Comic-Con 2013 top 10 moments

Now that Comic-Con International attendees have had some time to eat, sleep, wash off their face paint and pack away their blasters and batarangs, it’s time to look back at some of the most memorable moments of the expo.


“It’s a place where you can be who you are, or who you want to be,” said David Glanzer, spokesman for the San Diego convention, which wrapped up Sunday. “I think for a lot of us who grew up and our interests weren’t always necessarily in the mainstream, it’s great to pal around with 134,000 people who probably share your interests.”

Here are are top 10 moments from Comic-Con 2013, as well as a few honorable mentions. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments.

10. Zombies invade the Gaslamp Quarter

It seems apt that the undead had such a presence in San Diego this year since it is the 10th anniversary of Robert Kirkman’s acclaimed comic series “The Walking Dead.” In addition to panels for the comic and the television show it spawned, Comic-Con was the scene of some pretty rad zombie cosplay, The Walking Dead Escape zombie obstacle course, and the seventh annual Zombie Walk, a sort of undead parade through the streets of San Diego.

9. Fans (and celebrities) get their costume on

Cosplay, a mix of costume creation and role-playing, is one of Comic-Con’s oldest traditions. Spandex-wearing superheroes, helmeted space troopers, sword-wielding warriors and plodding robots were all part of this year’s show floor pageantry (check out the photos here). Even celebrities got dressed up for Comic-Con — “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston cosplayed on the exhibition floor as his character Walter White. “I used a higher voice,” Cranston told Hall H during the show’s Sunday panel. “It was fun getting to meet all of you, and you got to meet me.”

Cranston also attached the mask to his microphone and costar Aaron Paul made out with it, as Hero Complex contributor Patrick Day reports, but that’s another story.

8. Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” is back in the spotlight

Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic “Sandman” was back out of the Dreaming and into the waking world at Comic-Con. The DC/Vertigo myth-and-literature-rich dark fantasy epic’s 25th anniversary was celebrated on the cover of the official souvenir book every attendee received and on one of the convention’s official T-shirts. Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III were both the subjects of spotlight panels, in addition to a “Sandman” program on Saturday, previewing the upcoming “Sandman: Overture” miniseries.


When Gaiman was writing “Sandman” in 1988, he wrote for himself and his colleagues. “Now I’m doing it for millions of people, and in my head they’re all looking over my shoulder while I write and they’re all going, ‘This better be worth waiting for. It better be good,’” Gaiman said. “So that is actually genuinely nerve-racking.”

Though story details for “Overture” are scarce, Gaiman promises his first Sandman tale in 10 years will be a “very, very strange book,” Hero Complex contributor Blake Hennon reported.

7. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” brings the laughs

Joss Whedon screened his anticipated new Marvel Television/ABC pilot “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”  on Friday, revealing a superhero show firmly in the humorous Whedon mold, Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan reported.

Clark Gregg, whose well-liked character Agent Phil Coulson was dramatically killed off in “The Avengers,” received a standing ovation from the audience in the convention center’s 5,000-seat Ballroom 20. In the new show, Coulson is resurrected and assembles a team of espionage and law enforcement agents. Despite an ambitious action sequence, most of the show’s firepower came from its witty dialogue, which was peppered with sly winks at fan culture. Which is just fine with us.

6. The heroines of YA fiction shine

Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley are in the spotlight as Hollywood continues to draw from young adult fiction for sci-fi and fantasy tales featuring young women in empowered roles. Lawrence, the newly anointed Oscar winner who plays heroine Katniss Everdeen, was her usual mixture of honesty and self-deprecating humor during “The Hunger Games” panel on Saturday. And the “Catching Fire” trailer debut elicited raucous applause from the Hall H audience, Hero Complex contributor Nicole Sperling writes.

Meanwhile, Woodley’s overwhelmed response to questions during Thursday’s “Divergent” panel was sweet and earnest. “There are so many of you guys out there,” the wide-eyed actress said when asked a generic question. The film, based on Veronica Roth’s series of novels set in postapocalyptic Chicago, is highly anticipated by fans of the books.

5. Andrew Garfield charms as Spider-Man

At Sony’s Hall H panel on Friday, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ star Andrew Garfield made a dramatic entrance dressed as Spider-Man.

“I come to Comic-Con every year,” he said, in character. “It’s the only place I feel normal and I can blend into the crowd.”

