For the 180,000 of you superheroes, elves and all the other magical creatures going to New York Comic Con, here’s your roundup of the best things to do and can’t-miss panels.
Be the captain of the Enterprise
Even if you prefer the stoic scientific mind of Mr. Spock, or your talents lie more in the communications field like Lt. Uhura, admit it — you’ve always wanted to sit in the captain’s chair. To celebrate the release of “Star Trek Beyond” on Nov. 1, Paramount Pictures is putting you on the command deck of the USS Enterprise at their booth (NC6) for photo ops. While there, grab a limited edition Federation pin and a foam finger of the Vulcan salute (bet that won’t be the strangest swag you’ll see all weekend).
Two Doctors mean double the fun
The Javits just couldn’t handle this: “Doctor Who” star Peter Capaldi and his new companion, Pearl Mackie, are making their NYCC debut on Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Considering we know next to nothing yet about the new season, including its airdate, you’re sure to hear (and see?) some exclusive information. For those who still miss the floppy silliness of Matt Smith’s Eleven, he’ll be on hand too — with the Doctor’s wife, Alex Kingston, and departing companion Jenna Coleman on the Javits’ Main Stage (Oct. 6, 2 p.m.)
A new dimension of horror
If you have a strong stomach and ain’t afraid of no ghosts (or other ghastly creatures), seek out VR Con, making its NYCC debut at the Javits’ VR, Gaming and Tech Pavilion. Jaunt VR brings its horror titles “Escape of the Living Dead,” “Zombie Purge” and the thriller “Black Mass,” while studios like Netflix and Warner Brothers have created 360-degree experiences based on some of their popular franchises. Actors from New York Haunted Hayride will also provide an extra real-world jolt to your virtual thrills.
The merits of the Reynolds Pamphlet
Thanks to “Hamilton,” we all know a lot more about the founding father without a father than what our American history professors taught us. But Alexander Hamilton didn’t just help start a nation — he also started its first sex scandal in 1791 by leaking the details of his own affair. Debate the merits of the Reynolds Pamphlet at Hudson Mercantile on Oct. 6 at 8:30 p.m. with the ladies of “Stuff You Missed in History Class.” Tickets are $12.
‘Star Wars’ beyond the films
NYCC has collected all of its publishers under one roof this year at BookCon, held at Hudson Mercantile for the first time this year, and they couldn’t have kicked it off better than with a panel of juggernauts in “Star Wars” spinoff novels, from the revered Timothy Zahn to Chuck Wendig, the man behind the “Aftermath” trilogy that’s giving “The Force Awakens” some much-needed backstory. They’ll discuss their process and give sneak peeks into what’s coming up in the “Star Wars” publishing universe. The panel is immediately followed by an autograph session, so don’t forget your well-loved copy of “Heir to the Empire” (Oct. 7, 11 a.m.)
Make time to unwind
Celebrate the halfway point of NYCC with an epic party (if you’re 21+) at Bowlmor Times Square (222 W. 44th St.). Hosted by cosplayers and comics publishers, nerd-friendly fun will take over the whole venue from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. with free bowling, specialty cocktails, even more special guests, a photobooth, live music on the dancefloor, giveaways and access to Bowlmor’s arcade. Tickets are $15.
The inside track on ‘Westworld’
The debut of HBO’s new sci-fi western series set the internet on fire last Sunday. You’re sure to get some details about what’s coming up in the rest of the season (or just see the second episode before anyone else!) at a two-hour panel with showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, as well as stars Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, and Jimmi Simpson on Oct. 9 beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Hammerstein Ballroom.
First look at the new ‘Black Mirror’
If you're not freaked out about the future, you haven't been watching this British speculative future series. After two seasons made in the U.K., Netflix has taken over production duties and will air its third season beginning Oct. 21. What strange, world-twisting things will these six new episodes reflect back at us this time? Be the first to see a very relevant episode, “Play Test,” directed by Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) about a new virtual reality game that goes too far (Oct. 8, 12:30 p.m., Room 1A10).
Get familiar with ‘Stranger Things’
September was the month of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” and we know you still have nothing but questions (and a few bones to pick) about what happened in the Upside Down. Everyone’s new hero, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and David Harbour (Chief Hopper) discuss the monsters, secrets and behind-the-scenes action on Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. on the Javits Main Stage 1-D.
Meet the mayor of ‘Sin City’
To celebrate the release of Frank Miller’s “Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection,” which features the entire graphic novel series with newly scanned original artwork, the man himself will be doing meet-and-greets at the Dark Horse booth (#1636) on Oct. 8 from 1-3 p.m. You’ll need a wristband, which you can only get by buying a copy at the show or through a random drawing on Friday and Saturday mornings at the booth during the first hour of the show.