and talking to convention-goers. That was really good to see. In the end, Comic-Con is not for everyone, I’ll concede that. But there is something for everyone. I would highly recommend going.