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Report: Marvel to Skip San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATE: Marvel Comics Still In Attendance]

For once, the line for Hall H may be getting a whole lot shorter.

On Saturday night, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn did a Facebook Q&A with fans, and offered up a potential bombshell to San Diego Comic-Con fans. When asked if he’d be attending SDCC this year, Gunn stated that he wasn’t sure, because “Marvel isn’t going so I’m not sure I will either”.

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If true, this is huge news — as Marvel has hosted one of, if not the, most in-demand panels at Comic-Con for the last several years. Fans line up for hours (or in some cases, days) as Marvel trots out their biggest names, drop big pieces of news, and bring out all the stops for fans (see: Tom Hiddleston in full Loki regalia from 2013) on the Saturday-night centerpiece of the convention. If they aren’t there this year, that will be a huge loss to the convention and to fans.

Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Marvel, so take this information with at least a grain of salt. The odds of Gunn being there this year, even with Marvel in attendance, were always slim, given that Marvel would be much more likely to be there to promote Captain America: Civil War. It’s possible that Gunn is simply misinformed, or that Marvel is still finalizing their plans. It’s also possible that even without a panel presence, Marvel might still have a booth, autograph signings, offsites, and more.

It’s equally possible, though, that as this is D23 year, Marvel and parent company Disney simply want more fans to attend that event, and think having a presence at two major southern California conventions in the same year isn’t the way to do that.

We couldn’t find any mention of Marvel planning this year’s convention, even by their usual social-media maven, Ryan Penagos, the Executive Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media. All we could find was Penagos answering a fan who asked earlier this month if “you guys” would be doing Comic-Con this year, Penagos answered, “Yes to SDCC, at least for me”. Not exactly a ringing endorsement that Marvel will be at SDCC.

We’ve reached out to Marvel for comment, but haven’t heard back as of press time.

[UPDATE] As just about everyone expected, the news that Marvel won’t be at San Diego Comic-Con likely only applies to Marvel Studios and Hall H, as Tom Brevoort, Senior Vice President of Publishing of Marvel Comics, told a fan on tumblr that while he has “no idea what Marvel Studios does or does not have planned for San Diego”, “Marvel Comics will be there”.

That still doesn’t explicitly mean that Marvel will have a booth (raise your hand if you remember Comic-Con International promising that Marvel would be at WonderCon in 2014, which meant Marvel artists attending the con rather than panels or a booth), but it’s as close of a confirmation as we’ll probably see for a few weeks or months.

We’ve also heard Marvel TV is likely to still be in attendance.

What do you think of Marvel skipping San Diego Comic-Con? Let us know in the comments.

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