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Roid rage collided with nerd rage as some of history's greatest action stars descended upon Hall H in San Diego. Yes, the Expendables themselves, or at least their starting line-up, made their Comic-Con debut this afternoon pumping up the audience for Aug. 17's The Expendables 2.
Returning guns for hire Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture were joined by series mastermind Sylvester Stallone, as well as newcomers two of the series' newcomers, Jean Claude Van Damme and yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The sextet was on stage to represent just a portion of the sequel's mammoth cast, which includes Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Jason Statham, and the king of being Missing in Action himself, Chuck Norris. Deciding to start their second tour at Comic-Con with a bang, The Expendables 2 struck early with a new poster that dropped mere days before the start of the convention.
Following up the original 2010 bullets-and-explosion bonanza with more of the same, and then some, The Expendables 2 finds the titular band of mercenaries on the warpath after one of their own meets a grisly demise on a routine mission. This time, Stallone is relieved of duty in the director's chair, replaced by Con Air and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider director Simon West.
When the muscle-bound mercs did finally take the stage, their infectious repoire pretty much overshadowed anything related to the actual movie. Stallone was overflowing with praise when introducing his co-stars, including defining Terry Crews as "the ultimate male," which Crews responded to by passing the spotlight to his pectorals, which did not dissapoint. Schwarzenegger garnered the largest round of applause, and justified it with some old quotes out of Conan and Kindergarten Cop, as well as some wry hints at a sequel to Twins.
"I think they have moved it along, and Ivan Reitman has shown interest in being involved, Universal is excited about it. We are now looking for a great writer to write the sequel, and I'm looking forward to doing it, because I think it will be hilarious," Arnie said.
Actual news relevent to the film included suggestion that the incredible real life of Dolph Ludgren has found its way into The Expendables 2, as well as confirmation that "the Expendables are pushed to their limit." Stallone put it best when describing what it takes to have so many alpha dogs playing in the same sandbox: "When you have 10 tough guys, you say, how can we showcase their personalities and still be able to tell a story and keep the most important thing in an action film, the M-word: momentum."
Perhaps the most insightful information came from a fan asking a question on everyone's mind: "If all five of you, right now, got in a fight, who would win?" With an embarrassment of hulking riches flanking him, Stallone claimed that Couture was the real life Expendable you didn't want to square off with. And just to leave fans with a taste of what to come, a final clip from the film showed Schwarzenegger and Willis' characters throwing each other's most famous quips back at one another.
It was a panel full of bravado, biceps and badass one-liners. What more could any action fan ask for?