After impressive San Diego Comic-Con showings from both Warner Bros, with the big Batman/Superman announcement, and Fox's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" all-star photo op, Marvel Studios, the reigning king of the superhero movie, needed to come into Hall H swinging. So they brought a god.
Tom Hiddleston came out in character as Loki, the god of mischief, to warm up the crowd and make fun of them for standing in line to see panel, and by the end, the room was boiling and ready for some surprises.
And when the "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" portions of the program finished early, the mood of Hall H was electric, expecting big things, and they got them. James Gunn director of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" brought out nearly the entire cast -- most of them, straight from London -- to talk about their sci-fi flick and show off very, very early footage.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" has only been shooting for ten days, but the footage managed to contain effects shots of the two CGI characters, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. The tone and look were unlike anything that Marvel has previously put together. Chris Pratt's Starlord is cocky and irreverent, and he leads a band of "a-holes" that includes Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista in head-to-to make up. "Guardians" looks like it will be full of outer space action and a brand of humor that fits right in with the fun Marvel cinematic universe.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige returned to his seat next to panel host Chris Hardwich after a "Guardians" team photo, because there was one more thing. He invited Joss Whedon onto the stage. The "Avengers" director told the audience that he didn't have anything to say, but he did have "something to add."
The crowd was then treated to a teaser trailers for the "Avengers" sequel. It began with audio clips from the first film, as a complex piece of metal formed on the screen. The camera zooms out to show the head of the robotic villain Ultron, a creation of Ant-Man. The clip closed out with a title treatment for the sequel: "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."