Are you sick of Comic-Con yet? I hope not, because the ol’ mailbag is full of questions regarding the events of this year’s nerd prom. Man of Steel 2! The new origin of Ultron! Why the people who get into Hall H are the chosen ones! If a fake mailman from the future can't explain the vagaries of Comic-Con 2013, who can?! (Don't answer that.)

Race (to the) Track

Gary U.:

Now that Warner Bros. and DC has finally announced a Batman/Superman movie, is it safe to say WB/DC is finally on track?


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA oh you were serious. My apologies. Alas, no; first of all, Warner Bros. has a pretty bad habit of announcing superhero movies that never end up getting made. Of course, since Man of Steel made a bunch of money and WB/DC has the director and Superman figured out, this is as safe a bet as WB/DC is going to give us — although that also doesn’t mean that WB/DC won’t keep rejecting scripts from now until 2020, either.

But more importantly, WB/DC is still playing it safe while Marvel is killing it. We’re going to get a Guardians of the Galaxy movie before we finally see Batman and Superman on the same movie screen together. Hell, Marvel is going to put Batroc ze Leaper on movie screens [in Captain America: The Winter Soldier] before Batman and Superman get to fight each other because of a misunderstanding before finally coming together to fight the real bad guy.

Look, Marvel is proving that the public has a pretty insatiable need for good superhero movies, and instead of making Justice League, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman — all of which have infinitely more public awareness than Guardians of the Galaxy — DC/WB is finally making Batman/Superman, the safest possible bet they could make, and one that would have paid off at any point over the last 20 years. That even after the success of Avengers and all of Marvel’s other stuff that WB/DC is so terrified that they’ve only now just announced Batman/Superman is, frankly, kind of pitiful.


Is WB/DC on track? They have put one tentative foot on the track. That’s all I’ll give them.


Ultron Legacy

Max M.:

How the hell is Marvel going to make an Age of Ultron movie with Hank Pym? And should Marvel make an Age of Ultron movie with Hank Pym? Isn’t Hank Pym an essential part of Ultron’s character?


In the comics, yes, but it’s something that’s easily bypassed in the movies, by making Tony Stark the inventor of Ultron. This isn't bad. 1) He’s invented plenty of shit, including AI like Jarvis, so there’s a precedent. 2) Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is the heart and soul of the Marvel movie-verse, and having him accidentally create one of the Avengers’ most terrible foes will resonate with mass audiences much more than if Hank Pym showed up out of nowhere. It’ll be the first major deviation from the comics, arguably, but I think it’s one that works fine.

I’d also like to point out that I’m overjoyed Marvel is saving Thanos for Avengers 3 rather than using him in Avengers 2. Thanos is too much of a Big Big Bad to use so soon; he’ll be much more intimidating in the third movie, whether or not he shows up in the second.


Monster Mush

Ken P.:

Am I the only one who feels like a poser when I say kaiju? I would religiously watch the Sunday Monster Matinee every week, I bought that stupid Godzilla, Street fighter like game for the xbox, I can give an informed, impromptu speech on the strengths and merits of Gigan or Megalon, yet I still feel like a guy with a monocle trying to order a Venti Macchiato at a Dunkin' Donuts.


I get where you’re coming from. Having come from anime fandom, I still remember my twinges of embarrassment when American kids would pepper their conversation with random Japanese words (fine if they’re talking to their fellow fans, infinitely more awkward when they’re trying to order something from the convention’s Starbucks stand and the non-fans manning it).

But I think Pacific Rim has legitimized the word in a way other giant monster movies haven’t, mainly by… well, using it to mean “giant monsters.” Hey, that’s what they’re called in the movie, so it’s totally legit. Frankly, given Pacific Rim’s popularity, it may actually bring the term officially to the English language. Imagine “kaiju” as an official entry in the Oxford Dictionary! That'd be pretty swell.


Dead Alive

Brandon W.:

Why the hell would anyone trust The Walking Dead [TV show] ever again? It's sucked from season one, and no matter how good the trailers are, it always sucks. Why are people being duped by the new SDCC [season 4] trailer? It's still going to suck.


Well, the fact is a lot of people — myself included — really want The Walking Dead TV to be good. We know it can be. I get a lot of shit for "hating the show" in my TWD recaps, but the fact is I know there's a great show in there somewhere, and that's what I keep judging it against. The pilot was amazing, and last season's "Clear" was the show's best and a damn fine episode of television, period. The elements are there, the show just needs to use them properly.

Yes, three seasons of general ineptitude should have made me quit the show (were part of my salary not dependent on recapping it, natch). But the show's occasional greatness keeps me hoping that someone will figure it out, and the fact that the series keeps switching showrunners keeps me hoping that the new guy will be the one to do so.

Your unspoken question as to why season 4 might be an actual improvement over the first three seasons, well, the new showrunner is Scott Gimple, who wrote the "Clear" episode, which is strong evidence that he knows exactly what makes The Walking Dead work best. Add to that a trailer where the group is being incredibly proactive, the drama seems genuine instead of manufactured to fill time, some seriously high zombie stakes.... well, I have hope. It may be dumb, and certainly the previous three seasons should have crushed my optimism completely. But I can't help but think maybe this is the season The Walking Dead manages to be as great as we all want it to be.




Katelyn D.:

Why do some movies release their Comic-Con trailers online, and some don’t? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone to see the trailers so everybody gets excited to the see the movie?


Oh, Katelyn. Don’t you see the incredible value of showing footage solely to the 8,000 people who had the time and wherewithal to stand in line for the 8 hours necessary to get into the San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H? Why would you possibly want to promote your film or TV show or whatever to more than 8,000 people who are probably already die-hard fans?

I apologize if I’m being extra sarcastic, but I have always been baffled by making footage con exclusive. I understand the theory is to generate buzz, and by releasing it solely at a con you have the crowds talking and the members of the press trying to tell the millions of poor bastards who couldn’t attend the con or who went and still couldn’t get in the damn room about what they saw, like for instance Duncan Moon’s little Warcraft movie tease. But is that really generating more buzz than if he put the video online for everybody to see it? I can’t imagine it is. If I’m head of publicity, would I really prefer people to get second-hand descriptions of my movie’s preview trailer or show them the actual footage? It just seems like a massive wasted opportunity to me, and it’s super-annoying to the bajillion fans who didn’t get into Hall H.

And don’t tell me that no one would see the panels if they always released the footage online. Wait a day, or a few hours, or whatever, but you’re telling me that the Marvel movie or DC/WB panels wouldn’t still be packed to see/hear the announcements even 15 minutes before the rest of the world? Of course they would.


In Darkest Night

Brian L.:

Dear Postman,

If Dazzler can turn sound into light, what sound do you think would turn into the Green Lanterns’ light?

Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!