Today’s afternoon at Comic Con 2017 included a bevy of talent from the best of current television or in new television just hitting the market. Robert Kirkman–famed creator/writer of The Walking Dead–had a hilarious solo panel where he did nothing but took questions from the audience. Marvel debuted footage from their upcoming mixed movie-release/TV-release property The Inhumans at the large Ballroom 20. And the newly released video-game inspired Castlevania had a fun late-evening panel taking questions from avid gamer enthusiasts.
Famed creator of The Walking Dead ran a panel that was entirely him taking questions from attendees. He joked at the beginning how last year he had a moderator for the same panel and while it worked quite well, he had no idea why he didn’t look for a moderator this time. Of the many questions asked of him, one of the most poignant came from a twelve-year-old attendee. He asked if Kirkman had any regrets killing off the character Glenn. The crowd erupted in laughter at that. After a brief, humorous facial expression Kirkman indicated sardonically, “In the case that Steven Yeun is watching this, I have to say absolutely not.” Without going into specifics he offered that he had no regrets whatsoever about killing of the beloved character of Glenn. Another fan asked about whether the long hinted-at, but never consummated relationship of lead characters Daryl and Carol would ever happen. All he would say to that was “We’ll have to just wait and see.” Further digging into the character of Daryl, another fan asked about an earlier indication several years back on The Talking Dead that Daryl was an asexual character, and whether that was a nod to the LGBTQ movement. He admitted openly that when that reference was made several years back he was unaware of the asexual distinction and what it meant, so the moniker was applied unaware of the real-life movement. He apologized profusely at being unaware of it and applying the label, but the fan thanked him tremendously all the same for referring to that character in that way in the first place.
Other interesting tidbits included his affirmation that he does intend Rick to survive to the end of the comic book story. He explained, “I do imagine the story going on after he’s done.” He also pointed out that there is a notion for how the story will end. “Two or three years ago I had a pretty good idea for a definitive ending. I’m working toward that. It’s a long way off.” For video game fans (specifically those of the Telltale The Walking Dead series) he confirmed that lead character Clementine would never interact with the characters from the comic, The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead TV series. He explained that he likes when the story elements have elements that are unique only to their instance, how that’s what makes the game special that Clementine is the central character in that world. Humorously he also pointed out in regards to what caused this fiction’s outbreak, “I know what caused the virus in The Walking Dead, but it’s dumb.” Fans will likely have to wait a good while longer before ever learning the cause.
Marvel’s The Inhumans
For anyone that’s not a diehard of the shared film universe we know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some explanation is in order for this portion of the post. Everyone else will have to sit tight anyway. When Marvel Studios initially announced its “Phase 3” slate of movies, one of the many announced (along with Avengers: Infinity War, Ant Man and the Wasp, Black Panther and others) was a feature length adaptation of The Inhumans. In the midst of the power-struggle and shake-up at the brain trust that controls the creative directions for Marvel Studios features (which ultimately saw studio impresario Kevin Feige take leading role on the film properties), The Inhumans got caught in the crossfire. What was a feature release had its release date and disappear and then it was announced that the movie would now instead be an episodic television series. The TV series would have its first two episodes released briefly in theaters, but beyond they would only be shown on ABC (much like the venerable MCU property Agents of Shield). At today’s panel Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb was joined by most of the cast of the upcoming show. Four new clips were played that showed the dynamics of the show, the powers of some of the characters in action, and the overall look and feel that fans can expect. The first featured an Earth dwelling Inhuman running for her life in a jungle. She’s joined by Inhuman Triton and he offers her asylum on The Inhumans hidden world on the moon. They flee, but the girl is gunned down before they can escape. Triton also take a bullet before jumping in the ocean and disappearing.
The second clip features the royal family (Black Bolt, Maximus, Medusa, Gorgon, Crystal and Karnak) having dinner together and discussing the secret mission Triton was sent on. It’s revealed how since Black Bolt essentially doesn’t speak (his super power being a voice that could rip open mountains) he communicates only through his own distinct formulation of sign language. His wife Medusa interprets for everyone else present. Iwan Rheon’s Maximus (Ramsay from Game of Thrones) openly questions the validity of Black Bolt’s choices before the group. Anson Mount, the actor portraying Black Bolt explained how he did tremendous research with consultants and sign language coaches to assemble a “lexicon of sign languages,” ultimately crafting his own, distinct formulation (actual readers of real-life sign language won’t recognize this as the symbols they’re used to). The third clip was a demonstration of Gorgon and Karnak’s super powers. As Maximus makes a move to take them out, they both fight back successfully. Gorgon defeats his would-be attackers through sheer unstoppable strength, while Karnak has some kind of ability to free-frame/rock-and-roll time, allowing him to isolate bad decisions and rewind to make improvements. The fourth clip was introduced by Loeb stating, “So there’s been some discussion about the hair,” in reference to online controversy over the look of actress Serinda Swan’s wig. The scene featured Medusa being propositioned by Maximus (better you see the scene yourself to understand the context) before ultimately Medusa’s hair is used as a strangling weapon to hold Maximus at bay. It’s very likely that CGI for the show is not in its final state yet, but where this particular clip stood thus far, the hair’s animation did not quite look fully real.
Last but not least was a fun and indulgent panel featured the new Castlevania Netflix series’ producers Brad Graeber and Adi Shankar as well as show director Sam Deats. Much of this panel focused on the struggle to bring something with the tone the show creators desired to the small screen. The aim was to bring the show to life not pulling any punches on violent content or adult story lines. Shankar pointed out, “Until South Park animation for adults didn’t really exist.” Graeber added, “It’s hard to convince studios that this kind of animation can be done. And it can be done.” During the Q&A section one fan pointed out how iconic and brilliant the music for the original game (and its subsequent sequels for Nintendo and Super Nintendo) was, and whether they planned to incorporate more of it into the series. Shankar declined to give any specifics but hinted at something akin to the Game of Thrones mixtape might be officially (or unofficially) coming in the future. He vaguely stated, “We may have a surprise for you in regards to the music. It may or may not be a mixtape. It may or may not feature rappers.” For those unfamiliar, the recently released show’s first season is only four episode. Another fan inquired if they wished they had expanded the show any further beyond four episodes. Deats explained, “No, this was expanded upon. These were the scenes we wanted to be there. We didn’t want to do ‘Monster of the Week.'” Castlevania is available on Netflix right now.