Comic-Con always brings major news to the forefront of pop culture. This week, Comic-Con San Diego is primed to catch the spotlight once more. In the past, the week’s events bring major movie announcements, new comic runs, great video game previews, and so much more. Looking back on the event, it is insane to think about what gets announced at this annual convention. To get excited for the week’s festivities, let’s look back at the best Comic-Con moments ranked from #5 to #1.
When it comes to Comic-Con, the breakdown of panels and booths center around a number of things. Comic book creators and artists sign copies of their work, movie stars meet with fans, and some video game companies come out to show off upcoming projects. In this list, you’ll find a lot of the top moments center around film and TV. It might seem a bit disingenuous to the comic side of things with the convention, but it is the direction in which the show is trending. Comics still dominate a ton of the week’s events and shows, but you’ll find a lot of the top moments from the show over the years focused on the show’s intersection of comics permeating pop culture.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
It’s hard to pick just a handful of events from the history of the event. Nevertheless, a good list makes a stance on what matters most, so let’s look at this collection of the best Comic-Con moments ranging from movie trailers, comic book news, and more!
Best Comic-Con Moments #5 – Supernatural Rocks Comic-Con 2017
The Supernatural cast is a huge hit at each Comic-Con. It’s sad to see this will likely be their last year as a major pull. The show is set to end this upcoming fall with its 15th season. Of course, we’re going to miss Sam, Dean, and the gang, but 15 seasons is pretty darn good. In 2017, the show had already established itself as a big draw. Hall H is usually packed with Supernatural fans hours before their panel. For their 11th appearance in San Diego, stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles showed a video of themselves driving to the convention. It only got better from there.
In the video, they sang along to Carry on My Wayward Son, a karaoke favorite and song central to the show. As they sang through the opening vocals of the song, lights and music came on in the hall and Kansas began playing the song live. It was unreal, and topped a ton of amazing things that happened that year. Rock concerts don’t always happen at Comic-Con; even Metallica opted not to play when revealing their film Through the Never. We’ll have to see what the boys have planned for this final year of their show airing new episodes.
Best Comic-Con Moments #4 – Iron Man Trailer Kicks off the MCU at Comic-Con 2007
This won’t be the last mention of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s hard to really articulate what the MCU has done for comics, and Marvel specifically. Believe it or not, newer comic book fans, but DC used to run the gamut of comic book popularity. A huge reason for the comic book boom of the 2000s was the tail end of the decade’s introduction of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. In 2007, director Jon Favreau came to Comic-Con just days after wrapping filming of Iron Man. To be fair, fans were maybe hoping for a few photos or maybe a minute of footage. What they got instead was a four minute trailer that nearly exploded the room into chaos. The line “I am Iron Man” blew people away, and it was only going to get more wild.
Following the trailer, fans lost it. The best hopes of their beloved Iron Man film adaptation finally arrived. It’s safe to say the film kicked off one of the most ambitious film franchises in history, all the while booming interest in comics for a new generation of readers. It’s hard to believe that the massive MCU began at Comic-Con like that, but the trailer’s debut will forever live in the convention’s history.
Best Comic-Con Moments #3 – Twilight Creates the Hall H Campout Craze
It’s not news to any Comic-Con fans that Hall H is where it is at. The biggest announcements and reveals happen in that room, and the biggest names get to host their panels there. Think back to 2008: Iron Man is barely getting the MCU going, the Dark Knight didn’t even show up in 2007, and one film series ran the world of fandom. Twilight fans transformed Comic Con for good with their showing in 2008. The series earned a spot in Hall H for the 2008 Con, and the night before the panel, fans began camping outside the Hall. It wasn’t something the Con goers were used to doing, even in Hall H. Nevertheless, the convention was packed all night with Twilight fans hoping to get a good seat for the panel the following day.
Think about it now: you see campers outside every major area in the convention. Fandom for Twilight died out with the book and film series, but their fanbase changed Comic-Con forever. Now, camping out seems like a norm. You have Bella and Edward’s feverish followers to thank for that.
Best Comic-Con Moments #2 – The Avengers Officially Assemble
As mentioned above, Iron Man kicked things off for the MCU. Fast forward a few years, and the MCU panels would become the most popular draws of the convention. Even recently, Brie Larson and Tom Holland have found insane draws for their Marvel characters. A trend that is obvious in Marvel Studios’ strategy for these panels is to drop bombs on the audience. No examples stand stronger than during panels in 2010. At the time, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger were the focus of Marvel Studios. When Samuel L. Jackson came out, fans were excited, but not as excited as they were about to be.
Jackson stepped on stage to roll call the Avengers for the first time. The Avengers literally assembled on stage, including the whole mainline cast. Marvel is usually good about getting their cast to show up at Comic-Con, but this year stands out as a truly remarkable moment for the convention.
Best Comic-Con Moments #1 – Star Wars Reborn, Plus a Live Concert
In 2015, fans were dying to get a glimpse at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The series had taken a long hiatus, and now with the backing of parent company Disney, it was full throttle marketing up until the film’s release. Comic-Con fans thought they were getting a pretty darn good show. It featured the new cast, as well as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford from the original trilogy. Footage of the new film debuted in Hall H, as well as a live demo of the film’s special effects. JJ Abrams, the film’s director, then took things up a notch.
Abrams invited everyone to attend a Star Wars concert outside the convention center with the cast. While Star Wars music played, actors swung lightsabers, fireworks shot off, and the crowd felt the force of the film’s cultural power. The moment is still hard to believe. It’s safe to say the event will stand out for years to come. Star Wars is unmatched in fandom, although Marvel is slowly creeping up on the franchise. Nevertheless, time and history are on Star Wars’ side. For now, the outdoor concert and full cast debut of the newly born Star Wars series stands amongst the other Comic-Con moments as a top highlight.
Looking ahead to 2019
What’s going to take the cake this year? Marvel is transitioning out of a huge decade long movie arch. DC is stepping up their game with TV series and movies. Indie comic creators also look to make a big impression on the audience at this year’s festivities. The events for Comic-Con San Diego get going on Wednesday. Keep a tab open to Comic Years all week long as we cover all things Comic-Con. Here you can read the latest news, leaks, and updates on the biggest week in pop culture. Comic Years has everything you need to know about comics, gaming, and pop culture year round. This week just happens to be extra special, so visit the site early and often!
Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.