Marvel Admits Defeat And Is Skipping Comic-Con

Marvel will not host its typically scheduled hall panels at this year's Comic-Con in San Diego.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

While Marvel isn’t skipping the San Diego Comic-Con entirely, they will not be making their famed and long-running presentation in Hall H at this year’s event. The Hollywood Reporter has shared the news that the media giant has pulled out of its normal convention slot after years of promising only to make a presentation at the convention if they had exciting news to share. Admitting they don’t have new developments to discuss does seem like a moment of defeat for the studio, but the pause in announcements is actually understandable.

Though Marvel had previously announced a comprehensive and ambitious plan for the continuation of its Multiverse Saga at the event, such a detailed production roadmap is simply not possible at this point in time. The biggest reason for the pullback appears to be the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, which is pausing productions across the industry.

The studio has already announced that it is moving several productions—such as Daredevil: Born Again, Thunderbolts, and Blade—to the backburner amid the union walkout.

Ayo Edebiri Thunderbolts
Thunderbolts, one of Marvel’s delayed movies

And things could be about to get worse for Marvel, along with the rest of Hollywood, if a strike by the actors’ union cannot be avoided. As the June 30 end date for SAG-AFTRA’s contract renewal approaches, there has been much speculation that the union could follow the lead of writers and stage a strike of its own. The implications for both of these strikes are significant, but not just on the production side of things.

As Marvel pulls back its involvement in the San Diego Comic-Con, the future could see more such cancellations for this year’s event, which takes place on July 20-23, well into the time period during which the actors’ union could begin its strike. These strikes don’t just mean that union artists won’t be able to write or appear in new productions; they also bar members from participating in events like signing tables and panels.

That already means writers won’t be doing panels, and the loss of actors as well could mean a huge deflation in the number of fan interaction attractions at this year’s convention.

Marvel’s presentation has been considered by many in recent years to be the highlight of the San Diego Comic-Con, so losing that attraction alone is already a major blow to the world-famous media extravaganza. Whether or not that change will result in a dip in the event’s attendance, which has been as high as 160,000, remains to be seen. The announcement panel is normally packed to capacity in Hall H, which seats 6,500 people.

Of course, Marvel will still have a presence at the festival, the second in-person version of the event since it moved to a mostly virtual format in 2020 and 2021 in response to the pandemic. The convention floor will still have Marvel attractions, and there will be the customary glut of vendors spread across the facility. But the event schedule has the potential to be more sparse than in the past.

Still, Comic-Con is also a social event, featuring cosplay and all sorts of fan interactions. With or without Marvel’s presentation, the convention will still have a lot going for it.

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