The top 5 Comic-Con @ Home panels to check out on Thursday
Comic-Con International may not be drawing the usual 130,000+ fans to San Diego this year, but that hasn’t stopped the event’s 51st edition from transitioning its fan-filled panels into an at-home version, which kicked off Wednesday with a slate of comics education panels.
As ever, Thursday begins the bigger, more attention-grabbing panels that in a normal year might have caused convention-goers to camp outside of Hall H. This time around, you can put your sleeping bags away. Here are five panels that we’ll be tuning in for today:
“Star Trek Universe Virtual Panel,” 10 a.m.
How much “Star Trek” can you fit in a single virtual panel? Tune into this “Star Trek” universe hourlong event to find out.
“Star Trek: Discovery,” which follows the intergalactic adventures of Sonequa Martin-Green’s Commander Michael Burnham and her colleagues on the starship Discovery, will revisit the Season 2 finale episode, “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2” for a virtual table read. Scheduled to join Martin-Green is the “Discovery” cast, including Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck who are set to star in the upcoming Enterprise-focused spinoff “Star Trek: Strange New World.” The table-read will be followed by a brief cast Q&A.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks” showrunner Mike McMahan (whose credits include adult animation hits “Rick and Morty” and “Solar Opposites”) will be on hand to debut an extended first look of the animated comedy’s upcoming premiere. Instead of the bridge officers, “Lower Decks” follows the support crew on an unimportant Starfleet ship. McMahan will also moderate a discussion with the show’s cast.
Make sure to have some decaf Earl Grey ready for the Jean-Luc Picard-focused segment of the panel. Patrick Stewart will be joined by cast members of “Star Trek: Picard” to discuss the first season of the series, which followed Picard getting pulled into an adventure after he’d long retired from Starfleet. Fan favorite “Star Trek” veterans Brent Spiner (Data), Jonathan Frakes (William Riker), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh) are among those scheduled to appear.
— Tracy Brown
“Solar Opposites,” 11 a.m.
Moderated by our own Jevon Phillips, this panel will offer a glimpse at the upcoming second season of Hulu’s popular alien family comedy, the streaming platform’s first original entry into the adult animation genre.
The show, which currently stands as Hulu’s most-watched original comedy premiere to date, revolves around a family of four aliens who’ve narrowly escaped their exploding home planet and conveniently crash landed into a move-in ready suburban home in middle America. The quartet is evenly split on whether Earth is awesome or awful, alternatively striving toward and bridling against assimilation to earthly customs. They also watch over the Pupa, an infant-like genetic supercomputer that will one day evolve into its true form and terraform Earth. “It really is an immigrant story, but it’s from the perspective of aliens,” explained co-creator Justin Roiland during a Comic-Con panel last year.
The series’ eight-episode first season was released all at once in May and features the voices of Alfred Molina, Tiffany Haddish and Christina Hendricks in guest roles. The panel, which will be attended by co-creators (and “Rick and Morty” veterans) Roiland and Mike McMahan, cast members Thomas Middleditch (Terry), Sean Giambrone (Yumyulack) and Mary Mack (Jesse) and executive producer Josh Bycel, is expected to reveal an exclusive clip from the upcoming season.
— Sonaiya Kelley
“Mythic Quest,” from the minds behind “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” isn’t shy about mining comedy from the problems that plague the video game industry. Neither game fans nor game creators are spared from satire. A juvenilia mind-set, “Mythic Quest” tells us, plagues gaming culture, and the show doesn’t hold back when it comes to exposing the emotional and professional side effects of an industry that remains nearly 75% male.
Companies struggling with diversity — and the abusive power of toxic men — are topics that are front-of-mind in 2020, and “Mythic Quest,” especially via Charlotte Nicdao’s Poppy and Ashly Burch’s Rachel, explores how those who are not white men have to fight to maintain a sense of sanity in such an environment. In a case of life imitating art that imitates life, this summer has seen video game giant Ubisoft, whose film and television division is a producer on the Apple TV+ show, accused of a string of sexual and workplace misconduct, resulting in numerous executive shake-ups.
While that elephant in the room may not come up in this particular panel, expect a direct and lively conversation from the female minds behind the series. Co-creator Megan Ganz is expected to appear alongside Burch and two representatives from Ubisoft, Danielle Kreinik, the company’s director of television development, and Elizabeth Loverso, a VP at Ubisoft Red Storm. Gaming personality Erin Ashley Simon moderates.
— Todd Martens
“The New Mutants,” 2 p.m.
If you were a Marvel Comics fan in the mid-'80s, the X-Men might’ve been the most essential heroes for you.
Catching the wave, Marvel launched the New Mutants, the next-up team of teen heroes under the tutelage of Professor Charles Xavier. They had a rocky tenure, eventually led by the sometimes-villain Magneto and then the militant Cable, before graduating and moving apart.
That uneven terrain followed the title into its screen adaptation — as the movie, initially planned for release in April 2018, was repeatedly pushed back due to release date jockeying, reshoots and more. Seems we will finally get some clarity about the unconventional journey at “The New Mutants” panel, which features writer/director Josh Boone and the stars of the film, including Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga. Fans may be wary of the current Aug. 28 release date (will theaters even be open?), so maybe moderator Ira Madison III can get us some solid answers.
— Jevon Phillips
“The Boys Season 2,” 3 p.m.
Amazon’s smash hit is back for more super-blasphemy with a Season 2 touted as “even more intense, more insane” ... to which fans will say, “Yes, please!”
For the uninitiated, “The Boys” creates a universe that looks suspiciously like the one with the Justice League in it, and asks the question, “What if there were people with super powers — and they were sociopaths?”
Most of the cast will be present (including Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty and Karen Fukuhara), along with showrunner Eric Kripke. Kripke says, “While we greatly miss Comic-Con and hanging with the fans, at least we can give them all the reveals and Season 2 exclusives we would’ve given in San Diego. There will be clips, surprise announcements, loads of graphic, full frontal nudity (one out of these three is false). And there’s one small silver lining: people who’ve never been able to attend Comic-Con will get a taste.”
It’s easy to see how virtual-panel fatigue might set in for attendees at some point, but considering what a lively bunch this was at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and how they’ll be joined by executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for part of it, this one looks like fun.
— Michael Ordoña
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