13 Reasons To Be Hyped About Comic-Con

Superman featured photo
A Superman cosplayer poses for pictures along 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter during Comic-Con International on July 20, 2017 in San Diego.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

If you notice that your most enthusiastic friends were apparently all raptured over the next few days, it may actually be because they're among the lucky ones who scored tickets for Comic-Con.

Some of the trademark Comic-Con panels are taking the year off — Marvel Studios is laying low as they let post-Infinity War anticipation build (did Thanos snap?) (spoilers?), and HBO doesn't have anything to show this year from Game of Thrones or Westworld. But that means fans might actually be able to get into the panels they really want to see this year, and spend less time in lines — though there will still be plenty of time spent in lines.

I'll be at the convention trying to see all the things (you can follow what I'm up to there at @MikeRoe on Twitter and Instagram), and we're also doing an Instagram story with even more from Comic-Con on Friday from the LAist Instagram account, @LAistPics.

To get you prepped, here's what everyone will be talking about, some under-the-radar picks, and the other stuff we're hyped about. (And yes, we have 13 reasons, but sorry — 13 Reasons Why isn't holding a panel this year. We're sad about it too.)

What Everyone On Your Social Media Will Be Talking About

  • Breaking Bad 10th Anniversary Celebration: It's been 10 years since Breaking Bad helped to change what we expect is possible when it comes to the quality of basic cable TV. Now the cast is reuniting, from Bryan Cranston to Giancarlo Esposito, including taking a look at some of the show's best moments. I went to a panel for 24 after the show wrapped, and without having to hard promote anything other than the Blu-Ray, it was one of the best panels I've ever been to. I'd expect some of that vibe here — it's a dark show, but this should be a lot of fun.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Reunion: Created during the writers' strike, this show set a new standard for what could be done in original web content. It's one of the key reasons why your improv-loving neighbor is trying to make videos. The 10th-anniversary panel includes creator Joss Whedon (in one of his most high-profile appearances since allegations by his ex-wife), along with stars Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, and more. Dr. Horrible himself, Neil Patrick Harris, isn't officially announced for this panel — but you'll just have to hope he can take a break from hosting Genius Junior to suit up for Comic-Con.
  • Warner Bros.' Hall H panel: This is always one of the biggest extravaganzas at Comic-Con, filled with surprises and Warner Bros. trying to cram all the movie stuff they can into two hours. They've been a bit down in the dumps, largely taking the summer off from the box office this year, but they're trying to set themselves up for future success — especially when it comes to resurrecting the DC Comics movies after some disappointing returns. They're expected to drop the trailers for Aquaman and Shazam (the DC Comics artist formerly known as Captain Marvel before having to deal with that other Captain Marvel over at Marvel), as well as teasing something from the Wonder Woman sequel set in 1984.
  • Deadpool 2 panel: Marvel Studios is taking the year off from Comic-Con, but that doesn't mean there won't be any Marvel movies there — Fox and Sony are happy to have the chance to spotlight the Marvel characters they have the rights to. In one of the weirdest, most surprising announcements for Comic-Con, they promise that "Deadpool and pals" will be hosting this panel, even though the movie's already been out for months now. We guess this is to hype up the Blu-Ray, and maybe they'll make some announcements about other upcoming Fox X-Men movies, all with Ryan Reynolds holding court and throwing quips in costume.
  • Whatever James Gunn's doing: The director of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies has been teasing something secret that he'll reveal during the Sony panel. The most likely answer is a horror movie that he's producing, but there's also speculation it could be turning the popular manga Berserk into a film. Whatever it is, Gunn's always a captivating personality, so this panel should be a blast.

Under The Radar Gems

Besame/Agent Carter cosmetics
Besame Cosmetics' 1946 Agent Carter collection on display in the Blue Sky Suite during Dapper Day Expo 2018 at Disneyland Hotel on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Angela Papuga/Getty Images)

There are a lot of panels at Comic-Con, and most of them never make news. Here are a few lower-profile panels of note:

  • Rival film/TV composer panels: Thursday morning, it's a battle for the ages — or at least one for people who love film and TV scores. At 10 a.m., you have your choice of the 6th Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero, featuring the composers behind Logan, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the CW DC Comics shows, and more. OR you can check out Behind the Music 10th Anniversary: Crime, Death, and Resurrection, which includes the composers who score Mr. Robot, This Is Us, Riverdale, and others, with a couple big names moderating — actors Sara Rue and Jon Huertas (Miguel from This Is Us!). Whichever way you go, you'll get some insight into how background music gives us all the feels.
  • Agent Carter & Besame Cosmetics: A Heroic Match: This panel has a corporate sponsor with tie-in products to promote, but it should still be a moment for fans to come together and celebrate the short-lived Marvel period piece TV show. Agent Carter resonated especially with women, featuring a strong female lead who knew her value and fought sexism in the post-World War II era.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey 50th Anniversary Panel: Forget 10th-anniversary panels — after 50 years, this panel features the two non-robotic stars of the film coming together. It'll also play host to a panel full of academics offering a look back on the trippy sci-fi classic. The footage has been remastered for a 4K Blu-Ray release, and they're going to be previewing this whole new way of experiencing the legendary film.
  • Created at Meltdown: We all mourned the passing of Hollywood's Meltdown Comics earlier this year, giving way to development after being a local icon for decades. This panel celebrates some of the creators who took part in classes and workshops held at Meltdown over the years, moving from fans to creators.

Where You'll Find Me

Here are some more panels from my must-sees, but I think you'll dig them too:

  • DC spotlights on Tom King and Geoff Johns: These two are arguably the highest-profile writers at DC Comics at the moment. Comic book writer/former CIA operative Tom King is writing the next big comics event, Heroes In Crisis, taking a look at how trauma affects the heroes fighting crime. We'll press him in this off-the-cuff event to tell us all the CIA secrets we can get out of him.

    Meanwhile, Geoff Johns has made his mark in TV and film, working on projects like the Wonder Woman movie and the Flash TV show, but he's also been writing an epic comic series called Doomsday Clock that's set to shape the future of the DC Comics universe. He's such a great storyteller that DC had him meet with many of its writers in a recent relaunch to coach each of them in how to make their comics as compelling as possible. In his intimate panel, he'll talk with DC publisher Dan DiDio — a chance to go long and talk about how instrumental Johns has been at DC.
  • Will You Go to the Dance with Me? How Homecoming Dances and Epic Parties Have Shaped Storytelling: As someone with a soft spot for teen TV shows and movies, this one hits me right in the heart. This panel takes a look at how the big dance or the big party make for key moments in popular fiction. They'll examine how it's changed over the years from Pride & Prejudice, to Pretty in Pink, to today.
  • Building a Skeptical Techno-Utopia with Optimistic Disaster Stories: Science Fiction author/futurist Cory Doctorow gets interviewed by fellow writer Cecil Castellucci about what he sees as the future of science fiction — and humanity. I got "Futuristic" on my StrengthsBuilder test, so this is, of course, right up my alley.
  • World Premiere of The Death of Superman: As a kid, the first time I went to a comic book shop was because Superman was getting killed. Now they're making that into an animated movie? Ummmm, yes, please. They've also got a stellar voice cast to go with it, including Jerry O'Connell, Rebecca Romijn, and they're teasing some surprise panelists.

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