The immortal TV series Supernatural might have had a relatively uninteresting panel, not revealing any new footage from season 13 or even a blooper reel, but it does take the cake for having the coolest surprise of the convention. As fans waited in the dark for the panel to begin, Supernatural’s unofficial theme song, Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son,” began to play. The lights came on, and lo and behold—Kansas was there to perform the song live! It was an incredible treat for fans of the series, as well as a reminder that Kansas can still kick ass. —BE


DC Comics

The writing’s been on the wall for some time now about the current trajectory of the comics industry, particularly when it comes to the Big Two. People are buying fewer and fewer comics while publishers struggle to come up with ideas to keep them financially successful, catering to the desires of legacy audiences while also appealing to a new generation, for whom nostalgia isn’t enough to make them want to fork over their cash for yet another crossover event. At least in some small part, DC understands that majority of fans are sick of having to slog through event after event with all sorts of complicated tie-in comics and variant covers, so they’re trying something new: longer, more thoughtful, more accessible major releases that come out on a slower schedule. Whether DC actually manages to make these sorts of books remains to be seen, but you’ve got to hand it to them for being so open and acknowledging what fans have been telling them for years. —Charles Pulliam-Moore


Jeff Goldblum and People Who Love Jeff Goldblum

Look, we were already excited about Thor: Ragnarok. We didn’t even need that mind-blowing new trailer to convince us. We—“we” being People Who Love Jeff Goldblum, in this case—were already plenty jazzed about seeing Jeff Goldblum in cosmically awesome mode as the Grandmaster. So you can imagine our delight when the color-drenched new Thor: Ragnarok poster got a Goldblum-tastic upgrade from fan Brian Firenzi, subbing in Saint Jeff’s face over every other actor’s. Sure, Chris Hemsworth is cool and Cate Blanchett looks mighty fierce in the movie. But as we all know, the first rule of Goldblum is that there’s no such thing as too much Goldblum. And more Goldblum makes the world—nay, the galaxy—a better place. —CE



The Punisher


You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger Jon Bernthal fan than me, but I can honestly say that I think Netflix’s decision to give the Punisher his own solo series is a huge mistake. Yes, the Punisher’s a complicated character whose darkness and brutality are part of a very emotionally complex backstory that, at times, can be a fascinating exploration of the relationships between masculinity, pain, and violence. But at the same time, the Punisher can also be a rather two-dimensional glamorization of gun violence that makes me uncomfortable. The footage shown from Netflix’s upcoming show seems like it’s going to exclusively be the latter, but also accompanied by puerile, sexist, and homophobic “jokes” amid the carnage. Hard pass. —CPM

People in Lines

Comic-Con and waiting in lines are virtually the same thing. Everyone
knows it, most people expect it, and others prepare for it. But this
year, the lines seemed like they were awful on an entirely new level. Fans
camped out for almost everything, everywhere: in hotel lobbies, on the
street, on the grass. And sometimes, even those who literally waited in a line for days—say, to enter Hall H, where the biggest panels are held—didn’t get in. If a convention requires an attendee to wait in line for more than 24 hours for something, that’s not popularity, that’s a major problem that absolutely needs to be addressed. —GL


X-Men Fans

Without the X-Men, there would be no modern age of comic book movies. Between decades of culturally significant comic books, a classic ‘90s cartoon that basically the entire Millennial generation grew up loving, and Fox’s cinematic franchise, the X-Men truly gave superheroes mass appeal, and brought about the modern live-action superhero craze. So of course, there are a ton of X-related projects on the horizon. There’s movies X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants, featuring two of the most significant storylines in X-Men history. Deadpool 2 is also in production, while the X-Force movie is in pre-production, and theoretically someone somewhere is working on Gambit. Then there’s TV: The Gifted comes out on Fox this fall, and the excellent Legion returns to the Fox-owned FX network for a second season next February. And what did X-fans get at Fox’s panel? An announcement a few days before the con started that it had been changed to exclusively a Kingman: The Golden Circle panel. There was a panel for The Gifted later, which had a new, good trailer, but that’s it?! Not even some of the stars? You couldn’t even show people some concept art? Pitiful. —CPM


People Who Don’t Like to Be Bummed Out at Comic-Con

Syfy hosted a “Great Debate” panel that included scifi celebs like Orlando Jones, Aisha Tyler, Adam Savage, and John Barrowman, and was moderated by io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders. Obviously, it was about settling those arguments that have divided the nerd community for years, but I bet most attendees that came in expected a good time or vicious disputes. What they did not expect, I image, is for Mythbusters’ Adam Savage to settle the eternal “Which is better, Star Trek or Star Wars?” with the most depressing thing said at this year’s Comic Con:

Star Trek lures you into a false sense of positivity that the world can be a utopia and recent events have proven it cannot. Star Wars’ dystopic vision is far more realistic and prepares our children for their future.


It’s a major bummer of an answer, and the fact he’s not wrong makes it even more depressing. —Rob Bricken

Game of Thrones


We understand that Game of Thrones needs to keep its secrets. Some of the most powerful moments of the series have been ones that fans of the show (and, in recent cases, book fans too) haven’t expected. But this year Thrones kept way too many cards close to the chest. All the show brought to its Comic-Con panel was a slightly longer teaser for episode two, “Stormborn,” showing Melisandre and Daenerys meeting—an episode that aired Sunday evening, right after the con ended—as well as a panel that had just some of the stars, gamely trying to answer the few questions they were allowed to. Seriously, that’s it? It might make sense for the show in the long run, but it made for a really boring and disappointing panel, when the show’s mid-July season premiere meant fans were more excited than ever. —BE

Medusa’s Wig

Because this is a conversation about wigs and queens, I feel like it’s necessary to bring up Beyoncé. Have you ever seen Beyoncé perform in a wig or while wearing one of her glorious hairpieces? If not, shame on you. If so, then you know where I’m going with this. Her hair has volume and body and exudes an energy all its own that lets you know that Mrs. Carter came to handle her business. That’s the magic of a truly good hair piece—it can transform a person and say something profound about their character. And then there are wigs like the one they made actor Serinda Swan wear for Inhumans. Does it have body? No. Does it have volume? Not particularly. It is long and red, which is literally the bare minimum necessary to make the actress look sort of like Medusa while in costume.


The wig itself is atrocious, but the situation gets even worse when you see it in motion aided by some downright dodgy looking visual effects, which were finally revealed at Comic-Con. Medusa’s hair is the ONE super ability she has. It’s the sort of thing you really shouldn’t mess up about her character. And yet here we are being forced to stare at the Inhuman Queen’s tracks as if we were watching an early season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. This entire ordeal is going to be a mess no matter what Medusa’s wig tells you. —CPM