By Josh Axelrod / Tuesday, July 28
Let us all take a moment to shed a tear of acceptance: San Diego Comic-Con 09 is officially over. The geeks go back into hiding and begin to plot their wild ideas for next year's Con, and Hollywood returns to making the things that bring people from all over the world here instead of kissing up to fans.
So now that all the fanfare is over, let us look back at the thrilling four-and-a-half-day ride that was Comic-Con 09. I'll do my best to cover everything I experienced, and reward it justly:
Best Use of Talent: Human Target. It's hard to mess up a show with a DC Comics heritage and a cast that includes the surprisingly kick-ass Mark Valley, the always entertaining Chi McBride, and Rorschach himself, Jackie Earl Haley. It's certainly on my must watch list this fall.
Most Intriguing Remake: V. Having never seen the '80s miniseries this show was based on, I had no idea what to expect. But the pilot that aired on preview night was gripping, intriguing, and officially made me a fan of Elizabeth Mitchell.
Most Strangely Diverse Line-up: Electronic Arts. These guys came out and showcased everything from Madden to Brutal Legend to Saboteur, all of which are on my wish list this fall. Well, Madden for the 360/PS3 at least. The Wii, not so much.
Best Moderator: Patton Oswalt. Not only did he find a way to make Robert Zemeckis' 3D panel (for Disney's A Christmas Carol) fun before Tim Burton came out, but he made up for a two-hour wait to get into Hall H Thursday morning.
Best/Oddest Teaser/Cameo: Alice in Wonderland/Johnny Depp. The Alice in Wonderland teaser that Tim Burton brought was enchanting, but Johnny Depp's two-minute cameo shattered my ear drums with a full Hall H screaming ovation.
Most Anti-Climactic Moment: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. They brought out Anna Faris, Andy Samberg, and the foul-mouthed kid from Role Models for five seconds and then told them to leave. Not fair!
Truest Fan-Made Sign: "Twilight Ruined Comic-Con." That's a little harsh, but all the screaming fangirls who have been hypnotized by Rob Pattionson and Kristen Stewart's ... eccentricities, made the Summit panel painful. I mean that literally; my ears are still ringing from the moment Taylor Lautner took off his shirt in that clip.
Most Mind Blowing Footage: James Cameron's Avatar. Believe the hype. Cameron's cinematic innovation is beautiful, immersive, and will probably be the most anticipated movie of December 2009.
Best Video Game Showcase: Warner Bros. Interactive. Between the limitless possibilities of Scribblenauts and what should be the best Batman title ever with Arkhum Asylum, Warner Bros. stole the show, and not just with their upcoming movie/TV lineup.
Coolest Origin Story: Green Lantern: First Flight. Hal Jordan's origins are pretty thrilling in animated form. Seeing his rise to hero of the Green Lantern corps and Sinestro's dissent into evil yellow element territory was basically awesome.
Queen of Comic-Con: Mila Kunis. She was part of a threesome with Seth Green and Alex Borstein at the Family Guy panel as well as promoting two movies, Extract and Book of Eli. Who would've guessed Jackie would grow up so well?
King of Comic-Con: Robert Downey Jr. Between Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man 2, the man's career resurgence is complete. He's hilarious, snarky, and probably got the loudest ovations of anyone when he walked on stage. Mr. Downey, I salute your "illness of overconfidence."
Worst Fan Question: "Are you interested in doing a celebrity sex tape?" This question was posed to Megan Fox at the panel for Jonah Hex (which looks awesome!). Seriously? Way to make enemies of everyone in Hall H.
Most Satisfying Fanboy Moments: I got to meet cast members of Chuck and the Big Bang Theory. I got pictures with Chuck's Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah) and Zachary Levi (Chuck), Big Bang's Jim Parsons (Sheldon), and had a long conversation with Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes' Peter) about comics and movies. Yay!
Most Random Moment(s): The most random was seeing Jackie Earl Haley on the street and having him pose for a picture (Thanks Jackie!). I don't even know how to classify this one: while walking to the Warner Bros. party, I swear I saw Megan Fox riding a bike by the convention center. If I was right, OMG!!!!!!!!!
Awesomest Moment: Everything involving Iron Man 2. Between the amazing footage at the panel, including the unveiling of Whiplash, Black Widow, and War Machine, and the press conference where I got Scarlett Johansson's autograph (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I'd say the word "awesomest" applies here.
Biggest Surprises: Book of Eli and Zombieland. How could a Hughes brothers movie with a cast that includes Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, and Gary Oldman fly under my radar for so long? And the buddy aspect of Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, as well as Emma Stone's hotness and lots of zombies, made the latter a surprisingly intriguing horror comedy. And Abigail Breslin wielding a gun? A sight to see.
Worst of Show: 2012. Oh Roland Emmerich. I'm sure he has the ability to do something other than disaster flicks, but until then . . .
Best of Show: Chuck. JEFFSTER PERFORMED LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What other panel would give their fans that much love? The cast is witty, charming, and uproariously funny. The movie stuff was great, but Chuck really stole the show.
Josh Axelrod is a senior-to-be at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. This is his third Con with his mom, Sharon Eberson.