Right now, much of the entertainment world is recovering from the media juggernaut that is San Diego Comic-Con, an annual onslaught of movies, TV, comic books and more that always brings big crowds and big news. Going into 2015’s con, it seemed like the year might be a little lighter than usual — it was, after all, the first time in a good while that Marvel Studios decided not to host a massive Saturday night movies panel – but the studios and projects that did show up really delivered. Even if you missed the con, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about some of the biggest happenings, but just in case you’d like a refresher, here are 10 of the best moments Comic-Con had to offer this year.
Star Wars Steals the Show
We knew Director J.J. Abrams and company were going to really bring it, but no one was really prepared for just how spectacular this was. The Friday Star Wars panel began with only Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the dais, but from there it just kept growing. New cast members came out to huge applause that was then dwarfed by the arrivals of original cast members Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, and then their applause was dwarfed by the arrival of Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford. Then, just when it didn’t feel like the geek joy could get any bigger, Abrams invited everyone in the hall to a free Star Wars concert. For a lot of people, it’s a con moment that’ll never be topped.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Gets Impressive
Plenty of fans are skeptical about the first onscreen meeting of The Caped Crusader and The Man of Tomorrow, especially after that uber-dark first trailer a few months ago, but Zack Snyder and his cast rolled into Comic-Con dressed to impress, and they pulled it off. The panel gave us a much better idea of what the movie actually is, and the massive new trailer gave us superheroes actually being pretty super.
Warner Bros. Gives Us Green Lantern Corps Movie
Before Batman and Superman got their time in the spotlight, Warner Bros. Studios showed off a little sizzle reel highlighting their massive upcoming slate of DC Comics-based movies, and in the process revealed that Green Lantern is getting a second chance at movie glory, but this time it won’t be just one hero. The studio’s giving us Green Lantern Corps, a movie about multiple Lanterns and their intergalactic adventures. It could be Warners’ Guardians of the Galaxy, or it could be really dumb, but either way it’s nice to know it’s coming.
Bill Murray Hits Comic-Con
Everyone’s Favorite Ghostbuster (sorry, Ernie Hudson) rolled into San Diego Comic-Con for the very first time this year to promote his new comedy Rock the Kasbah, and it was a Very Bill Murray experience. Murray walked in through the crowd, sang “Smoke on the Water,” did a few minutes of the panel in character, led the audience in a sing-along, and more. He should do this once a week.
The X-Men Assemble
Marvel Studios wasn’t there for Comic-Con, but that doesn’t mean it was without its Marvel heroes. Fox showed up with director Bryan Singer, Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, and 16 cast members from the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, including Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner. Even Channing Tatum, our newly minted Gambit, showed up, and the icing on the cake was Jackman further hinting that his final film as Wolverine could be an Old Man Logan adaptation.
Ryan Reynolds left superhero movies in disgrace after the failure of Green Lantern, but Comic-Con marked his triumphant return after the footage from his upcoming Deadpool movie got a standing ovation from the crowd. Sadly, the footage hasn’t officially gone public yet — officially — but you can watch this panel, in which Reynolds is an absolute charmer, self-deprecating jokes about his superhero past and all.
Fear the Walking Dead Expands AMC’s Zombie Empire
AMC has the biggest show on cable thanks to The Walking Dead, and later this summer they’re hoping to capitalize with a spinoff series set during the early days of the zombie outbreak. A spinoff show might not sound like the best idea, but the show’s cast — led by the great Kim Dickens — is solid, and the show’s first full trailer, unveiled at the con, is compelling.
Outcast Proves Robert Kirkman is Unstoppable
A few years ago, Robert Kirkman was just an incredibly successful comic book writer. Then he became an incredibly successful comic book writer with an incredibly successful TV show on the air. By next year, he’ll be an incredibly successful comic book writer with three TV shows on the air, thanks to the one-two punch of Fear the Walking Dead and his new Cinemax horror series Outcast. The man is an empire unto himself at this point.
Milestone Comics Returns
If you’re not a major comics fan, you might not know about Milestone Comics, but trust me, they’re a big deal. Founded in 1993 by a group of Africa-American comics creators (including the late, great Dwayne McDuffie), the company championed diversity both on the page and behind-the-scenes, and changed the face of comics. Now, they’re back, partnering with DC Comics again to bring characters like Static Shock and Hardware back to the comic book shelves. It’s a welcome, and necessary, return for the industry.
Joss Whedon Returns to Original Stories at Last
Throughout his press tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon mentioned over and over how glad he was to be out of the Marvel movie machine, and how much he wanted to return to telling original stories (no sequels, no reboots, no adaptations) for the first time in a good while. Now, he’s doing it. At his spotlight panel on Saturday, Whedon announced Twist, a new series from Dark Horse Comics about a “Victorian female Batman.” It’s his first comic in a good while, but we’re betting he never lost a step, and we can’t wait to see the new universe the guy behind the Buffyverse is cooking up.