Marvel at Comic-Con retrospective

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was back in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H this year, where president Kevin Feige announced a combination of ten films and Disney+ shows coming out between now and November 2021. There’s a lot to be excited about even beyond the properties that received full presentations (Blade?! Fantastic Four?! Mutants?!), but before we move forward into the next phase of the MCU, it’s worth spending a bit of time reminiscing on the 13-year history that the MCU has already had with San Diego Comic-Con. 

Read on for some of the most memorable SDCC moments from the Infinity Saga of the MCU.

2006: The First MCU Panel

Before there were 23 movies spanning three phases, there was only the promise of the Marvel film universe to come. In 2006, Feige sat on a panel in a relatively tiny room to promote the MCU’s first film — Iron Man — as well as tease there would be an Avengers movie, which wouldn’t come out for another six years. That was the first of many examples which reveal how much thought Feige put into building what this unprecedented, interconnected world. And while Feige clearly had a long-term vision, that panel also showed that things can change: Edgar Wright was also on the stage as the director of an Ant-Man movie, only to leave the film years later (Peyton Reed ended up directing the 2015 film and its sequel).

2010: The First Time All of The Avengers Assembled in Hall H

The MCU quickly moved to the coveted Comic-Con real estate of Hall H after Iron Man came out. By 2010, Marvel was a Hall H regular, although it only had three movies under its belt; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2. The big huzzah for Hall H that year was getting fans geared up for The Avengers. Even though the team-up movie wasn’t due out for another two years and Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger had yet to come out, Robert Downey Jr. got on stage and introduced the rest of the team – Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Hemsworth – to thunderous applause. It was the first time the original six Avengers had ever been on stage together, and a huge, memorable moment for Marvel fans at Comic-Con.

2013: Tom Hiddleston Comes Out as Loki to Conquer the Crowd

Having the Avengers all on stage together was a spectacle that would be difficult to top. But a year after The Avengers premiered, Marvel Studios delivered yet another memorable Hall H moment. The panel started out with Kevin Feige alone on stage…and all the lights in the hall went out. Through the dark, the sonorous voice of Tom Hiddleston as Loki entered the audiences’ ears. And when the lights came back on, Hiddleston was there, replete in full Loki gear and completely in character. He then did a Hall H-appropriate version of Loki’s speech at the Berlin Opera House from The Avengers before walking off stage, leaving the Hall H audience electrified.

2017: Black Panther Cast Sees The Trailer For The First Time 

In more recent years, the MCU has been firmly established as an epic, encompassing, and well-loved IP. When Black Panther was promoted in 2017, however, the enthusiasm of the Hall H crowd went to another level. During the session, the audience as well as the cast saw the trailer for the first time, and the footage was so engaging and so inspiring that the entire SDDC audience jumped to its feet cheering. The cast also had an extremely emotional reaction. They had turned around on stage so they could get the best view and were visibly impacted by the footage; it was a truly momentous moment to see the world of Wakanda and its people brought to life. 

There’s clearly a lot in store for the next phase of the MCU, and while we got a great preview last night, there’s still a lot we don’t know. One thing seems certain, though: the MCU’s relationship with Comic-Con will continue, and Hall H will echo with the astonished sounds of fans every time Marvel Studios drops by.

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