The atmosphere at Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Comic-Con was electrifying this afternoon as hundreds of fans were anxiously awaiting what Marvel’s Animation department would have in store for them. The panel did not disappoint with a slate of new shows and the long-awaited announcement of What if…? season two.
Brad Winderbaum, executive producer of What if…? was in charge today of moderating and started things off with a new series of five-minute shorts called I Am Groot. As one could deduce from the title of the show, the shorts are centered around one of the most beloved characters of Guardians Of The Galaxy. Attendees of the panel got a sneak preview of the first episode, in which baby Groot takes a mudbath in a jungle on an alien planet. The episode was humorous and adorable as tiny Groot tries to groom his ever-growing leaves into different hairstyles. The short stories about one of the smallest Avengers will be coming out on Disney+ in August.
Spider-Man Freshman Year is the official title for a new Spider-man animated series that will also be coming out on Disney+. The show’s art and style are heavily inspired by the Silver Age of comics but with a fresh new air of diversity and representation among Peter Parker’s peers and enemies. As the title suggests, the series will be following the young wall-crawler during his high-school years but with a gutsy twist to the usual plot. Norman Osborne, famously known as one of Spider-Man’s worst foes, will be befriending the New Yorker teenage superhero and even be his mentor. How this will influence Peter in his early formative years and what consequences will their relationship have on his superhero alter ego will be interesting to follow when the show releases early in 2023. Season two, named Spider-Man Sophomore Year, has already been greenlit for 2024.
Many attendees today arrived early to the panel anticipating news on What if…?, the animated series that kicked things off. The remarkable success of this show paved the way for the rest of Disney / Marvel animations, without it they would probably not have been greenlit as easily. Season two of the Emmy award-nominated series is on its way to Disney’s streaming platform with new and wild adventures from the infinite Marvel multiverse. Episode one will be following Elizabeth Carter, Steve Roger’s love interest during WWII turned into Captain Britain when she took his place during the Manhattan experimentation. The Watcher, with the magnificent deep voice of Jeffrey Wright, will continue as guide and narrator of the show. Sadly, fans are going to have to wait until next year for season two.
Marvel Zombies is another new animated series that will be coming soon to Disney+. Inspired by the comics of the same name, the show is about many of Marvel’s favorite characters turned into hungry super-powered undying monsters with an unquenching thirst for brains. Originally a spin-off of Ultimate Fantastic Four, the animated show is a spin-off of a What if…? episode. Unlike its comic book counterpart, the show will not be following Magneto and a few renegades surviving a zombie apocalypse. Instead, we will see some of MCU’s newest members such as Kate Bishop, Yelena, Agent Woo, Shang-Chi, and The Red Guardian. The unlikely partnership among these diverse characters will surely be engaging viewers even more.
Last but definitely not least, the panel presented under tremendous applause and cheers one of the most anticipated shows to be coming out in the near future on Disney+. The much beloved animated X-Men show from the 90s will have a continuation under the new title of X-Men97. The crowd of attendees could not have given a louder feedback to its panelists as they applauded for every character name, every detail, and every piece of news. The nostalgic theme song that will also be used for the new show brought the crowd to a cheering hysteria. Cyclops, Storm, Gambit, Jean Grey, Rogue, Beast, Jubilee, and of course Wolverine will all be back on the team just like in the good old days. Only one major plot twist was revealed during the panel; following directly after Charles Xavier’s death in the last season of the show, the team’s new leader will be none other than Erik Lehnsherr, also known as Magneto.
Photo Credit by: Jose Eichenseer