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After rumors started circulating back in March, it was confirmed earlier this week that Marvel will not be appearing at San Diego Comic-Con next month to promote their upcoming films. Some have speculated that Marvel might be saving any showcasing of their 2016 projects for the D23 Expo event in August, seeing as it’s an in-house Disney event. However, if one report is to be believed, then it might be because Marvel didn’t want to deal with their competitors at DC Comics.
Unnamed sources have told Heroic Hollywood that Marvel decided to skip out on going to Hall H this year because they felt they couldn’t compete with DC’s panel. Evidently the folks at Warner Bros are pulling out all the stops this year by featuring content for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League: Part One. Supposedly Marvel learned about this lineup earlier in the year and decided to bow out since DC’s presentation would be a "tough act to follow." Keep in mind that none of this has been verified by Marvel, and while we may never learn if this was truly the reason, DC is now officially leading the superhero charge at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
It should be noted that Marvel by no means slacking in 2016. Captain America: Civil War comes out in May, and with its gigantic last of heroes, villains and other supporting characters, some have jokingly nicknamed it Avengers 2.5. Doctor Strange follows in November, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Sorcerer Supreme. However, in terms of footage, Doctor Strange is sill in pre-production, and the article notes that Marvel won’t have any Captain America: Civil War footage ready until August (which is most definitely odd when you consider that they brought footage from Captain America: The First Avenger and Guardians of the Galaxy when those movies were just a couple weeks into filming). While in previous years they have shown early footage to fans, apparently they figured it wasn’t worth it this year considering what DC is bringing to the table.
At the 2014 Comic-Con, Marvel brought out the casts of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, with footage from both movies being shown to the Hall H attendees. It was at that same panel that the release date for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was announced. However, DC also had their own surprises during their Hall H presentation when they showed a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice preview and unveiled the first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I’m curious whether Marvel will take the same approach of not showing up next year, or if they’ll bite the bullet and go head-to-head with their arch-rivals.
While Comic Con-goers won’t get to see any of Marvel’s movies being publicized this year, Disney will have a presence with their Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel on July 10th. Plus, although they’re not part of the MCU, fans may still get Marvel characters at the convention if 20th Century Fox has content for X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool and/or Gambit.