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New York Comic-Con preview: 'The Walking Dead,' 'SHIELD,' 'Oldboy,' and more

New York Comic-Con looks set to have its biggest year yet, with a slate heavy on popular TV shows and celebrity appearances. Based in Manhattan’s Javits Center, NYCC has grown in importance over the last few years. Although it can’t compete with the San Diego Comic-Con for pure breadth of buzz, NYCC has developed its own distinctive personality in the last few years. (It’s also gotten a big boost from a certain mega-popular zombie show whose Halloween-season start dates match up perfectly with NYCC’s early-October berth.) If you’re going to NYCC, here are the hot-ticket events; if you’re just playing along at home, consider this a possible sneak peek at the next few days of Twitter trending topics. (Note: You can watch some of the cultier/non-Walking Dead events on the NYCC live stream.)

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Saturday, 5:00 PM): The only announced speaker at the panel for ABC’s hit Avengers spinoff is Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, but this is Marvel, so expect at least one surprise. Since the panel runs an hour and fifteen minutes, that “surprise” might be a full episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. If questioned, expect Loeb to no-comment confirm the possibility of an Agent Carter series. READ FULL STORY

Opinion: How Ben Affleck can be a good Batman, and what the 'Man of Steel' sequel needs to do to be great

Besides an abiding interest in men who wear masks or spandex (see: Daredevil and Hollywoodland), Ben Affleck shares one more thing in common with Batman: Their big screen careers look exactly alike. There was the sensational start. (Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns; Affleck’s acting breakout with and Oscar-winning script for Good Will Hunting.) There was the embarrassing implosion. (Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin; Affleck in Gigli and the aptly titled Paycheck.) There was the brilliant reboot. (Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; Affleck’s rightly praised work as actor and director in The Town and the Oscar-winning Argo). Now, their paths converge as they enter the fourth acts of their movie lives: Affleck will play Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, and star opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman in the untitled sequel of Man of Steel, which Warner Bros. intends to release on July 17, 2015. READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con 2013: A comprehensive guide through the post-Con buzz

Comic-Con is a Reality Distortion Zone carefully constructed by very powerful forces: The fans, who’ve traveled a long way and are in a mood to enjoy themselves; the studio publicity teams, who know how crucial a half an hour at Comic-Con can be to a project’s long-term prospects; the celebrities, who fill Hall H and Ballroom 20 with the fairy dust of fame; the geek-bloggerati opinion-industrial complex, forever in the act of judging every minor detail of every major film; and the mainstream media, taking pictures of the celebrities.

What this means is that people will cheer for everything. So this year they cheered for The Avengers 2; but back in 2011, they also cheered for Terra Nova. Everything is popular at Comic-Con, but not everything at Comic-Con is popular. Forthwith, an attempt to determine whether the major projects were successful in generating positive buzz this year at Comic-Con 2013.

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'The Blacklist' star Megan Boone: Actors and filmmakers are the biggest fans of all

Actress Megan Boone stars in the upcoming NBC drama The Blacklist, opposite James Spader. Below, she reflects on her first experience with fans at San Diego Comic-Con and includes photos she took during the week.

“Can I have your autograph? It’s for my dying mother,” a fan asked me at our signing late last week, handing over a stack of headshots.

In response, I began signing my first autographs at my first Comic-Con. Ten or 15 signatures into his stack of photos, the autograph-seeker’s story began to seem dubious. I didn’t even know people bought and sold autographs anymore, but why would his ill mother need over 20?

That there’s a level of fandom which inspires someone to lie about their mother’s health to sell autographs is the darker side of Comic-Con I’d been warned about. Maybe it was just because I hoped his mother wasn’t actually dying, but I chose not to buy the story.

Stories can be very hard to sell, to which many of us on panels this year can attest, but when we get it right it can create the frenzied fanfare that fuels Comic-Con.

Even if you’ve never been to this circus you know it’s like Beatlemania, but instead of screaming teenage girls, this crowd is predominantly masked males who convulse at the sight of a zombie.
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Will Comic-Con ever live-stream? Plus, solving the line problem and ... planning Comic-Con 2014!

Comic-Con 2013 is a wrap! Tens of thousands of fans have cleared out of downtown San Diego after rubbing elbows with their favorite celebrities (and hoards of elaborately costumed convention-goers), and it’s time to take a closer look at what went right, what went wrong, and — yes — what’s in the works for 2014′s mega-fest.

