Comic Con was last weekend and that’s ok. It’s completely acceptable that money is a thing to me and, as such, I didn’t find myself in San Diego recently, soaking in the gorgeous 70 degree weather and nerd radiation emanating from the convention center. 
I’m fine with that. I’m fine, I said! Stop giving me that look!!!! Damnit, reality is a harsh mistress.
There’s always next year, I guess (maybe more of a possibility than I was thinking). But even though I was thousands of miles away from the epicenter of all things geek-gasm, word still finds it’s way from there to here rather quickly and Thursday to Sunday was still a blur of geek joy for me. There were many announcements, reveals, discussions, etc. that got my curiosity piqued but none quite like these five.

5. 20th Century Fox panel impresses

As far as I’m concerned, 2011 was Fox’s year when it comes to movies.

In addition to delivering the terrific dramedy, The Descendants, the studio produced two of the three best blockbusters that summer: the much needed spark of life for the popular X-Men series, X-Men: First Class, and the new entry to the Planet of the Apes series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Both were prequels to their respective franchises, both had the odds stacked against them before release and both came out wildly on top.

Now we’ve been given our first looks at the sequels to both.

After Hugh Jackman finished his panel showcasing clips from and questions about The Wolverine, the majority of the cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past was brought to the stage. I say the majority because DOFP ties together the original X-Men universe and the First Class universe, all while introducing some new characters while they’re at it so finding a stage to handle all the members of the equal rights/tolerance paralleling series would be a task indeed.

Footage was shown of the Bryan Singer directed mesh-quel, featuring Wolverine jumping back in time and a future Patrick Stewart Professor X coming face to face with past, disheveled James McAvoy Professor X. The audience reportedly went nuts for the footage, as one does.

Between the descriptions of the footage, the accumulation of the cast members and the sneak peeks at the dreaded Sentinel robots at the convention, my anticipation of this movie went from “we’ll see how it turns out” to “we’ll keep a guarded but really excited eye on it.” The movie already secured it’s spot as the most ambitious X-Men outing from the start and as long as it had a good basis and guidance behind it, it could very well usurp First Class as the greatest X-Men movie yet.

May 23 has a big RSVP marked on it in my book.

As if that wasn’t too much to take in, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ mere presence at the panel was enough to go from excitement to elation. Not much footage was complete at the time due to the intricate effects work needed for the apes but a short teaser trailer for the film was reportedly revealed, featuring an ominous Gary Oldman voiceover, a winded Jason Clark running away and a final reveal of an older Caesar, played once again by the irreplaceable Andy Serkis.

DOFP and Apes recently switched release spots, which seems like a better move than not. X-Men can now ride a little more of the good word The Wolverine looks to be getting and Apes can now have an extra two months to brush up on those apes effects and fulfill that late July release spot. Let’s see if they reclaim their throne from two years ago.

4. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” announced

Marvel Studio has a pretty good grasp on this whole “make a gigantic announcement at Comic Con” thing down. Even so, they didn’t fail to surprise this year.

Before the big panels on Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and a surprise Guardians of the Galaxy presentation), geek deity Joss Whedon took the stage to make an announcement regarding the Avengers sequel. We already knew it was hitting in summer 2015 and that Whedon and the core cast would return. What we didn’t know was what the focus of the movie would be or who the main antagonist is. This reveal seems to answer those questions more than adequately.

Trying to tackle Ultron in the next movie is an interesting challenge indeed, especially when the malevolent A.I.’s creator, Hank Pym/Antman, has been confirmed to be absent from the movie. It wasn’t a massive reveal of plot details or other spoilers but unveiling this subtitle alone gives the best first idea of how the next Marvel movies are going to turn to reach this point in the universe and reassurance that they’ve got a few surprises up their sleeves by not going with the Thanos route (at least immediately).

Well played, once again Marvel.

3. “Legend of Korra” returning in September

The absolute best example of animated storytelling on television today is finally returning. Sure, it’s only been 11 months since it finished its debut season but one does not simply get enough of The Legend of Korra.

Since the very instant the first season ended I’ve been waiting for the next to start. The emotional story, the gorgeous animation stylings, the vocal talent, the top-notch music — it’s amazingly addictive how well they mesh to make a show so stellar.

And now we’re getting more!

No exact date has been announced for the premier date but we do know that September is the month to watch and that Korra’s next adventure will take a turn for the spiritual side and feature new voice cast additions like Grey DeLisle, Aubrey Plaza, James Remar, and Lisa Edelstein.

2. Hans Zimmer scoring “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

There’s a lot to be excited for in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The origin story is out of the way now, Electro looks to be an ominous and imposing foe along with some talk of Goblins, and we get to watch this Peter Parker progress in the more relateable way this series presents.

However, nothing tops this development. Nothing.

First, I will add that there’s a part of me that’s sad to see James Horner go. Horner’s music added so much to the first movie and in all fairness his score was probably the best of last summer. Much respect to the man for his superb contribution.

Now then, did you hear the part about the next Spidey movie being scored Hans Zimmer?  Is that not amazing, pardon the pun? The man has certainly been busy monopolizing the sound of nearly every superhero  movie around lately. I’m bursting at the seams waiting to hear the soundscape Zimmer will use to capture a sound that’s unique to the webslinger. I honestly thought I couldn’t be any more excited for ASM 2. I was wrong.

1. This s*** is happening. For real.

So, um… yeah. The Man of Steel sequel is going to have Batman in it. I’m sure you heard that correctly but just in case the reality of the situation hasn’t sunk in yet, THE MAN OF STEEL SEQUEL IS GOING TO HAVE BATMAN IN IT!!!!!

Cavill’s back as Superman. Goyer’s back on writing duties. Nolan’s back producing. Snyder’s behind camera once again. This is confirmed.

Oh, but there’s so many questions to be answered. Will Batman outshine Superman in his own sequel? How antagonistic will their interactions be? Will there be consequences after Man of Steel‘s ending? What if they don’t cast Karl Urban as Batman?

And yet, I’m perfectly content waiting to hear the answers to these questions over the next few months. This has been so long in the waiting that simply hearing that it’s 100% happening was enough to set me (and apparently many others) on high.

Let the slow, steady stream of info roll on through!

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