Comic-Con 2022: Marvel Delivers Animated Series Updates

It wouldn’t be the San Diego Comic-Con without Marvel, and these days, that means movie and TV announcements. Today the studio parceled out a few tidbits about their animated Disney+ fare. First, there’s the trailer for I Am Groot, a series of animated short films that will arrive on the streaming service on August 10, 2022. Check out the trailer below:

Yeah… this does nothing for me. I liked Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – actually, he’s my favorite version of Groot – but he works as part of an ensemble, not as a lead. Baby Groot worked so well because his cutesiness and innocence were juxtaposed with the Guardians fighting monsters to the death; it was cool (and immensely satisfying) when he later joined the fun and took some violent revenge on his space pirate tormentor, again because of his childlike personality. That clearly isn’t the way I Am Groot is going. These are shorts, so it probably won’t be too bad (thank God this isn’t a proper series), but it looks like it’ll be silly and aimed at small children. And that’s fine; there’s nothing wrong with the little ones having a corner of the MCU just for them. But I don’t think anyone above maybe seven years old will find much of interest in this.

Other than Groot’s madcap misadventures, Marvel stuck to some release date announcements today and gave a little bit of information on each of the animated shows it’s got in the pipeline. Spider-Man: Freshman Year will arrive on Disney+ in 2024.

Spider-Man: Freshman Year will feature appearances by Norman and Harry Osbourne, Amadeus Cho, Doctor Otto Octavius, Scorpion, Tarantula, Speed Demon, Chameleon, Rhino, and Butane the Pyromaniac. There will also be a Wakandan classmate for Peter because the most advanced and technologically sophisticated society on Earth would totally send its kids to learn at some high school in Queens. But the biggest news is that Daredevil will appear, and Charlie Cox will provide his voice. You can see what Spidey and Daredevil will look like in animated form below:

A second season of the animated series has been ordered and will be called Spider-Man: Sophomore Year because the MCU loves these too-cutesy-by-half Spider-Man title patterns.

What If…? will air its second season in early 2023.

Captain Carter will return in season 2, accompanied by Steve Rogers and Black Widow. The new season will also see Iron Man and Valkyrie racing on Sakaar (I don’t think any of us will lose money betting on who wins that), Shang-Chi fighting Odin and the other Norse Gods (ditto), an episode set in Medieval Times, and Steve and Peggy after their Avengers: Endgame reunion (because why let a perfect moment stand on its own?).

In that vein, the What If…? spinoff, Marvel Zombies, will feature zombie versions of Hawkeye, Abomination, Captain Marvel, Okoye, Scarlet Witch, Ghost, Ikaris, and the top half of Captain America. The good guys will be Yelena, Shang-Chi and his pal Katey, Ms. Marvel, Red Guardian, Kate Bishop, Jimmy Woo, and Death Dealer, as well as a team of Widows and a gang of Skrull bikers. Marvel Zombies will be geared towards the older crowd (despite that awful cast of heroes) and rated TV-MA.

And, finally, X-Men ’97 (which they’re calling an original series despite the very title affirming that it’s a continuation of the excellent 90s X-Men cartoon) will air in the fall of 2023.

While no story elements were revealed, the X-Men lineup is confirmed to be Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Beast, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, and, of course, Wolverine, with Magneto leading the X-Men – in other words, the same central crew the show’s always had. Nightcrawler, Bishop, Cable, Sunspot, Mr. Sinister, Callisto, Morph, Sebastian Shaw, White Queen, Forge, and Val Cooper will also appear, along with the Sentinels. Here’s an image from Twitter, courtesy of Screenrant:

Well, there it is, I guess. I was excited for X-Men ’97 right up till they admitted that it would be drenched in current-year politics. Now, I’m sure they’ll just ruin a great series. Spider-Man: Freshman Year could work, but I’m not sure I want to watch a whole show dedicated to seeing Peter before he becomes Spider-Man. They showed enough of that in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. And how can they say this exists in the MCU continuity if they’re showing Peter meeting Norman Osbourne and Otto Octavius? He’d never heard of these people in No Way Home, nor had anyone else from his universe. And how is Daredevil’s costume a more-detailed version of his black suit when he went straight from the black suit to the red one in the Netflix series? The folks at Marvel really don’t care anymore, do they? I liked certain episodes of What If…? and really disliked others, so I’m ambivalent about the new season. Marvel Zombies leaves me completely cold, though. It was fine for a single episode, but I don’t see how they can stretch this concept over a whole season, especially with that lame-o cast. Didn’t we leave off with the Hulk about to take on a horde of zombies? And isn’t Spider-Man still around after the ending? Can’t we have at least those two awesome characters? Of course not, because people might like that.

What do you think of Marvel’s upcoming animated series? Do any of these excite you? Will an I Am Groot/Marvel Zombies crossover inevitably happen at some point? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to Geeks + Gamers for more Marvel updates from the San Diego Comic-Con!

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