Alibi V.24 No.29 • July 16-22, 2015 

Idiot Box

Super TV

Six scoops from San Diego Comic-Con

“Ash vs. Evil Dead”

The annual, epic San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up this past weekend out in California. Hollywood has taken possession of the convention in recent years, crowding out comic book industry bigwigs in favor of splashy movie stars. In addition to all the breaking movie news (including trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool and Suicide Squad), there was plenty of television news to be gleaned. So here, in no particular order, are the coolest genre TV tidbits from this year’s Comic-Con.

“American Horror Story: Hotel”—Creator Ryan Murphy admitted the fifth season of FX’ horror anthology will feature even more familiar faces, proving that all the seasons are linked together. “Characters from previous seasons will come check into the hotel,” said Murphy. A teaser trailer released in the wake of Comic-Con features a glimpse (well, an arm and a hand, anyway) of this coming season’s big guest star, Lady Gaga.

“Ash vs. Evil Dead”—Starz network’s spin-off of Sam Raimi’s cult horror-comedy movie series debuted a feature-length trailer. The Bruce Campbell-led show premieres on Halloween and will be a direct sequel to Evil Dead 2. (Army of Darkness being “off limits” according to Raimi.) The biggest surprise was the announcement that Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) would be in it, playing a character called Knowby. As Evil Dead-heads know, Prof. Knowby was the discoverer of the Necronomicon in the original film.

“Arrow”—At the end of last season, CW’s “Arrow” seemed to feature the superhero hanging up his costume for good. Star Stephen Amell teased viewers further by telling them Arrow was gone, never to return. In San Diego, however, Amell confirmed most people’s speculations: Arrow many be dead, but Green Arrow is going strong. Amell showed up wearing the character’s fancy new duds for Season 4 (starting Oct. 7). They feature more armor, less sleeves and a green-hued look much closer to his comic book origins.

“Heroes Reborn”—Skepticism has been high for NBC’s reboot of the superhuman series “Heroes.” But San Diego was as receptive an audience as the show’s creators were likely to get. The new season’s trailer teased the return of HRG (Jack Coleman), Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis) and Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg)—as well as a slew of brand-new ordinary humans with supernatural abilities. It looks like an intriguing lineup. Let’s hope creator Tim Kring has come up with a more cohesive story line for this 13-episode event.

“Marvel’s Agent Carter”—The second season of Marvel’s period superspy series will move from New York to 1947 Hollywood. Showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas said the new story line was inspired by the infamous Black Dahlia murder. Thankfully, Jarvis (James D’Arcy) will be along for the ride. You can catch Season 2 starting in January 2016, during the midseason hiatus of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“Fear the Walking Dead”—AMC premiered the first episode of its “The Walking Dead” prequel to an invitation-only crowd at Comic-Con. According to the buzz, the pilot is moodier and far less focused on flesh-eating action than “The Walking Dead.” It’s set in Los Angeles during the first few weeks of the zombie outbreak and centers on a recently divorced guidance counselor (the ubiquitous Kim Dickens), her former spouse (Cliff Curtis, “Trauma”) and their heroin-addicted son (Frank Dillane, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). It debuts to the public on Aug. 23.