Pirates vs. Zombies: Comic-Con's latest showdown
A zombie character in an exhibit inspired by the television series "The Walking Dead" screams at onlookers during the Preview Night event on Day 1 of the 2013 Comic-Con International Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Avast! While the international pop-culture celebration known as Comic-Con has long been the domain of superheros, the biggest showdown at this year's convention might not even involve spandex.
Several pirate-themed properties are sailing to San Diego this week in hopes of reclaiming the pop-culture crown from the undead likes of "The Walking Dead," ''World War Z" and "Dead Rising." That's right. It's pirates vs. zombies.
"I think everyone is going to remember this as the year that pirates commandeered Comic-Con," said actor Mark Ryan, who portrays gruff quartermaster Gates in Starz's upcoming mature pirate drama "Black Sails."
The Star of India sits at a dock next to the San Diego Convention Center during the Preview Night event on Day 1 of the 2013 Comic-Con International Convention on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in San Diego. The ship is decorated as a pirate ship to promote Ubisoft's “Assassin’s Creed” video game. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)
The series centering on Toby Stephens as pirate Captain Flint isn't set to debut until next year. However, the network is screening the first installment for a select group of fans at a movie theater Thursday night.
"As crowded as the marketplace is right now, there's weird missing spots," said "Black Sails" co-creator Jonathan Steinberg. "It's a genre you think you've seen a million times, but in reality, there just aren't that many iterations of it. Certainly, there's none that I've seen that have taken this approach."
The pirate invasion is certainly apparent on the convention's show floor where both Starz and ABC have erected mock pirate ships towering over costumed Comic-Con attendees.