Comic-Con 2022: Marvel Animation Highlights ‘Spider-Man: Freshman Year’ and More
The line-up headed for Disney+ also includes the second season of ‘What If…?’, ‘‘Marvel Zombies,' 'Guardians’ spin-off ‘I Am Groot’ and ‘X-Men ’97’.
Even as its live-action offerings continue to expand (‘She-Hulk’ is next up on the roster), Disney and Marvel are not neglecting the animated side of their televisual universe.
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the Marvel team offered a blend of announcements, confirmations and new details on their various animated series.
‘What If…?’ of course, has already had its first season out on the streaming service, will be back for more early next year. The panel included a screening of one episode of Season 2, plus news that Season 3 has just been commissioned. Season 2 includes episodes featuring characters such as ‘Thor: Ragnarok’s Hela.
The Zombies episode of ‘What If…?’ was a popular one among fans, so of course the MCU is spinning that one off. ‘Marvel Zombies’, also inspired by the 2005 comics run, takes place in an alternate reality where a new generation of heroes must battle against a zombie apocalypse.
Further away in terms of release is ‘Spider-Man: Freshman Year’, the new Spidey cartoon series.
Originally announced on Disney+ Day last year, ‘Spider-Man: Freshman Year’ is an animated series that follows Peter Parker on his way to becoming Spider-Man in the MCU, with a journey unlike we’ve ever seen and a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots. With Jeff Trammel as head writer, the show will be set before the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and naturally sees Peter wearing a version of his earlier, more homemade suit.
Jeff Trammell teased the show with the cast of characters, and Ryan Meinerding showed off the new Spider-Man suit designed for the series. A fun reveal was that moderator Paul F. Tompkins will be playing a character in the series. A second season was also announced, aptly titled ‘Spider-Man: Sophomore Year.’
We learned at the panel that Charlie Cox is aboard to voice Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the series, though there’s no word on whether Tom Holland is playing Peter (he’s said before he’d be happy to do it). Doctor Strange was also featured in the artwork shown at the panel.
‘Freshman Year’ will debut on Disney+ in 2024.
Before that, we’ll see one of the more anticipated offerings, ‘X-Men ’97’. Written and produced by Beau DeMayo, it’ll further the legacy of the 1990s ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ and, to the delight of fans in the audience at the Con, will indeed feature the iconic theme music.
While the show is still in an unfinished state, DeMayo brought artwork and an animatic, and announced that a Season 2 is also being figured out.
‘X-Men ’97’ heads to Disney+ in Fall 2023.
On the sillier and more adorable side of things, we have ‘I Am Groot’, which spins off the toddler version of the leafy ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ character. Voiced, as usual by Vin Diesel, the five initial shorts while chronicles his glory days growing up — and getting into trouble — among the stars.
Written, produced and directed by Kirsten Lepore the Groot shorts, teased in the first trailer for the show, offer the chance for limited dialogue fun as Groot encounters other creatures – and has problems with them!
Bradley Cooper is back to voice Rocket and Lepore announced that a further five shorts are now in the works.
The first batch will take root on Disney+ on August 10th.