WASHINGTON • The point of a good Comic-Con-tailored trailer is less to tell a tale, and more to evocatively tease.
The pop culture convention offered dozens of fresh Hollywood trailers and their ability to effectively tease ran the gamut.
So while fans wait for that Avengers: Infinity War Comic-Con trailer to go public, here are the event's top significant teasers:
1. Stranger Things
Horror film star Vincent Price was an inspired choice to narrate the Michael Jackson video Thriller more than three decades ago and it is doubly so to hear him on the trailer for the anticipated second season of Netflix's breakout supernatural series, for a "man in the mirror inside another mirror" sense of pop culture refraction.
The new trailer centres on Will's struggle to adapt back to real life as he keeps getting visions of the Upside Down and a monster lurking in the shadows. His friends draw inspiration from the Ghostbusters to help catch the monster tormenting Will, and Eleven is seen in the Upside Down, as she finds a portal back to the real world.
The trailer was dotted with 1980s references, from the arcade game Dragon's Lair to Thriller. Brilliant. Bring on the new season.
2. Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg's trailer wowed Comic-Con's crucible that is Hall H. This film was adapted from the book of the same name, about a near-future dystopian America where people escape real life into a virtual reality world void of limits. It could be the most attractive action fantasy of the holiday season.
3. Justice League
After Wonder Woman, Warner Bros and DC Comics hope to keep the winning streak going with this film, which has a smartly structured trailer that concludes with a little mystery: Is a resurrected Superman, or a cinematically resurrected Green Lantern, about to return?
4. Marvel's The Defenders
If you liked at least three of the four Marvel/Netflix series leading up to this team-up, then you are already in, regardless of the trailer and Sigourney Weaver's regal presence.
The visual callbacks, the catch-up teaser images and the soaring strains of Sammy Davis Jr. blend beautifully in this quick and efficient trailer for the second season of HBO's hit sci-fi show. Bravo.
6. Thor: Ragnarok
Cate Blanchett's supervillain Hela chews up the CGI (computer-generated imagery) scenery, but deliciously. Amp up the winking humour - this trailer feels true to the superhero franchise's tonal shift.
Punches, punchlines and Herr Starr: This trailer for the new season of AMC's comic-book-based series stylishly sells just what it has to offer.
8. My Friend Dahmer
The movie tells the true story of Dahmer's trajectory from high- school student to would-be serial killer. The trailer deftly captures some of the angles that are emblematic of graphic novelist Derf Backderf's style.
If you caught the startling "Who shot Fred Andrews?" cliffhanger that ended Season 1, then face it: You stuck with CW television network's dark and treacherous series based on the Archie Comics franchise long enough to be hooked. Now Season 2 seems to ask: Just how much more emo can Jughead get?
10. Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling
"I don't think we're in the 1990s anymore." Energy drinks, iPhones and food trucks are spoofed, as is this franchise's own taste for a reboot, in this winning trailer for Nickelodeon's TV movie.
11. American Horror Story: Cult
FX and Ryan Murphy give fans an intriguingly opaque tease for a season said to be inspired by last year's presidential election. For now, let the army of insane clowns pique your intrigue.
Netflix showcases this holiday release that should answer the question: What can actor Will Smith and director David Ayer accomplish when they do not have to follow the overlords of DC Comics, a la Suicide Squad? The trailer smartly leads with buddy-cop humour between Smith and an orc (Joel Edgerton) before going full CGI/sci-fi morality adventure.
13. The Walking Dead
The rotting flesh is weak and the narrative spirit is still willing. "We've already won," the rallying cry comes. Indeed, creator Robert Kirkman and Co already have won; at this point, dear viewer, you are either still in or you are out. The Dead return in a new season the week before Halloween.
14. Star Trek: Discovery
Philosophical platitudes intoned over slick effects of impressive scale. The arc of the trailer for CBS All Access' sci-fi show may not hit the heights, but the montage of images creates a sufficient picture - a mosaic of size and scope and self-seriousness.
15. The Gifted
Mutants as family drama? Fox and X-Men director Bryan Singer bring youthful gloss to the familiar dynamic.
Violence worthy of Braveheart meets intrigue worthy of Game Of Thrones - all on a History Channel budget. Serviceable for a new season.
WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS