‘Star Wars’ Debuts At Comic-Con
Way back in 1976, Marvel comic book writer/editor Roy Thomas and artist Howard Chaykin gave a presentation on a little sci-fi fantasy film called “Star Wars” to a tiny audience at Comic-Con. The duo, who were set to produce a comic book adaptation of the movie, showed off stills from the film to the small crowd during an hour-long talk.
Andrew Garfield’s Heartfelt Ode To Spider-Man
In 2011, a man dressed in a cheap Spider-Man suit took to the microphone during the audience Q&A to announce how thrilled he was for the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Pulling off his mask and revealing himself to be the film’s star Andrew Garfield, the nervous-sounding actor proceeded to read a heartfelt tribute to the web-slinger. “I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid,” he read from a prepared statement in one of the most touching moments in the Con’s history.
‘Twilight’ Invades Comic-Con
The 2009 convention marked a turning point when “Twilight: New Moon” became the hottest Hall H ticket. Twihards started camping overnight ahead of the panel to secure their place in line in order to get a chance to see Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner up-close. While sleeping on the ground overnight is now pretty much the norm for die-hard fans to guarantee a seat in the most-popular Hall H panels, “New Moon” marked the very first time for the overnight queue.
‘Lost’ Builds Its Fanbase
Thanks to a special sneak preview screening of the pilot episode, the hottest topic at 2004’s Comic-Con was the upcoming TV series “Lost”. It was one of the first examples of Comic-Con going beyond their typical genre programming and winning over fans who couldn’t stop talking about the crazy series about plane crash survivors on a mysterious island that maybe also included a polar bear. The screening is credited with making television panels and fandoms part of the Comic-Con backbone.
‘The Avengers’ Assemble For The First Time
Five years after Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige suggested there was the potential to have comic book crossover movies during a Marvel panel, the cast of “The Avengers” assembled on stage for the first-time ever. Samuel L. Jackson took to the podium to introduce Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans to the stage.
Surprise ‘Star Wars’ Concert
It’s hard to top the first look at “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with new and returning cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, and Adam Driver, but director J.J. Abrams did just that.
After the panel concluded, Abrams shocked fans by inviting the entire Hall H audience of over 6000 attendees to an outdoor concert of “Star Wars” music performed by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Handing out lightsabers on arrival, the cast and thousands of fans were treated to John Williams’ music under the stars, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
‘Scott Pilgrim’ And Metric
Director Edgar Wright brought a little Can Con to Comic-Con in 2010 with a special screening of “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” with cast members including Michael Cera – who hadn’t even seen the film yet. Lucky members of the audience were also treated to a musical set by Metric, who backed Brie Larson’s performance of “Black Sheep” in the Toronto-set movie.
Loki’s Showstopping Arrival
Marvel has always brought their A-game to Hall H but Tom Hiddleston’s surprise 2013 in-character appearance as the villainous fan favourite Loki is one for the history books. Kevin Feige was in the middle of making an announcement when his mic cut out and the lights dimmed as a taunting voice cried, “Humanity, look how far you’ve fallen.” As the lights came back up to reveal Hiddleston in-costume as Loki on stage, the crowd went wild with chants of “Loki!” before he unveiled the first trailer for “Thor: The Dark World”.
Ryan Reynolds Recites The ‘Green Lantern’ Oath
While “Green Lantern” might be the butt of jokes now, in 2011 star Ryan Reynolds had one of the sweetest moments to ever come out of Hall H when a little boy asked the actor what it was like to recite the Green Lantern oath. After composing himself, Reynolds recited the oath by memory to the pleasure of his pint-sized fan who responded by showing off his toy Green Lantern ring. In return, Reynolds flashed him his big-budget movie prop version, further proving what a good Canadian he is.
James Cameron Debuts ‘Avatar’
In 2009, James Cameron debuted 25 minutes of draw-dropping footage from “Avatar”. Fans went wild over what they saw and word of mouth helped build buzz for the film months before it hit theatres, eventually becoming the highest-grossing film of all-time. We can start crossing our fingers now that Cameron will repeat the spectacle with “Avatar 2” ahead of its planned release in 2021.