Attracting enormous crowds of pop culture aficionados, San Diego’s annual four-day Comic-Con International event is known for exuberant amounts of cosplay, celebrities and entertainment. Thanks to dueling men in tights, destructive mega-lizards and games that may or may not involve thrones, this year’s Comic-Con did not disappoint.
Major production studios rolled out this year to announce and promote the latest and greatest of their upcoming films and television series’, toting along with them some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
2013 overwhelmingly became Comic-Con’s year of the superhero, as the comic world’s most beloved protagonists took the spotlight with either their on-screen debuts, sequels or even epic unions of super forces. The sequels for the Avengers, Thor, and The Amazing Spider-Man all generated copious amounts of buzz from attendees, but, according to LA Times Hero Complex, the biggest news that came out of Comic-Con 2013 was Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel sequel announcement in which Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (not yet casted) are set to join with—or against?—each other in what is sure to be a legendary superhero film.
Rivaling “SuperBat’s” popularity, however, was the discussion of the new Godzilla film, set for release in May 2014, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe and Elizabeth Olsen. Director Gareth Edwards defended his film explaining why it will be better than previous remakes, primarily because they are, “trying to make a blockbuster that harks back to the pace and style of the late ’70s, early ’80s type of movies.” Will it be different than the apocalyptic films we’ve seen recently? We’re not positive, but we do know it’s sure to make billions of dollars.
Last but not least is the sequel every young adult—and many not-so-young-adults—can’t wait for: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Now that Twilight has withdrawn from the Comic-Con sphere, The Hunger Games craze has filled the void and caught fire (get it?) with the expansive popularity of both the book trilogy and the film’s stars Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth, who were present on Saturday. Not much more than a new trailer was revealed during the hour-long panel, but it was enough to keep fans satisfied—for now.
In terms of “the small screen,” Comic-Con 2013 was a lot like last year. Many of the same popular shows, such as The Vampire Diaries, The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones, had panels again this year, each speaking to crowds of more than 6,000 devout fans dying to hear any hints about upcoming seasons from the shows’ stars and producers. Notable celebrities in attendance for these shows included Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Emilia Clarke, and even a video appearance by physicist Stephen Hawking.
Another well-attended television panel was BBC’s Doctor Who, which has one of the most devout TV fandoms of the 21st century. The show just celebrated its 50th anniversary as well as its future release of a new BBC docudrama that focuses on the show’s creation, titled An Adventure in Space and Time.
However, another adored show said its final goodbyes during its panel this weekend. As every Breaking Bad fan knows, the show’s five-season run is coming to an end with the final eight episodes airing this August. Creator Vince Gilligan bid farewell to the fans and to Comic-Con on Sunday stating, “I’m satisfied with the ending. I hope you will be too.”
The Show Within the Show
Although film and television filled the major headlines coming out of Comic-Con, there was plenty of entertainment available for those who needed a break from the dark, crowded panels. Rows upon rows of booths were set up in the convention hall giving away promotional material—a.k.a. free swag—to attendees. And while concerts (Metallica, anyone?), after-parties, and celebrity spotting provided entertainment for hours, nothing was quite as fascinating as the actual people in attendance.
Cosplay has become the name of the game for Comic-Con attendees, and men and women alike could be spotted dressed as anything from anime characters to superheroes to video game legends. Their creativity knew no bounds. More important, however, was their spirit and excitement in the air that surrounded Comic-Con, as people eagerly lined up to experience what many had been waiting for since February. Their enthusiasm almost made the insane traffic throughout San Diego, as thousands descended upon the city, worth it.