Fun Stuff

Comic-Con International 2016: A Recap

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San Diego Comic-Con is iconic. A nerdy Mecca firmly planted on the San Diego coastline, where fandoms run free and Stan Lee is our king. It started out with humble beginnings, a small group of comic book fans in a Hilton hotel ballroom, but has since grown so large that it takes almost a week to see even a fraction. Its popularity is nothing to scoff at, and the enormous crowds have attracted the interest of big screen and small screen producers alike. Every year, in the meeting halls and ballrooms that pepper the convention center campus, diehard fans are given an exclusive taste of coming attractions for their favorite media.

Not everyone can make it down to sunny San Diego for five days, so we’ve compiled the best and most anticipated information here, from panels and screenings to cosplay contests.

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Warner Brothers made a big splash this year, releasing first looks at the new Justice League movie (2017) and footage from Wonder Woman (2017). They also fed the fans with an extended preview of Suicide Squad, which comes out this week.

Next up is Marvel, who dominated the weekend with the official announcement of the Black Panther movie (2018), starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o. Black Panther is Marvel’s first movie with a non-white lead, and the cast is truly spectacular. They also teased information from a Captain Marvel movie, slated for 2019. A few clips from Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and they tied up their announcements with a run down of Spiderman: Homecoming, a high school set chapter of their Spiderman series, set to release in July of next year.

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One of the most anticipated events of the weekend was the release of the trailer for the new installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne. The trailer, which is now available on YouTube, premiered live in front of an enormous crowd, standing room only, in the largest screening room at the center.

The announcement of a new Star Trek TV show was one of the crown jewels of the weekend, releasing its name and test footage from the series at the Star Trek 50 panel, which was a celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Star Trek: Discovery will premiere in early 2017 exclusively on CBS, led by director David Semel. Critics are anticipating a smash hit series.

Panels weren’t the only attraction this weekend, with Comic-Con boasting a monumental Exhibition Hall, nearly half a mile long. Here in the dense crowd, artists and vendors set up shop with exclusive merchandise, discounts, and collectible wares. There were upwards of sixty aisles, some twenty stalls deep, and there’s no better place to find something unique and geeky.

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Elizabeth Dampf dressed as Jackie O’Skellington competes in the masquerade ball during Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, July 23, 2016. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ Southern California News Group)

Where there’s fandom, there’s cosplay, and Comic-Con is one of the best places to see the greatest cosplay out there. This year was no exception. Wandering around the Exhibition floor, you could run into anyone from Iron Man to a Disney Princess. The biggest cosplay event of the week is The Comic-Con Masquerade, where the best and most creative costumers show off their creations in front of a live audience for cash prizes, glittering trophies, and costuming scholarships.

The weekend was action-packed as always, and if the growing popularity is any indication, next year will be even more of a spectacle. Comic-Con is one of these events where you have to see it to believe it, and as anyone who has attended in the past can tell you, it’s definitely a can’t miss. Who knows what next year will bring?

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