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The Girls’ Guide to Comic Con 2009

Comic-Con. It’s not just for nerdy guys anymore.

And it’s not all just about the influx of squealing “Twilight” girls, either. This summer’s event, taking place July 23-26 in the San Diego Convention Center, could shape up to be a smorgasbord for female fandemonium. (We say “could” because the official rundown of panels and events won’t be officially released until next month.) But we’ve got a pretty good idea of what eager girls can expect (aside from one heck of a line for the “New Moon” session). Other vampires will be in their midst (“True Blood” and CW’s upcoming “Vampire Diaries”) but also kick-ass TV heroines (“Dollhouse” and “Chuck”), the muscle behind “G.I. Joe” (Channing Tatum, anyone?), perhaps a return visit from Robert Downey Jr. (hawking “Iron Man 2") and, if we’re lucky, Brad Pitt himself (for “Inglourious Basterds”).

But wait, there may be more! Read on...

FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this caption reversed the first and last names of an actor featured in the film “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” The actor’s correct name is Channing Tatum.) (Summit Entertainment / Los Angeles Times / Weinstein Co.)
Women will be rushing the stage, offering to do star Jake Gyllenhaal‘s laundry on those washboard abs that he acquired for the film, since he spends much of it fighting, shirtless or both. Jake, we don’t want to know how to quit you.

-- Hanh Nguyen, Zap2it.com (Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage.com)
ABC’s new drama series kicks off with a big, sci-fi catastrophe -- everyone in the world blacks out for 2 minutes, 17 seconds, during which time they all see a vision of their futures. Within that mind-bending framework, though the network is promising a character- and emotion-driven story starring the likes of Joseph Fiennes, Sonya Walger (“Lost’s” Penny) and John Cho. Love, mystery, changing your fate -- what’s not to like?

-- Rick Porter, Zap2it.com (ABC)
Edward and Jacob appear shirtless in the upcoming “Twilight” sequel, so arrive to Hall H early – as in a week or two before – to beat out all the other would-be Bellas who will no doubt descend. A word of caution: Robert Pattinson is currently filming a romantic comedy (opposite “Lost’s” Emilie de Ravin) in New York so he might be M.I.A. Still, count on the publicity-loving-yet-affable Taylor Lautner showing up to talk about how he bulked up -- and fast -- to play the buffer-than-buff Jacob.

-- Denise Martin, LATimes.com (Summit Entertainment)
Picture the wonderful sappiness of “The Notebook,” replace Ryan Gosling with equally appealing Eric Bana, and inject a different hapless conflict to keep him from Rachel McAdams. In this case, Bana’s character’s got a gene that causes him to leap through time without the wife. Oh yes, bring on the bittersweet tears.

-- Denise Martin, LATimes.com (Alan Markfield / New Line Cinema)
What more do you need than the hunkiest Aussie to ever play the undead ... alive and in the flesh? And as long as he uses his real accent, he can talk all about this murder mystery set in Antarctica. Male lead Gabriel Macht isn’t too shabby either.

-- Hanh Nguyen, Zap2it.com (Warner Bros.)
Vampire-lovers have it all wrong. Werewolves can keep you warm, sympathize with your monthly curse, sniff out where you lost your keys and not thirst for your sweet, sweet blood. Bonus: Benicio del Toro’s natural wolf-y looks won’t even require hair and makeup for the panel.

-- Hanh Nguyen, Zap2it.com (Frank Connor / Universal Pictures)
“Alice in Wonderland” alone would be a draw for many girls, but add in the fact that quirky hotness Johnny Depp, right, is set to play the Mad Hatter, and you could have a mad (crazy) crowd of women seeking a glimpse of him on stage.

-- Jevon Phillips, LATimes.com (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)
To be honest, Stephen Moyer’s 173-year-old Southern gent of a vamp is our least favorite on Alan Ball’s swampy HBO series. He’s alright -- and there’s no not enjoying the sexy way he says “Sookie” (rhymes with “cookie”) -- but we much prefer his supernatural co-stars: Alexander Skarsgard’s steely-eyed bad vamp Eric and Sam Trammel’s sweet, shape-shifter Sam. Of course, we’ve also got a soft spot for Ryan Kwanten’s Jason, the Sookie’s clueless blond brother.

-- Denise Martin, LATimes.com (Jaimie Trueblood / HBO)
Two words: Mark Ruffalo.

Delish. OK, a few more: Spike Jones. Who better than the man behind the kooky “Being John Malkovich” to bring to life Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown him as their ruler.

-- Denise Martin LATimes.com (Matt Nettheim / Warner Bros.)
He’s starring in Quentin Tarantino‘s “Inglourious Basterds,” and it’s one of his I’m-really-a-character-actor roles in which he sports a mustache and a chewing-tobacco Southern accent. But it’s also, you know, Brad Pitt -- and we’re pretty sure he’s shaved the face furniture.

