Marvel Animation Comic-Con Panel Previews 'What If...?,' 'X-Men '97,' 'Spider-Man: Freshman Year' and More

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The Marvel Studios Animation panel at San Diego Comic-Con provided plenty of updates on some epic upcoming projects! The panel opened with a voiceover from "The Watcher," himself, What If....? star Jeffrey Wright, building the hype for fans to see all your favorite MCU characters take on new worlds and new threats in their animated adventures.

I Am Groot director Kristen Lepore, Spider-Man: Freshman Year EP and head writer Jeff Trammell, What If...? and Marvel Zombies director Bryan Andrews, X-Men '97 EP and head writer Beau DeMayo and more took the stage during the Ballroom 20 panel to preview their upcoming series and share some sneak peeks at what fans can expect.

Read on to see what we learned about some of the MCU's animated offerings coming in the next few months!


I Am Groot (Aug. 1 on Disney+)

I Am Groot
Marvel Studios

We haven't seen the last of Baby Groot. Though everyone's favorite talking tree is growing up before our very eyes in the MCU proper, this series of short films will showcase a younger Groot (with Vin Diesel reprising his voice role) alongside several "new and unusual" Marvel characters. 

At Comic-Con, I Am Groot director Kristen Lepore shared that the central question of the series was, "How do we make Groot's childhood relatable?...Bath time, arts and crafts, playing dress up... but making it sci-fi." She also teased that the series will feature some old and new faces from the MCU.

The trailer showcases the tiny "hero of few words" adventuring through nature, showing off his dance movies, and of course, getting into some explosive mischief! 


Spider-Man: Freshman Year (2024 on Disney+)

Spider-Man
Marvel Studios

This animated installment in the Spider-Man franchise follows Peter Parker on his way to becoming the titular hero in the MCU, with a journey unlike we've ever seen and a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots.

EP and head writer Jeff Trammell shared a first look at the animated Peter and his web-slinging counterpart at Comic-Con, noting that he's a big fan of the Spectacular Spider-Man comics run.

The series -- which is set before Peter is recruited by Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War -- will also include various Spidey suits, and some familiar names from the Marvel canon, including Nico Minuro of the Runaways, Lonnie Lincoln, Amadeus Cho, Harry Osborn, and more. Charlie Cox is also set to reprise his Daredevil role and voice the animated version of the character in the show.


What If...?, Season 2 (early 2023 on Disney+)

What If?
Disney+

The second season of the fan-favorite animated series will see the return of The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) as the series meets new heroes and explores more strange new worlds in the MCU’s ever-expanding Multiverse. Like season 1, many MCU actors are expected to reprise their roles "in very different forms."

Director Bryan Andrews and head writer AC Bradley previewed the second season at SDCC, noting that a third season is already in the works. Season 2 is set to feature Hela, Odin, The Mandarin, the Winter Soldier, Valkyrie, Hulk, Tony Stark and the return of Captain Carter.

Read more about What If...?.


Marvel Zombies (TBA on Disney+)

Marvel Zombies
Marvel Studios

The animated series from Marvel Studios reimagines the Marvel Universe as a new generation of heroes battle against an ever-spreading zombie scourge.

Director Bryan Andrews previewed the upcoming series at Comic-Con, confirming that it is a continuation of the zombies episode from What If...? season 1, and sharing that it will be rated TV-MA!

The series is set to include heroes like Shang-Chi, Black Widow's Yelena Belova and Red Guardian, Hawkeye's Kate Bishop, Ant-Man and WandaVision's Jimmy Woo, and Ms. Marvel, as well as zombie-fied versions of Ghost, Abomination, Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Okoye and Captain America. 


X-Men '97 (Fall 2023 on Disney+)

X-Men 97
Marvel Studios

The animated series from Marvel Studios explores new stories in the iconic ‘90s timeline of the original series. EP and head writer Beau DeMayo introduced the series at Comic-Con, noting that it's the first X-Men property since Marvel got the rights to the characters back from Fox: "It's an immense legacy, especially since the X-Men are back at the only mansion that counts, Marvel Studios."

The upcoming series brings back the beloved cast of heroes from the '90s series -- Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, and Beast -- while also including some new team members, like Sunspot, Cable, Bishop and Nightcrawler. Villains will include Seb Shaw, Emma Frost, Calypso, Val Cooper and Mister Sinister.


See below for more of Entertainment Tonight’s ongoing coverage of Comic-Con 2022, including the daily schedule and biggest highlights of the weekend:

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