Footage from the film, which revealed some of villain Electro’s (played by Jamie Foxx) origin story, drew applause and cheers, and Garfield continued to charm the audience with his stunning mix of humility, honesty and that old-fashioned British charm, Hero Complex contributor Nicole Sperling writes. He also defended his previous remarks that he could see Spider-Man being in a gay, interracial relationship.

“Spider-Man stands for everyone, ” Garfield said. “He’s covered head to toe. You don’t know his race, his sexuality. He stands for the underdog. He stands for those who need protecting.”

4. Fans interact with their heroes

A huge part of Comic-Con is the opportunity for fans to interact with their favorite actors, directors, comic-book creators and other pop-culture idols. That spirit was exemplified by several actors and creators this year. Throughout the weekend, “Doctor Who” stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman drove around San Diego, rolling down the window to compliment “Doctor Who” cosplayers, the stars revealed during the show’s Sunday panel. At Syfy’s Friday panel for its series “Haven,” nearly every fan who participated in the Q&A portion got a hug from a panelist, Hero Complex writer Jevon Phillips reported. And during DC Comics’ “Superman: The New 52 Era” panel on Sunday, “Action Comics” and “Superman” writer Scott Lobdell showed off a homemade comic given to him by a 9-year-old girl who creates under the pen name Amy Elk. Impressed with her “Blue Bird,” he said, “So years from now when we’re at a convention and Amy Elk is up here with us, I want you to remember that this was her first comic.”

Ms. Elk came to the microphone during the Q&A session to ask why two titles she liked – “Superman Family Adventures” and “Tiny Titans” – had been canceled, Hero Complex writer Blake Hennon reported. After DC Comics co-publisher and “Superman Unchained” artist Jim Lee talked about the importance of the kids line and what’s coming up, he asked her to come back next year and tell them how they’re doing. The young comics fan had a second question: Does Superman ever smile?

“Unchained” writer Scott Snyder said that  the hero will “smile pretty big” after he emerges victorious from his tribulations in the series. And DC Entertainment marketing’s John Cunningham, the panel’s moderator, awarded her a prize for her question: a Superman hat with the hero on the brim, smiling. Awww.

3. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” cast makes surprise visit

The entire cast of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” — including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore and Omar Sy — assembled on the Hall H stage in a surprise appearance during the Fox panel Saturday afternoon.

McKellen got the biggest laugh during the presentation. The openly gay actor and activist said he felt “safe” returning to California after Proposition 8 was dismissed, and then turned to Fassbender and said, “I’m looking for a husband. It’s great to meet you, Michael.”

2. Superman and Batman will face off on the big screen

The announcement of a planned Superman-Batman film was no doubt the biggest news to come out of Comic-Con. During Saturday’s Warner Bros. panel, surprise guests “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder and actor Harry Lennix unveiled the news, reading an excerpt from Frank Miller’s landmark comic “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns”: “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.” Then, Superman’s logo appeared on the screen, the Batman symbol faded in behind it, and the Hall H audience erupted in cheers and screams.

Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman. The film will be written by Snyder and “The Dark Knight” trilogy co-writer David Goyer. Batman has yet to be cast. Hero Complex contributor Nicole Sperling broke the news early.

1. Marvel: Loki steals the show

Marvel’s show-stopping panel presentation on Saturday featured an introduction by “Thor: The Dark World” actor Tom Hiddleston in full Loki costume. “You should have let me rule you when you had the chance, yet here you are,” Hiddleston told his adoring Hall H audience. “Your ears yearn for untold stories. Your eyes crave unseen sights. Your imaginations ache and hunger. Where are your Avengers now?”

For Hiddleston, the surprise appearance was “a top-secret stealth mission” involving a Jango Fett disguise, Hiddleston told Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre. Hiddleston described the epic performance as his biggest stage show ever. “There was a sort of electric-charged atmosphere with the audience,” he said. “When I walked out onstage, I was confronted with a wall of sound and fury, to quote the Bard. It was extraordinary.”

Extraordinary, indeed.

Honorable mentions:

Surprise appearance by the cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Doctor Who” alum Karen Gillan revealing her bald head, newly shaved for the role; the over-the-top marketing campaign for Legendary’s upcoming “Godzilla” remake; Peter Dinklage’s dry wit wins the audience over during the “Game of Thrones” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” panels; Comic-Con bids farewell to outgoing “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith; and Metallica makes its Hall H debut and rocks San Diego.