-- Rick Porter, Zap2it.com (Francois Duhamel / The Weinstein Company)
How we’ve missed Woody and Buzz Lightyear. And we’re still reeling, in the best way, from “Up.” Boys, girls, old, young, Pixar can do no wrong by anyone.

-- Denise Martin, LATimes.com (Associated Press)
He is “Iron Man.” He is also Sherlock Holmes. This is what we like to think of as a win-win. Downey’s rakish charm is getting better and better with age. He already sold us on the “Iron Man” franchise with the first movie and the trailer of a shirtless brawling Holmes pretty much sells itself. How times have changed when Jude Law as Watson just makes us go, “Oh, he’s OK, too.” Expect these sessions to be full of a more “mature” set of fans. Leave Shia and company to the kids.

-- Brill Bundy, Zap2it (Zade Rosenthal / Marvel Entertainment)
With any luck, her luscious-lipped holiness will be around to hawk her upcoming action film “Salt,” which is already being likened to a female-powered version of “The Bourne Identity.” What’s not to like?

-- Denise Martin LATimes.com (Francois Guillot / AFP / Getty Images)
Get your female empowerment right here. John Updike‘s novel about three women who find their lives turned upside down and mysterious personal powers unleashed when a devlish man moves to town, gets the network series treatment courtesy of ABC. Plus, you know the wardrobe of Rebecca Romijn, Sara Rue and Lindsay Price is going to give those “Desperate” housefraus a run for their money.

-- Brill Bundy, Zap2it (Robert Voets / ABC)
Denzel Washington, kind of grizzled (unlike in this picture), in a post-apocalyptic world that looks like the Old West. A rough-looking Denzel is just as much of a draw as a clean-shaven Denzel -- the suave never leaves. And he gets to be bad, which is often so very good.

-- Jevon Phillips, LATimes.com (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
For the poor girls who couldn’t cram themselves into the “New Moon” panel, try on the upcoming CW series from “Dawson’s Creek” boss Kevin Williamson. Who knows if it will be any good -- it stars “Degrassi” alum Nina Dobrev, which makes us recall her fellow alum, “90210’s” Shenae Grimes, which makes us not-so-hopeful -- but there will be eye candy aplenty from the menfolk. Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder play the fanged siblings (one good and one evil) who will do battle for the lucky lady’s heart. Or blood.

-- Denise Martin, LATimes.com (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
Look around you: Everywhere in the entertainment world, the geek is getting the girl. And they don’t come geekier than the geniuses of “The Big Bang Theory,” whether it’s the kindhearted Leonard (Johnny Galecki) or the often off-putting (but very funny) Sheldon (Jim Parsons). And yes, Leonard got the girl (Kaley Cuoco) -- sort of -- by the end of last season. Aww.

-- Rick Porter, Zap2it.com (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
The ladies who recall the ‘80s miniseries this is based on will be hoping for a repeat of that forbidden reptilian allure, the ultimate in star-crossed lovers. Morris Chestnut and Scott Wolf provide the requisite eye candy, but it’s “Serenity” stars Alan Tudyk and Morena Baccarin who will have all the Whedonettes giddy for talk of a possible reunion (uh, even though Wash died).

-- Hanh Nguyen, Zap2it.com (ABC)
Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Tom Welling are splitting up on the CW after a long run together, but that just means more nights of hunky goodness. Who knows how long Welling’s “Smallville” will be around, so let’s appreciate him while we can. Jensen and Jared ... isn’t brotherly love beautiful?

-- Jevon Phillips, LATimes.com (The CW)
“Battlestar Galactica” taught us that there are girls galore watching sci-fi. “Caprica” adds an element of family drama and even soap opera addiction (it’s been called “Dynasty” in space) that may even be able to build on the greatness of mourned “BSG.”

-- Jevon Phillips, LATimes.com (NBC Universal)
People may pooh-pooh dance flicks, but not when Channing Tatum, former underwear model, is in them. And some girls may steer clear of high-testosterone action films, but the same applies. There’s also Sienna Miller, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid and some others, but it’s Tatum as Duke that may be the girl-draw.

-- Jevon Phillips, LATimes.com (Paramount)
Girls that can kill you with a quick chop to the throat should always be applauded. And “Dollhouse’s” Echo (Eliza Dushku) and “Chuck’s” CIA Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) dole out butt-kicking goodness pretty often. Echo is sometimes a bit airheady, but don’t be on the wrong side of a downloaded killer. And for Sarah, touch Chuck, and you might lose something valuable.

-- Jevon Phillips, Latimes,com (Fox / NBC)