Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants: The new list is here

San Diego Comic-Con is officially over, and now it's time for the breakdown. Who left Hall H a champion and who just left Hall H? We've got the full blow-by-blow recap of what Warner Bros. and their DC Entertainment slate brought and how Disney and Marvel countered. There were big surprises (Brie Larson is Captain Marvel!), plenty of teasers (looking at you "American Gods” and "The Walking Dead") and amazing cosplay aplenty. Stay with us as we bring you more news from the panels, crazy moments from the convention floor and exclusive photos from the L.A. Times studio.

Cast of 'Dirk Gently' lines up for prom pics in the L.A. Times photo studio

 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Everything revealed in the CW Comic-Con panel — from new 'Flash' footage to what's in 'Supergirl's' pod

 (Jevon Phillips / Los  Angeles Times)
(Jevon Phillips / Los Angeles Times)

The CW, which has the most impressive TV block of comic book fodder, unleashed back-to-back-to-back-to-back panels late Saturday at Comic-Con for "Supergirl," "Legends of Tomorrow," "The Flash" and "Arrow.” Each bright beacon of genre fare brought with it a bit of information, a couple of clips or teases and a lot of silly. 

Find out who (or what) is in the "Supergirl" alien pod! 

'He was a really cool dude, but then he asked for a kiss on the cheek': Cosplaying at Comic-Con

Cosplayers Juliey-Mae Luster, Caroline Calhoun and Victoria Van Wyke take time to talk about the what it's like to dress up at Comic-Con and the polite way to ask for a photograph. And the wrong way. 

Even after 15 years in a row of braving Comic-Con crowds, this journalist can still find the love

 (Marc Bernardin / Los Angeles Times)
(Marc Bernardin / Los Angeles Times)

The San Diego Comic-Con is a gathering founded on, and fueled by, love. The only way to nurture a convention like this for 46 years, to get people to make an annual pilgrimage from around the world, is with a shared affection.

And yet, sometimes, Comic-Con can make it hard to feel that love.

The bigger Comic-Con gets, the harder it is to navigate, and the more difficult it is for me to find that love at its core.

But every convention, I encounter something that reminds me. And this year, I found it more than once.

This is the 'Star Wars' cosplay you're looking for

Marvel turns Comic-Con's focus from the Avengers and onto its new crop of heroes

 (Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

If Warner Bros. came into this year’s Comic-Con with the goal of resetting (and lightening the mood of) its DC superhero slate after the disappointment of “Batman v Superman,” the Marvel Studios panel Saturday showed Marvel making its own kind of change-up. 

For the first time in years, this was a Marvel rollout with no Iron Man, no Captain America, no Black Widow and no Hulk. Instead, Marvel pushed further into its third phase of big-screen comic-book world-building. 

Watch the 'Steven Universe' live musical performance by the cast at Comic-Con

“Steven Universe” is known for many things: charm, inclusive storytelling, oddball fantasy plots, various gemstones and its absolutely excellent, original soundtrack. At Comic-Con that world came alive for one day only, and we've got plenty of footage from the truly special performance. 

Here's show creator Rebecca Sugar singing the full end credit theme which they only use segments of for the show, and it changes per season.

Many, many more beautiful songs here. 

First look at 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' villain The Vulture

 (Sony Pictures)
(Sony Pictures)

Tired of gritty, real life superhero movies where the villains and heroes are merely vague nods to their comic book counterparts? Then you're going to love the concept art from "Spider-Man: Homecoming." 

Sony just dropped concept art of the next Spider-Man villain The Vulture, and he looks like he was ripped right out of the comic books. 

If you weren't in San Diego with the thousands of screaming Hall H fans, never fear the whole Spider-Man panel has been uploaded for your viewing pleasure (minus the special footage sadly). 

'Dirk Gently' trailer introduces the world to TV's newest 'insane' detective

BBC America debuted the first trailer for "Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency" at the show's Comic-Con presentation on Saturday. 

What exactly is a "Holistic Detective Agency"? 

Well, according to Elijah Wood's character, Todd, Dirk Gently (played by Samuel Barnett) is "a detective who doesn't find clues." Gently is a detective who prefers to look at the whole, interconnected picture of everything. 

In the show, a murder of a millionaire is what brings the detective into Todd's life. Gently believes the two are destined to solve the mystery together, whether Todd likes it or not. 

The show is slated for an Oct. 22 premiere. 

'Everybody showed up': James Cameron on the special bond of the 'Aliens' cast 30 years later

 (Chris Pizzello / Invision/ AP)
(Chris Pizzello / Invision/ AP)

Many films and TV shows host reunion panels at Comic-Con but few can probably boast the attendance figures of the “Aliens” 30th anniversary gathering Saturday in Hall H.

And that was the best way to explain what was so special about the Oscar-nominated 1986 classic, said director James Cameron.

A few highlights include: 

  • Biehn recalled with a grin the night that he and Paxton sneaked into a press screening and watched from the projector room.
  • He said it! At one point Paxton said, “I just have three words to say: Game over, man!” to the delight of the crowd.

