SAN DIEGO (AP) — Amid throngs of fans, uniformed soldiers and dancing girls, "Captain America" star Chris Evans introduced the latest Marvel film to a Comic-Con crowd Thursday, a day ahead of its nationwide opening.
"I love this movie. I really think we've got something special here," Evans said to the packed theater audience, many wearing Captain America T-shirts (and some in the full costume, with shield). "It's everything a superhero movie should be.
"I can't always be this enthusiastic, because I don't always like my movies."
With that, fans donned their special Captain America 3-D glasses and settled in for the two-hour ride. The pre-show excitement was so great that people clapped for the Paramount logo and cheered when the Marvel imprint came on screen.
Fans gathered before dawn for a chance to see the first public showing of the anticipated Marvel movie. They were rewarded for their devotion with free posters, buttons and T-shirts that read "First to see the first Avenger."
"This is what San Diego Comic-Con is all about," said Mark Walters of Dallas, who toted a poster and a T-shirt as he attended his 17th consecutive Comic-Con. "I've been waiting for this movie my whole life. I'm a huge Captain America fan."
Fans' enthusiasm remained constant throughout the action romp, where Evans plays Steve Rogers, a good-hearted but small-statured guy who enlists in the Army and submits himself for an experimental treatment to become a super soldier. Spontaneous applause erupted when Evans first came on screen, when Stan Lee made his requisite cameo and when Samuel L. Jackson appeared as the eye-patch-wearing Nick Fury.
When the credits rolled, nobody moved. This is Comic-Con, and the fans here know that Marvel movies often end with "Easter eggs" that hint at future films.
This one was a doozy: A teaser trailer for next summer's superhero-packed "The Avengers" showed at the end of "Captain America," providing fans with a first look at the film and all its superstar superheroes in one dazzling, blink-and-you'll-miss-something preview.
"I can't wait for next year!" an elated Robert Garcia said as he left the theater. He had waited since 5 a.m. to attend the "Captain America" screening. "It was worth it just for the trailer."
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is tweeting from Comic-Con at http://www.twitter.com/APSandy .