If there's one thing San Diego Comic-Con has become, it's a virtual heaven for fans who want sneak peeks of their favorite TV shows and future favorite movies. With four days full of panels, press releases, and surprises, there was never a shortage of a couple minutes of glorious unseen footage ready to excite and entice.
So now, we do what should be pretty much impossible, and rank every single trailer that debuted during SDCC 2017. Is this insane? Yes, yes it is. But it should also be pretty darn fun. Let's begin.
Look, this is really more of a teaser announcement than a trailer. Yes, there are some good little bits to pull at the heart strings and your nostalgia, but as far as advancing the art form of the trailer, not so much. We're still excited about the new show though, promise!
American Horror Story: Cult
Another "announcement teaser thing" and not a true trailer, this one edges out Stargate because it's so creepy. It's also low on the list because it's so creepy. These clowns are going to haunt our dreams, and after a long con weekend, we really need some sleep. No real idea what Cult will be about yet, but if it has terrifying clowns, um, we might not be able to deal with this season.
Several TV series this year were at a bit of a disadvantage, having only been back in production for a couple of weeks. That meant trailers that were composed of a bunch of old footage, then a little bit of new stuff at the end. That was the case for Gotham, which would've been a lot higher if only the new was included. It's actually a pretty good trailer, but there's a LOT of recap for only a little payoff.
LEGO NINJAGO Movie
Aside from the fact that the title of this movie kind of screams at you, there's nothing inherently bad here; it just feels like a lot of this has been done before. I mean, the son with the dad who's evil but conflicted? The interaction of the real world and the LEGO world? Wasn't that The LEGO Movie? Points to the trailer (and film) for the funny Cat sequence in the middle, but this also feels like it gave away a ton of story, and no trailer needs to do that.
The Krypton teaser was intriguing, but it's so short. Twenty seconds, and it doesn't tell us much at all. Then they held a panel for the show and revealed a ton more stuff through some verbal exposition. Why not show that in the teaser trailer? Well, it may have just been too early. Still want to see more, but would've liked to have seen more now.
This Vikings trailer was so clearly and completely for fans of the show. That's fine, but it doesn't help its standings on this list, because if you're not already fully into Vikings, you'll have absolutely no clue what's going on. Still, the action, the gore, and the expertly ominous dialogue should make some people want to catch up.
Legends of Tomorrow
The Legends of Tomorrow trailer has dinosaurs and circus acts, both great things. It's also very fractious and jumps around quite a bit. We don't know much about the big bad of the season from the trailer, and it's one of those that feels like it's probably of just the first episode or two. And it probably is -- they've only been shooting a few weeks! Still... DINOSAURS!
The Magicians SDCC trailer isn't actually a trailer, it's a little behind-the-scenes reel. It's very much for fans who've read the books as well as watch the show (or who have at least read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series that Magicians is heavily influenced by). However, it's also just really fun to see how much this cast clearly enjoys each others' company, even when they're not on camera. Can't wait for more!
Oh, Supergirl, please don't go dark. Please. Please be the light amongst all the darkness. We love you for your hope and your light. We need that. We live in dark, uncertain times. Arrow is dark and uncertain. The Flash has been very dark and uncertain. Be our brightness. Be sure. Be the hero. This trailer is very worrisome.
Man, this was a tough one for them to do -- I mean, you have the big "mystery" of who dies on the island and who lives, and if you show literally anyone back in Star City, you're confirming they lived. So the trailer just treats the fans like they're not idiots and shows off what they can. It's nice to be treated with that kind of respect, and ultimately there are some fun and intriguing events here.
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Only a movie as anticipated as Pacific Rim: Uprising could put out a totally not-a-trailer trailer and still get people as hyped as it did. New Jaegers! GLADOS voice! John Boyega saying like five words! Yeah, we're easy. That worked really well for us. In fact, we'll just take the movie now.