Disney makeover for Tower of Terror causes fan freak-out on social media

Tower of Terror, the beloved vertiginous elevator drop at Disney’s California Adventure, will cease to terrify thrill seekers in early January so that it can become a new “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction that is set to open in summer 2017. But some Disney fans have expressed outrage after Saturday’s announcement, suggesting that the decision to overhaul and rebrand the popular ride is tantamount to sacrilege.

The new ride will mark the first time that Disney has incorporated characters from its Marvel superhero universe at the theme park. Disney said that “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!” will open at the Anaheim park but didn’t say what would happen to the Tower of Terror at its Hollywood Studios park in Orlando.


Brie Larson is officially Captain Marvel


Marvel makes it official: Brie Larson will star as Captain Marvel in the upcoming standalone movie. 

In the closing moments of Marvel's Hall H presentation, the attendees was introduced to the newest member of the Marvel family. The most recent round of rumors had zeroed in on the Academy Award-winning actress as the front-runner for the first  standalone MCU film focused on a sole female title character.

Larson will be playing Carol Danvers, an Air Force officer who gains superpowers when an event causes her DNA to fuse with alien genes.

Watch the surprise now:

Disney's Tower of Terror ride is closing, will reopen as a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' attraction

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney California Adventure Park. (Walt Disney Co.)
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney California Adventure Park. (Walt Disney Co.)

Disney representatives say that the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride will keep the fast-dropping elevator from the Tower of Terror, but the rest of the attraction will be completely overhauled.

William Shatner, Brent Spiner and more celebrate the legacy of 'Star Trek' during 50th anniversary panel

William Shatner, from left, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn and Jeri Ryan attend the "Star Trek" panel on day 3 of Comic-Con International on July 23 in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)
William Shatner, from left, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn and Jeri Ryan attend the "Star Trek" panel on day 3 of Comic-Con International on July 23 in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)

"Who was your favorite captain?” When this question was posed by a Comic-Con attendee to the members of the 50th anniversary “Star Trek” panel — with Capt. James Tiberius Kirk himself seated at the head of the table onstage in Hall H — there was only one way for the panelists to answer.

One among multiple celebrations around the seminal series, the panel brought together representatives from all five iterations of the television show: William Shatner (Captain Kirk), Brent Spiner (the android Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Michael Dorn (the Klingon Worf from “The Next Generation,” and also holding it down for “Deep Space Nine”), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine from “Star Trek: Voyager”) and Scott Bakula (Capt. Jonathan Archer from “Star Trek: Enterprise”).

“Is anyone legitimately not going to say Kirk?” asked Ryan with a laugh when the favorite-captain question emerged. To which Shatner retorted, “I can’t imagine that either.”

Shatner was the belle of the ball, but all of the actors spoke fondly of their time on their respective shows and living in the “Trek” world created by Gene Roddenberry.

Kurt Russell joins 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' as Star-Lord's daddy

"Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" is shaping up to be "Tango and Cash 2."

Kurt Russell stoked fan adulation when he appeared at Comic-Con on Saturday to stump for "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2," revealing that he would play Chris Pratt's dad, "Ego," in the Marvel sequel that is set to open next year. Meanwhile, a teaser of the movie presented at Comic-Con also revealed that Sylvester Stallone has a role -- which would make "Guardians" an official reunion of the "Tango and Cash" co-stars.

Released in 1989, "Tango and Cash" starred Russell and Stallone as L.A. cops who wind up in jail together. The movie was a critical dud but has become favorite among fans of the two actors.

"Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2" only recently finished filming in Georgia but Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, took advantage of Comic-Con to unveil a new retro 80's logo for the franchise as well as a new theme park ride. The new logo features "Vol. 2" written in a slanted red font that is reminiscent of the "Beverly Hills Cop" movie logo.  

Disney also revealed that a new "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride will open at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim in the summer of 2017, around the time the sequel opens in theaters. The ride will supplant the popular "Tower of Terror" attraction, which will close in January.

Disney said the new ride will allows guests to "experience multiple random, unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift will rock to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack." The ride will be titled "Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission: Breakout."

At Comic-Con, Russell appeared alongside star Chris Pratt, who is reprising his role as Star-Lord, as well as other cast members, including Michael Rooker who appeared in costume and full blue makeup. 

Marvel's 'Black Panther' cast announced including Lupita N'yongo and the new villain

Marvel kicked off its Hall H panel with the brand new "Black Panther" movie. 

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler and lead Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa / a.k.a. Black Panther) were joined by Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira. Together they broke down who will be playing who in the new flick. 

