No. 1 | Marvel Studios
For the first time in forever, Marvel Studios doesn't really have all that much to wow us with. Iron Man 3 only just started filming, and meanwhile Thor 2 and Captain America: The Second Avenger are but a twinkle in some screenwriters' eyes. But while Marvel is acting like its planned SDCC reveal of the various expansions on the setting of their Cinematic continuity is a big secret, everybody pretty much already knows: they're making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The best I'm hoping for? A firm announcement of the team roster. Yeah, I want to know how many ladies are going to be on it, and whether or not we're getting an anthropomorphic alien raccoon in modern cinema.
No. 2 | Doctor Who
Doctor Who hasn't always had a big presence in American pop culture, considering the length of its history in British pop culture, but it certainly does these days. And these days, Whovians have been sitting impatiently through a year-long hiatus, which, when it ends, promises the departure of not one but two of the Doctor's companions, and the introduction of a new one, the first new sidekick for Matt Smith's Doctor since he started the show (not to mention that the question may very well be asked... and the Silence may very well fall). Even in mid-July, with a promise of a premiere in "the fall," we have yet to see a firm release date, and we haven't seen any new footage from the season since March. Lets just say that when the cast troops into the massive Hall H for their panel, there better be a trailer or a premiere date up on the screen behind them, and then online for us unfortunates, toute suite.
No. 3 | The Hobbit
Peter Jackson makes his triumphant return to Comic Con, and he surely bears many gifts. Well, I mean, he better, because even the occasional production diary isn't enough for fans who know, for a fact, that he's wrapped principal production on not one, but two Hobbit movies. There are all number of reveals he could be bringing with him. From highly anticipated concept art of Smaug, to the White Council descending on Dol Guldur, but we're putting our money on another teaser or trailer. And also, reportedly, some life-size troll statues have showed up on the con floor, but for now they're all covered in sheets.
No. 4 | The Firefly Reunion
It's been ten years since Firefly premiered on Fox. Which is to say: you're old. Which is to say, it's been ten years since Fox aired the second episode of the series as its premiere, and then proceeded to broadcast eleven episodes of the first season completely out of order before realizing that obviously everybody was having trouble understanding the show. So they decided to marathon it all it in the correct order the day after Christmas, 2002, in a highly publicised bid to save its ratings. Against all odds, Firefly became one of the network's signature dramas, running for its planned seven seasons and an additional big budget movie, to the delight of fans everywhere.
Just kidding, Fox dumped the show after airing eleven episodes, was eventually begrudgingly convinced to make a movie, and those fourteen episodes and one incredibly metatextually depressing movie still ignited an incredibly dedicated, long-suffering, and hopeful fanbase. Who are now getting the reunion of their dreams with the entire cast appearing together. We'd tell you to bring tissues, but you won't be there.
No. 5 | Some Other Things I Guess?
While Warner Bros.' biggest dog in the Comic Con fight is The Hobbit, we'd be remiss without mentioning that this is an excellent time for them to debut a teaser for the upcoming Man of Steel, due out in a little less than a year, but for which principle photography has wrapped.
We're also gleefully anticipating any information about Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim (a.k.a. Guillermo del Toro Makes A Live Action Evangelion), which, while not confirmed to be making an appearance, has certainly been putting out a lot of publicity shots and teaser posters lately.
And while it's not a big movie, The Walking Dead might have us the most impressed, by turning a section of San Diego into a obstacle course/zombie run for eager Comic Con attendees. I'm not saying I would run their course myself, after signing what I assume are a mountain of waivers. I'm saying, I'm sad I can't watch other people run their course.
And I haven't even mentioned the black and white graveyard garden that the folks from Tim Burton's Frankenwenie are setting up.
No. 6 | Panels!
But did you know that there are other things to do at Comic Con other than beg at the side door of Hollywood for scraps from your favorite upcoming productions? Ashley Ekstein (Ahsoka Tano of Star Wars: Clone Wars) will be bringing back her Her Universe panel, this time to encourage geek girls to show off their unique methods blending fashion style with nerdy interests. And on Sunday, you would be able to catch Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, and Buffy's Jane Espenson in her own panel. A bunch of women comics artists will be present on the Womanthology panel, and "The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con" panel also bosts a host of female writers and filmmakers, moderated by Star Wars crafting queen Bonnie Burton. And how can we not feel bad that we're missing panels with names like "The Witty Women of Steampunk," "Progressive Politics in Comics," "Rewriting the Rules on Queers in Comics," and "Buffy Turns 20: Celebrating 20 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!"
No. 7 | Creators!
Just off the top of my head, I can tell you that Gail Simone, veteran of many, many comics, but lately the woman who's bringing Occupy Wallstreet-type political themes and survivor's guilt to an incredibly nuanced return to ablebodied living for Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, will be there. Greg Rucka, the writer behind Batwoman: Elegy and the current incarnation of Kate Kane as we know it will be informally attending as well. David Willis, webcomic artist and tackler of false equivalence will be there, and even our secret favorite Noelle Stevenson (known on Tumblr as Gingerhaze) will be staffing the Boom! Studios booth, and we're really curious whether many people will show up just to talk to the art student who created Hipster Lord of the Rings and Ceiling Charles. Amy Mebberson, who you might remember from her Pocket Princesses, will be in residence, and plenty of others that we're sad to miss.
No. 8 | Exclusives
And last but not least... the chunks of plastic and rubber that make up San Diego Comic Con's famed "exclusives:" merchandise that will only be sold at the convention (unless Hasbro sends us some of their toys like last year... Hasbro are you listening?) I mean, first there's the first official toy of My Little Pony's Madame Zecora and Derpy Hooves, a Finn and Fionna box set, a massive maquette based on The Sandman's Death with box art by Jill Thompson. But then you move a couple booths down and see Jar Jar Binks frozen in carbonite the Action Figure, The Walking Dead's Michonne the Action Figure, and three Polly Pocket statutes where she's dressed up as Gotham City supervillainesses. I thought those Polly Pockets were going to be my one greatest want of this year, but then I saw the Death statue.
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