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The biggest news you might have missed from San Diego Comic-Con 2018

The biggest news you might have missed from San Diego Comic-Con 2018


From the reboot of Buffy and the big cameos of Star Trek: Discovery to the first transgender superhero on TV

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Photo by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

Any given year at San Diego Comic-Con, there is — to put it lightly — a lot going on. There were lots of new movie and TV trailers to see and very special experiences for our Verge writers. But there was also no shortage of news for the worlds of film, television, and actual comic books. Here are some of the biggest announcements you might have missed over the weekend.

Guardians of the Galaxy promo still

James Gunn Got Fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

After a right-wing troll and conspiracy theorist with a history of smearing progressive voices pointed out some offensive tweets made years ago by James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director was abruptly fired from the third installment of the Marvel film series. The reaction from fans was strong and firmly in opposition. Currently, there is a fan petition with more than 200,000 signatures asking for his reinstatement. His co-workers have spoken up as well, including Dave Bautista (aka Drax) who expressed his support for Gunn and actor Michael Rooker (aka Yondu) who quit Twitter in protest.

Gunn was supposed to have made an appearance at the Sony Pictures panel in Hall H on Friday evening, but a reporter from The Hollywood Reporter tweeted that that invitation was reportedly revoked upon his firing. (Alleged abuser Johnny Depp, meanwhile, still got to make his own surprise appearance at the Warner Bros. panel for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.)

The Reboot of Buffy

Nobody asked for it, but that doesn’t mean we won’t end up wanting it. Fifteen years after the television debut of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 20th Century Fox Television announced on Friday evening that it was in the process of bringing the beloved, monster-hunting heroine created by Joss Whedon back to the small screen for another series.

Instead of a reunion with Sarah Michelle Gellar and company, the planned series (which hasn’t yet found a home) will be a reboot of the original series with an all-new cast. Whedon will executive produce, writer Monica Owusu-Breen (Midnight, Texas, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will showrun, and — in the biggest twist — the titular slayer will be played by a black actress, who has yet to be named. (Why we didn’t just get a Kendra-centric series instead remains unknown.)

Image: IDW Publishing

George Takei is Making a Graphic Novel about Childhood in Internment Camps

When he was about five years old, Star Trek (and social media) star George Takei was imprisoned, along with his family, in a WWII-era internment camp for Japanese-Americans. Now, he’s making a graphic novel about his experience, titled They Called Us Enemy. The book will be scripted with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, illustrated by artist Harmony Becker, and released by IDW Publishing.

“I had no idea how chillingly relevant that dark chapter of American history would be.”

For Takei, it’s more than just a look back at the past. It’s also a warning to us all about where the growing xenophobia in America might take us. “It has always been my mission in life to raise the awareness of the unjust imprisonment of Japanese Americans in barbed-wire prison camps during World War II,” Takei tells The Hollywood Reporter about the book. “But I had no idea how chillingly relevant that dark chapter of American history would be to our times today.”

Comic-Con International 2018 - ‘DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow’ Special Video Presentation And Q&A
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Supergirl casts activist Nicole Maines as the first trans superhero

If any studio dominated Saturday at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it was Warner Bros. At its two-hour Hall H panel, the studio’s cinematic arm debuted trailers for Aquaman, Shazam, Fantastic Beasts, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Less touted, however, was Warner Bros.’ television arm’s announcement at the CW’s Supergirl panel on Saturday, when it announced it had cast Nicole Maines — the young trans activist who won a lawsuit against her school district in 2014 after they barred her from using the proper restroom — as the first on-screen trans superhero.

Maines will play Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, a twist on Nura Nal / Dream Girl, a superhero from DC’s 1960s Adventure Comics whose precognitive abilities allow her to predict (and prevent) the deaths of her teammates. According to what came out of the panel, Maines’ Dreamer will be explicitly trans and will follow a similar hero’s journey to the one Kara Zor-El faced in assuming the Supergirl mantle at the beginning of the series.

Comic-Con International 2018 - ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Panel
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Spock, Number One, and Digital Shorts Coming to Star Trek: Discovery

On Friday afternoon, the cast of Star Trek: Discovery — along with co-creator and showrunner Alex Kurtzman, executive producer Heather Kadin, and upcoming guest-star Tig Notaro — hit the stage at Hall H to preview some of what’s to come in the second season of the newest Star Trek property. There was a trailer, which was mostly hype coupled with the revelation that Captain Christopher Pike would indeed be waltzing in and taking control of the Discovery from Interim Captain Saru. We also learned that CBS All Access will be adding Short Treks, a series of short-form episodes that debut monthly alongside the main show and expand the backstories of characters like Saru and Tilly as well as the Trek universe at large.

But perhaps the most anticipated news came in between those two major drops: one was Kurtzman’s confirmation that Spock would indeed be showing up in season 2, as many fans had wondered. And the other was a totally unexpected spoiler from new cast member Anson Mount, who plays Pike: the new season would also do a bit of necessary retconning and bring back Number One, the female second-in-command from the original Star Trek pilot whose role was scrapped by the studios in favor of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock because 1960s Hollywood was sexist as hell. The character was originally played by Majel Barrett, who was both creator Gene Roddenberry’s wife and the actress who would go on to play Deanna Troi’s mother Lwaxanna Troi, as well as voice the ship’s computer, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Mount also spilled that the new Number One would be played by none other than genre icon Rebecca Romijn.

Image: Marvel Comics

Marvel Digital Original Comics: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist

After noticing that digital comics about character that appear in its Netflix series sell particularly well, Marvel is launching a line of original digital comics focusing on precisely that. The first series to launch will be Jessica Jones, followed by Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daughters of the Dragon (aka Misty Knight and Colleen Wing). Rather than the typical print comics model of releasing one 20-page issue each month, the original digital comics series will release three 40-page issues every three months. The ongoing digital Cloak and Dagger series will also become a part of the line.

Magic Leap Signs a Deal With Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison, the enigmatic writer behind The Invisibles and All-Star Superman (who is also an actual chaos magick practitioner), has signed a deal with Magic Leap to create experiences for the company’s virtual reality headset. This follows the news that Magic Leap is partnering with Madefire for mixed reality comics. Over at DC Comics, Morrison will also head up a new Hal Jordan series, The Green Lantern, with artist Liam Sharp.

Are fans willing to shell out as much for DC’s streaming service as they are for Netflix and Hulu?

DC’s Streaming Platform Will Cost $7.99 a Month

Everybody seems to want their own streaming platform these days, and DC Entertainment is no exception. We already knew that the company plans to launch DC Universe, a subscription-based hub for its shows that will also feature a comics library and original live-action and animated series, but now we know what it will cost: $7.99 a month — the same amount as a basic Netflix plan or a Hulu limited commercials plan — or $74.99 a year. Will fans be willing to shell out as much for DC’s service as they are for the more established streaming giants? We’ll find out this fall.

Assorted Comics News

As you’d expect, there were also some big announcements for traditional print comics, including some big changes or new series for some of its most prominent creators. Longtime DC Comics writer Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Batgirl) is moving to a new superhero world, the Catalyst Prime Universe of Lion Forge Comics, where she will serve as fhief architect of its stories, while writer Kelly-Sue Deconnick (Bitch Planet, Captain Marvel) joins Aquaman. There’s also a lot coming for Star Wars fans, including a spooky Halloween special (from IDW Publishing) and an upcoming crossover epic (at Marvel) that runs through 24 issues and three eras: Age of Republic (the prequels); Age of Rebellion (the original trilogy; and Age of Resistance (the future).

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Not just you

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Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

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Nilay PatelSep 13
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Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

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If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

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Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.