  • Michael B. Jordan (who has been attacahed to this movie for a little bit) finally had his role revealed. The former Human Torch will play Erik Killmonger, who in the comics is Black Panther's nemesis and exiled Wakandan, formerly named N'Jadaka. 
  • Lupita Nyong'o is set to play Nakia, who in the comics is one of the Dora Milaje or "Adored Ones" or women from rival villages in Wakanda assembled to serve T'Challa as bodyguards (and potential wives). Spoiler: in the comics when Nakia's romantic feelings for T'Challa aren't returned she turns into a villain named Malice. 
  • And finally Gurira will play Okoye. Okoye, in the comics, is Nakia's friend and fellow Dora Milaje.

Also new to the "Black Panther" movie, this slick new logo: 

'Doctor Strange' trailer debuts amid Benedict Cumberbatch fan frenzy

The stars of Marvel's upcoming "Doctor Strange" -- including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton -- greeted fans at Comic-Con on Saturday as the trailer of the highly anticipated November release debuted online.

Cumberbatch is making his first movie in the Marvel universe, playing the title character in the adaptation of the Steve Ditko comic. While Marvel unveiled a two-minute teaser trailer in April that focused on the relationship between Cumberbatch's neurosurgeon and Swinton's bald Ancient One, a slightly longer trailer debuted Saturday that provides glimpses of  Mads Mikkelesen as the movie's villain, Kaecilius.

The new trailer also shows scenes of comic banter between Cumberbatch and Ejiofor, who plays a fellow student in the Ancient One's Buddhistic monastery.

When Marvel debuted the initial teaser in April, a backlash formed from some fans who objected to the casting of Swinton as a Tibetan character, claiming that it was another example of Hollywood "whitewashing" an Asian character. But screenwriter C. Robert Cargill later said that the Scottish actress was cast in the role to placate China, which has had a long-running antagonistic relationship with Tibet and doesn't recognize the province's claims to independence.

Perhaps in response to the backlash, Marvel has played up the role of actor Benedict Wong in the new trailer. The British-Asian actor didn't appear in the earlier teaser.


'Wonder Woman 75' panel celebrates everything Diana Prince

"Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins, left, and actress Gal Gadot at Comic-Con. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
"Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins, left, and actress Gal Gadot at Comic-Con. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Following the unveiling of the "Wonder Woman" trailer at the Warner Bros. Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday morning, the love for the Amazonian champion continued in the "Wonder Woman 75" panel. 

"Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins joined current "Wonder Woman" comic artist Nicola Scott and DC co-publisher Jim Lee for a panel to celebrate everything Diana Prince. 

Even before the panelists took to the stage, attendees were treated to a slide show of various Wonder Woman looks in her 75-year history. The fans cheered for various favorites as images panned across the screen, with the loudest cheer, of course, reserved for an image of Gadot.

From the assembled fans to the "Wonder Woman" creatives, the love for the titular heroine was undeniable. 

Jenkins said that even when she's alone in the editing bay, looking at footage from the film, she finds herself sitting back and saying "god, I love Wonder Woman." 

The closeness that developed between Gadot and Jenkins through their partnership on the movie was apparent as they discussed moments while filming. They just knew their "Wonder Woman" film was greater than them, they said, and meant to be. 

The panelists discussed the early impact of "Wonder Woman" on their lives and Scott admitted that she was a huge fan of the TV series starring Lynda Carter as a child. 

"I learned how to use the TV guide because of Wonder Woman," Scott said. "She’s the reason I draw comic books." 

The TV series also had an impact on Jenkins, who said having a hero like Wonder Woman meant everything to her. 

Gadot said Wonder Woman’s influence is transcontinental. 

"She was a household name alongside Batman and Superman" even in Israel, Gadot said. She described Wonder Woman as the "ultimate shero." 

The presentation also included the "Wonder Woman" trailer for those who missed its Hall H debut. 

And of course, a packed room of Wonder Woman fans meant plenty of Wonder Woman cosplay.

Henry Cavill goes undercover at Comic-Con, surprises Will Smith

'Justice League,' 'Wonder Woman' and 'Suicide Squad': The Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment course correction

Gal Gadot plays Diana Prince in the new "Wonder Woman" movie. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)
Gal Gadot plays Diana Prince in the new "Wonder Woman" movie. (Chris Pizzello / Invision)

In the great superhero movie arms race, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are in the unenviable position of having to play catch-up to their distinguished competition, Marvel. It’s not their fault that Marvel recalibrated the way sequels work with their cinematic universe. And it’s not their fault that Marvel had a nine-movie head start.

So how did WB/DC respond at Comic-Con 2016? By bringing out the whole bloody Justice League: Ben Affleck’s Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s Flash and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg.

Oh, and they delivered the Suicide Squad too: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Jai Courtney, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara and the great and powerful Viola Davis.

Star wattage goes a long way, and the lights were bright in Hall H. But what makes or breaks a presentation like this is the footage. And the footage – a first look at 2017’s Justice League, the first official trailer for 2017’s “Wonder Woman” and a special Comic-Con sizzle for August’s “Suicide Squad” — was heartening.

Heartening because the chief knock against Warners’ DC output has been that it is excessively grim and humorless.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times