EW got San Diego Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer on the phone Monday to pick his brain about the past five days, and he was pleased to say things had gone “surprisingly well” — but there’s always room for improvement. Even though 130,000 people attended this year, there are still some fans left out. While a recurring suggestion is to live-stream the in-demand Comic-Con panels either at the convention center or across the Web to reach more eyeballs, Glanzer isn’t convinced that’s the solution.
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The 10 movies, TV shows, and brands that ruled Comic-Con on social media

The buzziest project at the four-day geekfest known as Comic-Con must have been something with elaborate costumes, breathtaking special effects, and an epic battle between good and evil… right?

Interestingly, not so much.

EW has partnered with General Sentiment to develop aggregate scores that record not just what’s trending on social media, but also what users are actually saying about those topics. And according to our analysis, the most talked-about thing on social media at the Con wasn’t superhero, sci-fi, or fantasy-related — it was CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, a sitcom entering its ninth and final season this fall.

Those who feel that TV has taken over the Comic-Con crown from movies in recent years have reason to feel validated in this data as well: four of the top five topics trending this year were TV shows (X-Men being the lone movie in that short list).

Check the list below to see which other TV shows, movies, and brands made the top 10 list.

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On the scene: Ian Somerhalder, Ginnifer Goodwin, Anna Camp, and more at EW's Comic-Con party

To cap off a long weekend of vampires, zombies, and things catching fire, Entertainment Weekly transformed the fourth floor of San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel for its annual Comic-Con bash. The party, held at the hotel’s rooftop lounge FLOAT, brought together stars like Joe Manganiello, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Ian Somerhalder for a comic book-themed celebration complete with bold graphics, colorful candy stations, and a dazzling pool filled with thousands of ping pongs because…why not?

“To be honest, [the best thing about Comic-Con] is staying out late…and seeing my friends,” explained actress, web series master, and Comic-Con vet Felicia Day. “This is like our summer camp. The EW party is always the crowning jewel, let’s be honest.”
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Michelle Rodriguez, Maggie Q join EW's 'Women Who Kick Ass' Comic-Con panel

Girl Power had its spotlight moment today in Hall H during Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass panel moderated by Sara Vilkomerson. Michelle Rodriguez (Machete Kills), Maggie Q (Nikita), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) assembled to discuss being female action heroes, what it’s like to work in an industry run by men and the hazards of the job. READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead' cast, more celebs celebrate the comic book's 10th anniversary at Comic-Con party

The Walking Dead took Comic-Con by storm yet again with another packed Hall H panel on Friday, but the celebrations for the zombie series didn’t stop there. Celebs and other Comic-Con attendees celebrated the comic book and the AMC TV show it inspired at a party near the San Diego Convention Center last night.

A follow-up to last year’s 100th issue celebration for The Walking Dead in Petco Park during Comic-Con, this year’s Hyundai-sponsored event celebrating the comic book’s 10th anniversary was in a parking lot in downtown San Diego. (Zachary Levi’s Nerd HQ had commandeered Petco Park.)

Weezer performed at the event — so yes, a bunch of Hollywood celebs did rock out to A-lister wannabe anthem “Beverly Hills.” Nathan Fillion beelined for the center of the pit in front of the stage as soon as he arrived. Among the other attendees were Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin, Fillion’s Castle co-star Molly Quinn, Buffy alum Seth Green, and Vampire Diaries actor Paul Wesley. Of course, talent from AMC’s The Walking Dead were also in attendance, including Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene), David Morrissey (the Governor), comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman, and Danai Gurira (Michonne).
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The ten coolest things Joss Whedon said at Comic-Con

Joss Whedon hosted his annual Q&A session at Comic-Con today. Nominally a panel for Dark Horse Comics — which currently publishes Whedon’s Buffy comics — the hour is basically an unstructured opportunity for Whedon fans to ask him pretty much everything, with answers that range from evasive to encyclopedic to silly to downright existential. (Dr. Horrible update: he still wants to make Dr. Horrible and probably won’t for a few years. This concludes your biannual Dr. Horrible update.) Forthwith, the ten most interesting things Whedon said this year.
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