Comic Con superheroes set to soar in 2011 and beyond

Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:19pm EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Comic book movie fans who are mad at Hollywood in a summer season bereft of many superheroes, fear not. Help is on the way.

As the giant Comic Con pop culture convention neared its end on Sunday, it was clear that the major movie studios have plenty of costumed crime fighters set for adventures in 2011 and beyond with the Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Thor, Captain America and a team of Avengers making their way to theaters.

This current summer got off to a strong start with Marvel Studios' movie "Iron Man 2," but family films such as "Toy Story 3" and "Despicable Me," as well as vampire romance "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and more recently sci-fi thriller "Inception" have been the big draws in theaters.

Next summer promises to be different, judging by the studio hype at Comic Con.

Warner Bros. expects to elevate DC Comics character, the Green Lantern, to a top-tier superhero. Actor Ryan Reynolds brings to life test pilot Hal Jordan, who joins the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps after he is given a ring with supernatural powers.

"This character felt like an amalgamation between Chuck Yeager and Han Solo," said Reynolds during a Comic Con panel that included co-stars Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Hector Hammond, Mark Strong (Sinestro) and Blake Lively (Carol Ferris).

"He can throw a punch, tell a joke and kiss a girl. Who wouldn't want to play that for a movie, let alone two or three?" said Reynolds.

Green Lantern, who has 70 years of comic book stories from which to draw, is also a key member of the Justice League of America, a group of comic book crime fighters that includes superheroes like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Flash.   Continued...

<p>A Comic Con attendee arrives dressed as the Avatar from the motion picture "The Last Airbender" at Comic Con in San Diego, California July 24, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake</p>