Another year of one of the world's biggest pop culture convention, San Diego Comic-Con 2014, is in the books. Here are the key moments — and lack of key moments — that fans are talking about coming out of this year's convention.
Marvel, DC disappoint fans by keeping movie plans under wraps
The fans who made it in for the first Hall H panel Saturday morning were the ones who camped overnight, and while they had the chance to see some first peeks, they were left wanting when it came to announcements about the cinematic futures of the two big comic book companies.
At the Warner Bros. movie panel, director Zack Snyder brought out the cast of the upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," including Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman). The cast proceeded to wave at the fans then immediately leave, without answering any questions from either the moderator or fans, or saying anything at all.
Many noted that Affleck looked downright bored, though fans were excited by the teaser footage shown of the film, which isn't set for release until 2016. It included Affleck suited up in the Batman armor from the seminal "The Dark Knight Returns" by Frank Miller. They also showed the first image of Gadot in her Wonder Woman garb, with a coppery look reminiscent of Snyder's own "300."
That same evening in Hall H, Marvel did a little more with their film franchises, giving panels promoting "Ant-Man" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," but they also avoided announcing much new other than a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel whose release had already come out beforehand.
Watch Marvel's Hall H panel here:
Fans were especially disappointed thanks to rumored upcoming movie slates from both companies that had been making the rounds online, including hopes of a Shazam/Captain Marvel movie stoked by the Rock online — he's been rumored to star — and expectations that cast announcements would be made about the already announced "Dr. Strange" and forthcoming "Daredevil" Netflix series from Marvel. Marvel made waves by bringing out the full cast of the Avengers before that film came out, and fans thought DC might pull the same thing with the full Justice League — but they were left with a half-League.
'Mad Max: Fury Road' trailer makes waves
After decades away, Mad Max is back in "Mad Max: Fury Road," and the debut of the trailer for the film featured perhaps the warmest reaction to a film outside an established franchise seen at the convention.
Creator George Miller talked about the film with moderator Chris Hardwick in Miller's first appearance at Comic-Con. The film dropped some powerful visuals on fans who seemed eager to revisit that world.
DC debuts new shows 'Gotham,' 'Flash,' 'Constantine'
The four fall live-action shows based on DC Comics — the returning "Arrow" and three new series "Gotham," "The Flash" and "Constantine" — made a big impact at Comic-Con, including the casts and creative teams from all four coming together in the biggest panel in Comic-Con Hall H history. "Gotham" and "The Flash" seemed to receive warm receptions, with "Gotham" making its official public debut.
"The Flash" pilot had already been making the rounds in more nefarious parts of the Internet, with series star Grant Gustin even joking at the panel that they knew some fans there had already seen it. It presented an upbeat, optimistic take on the superhero, delivering a new generation a show similar to previous CW hit "Smallville" but with less of the teen drama angle. It was contrasted with "Gotham," which presented a more pessimistic view as Officer Jim Gordon tries maintaining his integrity while partnered with a corrupt cop in a bad city.
The panel's antics included "Arrow" star Stephen Amell getting peer pressured by his castmates and members of the audience to show off his abs. It also featured an adorable answer by the young man playing Bruce Wayne on "Gotham": When asked if he'll ever get to put on the Batsuit on the show, he replied that Batman puts on the costume in the comics when he's 25 — so he hopes this show will be on until he's 25.
Supernatural NBC detective show "Constantine" got downplayed, being shown to the crowd after the panel was officially over. The show's reportedly getting some retooling before its official TV debut, but the cast still appeared on the panel and NBC promoted it with a Constantine offsite event, featuring a dome where fans got to see early footage of the show and men dressed as Constantine passing out business cards to passersby.
Stephen Colbert lives boyhood dream moderating 'The Hobbit' panel
The final film from the J.R.R. Tolkien books, the third of the films adapting "The Hobbit," heads to theaters this fall, and the franchise took a bow in Hall H. The surprise moderator for the panel: Huge Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert, who came out dressed in character as a Lake-town spy, which he played in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in last year's "Hobbit" film.
Colbert delivered a hilarious, impassioned speech about the history of the film franchise and what it meant to him and other Tolkien fans. He appeared to stumble over his words thanks to his extreme excitement for the material, and also showed himself to be a bit of a novice in the Comic-Con moderator role, but he still delivered some great lines. These included him asking Elijah Wood why he doesn't age and, after Wood revealed he had never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, asking if he could read.
Watch the full panel here:
'Fight Club,' 'Django Unchained' get sequels — in comics
It's been a while since "Fight Club" made an impact on a generation of cineastes, but the author of the original novel, Chuck Palahniuk, made an appearance at Comic-Con to talk about a forthcoming sequel. Rather than a book or movie, this time it's a comic book. The artist has noted that the sequel will be hewing to what was set up in the novel rather than using some of the changes made in the film.
Quentin Tarantino also appeared to enthusiastically talk (this is generally Tarantino's only talking mode) about the upcoming crossover between Django, the main character from "Django Unchained," and Zorro in another new comic. Tarantino said he'd envisioned Django having other adventures, and that this format allowed him to retain some control over how those adventures are presented. He also teased other potential crossovers, including noting that the Lone Ranger comics are published by the same company, meaning Django could team up with Tonto.
Christopher Nolan makes Comic-Con debut with McConaughey for 'Interstellar'
Christopher Nolan has long been resistant to bringing his films to Comic-Con, but he did land in a surprise appearance with the trailer for his new sci-fi film "Interstellar." He also brought most recent Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey with him for the appearance that "Inception" and the Dark Knight trilogy couldn't bring Nolan to San Diego for.
Watch the full panel below:
Batman celebrates 75th anniversary
Batman was all over Comic-Con, with numerous panels looking at his history featuring the legendary creators that made the iconic stories keeping Batman an ongoing legend. DC Comics timed "Batman Day" for the Wednesday that kicked off Comic-Con and pushed it as a multimedia event. Creators like Frank Miller, Neal Adams and more discussed the impact their stories had, while upcoming stories like the return of the Joker were teased.
One of the biggest Batman events at Comic-Con happened in Hall H: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar from the 1960s Batman TV show held a panel promoting the show's home video debut this fall. The panel ended up feeling largely like an infomercial, but the digital transfer lived up to the hype — the show's been restored from the original film, giving it a crisp look that feels modern and unlike a '60s television show.
The stars were among the recipients of Comic-Con's signature award, the Inkpot, which the convention's director of programming presented to them during the panel. Newmar looked to face some mobility issues at 80 years old, but they made the best of it with two '60s Batman TV show-styled goons helping her out to the panel.
You can watch the panel here (via Comics Alliance):