Kevin Feige

It’s officially official: No Marvel or DC films will be gracing the at-home-Hall-Hs this year. Deadline has the story and they say both blockbuster giants are bowing out of the upcoming Comic-Con@Home, which will livestream its panels to viewers in the comfort of their own homes. Hence the name.

Comic-Con has been a cornerstone of promoting geek properties pretty much since the very beginning when a little sci-fi movie called Star Wars decided it’d be cool to set up a booth there and try to raise awareness for this weird space opera. In the last 20 years SDCC has been a crucial conduit for both Marvel and DC to reach its fans and build buzz, but the times…they are a’changin’.

Marvel has D23, DC has its Fandome event, both of which are already scheduled (Fandome beams into your living rooms this October and D23 is returning with a big in-person event in September of 2022) and are just as good at getting the word out about their geeky offerings on the horizon.

That’s not to say we won’t ever see sneak peeks at Marvel and DC movies at Comic-Con again. I get the impression that both studios do feel that SDCC is important to them and they’re not wrong. SDCC kept the comic book flame alive for decades while the rest of the world slowly decided they liked superhero stories on the big screen and Marvel in particular owes a huge amount to the early Iron Man buzz coming out of that presentation.

I was in that room when we got our first look at Iron Man and I remember just how electric the air felt.

So there’s history there, but Marvel is sitting out the virtual event this year.

comic-con 2021

Comic-Con at Home and Comic-Con at Thanksgiving

Now, Comic-Con did announce a live event as well. It will be taking place Thanksgiving Weekend, for some horrific reason. It’s quite possible that both Marvel and DC could return for an in-person event. That’ll certainly be more appealing to the studios than a virtual presentation because half of the reason to show off your wares at Comic-Con is that palpable buzz in the room and the filmmakers’ ability to talk directly to the fans live and in person.

And as much of a pain in the ass as it is to cover Comic-Con on the news reporting side of things, I can’t deny that there’s something about being in Hall H or Ballroom 20 and feeling thousands of likeminded geeks lose their collective shit over a presentation. Marvel and DC will definitely want to do that again, we just might have to wait for COVID to be fully in our rearview mirrors first.

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