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Comic-Con: The Rage of Ultron, a Pizza Thrower, and More Things You May Have Missed from Day One

It’s no secret that there’s a lot going on in San Diego right now at Comic-Con International. Even though there’s only been one full day so far, it’s easy for some interesting stuff to get overlooked amid all of the big movie news, previews, interviews and surprises coming out of the show.

Here are some cool stories you might have missed from Day One of Comic-Con:

Before Age of Ultron, It’s Avengers: Rage of Ultron

While there’s certainly a lot of anticipation – and speculation – regarding Marvel Studios’ plans for its Saturday panel and what the event might reveal regarding the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, the publishing arm of Marvel announced Thursday that it will release a self-contained, original graphic novel titled Avengers: Rage of Ultron a month before the film arrives in theaters. While not set within Marvel’s cinematic universe, the comic is intended to provide an introduction to many of the same characters that will appear in the film — including Ultron itself, of course.

“I wanted to tell an Ultron story that was accessible to new readers while making a huge status quo change like the kind that we saw in The Killing Joke,” writer Rick Remender told Comic Book Resources. “I think the joy of an original graphic novel is that you’re not going to have to wait months and months. You’re going to get a big chunk of [artist Jerome Opeña] and I doing what we do. You’re also going to get an easy entry point for new readers to be reintroduced to who Ultron is and his relationship with [Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man].”

Avengers: Rage of Ultron is expected to hit shelves April 2015.

Cancel the Apocalypse… Virtually

Guillermo del Toro was one of several filmmakers to make use of Oculus Rift virtual reality gear to (literally) bring a new dimension to his cinematic projects. On the first day of Comic-Con, half of the Legendary Pictures booth was devoted to the Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot Experience, with participants donning the VR headset and suddenly finding themselves inside a massive, robotic Jaeger on the cusp of a brawl with a monstrous Kaiju. Pacific Rim actor Charlie Hunnam even provided his voice for the simulation, because his character in the film, Raleigh Becket, teams up with you for the battle.

While the events occurring in the simulation weren’t user controlled, it’s easy to imagine the potential for some intense, immersive Kaiju-killing adventures down the road.

Here’s a picture of del Toro trying out the Jaeger Pilot simulation. Also, Wired has a nice write-up of the experience.

Maze Runner Gets a Comic

Fox recently announced that attendees at today’s panel in Hall H will each get a copy of the convention-exclusive The Maze Runner comic inspired by the studio’s upcoming adaptation of James Dashner’s trilogy of postapocalyptic, sci-fi novels. Written by T.S. Nowlin and Wes Ball (the movie’s writer and director, respectively), the comic is set three years before the events of the film. According to the Hollywood Reporter (which has a short preview of the comic), the story was initially conceived as the subject of a short film that was going to accompany the big-screen feature.

Is that… a Pizza Thrower?

There have been all sorts of weird, wild promotional campaigns staged at Comic-Con over the years, but never has there been anything quite like the collaboration between Paramount Pictures and Pizza Hut that arrived in San Diego yesterday. As part of the studio’s publicity push for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the two companies teamed up to produce a life-size, working pizza thrower.

Anyone who grew up with the original cartoon – or more specifically, the toy line that accompanied it – will likely recall the Turtles’ affinity for pizza-themed weapons, vehicles and other accessories. One of those vehicles was a massive contraption that would fling pizzas at their enemies (it made sense in the series, trust me). 

Here’s a photo of the pizza thrower in all its pizza-slinging glory outside of the convention center, courtesy of Pizza Hut’s Twitter feed:

That’s it for this roundup of cool stuff you might have missed from Comic-Con. Check back tomorrow for a roundup of what’s flying under the radar on day two of the show!


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