Comic-Con trailer roundup: Marvel and DC battle it out in San Diego


San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and we're left with sore feet, full pokédexes, and more trailers than one person could ever hope to keep track of. That's what The Verge is here for. We've sifted through the hours of footage shown off at this year's event to pick out the best trailers and teasers

This year saw reimagined horror classics in Blair Witch and the Exorcist TV series, as well as visits to King Kong's home on Skull Island, our first look at the long-awaited American Gods, and details of a new Star Trek show. But as usual, the weekend belonged to the kings of comics — Marvel and DC — that unleashed a torrent of trailers on the waiting internet. Marvel's well into phase three of its cinematic universe, but it feels like DC is just getting up to speed on its own version, showing off single-hero movie Wonder Woman alongside its Justice League ensemble piece. Marvel still takes the prize for sheer quantity, though, with new trailers for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, and the Defenders.

Doctor Strange

He exists in the same universe as angry green mutants, planet-hopping Norse gods, and a talking raccoon, but Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange still manages to look impressively strange. The latest trailer for Marvel's next movie opens the doors of perception, opening portals on mountains, journeying into minds, and — in sections potentially inspired by Inception — folding cities together like paper. Still not sold on that goatee, though, Benedict.

Justice League

The real shock in the Justice League trailer wasn't the on-screen appearance of Jason Momoa's Aquaman, nor the absence of Superman — it was the humor. Ben Affleck's Batman cracks jokes — multiple jokes — in its short three-minute runtime, indicating that (finally!) we might be getting a DC movie with moments of levity rather than another 120 minutes of pure gloom.

Sherlock, season four

Benedict Cumberbatch has been a busy boy this year. In addition to stepping into Doctor Strange's cape for Marvel's movie, the actor is also reprising his role as Sherlock Holmes for the BBC's fourth season of Sherlock. The cryptic new trailer pits a pensive Holmes against Moriarty again — or does it? All Sherlock knows is that "something is coming," and he'll have to use his preternatural detective skills to figure out just what kind of something it is.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes a trip to the wizarding world 60 years before Harry Potter was born. The movie is set in New York in 1926, and follows magical researcher Newt Scamander — played by Eddie Redmayne — as he tries to curtail an infestation of the titular creatures. We know Hogwarts well, but the trailer shows that American society reacts a little differently to magic, pointing guns at strange men waving sticks in the street.


Legion is an X-Men TV show, but you'd be forgiven for not immediately realizing that from the trailer, which follows the apparently mentally ill David Haller as he undergoes therapy. Marvel fans will know the name, though, and will know Haller as one of the most powerful and dangerous mutants in the X-Men canon. He's the bearer of multiple superpowers, but also multiple personalities, with each one controlling different skills, and not always at the most opportune moments.

Wonder Woman

She was the best thing about Batman vs Superman, so it makes sense that Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman would be starring in one of the most promising superhero movies on the horizon. Wonder Woman's trailer shows its grim World War I setting, but adds light to the darkness that has come to define DC movies, with its star's golden whip flashing through stylish fight sequences.

Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island looks as much like a Vietnam film as it does a monster movie, with helicopters full of soldiers, flamethrowers, and miles and miles of untamed jungle threatening to kill anyone who ventures inside. There's definitely more of a menace to King Kong and his home than there was in Peter Jackson's swashbuckling 2005 remake, with Skull Island's surprisingly star-studded cast at risk from armed human natives, flying trees, and the skyscraper-sized ape himself.

American Gods

Our first look at American Gods — the long-awaited adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel — shows a moody and noir-esque world where new deities of technology and media are trying to co-exist with old gods. Ian McShane is one of those ancient powers, the Deadwood star back on top scenery-chewing form as Mr. Wednesday.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Or Lock, Stock, and Two Old King Quarrels, to give Guy Ritchie's next film a more accurate name. The director seems to have gone back to the kind of twitchy and sarcastic filmmaking that made Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch hits, painting ancient King Arthur as a cheeky common ruffian, and pitting him against incumbent rulers keen to see him squashed underfoot.

Marvel's Defenders

Marvel's Defenders — the show that'll unite Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Daredevil as a crime-fighting team — is one of the comic company's most hotly anticipated offerings, but its Comic-Con trailer wasn't giving anything away to fans. A true teaser, the minute-long trailer has no actual footage of the show, scanning instead across posters to find mentions of Hell's Kitchen's heroes against a Nirvana soundtrack.