You probably already know if you're going to see Jigsaw. Either you like the Saw movies or you don't, and this trailer isn't going to change your mind either way.
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
If you've never watched Dirk Gently, the completely insane zaniness of this teaser will probably surprise you, but most likely in a good way. It's really ridiculous -- until it turns strangely creepy at the very end. From what I've heard about the show, that's a pretty accurate description of the whole thing.
It's a little hard to figure out just what Bright is trying to say from its trailer, but the mix of street-level police work and an over-the-top fantasy world is certainly intriguing. There's something just inherently awesome about seeing Will Smith with a big 'ole sword, but we also don't appreciate his treatment of fairies. Poor little sprite.
This second trailer for Inhumans is exponentially better than the first. There's much more story hinted at, more powers in action, and you'll definitely care a bit more about the characters after watching it. The final line in the trailer is full of possibility -- is it correct? Is he using his power to make them all think that? This trailer will succeed in bringing in a lot more viewers.
The cast and crew of Van Helsing said their new season would be bloody, and man, the trailer supports that statement in spades. Full of action, blood, and vampire fun... and blood. We mentioned the blood, right?
When Westworld aired last year, it had people constantly asking "what the hell is going on?" Well, this trailer follows that up with what is sure to make you ask the same question, but there's something about that grin on the face of Ed Harris's Man in Black that makes it all worthwhile.
Where Supergirl seems to abandon hope The Flash seems to seek to recapture it. While things weren't good for Team Flash at the end of last season, there's some really fun banter between Cisco and Wally, and a big finish that basically says "okay, it's all good now." This gives us hope for a fun season of The Flash, which we could definitely use.
Voltron: Legendary Defender
This trailer does some pretty expert work in selling Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 3. There's enough exposition to tell you what the stakes are. There's a "Wha-huh?!" moment. There's a new, creepy villain. Just a really well done trailer for a show more people should be watching.
Fear the Walking Dead
The Fear the Walking Dead trailer is really good, and sets up what's almost certain disaster at the Ranch in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, it came out within an hour of it's big brother series' epic trailer (more on that much later), and that held it back a bit from being higher on this list.
One of those weird "trailers for the season you're already in," this Preacher trailer is still excellent. There's some Hellish intrigue, Herr Starr teases, the Saint of Killers has a human moment, and our heroes look more and more like they're just along for the ride and have no real control of, well, anything. Just how we like it.
Star Trek: Discovery
The Star Trek: Discovery trailer isn't bad, but it also isn't likely to get anyone but die-hard Star Trek fans to pay extra money for yet another streaming service just to watch it. It's got some great moments, and the cast looks really strong, there's just something missing from this trailer that we can't put our fingers on.
The Star Trek inspired comedy The Orville just looks better with every second of footage, though. Hopefully MacFarlane never quite gets to Family Guy levels of over-the-top here, but this cast really looks like they're having a great time together, and that makes us want to watch.
Hey, let's do one more space sci-fi series in a row, huh? The best of the genre on TV right now (and really, one of the best of all time), the trailer for The Expanse is basically perfect. We're into the top third here, and there's not going to be a lot to differentiate one from the next anymore. Sorry, it's been a long weekend. We love this trailer.
Freedom Fighters: The Ray
Was anyone expecting this? Announced a while ago now, The Ray is finally coming to CW Seed and it is dark. I mean, the main hero kills someone in his first moment of action, we see Nazi versions of Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow, and the world is totally devastated. Okay, yes, we said we wanted less darkness out of a couple of those shows, but on this short-form digital series? Sign us up.
The second-best horror trailer in the mix, this one has the highest creep factor for sure. Leatherface is the story of how the Texas Chainsaw killer came to be, and... it looks like he had help? Don't watch this trailer right before eating or going to bed, but... yeah, never knew we needed an origin story of this classic horror villain. Now we do.
