At Comic-Con, can 'Wonder Woman' buzz carry 'Justice League'?

Marvel's "Thor" and "Black Panther," plus "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead" and "Star Trek: Discovery" will vie for your eyeballs at this entertainment mecca.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile | 5G | Big Tech | Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
4 min read
Watch this: Comic-Con 2017: What to expect

DC will have a little extra pep in its step going into San Diego Comic-Con this year thanks to "Wonder Woman."

The film, starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian warrior turned superhero, won over fans and critics alike to become the 10th most successful comic-book film in the US, according to Box Office Mojo (right behind "Spider-Man 2"). It's also the highest-grossing of the modern run of DC movies, which include "Man of Steel" and "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice."

More importantly, "Wonder Woman" showed that DC and Warner Bros. could make a film that was fun, inspiring and nearly universally loved.


Wonder Woman is front and center in the upcoming "Justice League" movie.

Warner Bros.

That's got to come as a relief to the 135,000-plus fans who'll converge on San Diego starting Wednesday for the 48th annual Comic-Con International. The convention's a mecca for all things pop culture: exclusive trailers for upcoming blockbusters, panels with the casts of your favorite television shows, video game sneak peeks and, yes, actual comic books.

"People know they can come to Comic-Con and get super geeky, but also see a presentation by Fox or Warner Bros.," said David Glanzer, chief communication and strategy officer for Comic-Con. "It runs the gamut."

The rivalry between DC and Marvel , both of which have panels in the famed Hall H event room on Saturday, gets an extra twist thanks to the momentum and goodwill built up by "Wonder Woman." One of the big questions is whether the upcoming "Justice League" will be able to take the baton and keep the good times going with whatever Warner Bros. decides to share. Prior to "Wonder Woman," critics felt that DC films were a little too gritty and grim. 


The trailer for "Thor: Ragnarok" went bonkers on YouTube, and anticipation is high for a Thor-Hulk reunion.

Jasin Boland/Marvel

By contrast, the bright and colorful Marvel films have flourished critically and commercially, and fans will be looking for any new information on "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Black Panther." Marvel wraps up a long day of panels in Hall H with its presentation.

Here's a look at what you can expect from the show:

Hit shows make their presence felt. Friday's Hall H panels are traditionally dominated by television, including "The Walking Dead" and " Game of Thrones ." This year, the "GoT" panel will be especially relevant since the seventh season premiere just aired yesterday. There are going to be a lot of questions about the upcoming and final season, and what's in store for Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister and the rest of the Westeros gang.


Finally, Westeros!


Meanwhile, the cast of "The Walking Dead" will have to build the case for why you should start tuning into the show again after its ratings dropped off for the last season. The showrunners promise more action and a faster pace this time around when it returns in October.

Netflix's "Stranger Things 2" and HBO's "Westworld" also have a big presence at the show.

SDCC 2017 prepares to conquer downtown San Diego

See all photos

WB's other big projects. Warner Bros.'s Hall H presentation won't just be about DC. "Blade Runner 2049," starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, will have a big presence at Comic-Con, as will Steve Spielberg's "Ready Player One."

Fox Studios stakes out Thursday. Hoping to avoid the crush of news on Saturday, Fox has a slot on Thursday to talk about its upcoming movies. You can expect to hear news on "Deadpool 2" (maybe a Cable appearance by Josh Brolin?) and "Kingsman: The Golden Circle." There may be an X-Men tease if Fox really wants to bring the house down.


Peter Serafinowicz stars as The Tick for Amazon's latest show. 


"Star Trek: Discovery" lands in San Diego. Another big franchise looking to gain momentum is "Star Trek: Discovery," which will air on the CBS All Access online service in September. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

A peek at new comic shows. Comic-Con will be a chance to get an extended early look at Marvel's "Inhumans," the X-Men-tied "The Gifted," Amazon's "The Tick" and Netflix's "The Defenders."

VR and AR returns to Comic-Con. Plenty of companies have already teased virtual or augmented reality experiences, whether it's the FX show "Legion" working with Microsoft's HoloLens or a VR experience with Stan Lee.

"We had a little bit of that last year, but we're going to do it up this year," Glanzer said.

Nostalgia galore. SyFy will bring the cast of the 2004 series "Battlestar Galactica" back for a reunion. "Twin Peaks" will have a panel and air a new episode at the convention.

More events than you can shake a stick at. Comic-Con isn't just relegated to the San Diego Convention Center. There will be numerous offsite events held at local bars, restaurants and art galleries.

For the next few days, San Diego itself will be transformed into the personification of a pop culture geek.

"San Diego is a small city, so it's spilled out all over the downtown area," said Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer of Metropoliscomics.com and ComicConnect.com who is attending his 23rd straight Comic-Con.

Actual comic books. Movies and shows aside, there will be many panels dedicated to comic book artists from Marvel, DC and the independent publishers, and Zurzolo touted a collection of vintage early run comics that he'll be showing off at the convention.

The cosplay, of course. Costume play, or cosplay, is a staple of all comic book convention, and expect people to up their game for San Diego. Get ready to see a gaggle of Princess Leias and Wonder Women walking around.

"It's a great environment to be yourself or be who you want to be," Glanzer said.


Cosplayers will be plentiful at SDCC. 


You may even be able to keep your costume weapons with you. As long as they don't do anything.

Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.

Logging Out: Welcome to the crossroads of online life and the afterlife.