July means one thing for the entertainment industry: time for Comic-Con. Here's what we're geeking out over the most this year at the annual pop culture smorgasbord in San Diego.
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Marvel: The comic book movie juggernaut never ceases to impress in San Diego, and hopefully this year will be no different. We're looking for updates on "Avengers 2" as well as the upcoming "Captain America" and "Thor" sequels, plus wouldn't it be awesome if they brought out the whole cast of "Guardians of the Galaxy," their bizarre new super-team movie?
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" — It feels like it's been forever since Fox has mounted a Hall H presentation for Comic-Con, but this year they're back. Mum is apparently the word on what will be presented, but we have it on good authority something will be done to celebrate the impending release of "the Wolverine." More importantly, we're hoping for an update from Bryan Singer on his return to the X-Men franchise.
"Godzilla" — With "Pacific Rim" putting giant, city-destroying monsters back in people's minds, the time is right to reintroduce the original kaiju, Godzilla. The reboot, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe and Elizabeth Olsen, has just started filming, so hopefully there will be some monster-sized surprises in store.
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." — We may have to wait until summer 2015 for "Avengers 2," but Marvel is helping make that wait go faster with this TV spin-off, overseen by Joss Whedon himself. It's easily our most anticipated show of the fall season. And maybe we'll finally learn how Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson — who appeared to have perished in "the Avengers" — factors into the new show.
"Doctor Who" — We're halfway through the venerable British sci-fi's series' 50th anniversary, so expect big things — especially with current Time Lord Matt Smith bowing out later this year. That makes this his last Comic-Con as Doctor Who, so hopefully he'll make the most of it.
"Hannibal" — Fans of this dark and twisted drama had to wait a tortorously long time for NBC to give it a second season renewal — coming weeks after other series got the green light — so both fans and executive producer Brian Fuller have plenty of reason to celebrate at the show's first panel.
IN GENERAL GEEKERY
"Nerd HQ" — "Chuck" star Zachary Levi's Nerd Machine's, a party space devoted to all things nerdy, is back and moving to much bigger digs at Petco Park for a slew of dance parties, celebrity panels and gaming demos. Maybe next year they'll just take over the whole convention center.
WIRED Café — Wired magazine's Comic-Con oasis celebrates its fifth year of offering attendees a respite from the geeky madness with food, drink and gadgets galore. Though, given the level of treachery on the hit HBO series, maybe we'll skip the drinks at the "Game of Thrones" Bar.
The costumes — Celebrities and major movies and TV shows are nice and all, but what really makes Comic-Con special is the hordes of fans who descend on San Diego — especially the cosplay folks, donning incredibly accurate recreations of character costumes from comics, cartoons, TV and elsewhere. We'll be keeping an eye out for the most creative.
Sure, but what about Star Wars?
Hey, isn't the a new Star Wars movie coming soon? Wouldn't Comic-Con be the perfect place to do some unveiling? You would think, but every other year Disney — the new parent company in charge of all things Star Wars — has their own summer to-do, the D23 Expo, in August. With D23 looming, it's no surprise that the studio will have no presence at Comic-Con aside from its Marvel panel presentation. So fans of the Force will have to wait another month for news on the first of a new series of films in a galaxy far, far away…