The Gifted is coming into a crowded space of superhero TV, but judging from the trailer (which almost certainly only covers the pilot directed by Bryan Singer) it looks like it's going to fully embrace the classic X-Men credo of "a world that hates and fears them" in a way that the films never really got around to. And we are all for it.
Game of Thrones
Yes, the season is already going on. Yes, this didn't have all that much in it, as far as actually telling you what's coming. No, it didn't matter, because the tiniest of teases will drive Game of Thrones fans insane, okay? Heck, some of this already paid off tonight, and we still love this trailer.
Pairing your limited one-episode Season 2 trailer with a blooper reel from Season 1 is a stroke of brilliance. You get some good funny moments to -- ahem -- reel people in, then smack them in the face with dire situations and more lying, secret-keeping, and drama. And at the very end of the trailer? Why, a Cherry on top, of course. Gosh, Riverdale puns are easy.
Yes, this trailer uses old footage from a bunch of other shows before it gets around to being about Black Lightning, but no, we don't care. The page-to-screen style of this trailer is so cool, and the new stuff for the newest DC series on The CW, while maybe not very shocking, was definitely electric.
Maybe this is higher up because of recency bias, but the last trailer of the weekend was also one of the best. There are two Doctors, both refusing to regenerate, one last journey for our too-shortly-around companion, and you know, some great dry humor. Just what the Doctor ordered.
Ready Player One
It's like a pop culture explosion. In fact, we did a big list of all the pop culture bits we found in this trailer. It's a lot of fun, even if it tells us basically nothing about why all those pop culture bits are in there. Who cares? Watch it again! Tetsuoooooooo!
So we already wanted to see these four Netflix Marvel heroes come together to fight for the people of New York. Then you add freaking Sigourney Weaver as the villain? Madame Gao has been so intimidating, and Weaver just stares her down and it is so awesome and we love her.
The Shape of Water
Wooooooow. This eerie and personal trailer from the great Guillermo del Toro will take your speech away, and it's a beautiful expression of humanity, relationships, and communication told through a sci-fi lens. Like all the best sci-fi, it looks to tell you something about yourself and humanity. In del Toro we trust.
The Walking Dead
How are you gonna start a trailer with a meta-statement by Negan, then total silence for a couple minutes, before just tearing it all down with a rousing speech by Rick that made us want to go fight Negan and the Saviors, and finally a total shocker of an ending scene. Holy cow, we can't wait for TWD to be back.
Maybe we're a little biased here, but the best sci-fi show on TV also has one of the top five trailers of the weekend. 12 Monkeys continues to amaze us, and this trailer, having several characters deliver one speech all together, with the threats of... um... everything hanging over them, is perfect. Perfect.
This movie is going to be an '80s fever dream or a buddy comedy or an amazing action explosion or just a showcase for Cate Blanchett being amazing. Or all of those things, and this trailer is just spectacular. It doesn't get old at all -- watch it 20 times like we have and you won't get sick of it.
The top spot for superhero trailers goes to the assemblage of another superhero team, the Justice League. This trailer is worth it just for Aquaman surfing an Apokoliptian parademon through a building then throwing his hair back. There are so many great moments, like the overtures of Superman's return... our faith in the DCEU has never been higher, and we just can't wait to see how they all come together.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
BUT, the best movie trailer, and the best comic book trailer of the week belonged to Kingsman: The Golden Circle. After the surprise hit of the first film, there's a lot of pressure for a follow-up that can keep the fun going (um, common theme with our last item, too), and this trailer should assuage any and all fears you might have. Like "Tequila" says in the trailer, "F*** yeah!"
The best trailer of the weekend is another sequel, and listen, just the Stranger Things music gets us going. The fact that the trailer looks scarier, more exciting, more dramatic, funnier, gives some great fan-service (ELEVEEEEEEN)... There's nothing about this trailer that isn't a pure delight, much like the first season of the show. We're ready, Netflix. Give us our Stranger Things now please.