The Walking Dead, season seven

After a cliffhanger that was either infuriating or brilliant, depending on how much patience you have left for the show, The Walking Dead's creators were giving nothing away with its season seven teaser. The clip looks weirdly like the intro sequence for the bloodiest sitcom of all time: it's a roll-call of the show's characters, shown in (marginally) happier times when they weren't being threatened by a baseball bat covered in barbed wire. Who's getting said bat in the skull? Find out in October. Also, there's a tiger!

Fear the Walking Dead, season two second half

It's not enough to see The Walking Dead. AMC wants you to Fear the Walking Dead too, when the second half of the show's second season arrives in August. A new teaser shows the beginning of the end of the world that The Walking Dead skipped by having Rick wake up in hospital, set in a Mexico that's trying to understand why dead bodies keep getting up and eating people.

Iron Fist

Netflix is getting greedy with its Marvel heroes. Iron Fist will be its fourth show developed in partnership with the comic creators, telling the story of Danny Rand, martial artist and wielder of a mystical force that lets him punch through walls. The clip's too short for us to get a proper look at Danny's powers, but he'll be played by Finn Jones, better known for his portrayal of Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones.

The Lego Batman Movie

Ben Affleck's Justice League Batman may be cracking jokes, but he's got nothing on Will Arnett's version of the caped crusader, rendered in cute 3D Lego. This Batman has a mariachi costume, goes to bed when his butler tells him to, and "sarcastically" adopts kids at charity galas. That's how he ends up with a new sidekick: Robin, played with more giddiness than usual by Michael Cera.

Luke Cage

We've already had a good long look at Luke Cage as a supporting player in Jessica Jones, but the invulnerable man's own series makes him look like even more of a force of nature, with Cage barely flinching as he wades through a gang of goons. Cage is coming to Netflix on September 30th.

Suicide Squad final trailer

Suicide Squad unites some of DC's most famous villains, but as the movie's Comic-Con trailer proved, one of its biggest heroes is also showing up for the party. Batman appears in a few split-second shots of the movie's "final" trailer, leaping through a window and chasing the Joker and Harley Quinn on one of their date nights.

Star Trek Discovery

Small-screen Star Trek is coming back. CBS is currently working on Star Trek Discovery, the first new series set in the Star Trek universe since Enterprise was canceled in 2005. The network showed off the show's new ship — the eponymous Discovery — at Comic-Con, revealing a vessel with sharp lines that looks almost like a Klingon Bird of Prey.


There was a special guest at the secret Comic-Con screening of Snowden — the man himself. Snowden dialed into the showing, his head looming large over a small audience of journalists and the movie's cast and crew, including director Oliver Stone and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays the NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower. The real Snowden even makes an appearance in the movie, but for the trailer, it's all Gordon-Levitt, who's absolutely nailed the real Snowden's voice.

Game of Thrones, season seven production tease

Just a tease from HBO for Game of Thrones season seven, a two-minute clip avoiding any actual show footage in favor of production footage, showing carpenters, blacksmiths, and other set designers making the props that will feature in the next series. Season seven will be shorter than previous seasons of the show: there's only going to be seven episodes this time around, as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss gear up for a monster conclusion.

Blair Witch

Seventeen years after the original Blair Witch Project made shakycam a new standard for horror movies, Blair Witch is taking us back to the woods with a video camera. The new movie was kept under wraps until Comic-Con, where early viewers were told that they were seeing a film called The Woods.

The Exorcist TV show trailer

If you're revisiting one horror classic, why not another? The Exorcist transports the terrifying movie to Fox TV this fall, following two priests as they take different approaches to banishing the demons from one poor family. The themes are the same — spooky children, demonic voices, lots of underage swearing — but the cinematography looks very different, with the TV Exorcist borrowing modern horror techniques to ramp up the tension.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — Don vs. Raph

It's not strictly a trailer, but this six-minute short from Jhonen Vasquez — creator of cult cartoon Invader Zim — presents a better version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than we've seen in recent movies and games. Petition to get a new series starring these hyperaggressive heroes in a half-shell, please.