SDCC 2011: Marvel Animation

Will this finally be the year that we get the Wild Adventures of Beta Ray Bill and Volstagg cartoon only I have been clamoring for?

During the Marvel Animation panel at San Diego Comic Con, the publisher's head of TV Jeph Loeb walked fans through some of the television animation announcements from the House of Ideas. Does anyone else still say that anymore? Anyway, my irrational need for a cartoon featuring hammer-wielding space horses in buddy comedy adventures with a gluttonous Norse cosmic god, the panel still had it's share of announcements and content, including a preview of the second season of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and updates (well, a few) on their line of live-action programming.

The live programming was actually the start of the panel, with a slide for A.K.A. Jessica Jones, the retitled version of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos' Alias which they are developing with ABC. The series will include Carol Danvers Luke Cage.

Next up was a slide for Hulk--also with ABC--which will focus on the monster before anyone knows about his threat and will focus on Banner and Betty's romance and how the monster keeps them apart.

Following that was the announcement of Cloak and Dagger at ABC Family which will be set in post-Katrina New Orleans. The network also has Mockingbird in the early stages of development, focusing of a college-aged Bobbie Morse who leads a double life as a student and spy.

Loeb then moved on to Marvel Television Animation, with Ultimate Spider-Man, which will be airing next year on Disney XD. There was a charact slide that included an image of Spider-Ham. He reiterated that Paul Dini Hs joined the team developing the show, having written the pilot and collaborated with other creators including the Man of Action team.

And we got a sizzle reel! I showed off some of the characters and voice talent including Chi McBride as Nick Fury, JK Simmons and J.J. Jameson, Steven Weber as Norman Osborn, and Clark Gregg reprising his film role as Agen Coulson, Agent SHIELD who will also be doing double-duty as the principal of Peter's high school. The sizzle reel also showed off appearances by Dr. Doom, Venom, the new Power Man, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America.

I don't know why, but seeing Spider-Ham onscreen seals it for me that this show will probably be really, really fun and also very different. Maybe becuase it feels like they're going for a balance between action and irreverence here.

Loeb then brought Paul Dini up onstage to ask him what character they should bring to animation and he answered the Hulk. This led to a slide featuring Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. which will be coming to Disney XD.

Loeb then moved over to Marvel Knights Animation, the line of motion comic titles which began with Astonishing X-Men which will get ten more episodes throughout the next year.

Season 2 of Earth's Mightiest Heroes is currently in production and season 1 will be on DVD soon.