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Comic-Con Preview: 4 Big Trends to Watch Out For

Variety logo Variety 7/19/2017 Joe Otterson
© Provided by Variety

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 kicks off July 19, with thousands of eager fans descending on the San Diego Convention Center for five straight days of panels, collectibles, costumes and major pop culture reveals. As the festivities begin, Variety offers a primer on what to watch for at this year’s convention.

Cosplay All Day

One of the most celebrated aspects of Comic-Con is the attention to detail fans put into costumes of their favorite pop culture figures. Cosplayers, as they are known, circulate throughout the convention taking pictures with eager onlookers.

“I think we’re definitely going to see a lot of Wonder Woman cosplay this year, but what I think will surprise people is I think we’re going to see a lot of Steve Trevor costumes as well,” says Andy Behbakht, podcaster and entertainment journalist for fanboy site Heroic Hollywood, who also predicts plenty of Logans in bloody bodysuits and scruffy beards. With Rob Marshall’s Disney musical reboot, “Mary Poppins Returns,” next year, Behbakht notes one more likely theme: “I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see at least 10 Mary Poppins cosplayers,” he says.

Big Interest in TV Panels

Film has been a consistent Comic-Con presence every year, says Behbakht, but TV, which has been constantly growing, has more panels than ever.

“I’m definitely excited to see what they’re going to reveal for all the Hall H things for Marvel and DC, but I’m very excited to see what DC and Marvel Television will present,” Behbakht says. “There’s going to be panels for newcomers like CW’s ‘Black Lightning’ and Syfy’s ‘Krypton,’ and maybe we’ll finally hear something on this DC-branded streaming service, which ties into ‘Young Justice.’ And of course I want to see how Marvel executes ‘The Defenders’ and ‘Inhumans.’”

Long Lines Not a Deterrent

Fans have been known to wait for days in some cases for a chance to get into some of the biggest panels, like “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” — panels that have become mainstays in Hall H. Lines have only gotten longer with each passing year. The original Comic-Cons in the 1970s attracted a few hundred people at best. Now, more than 100,000 fans have attended each year for better than a decade. But there’s so much to see and do at Comic-Con that attendees shouldn’t limit themselves.

David Glanzer, Comic-Con’s chief communications and strategy officer, says one of the less traditional panels he’s looking forward to this year is called “Who Cleans Up the Mess.” “It’s a panel that discusses, in real terms, what the cleanup would be like after a catastrophic battle like we’ve seen in recent comics-themed movies,” Glanzer says. The panel will feature city and state elected officials, he explains.

Swag Bag

Also popular at the Con is the clutch of collectibles — posters, toys, etc. — sold and given away each year. Fans can spend as much time waiting in line for an exclusive toy as they do to get into a major panel. Demand for the exclusives is rabid; some sell online for hundreds of dollars.

Funko’s Pop! Figurines have been a must-have at Comic-Con for some time, with this year’s offerings including the Mountain from “Game of Thrones” and a Robotic Dr. Ford host from “Westworld.” “There have also been some really cool Lego announcements,” Behbakht says, “like a Martian Manhunter set being revealed.”

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