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Burning questions for Comic-Con

Comic-Con video - The event’s evolution
Hero Complex: Your home for Comic-Con coverage
‘Scuse me?
By Patrick Kevin Day, Todd Martens and Jevon Phillips

There’s always something -- a casting move, an artist’s rendering, a film’s introduction, etc. -- that invites fans to question, critique, praise or shoot down the project. We pose some of our own questions that we hope get answered at this year’s Comic-Con.

Related: Comic-Con: 10 must-sees (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Can non-geek shows get a fair hearing or will they be run out of San Diego?
The appeal of Comic-Con has been broadening for several years, but more than any previous Con, this year features panels and guests not designed to cater to the young genre fan demographic. With such decidedly non-geek-specific shows as “Psych,” “Glee” and “The Middle” getting special presentations, there’s some question whether the hard-core fans will embrace the change or revolt. Does Patricia Heaton have a seat at the table alongside J.J. Abrams? We’re betting yes. (Carin Baer / Fox)
Can ‘True Blood’ and ‘Twilight’ fans live in harmony or will they become mortal enemies?
Before the HBO series second season began June 14, conventional wisdom saw “Twilight” as the only vampire franchise that mattered. Now, thanks to some spectacular ratings for the more adult “True Blood,” there seems to be a new vampire game in town. And both will be out in full force at the Con. Is there room in the hearts of the vamp-friendly for both franchises or will bitter disagreements arise among the faithful? Who’s a better vampire, Bill or Edward? Could Sookie outshine Bella? We foresee this as the next great pop culture rivalry. Mark our words. (HBO)
How uncomfortable will the ‘Futurama’ panel be?
Fans of the cult hit animated comedy rejoiced when it was announced earlier this year that “Futurama” would be returning to the air on Comedy Central. But then their hearts sank when the studio, 20th Century Fox, announced the original voice cast would not be returning because they were asking for too much money. On Saturday, executive producers David X. Cohen and Matt Groening will be taking the stage alongside -- gasp -- the original voice actors, Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche. How many minutes will elapse before the pay issue gets raised? Probably less than five. (20th Century Fox)
Will ‘Family Guy’s’ insistence on parodying ‘Star Wars’ make everyone wonder why it was nominated for an Emmy?
“Family Guy” made history last week, becoming only the second animated series to score an Emmy nomination in the comedy category. But at Comic-Con, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane will be on hand to chat about “Something, Something Dark Side,” the series’ latest parody of “Star Wars.”

It’s the follow-up to “Family Guy’s” “Star Wars: Blue Harvest,” a reference-obsessed episode that was the cartoon equivalent of geeking-out with your friends. Not that chatting about “Star Wars” isn’t fun, but there’s thousands of kids at Comic-Con to talk to if we need to get a fix on the Force. (Fox)
Can ‘The Princess and the Frog’ steal a little of ‘Toy Story’s’ sheen?
We love Pixar (who doesn’t?), and we can’t wait to see what Woody and Buzz Lightyear are up to next, but Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” captures another sort of magic: The beauty and mystique of hand-drawn animation. Add in the fact that it’s set in New Orleans’ French Quarter, and we’re more than a little jazzed to get a glimpse. (Walt Disney Pictures)
Is “Heroes” done?
Well, it’s coming back. But does anyone care? Even NBC? Last year, the whole cast came and they filled Hall H. Now, they’ve been moved to the Hilton, have VIP seating only, won’t offer interviews and (apparently) have little to show. NBC, and TV in general, would like for this show to bounce back, but we’ll see. Maybe Hiro could go back in time and ... (Trae Patton / NBC)
How will “New Moon” top or satisfy the frenzy?
Can it? Can it really? If the actors are a bit more comfortable and not cowering in fear, they might endear themselves to the crowd even more, if that’s possible. The actors were often freaked out by the publicity and fanaticism last year. When the screams from the Hall H crowd hit them, it may all come rushing back, but they seem to be rolling with it now. Hopefully new franchise director Chris Weitz is prepared. (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)
Will answers about who lives/dies be blurted out for the comics world’s two biggest ongoing story lines; DC’s ‘Green Lantern: Blackest Night’ and Marvel’s ‘Dark Reign’?
Guess we shouldn’t say who the somebodies are who died in the first issue of Green Lantern’s “Blackest Night,” but let’s just say it definitely made us wonder about the survival of the rest of the DC Universe. And with Emma Frost, Loki, Norman Osbourne and Dr. Doom manipulating things, the backdoor doings in Marvel’s “Dark Reign” story line are interesting and affecting to say the least. Each has its own panels, so something’s bound to come out. (DC Comics / Marvel Comics)
How does Comic-Con view the ‘Green Lantern’ and ‘Thor’ castings?
Ryan Reynolds is on a roll, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any backlash. Yet. He who is Deadpool won’t (apparently) be there to defend himself or hype himself up, but then neither will Natalie Portman. She’s signed on to be in “Thor,” but she’s a serviceable actress. Princess/Queen Amidala and her turn in “V for Vendetta” may not have been the greatest in cinematic history, but she’s firmly in fanboy culture now. Hopefully, it’ll be brought up, but it may not get answered. (20th Century Fox)
Can ‘24’ maintain the momentum?
After a two-hour, tearful seventh-season finale of the Fox series, any moment between now and the start of the eighth season is a long one. It was a relentless, artfully absurd season, and we loved every minute of its sometimes silly action. We’re excited for Season 8 but also slightly nervous that it can live up to the bar the veteran series is continuing to raise. (Fox)
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