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X-Files, Superman and gun control: five things we learned from New York Comic Con

The X-Files TV panel with Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi.
The X-Files TV panel with Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi. Photograph: Fo/PictureGroup/REX/Shutterstock

Superman’s return in Justice League is an open secret

Justice League AKA Hades: The Video Game?

The final trailer for Joss Whedon’s superhero epic debuted on Sunday at New York Comic Con, and it looks like Henry Cavill’s man of steel won’t be confined to his coffin for long. The promo opens with Amy Adams’s Lois Lane dreaming of Clark Kent, as we see the other members of the Justice League (Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman and Cyborg) going head to head with Steppenwolf and his army of invading Parademons.

The only problem here is that Justice League’s battle scenes look an awful lot like the ones directed by Zack Snyder in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Why is it that every time the Earth comes under attack in these movies, all semblance of realism goes out the window and our heroes are imported wholesale into what appears to be Hades: The Video Game? The painful cover version of David Bowie’s Heroes that plays throughout certainly sounds like the kind of tune that probably plays on loop in hell.

Wonder Woman’s creator seems to have mostly empowered himself

Wonder Woman may have taken 80 years to get to the big screen, but she’s certainly making up for lost time. The final trailer for Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, which tells the story of the superhero’s unorthodox creation, serves up more Wonder Woman fare after Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster. The psychologist William Moulton Marston is widely considered to have created Diana of Themyscira in order to satisfy his own bondage fetishism, as much as to advance the cause of his own particularly idiosyncratic vision of feminism. But he seems to get off rather lightly here, with the trailer striking something of an elegiac tone. By casting the handsome and affable Luke Evans as Marston, alongside the captivating Rebecca Hall (as Elizabeth Holloway Marston), Robinson seems to be painting her subject as a harmless, rather charming goon, rather than a creepy jerk.

Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou will return to Star Trek: Discovery

Saturday’s panel for CBS All Access’s slick and spiky revival of the long-running space saga was notable for the revelation that the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actor might not have fired her final phaser. Georgiou was killed off in the second episode of the first season following the mutinous actions of Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham, but Yeoh seemed pretty determined that we haven’t seen the last of her, telling the crowd: “I’m not going to let them kill me, okay?” Showrunner Gretchen J Berg later confirmed that Georgiou will be back, and those who caught last night’s fourth episode will probably have a good idea how (spoiler alert). Will this be anything more than a temporary return?

John Boyega follows in Idris Elba’s footsteps for Pacific Rim 2

Pacific Rim 2

When it comes to giant robot movies, give me Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim over Michael Bay’s meatheaded Transformers franchise any day of the week. The Mexican director’s bonkers 2013 kaiju flick came wrapped up in a huge bubble of joy, with Del Toro clearly having the time of his life imagining the most preposterous kaiju possible and sending them hurtling through the void to take on mankind’s equally cool mega-machine defence systems. The only problem with Pacific Rim: Uprising, the debut trailer for which hit NYCC on Friday, is that Del Toro isn’t actually directing, and most of the cast we care about have also neglected to return. So in place of Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Becket, we have John Boyega’s Jake Pentecost, son of Idris Elba’s rousing Gen Pentecost in the original movie. Is Boyega as good at winding up the troops as his dad (brilliant sample line: “Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!”)? In short: no. But at least the young Star Wars actor gets to do his own accent for the first time sinceAttack the Block.

The Punisher’s gun fetish causes controversy

One of NYCC’s biggest talking points was the cancellation of Marvel’s panel for The Punisher, its forthcoming Netflix show about the vigilante antihero (played by Jon Bernthal). The studio decided to act in the wake of the horrific Las Vegas attack in which a lone gunman killed 58 people and injured countless more last week. The thinking here seems to be that a show about a hero whose only superpowers are hatred and skill with military-grade weaponry isn’t the sort of thing to be celebrating in the wake of America’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history. It’s a fair point, and one those who turn their nose up at more traditional superheroes might do well to remember. However ridiculous Superman, Wonder Woman and their ornately costumed friends might be on the face of it, at least they do not need semi-automatic weapons to help them win the day.

The X-Files’ Cigarette Smoking Man gets an origin story

X-Files

At Sunday’s X-Files panel for the sci-fi show’s upcoming 11th season, its creator, Chris Carter, revealed we’ll be getting another look at the past of Mulder and Scully’s greatest nemesis, William B Davis’s nefarious Cigarette Smoking Man. Given the show’s fourth season revealed that the sinister, chain-smoking government conspiracist was responsible for the assassinations of both John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Hr – only for the key episode’s denouement to reveal it may have been little more than smoke and mirrors – viewers might have to decide for themselves if they can trust the narrative this time around. An even greater danger in season 11 might be our heroic duo’s son, William, who according to Scully must be stopped “before he releases hell on Earth”.

The Stephen Kingnaissance ain’t over yet

The first trailer for Hulu’s series Castle Rock, which debuted during Saturday’s NYCC panel for the show, is one of those teasers that doesn’t give much away at all. But there are Easter eggs galore, from the casting of Carrie’s Sissy Spacek to a shot of a vehicle marked “Shawshank State Prison” sinking into a lake. The title is a reference to the fictional Maine town featured in many of the suspense icon’s books. Spacek described the JJ Abrams series as “an homage to Stephen King”. We’ll have to wait and see which characters appear, but would it be too much to hope for a cameo from Pennywise the clown, given Bill Skarsgård has also joined the cast?

This article titled "X-Files, Superman and gun control: five things we learned from New York Comic Con" was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Monday 9 October 2017 10.00pm

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