SDCC 2022: News And Character Designs For Marvel Studios’ Animation Slate

by Gary Catig

One of the most anticipated panels at San Diego Comic-Con occurred Saturday evening at 5pm in Hall H. However, that wasn’t the only Marvel Studios presentation during the event. The previous day in Ballroom 20, they spotlighted their upcoming animation projects.

The first one to arrive will be I Am Groot, which is composed of five separate shorts that look at different points in the protagonist’s life. In the episodes we’ll be introduced to new characters and creatures but expect some familiar faces as well with Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper providing voice work. The audience was treated to two videos: a trailer and a full episode where it’s bath time. I Am Groot will premiere August 10 on Disney+ with five more shorts already in development.

Lots of artwork was shown for Spider-Man: Freshman Year. We received our first look at Peter Parker and his homemade suit.

The story occurs before Captain America: Civil War in Parker’s high school where he has many classmates. His best friend is Nico Minoru and his crush is Pearl Pangan, better known in the comics as Wave. He is also joined by Lonnie Lincoln, Amadeus Cho, Asha, Peter Osborn and more.

Spider-Man’s rogues gallery will include the Unicorn, Chameleon, Scorpion, Speed Demon, Doctor Octopus and others.

The various Spider-suits were shown as well. Some big Marvel names set to appear are the Sorcerer Supreme, Daredevil voiced by Charlie Cox, and Norman Osborn. Comedian, Paul F. Thompkins will voice the character. All the designs were done by comic creator Leo Romero. Spider-Man: Freshman Year will air exclusively on Disney+ in 2024. It was also confirmed that there will be a Spider-Man: Sophomore.

A trailer for the second season of What If…? was shown. The series will continue to push the envelope and we caught glimpses of Shang-Chi, a twisted take on Thor: Ragnarok that resembled a Death Race competition, Red Guardian, and a possible showdown between Odin and Xu Wenwu. There were also what looked like pirate versions of MCU characters confirmed to be in the year 1602. The second season will debut sometime in early 2023 with a third season afterwards.

At the very end of the panel, they screened an episode of the new season entitled “What If…Captain Carter fought the Hydra Stomper.” It had very similar beats to Captain America: The Winter Soldier with Steve Rogers in the Bucky role.

Character designs for the upcoming Marvel Zombies were shared. The zombie side will include Captain Marvel, Captain America, Okoye, Clint Barton and the Scarlet Witch.

New survivors will be comprised of many of the Phase Four characters such as Yelena Belova, Kate Bishop, Jimmy Woo, Shang-Chi, Death Dealer, Red Guardian, and Katy. The person that fills the void in the center is Kamala Khan.

Other survivors include a version of the Widows along with a Skrull biker gang and a not quite zombie Ikarus. The tone will be darker and contain lots of gore so it will be geared towards mature audiences. Zeb Wells will serve as writer and executive producer.

The last show featured was X-Men ’97 where they teased the heroes and villains that will appear. The original crew from the animated series will be present voiced by much of the same cast from the ’90s.

We’ll see Cable, Bishop, Forge, Nightcrawler, a Changeling looking Morph, and new addition, Roberto Da Costa as well.

Instead of Charles Xavier, the X-Men will be led by Magneto.

They will come into conflict with the likes of Val Cooper, Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost and Calypso. The main big bad will be Mister Sinister. A crude animatic was shown with dialog where the X-Men tussled with some Sentinels. X-Men ’97 will arrive in the fall of 2023. The announced second season will start to address loose threads established from the original.

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