While San Diego Comic-Con features comics, video games, TV shows, movies, and more, the biggest part of Comic-Con in recent years has become the panels and events put on by productions studios and television networks. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the biggest winners among the TV and movie talent appearing at the show. While there are quite a few other names that belong on a winners list as well, we tried to narrow it down to just the top seven personalities that seemed to generate the most buzz at Comic-Con 2013.
James Gunn – Guardians Of The Galaxy was a surprise addition to the Marvel Studios panel, and it was a gutsy movie by Marvel Studios. Guardians Of The Galaxy had only been filming for ten days, so you would expect any footage that could be shown from the movie to be rushed and unimpressive. But it wasn’t. The Guardians Of The Galaxy footage was stunning, action packed, and filled with humor. With some brief Comic-Con footage, Guardians Of The Galaxy went from that Marvel property that no one had ever heard of to being one of their most anticipated feature films. In fact, it could be argued that no one won bigger at Comic-Con than Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn, because Guardians Of The Galaxy probably had the least buzz going in, but the most buzz coming out.
Tom Hiddleston – Did you think Marvel Studios panel would suffer without the show stealing Robert Downey Jr. there? Enter Tom Hiddleston. With a surprise intro where he appeared in full Loki costume, Tom Hiddleston succeeded in whipping the crowd into a frenzy and setting a positive tone for Marvel Studios entire panel right from the beginning.
Bryan Singer – Not since The Avengers assembled for Marvel Studios has there been more star power on a panel at one time. X-Men: Days Of Future Past was the early winner of Comic-Con. From their Trask Industries viral campaign to their early cast photos, X-Men: Days Of Future Past did an overall better job of promoting at Comic-Con than probably any film out there. Of course, the icing on the cake was the presentation during the 20th Century Fox panel, which showed off some impressive footage and brought virtually the entire cast together on stage.
Joss Whedon – How can you create any winners list for Comic-Con without including Joss Whedon on it? Whedon pulled off the rare double score of winning on both the television side and the movie side. He surprised attendees at the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel by announcing a surprise screening of the pilot episode, which always gets people in a good move. Then, he stole the Marvel Studios panel by showing up at the end and revealing that the Avengers sequel would be titled Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Zach Snyder – While Joss Whedon might have provided the bang at the end of the Marvel Studios panel, it was Zack Snyder who lit things up at the end of the Warner Bros. panel. Probably the loudest single moment at Comic-Con was the crowds reaction when it was revealed that the Man Of Steel follow-up would be a Superman and Batman movie.
Robert Kirkman – At times, San Diego Comic-Con sort of looked like it should be called The Walking Dead presents Comic-Con. No property had a bigger present at Comic-Con, as The Walking Dead has proven to be a hit across multiple mediums. The Walking Dead has jumped form being just a comic book to being a brand that seems on its way to even rivaling Star Wars. Robert Kirkman is one of two names (the other being the aforementioned Joss Whedon), who it’s almost obligatory to include on any Comic-Con winners list.
Jennifer Lawrence – Why aren’t there more female superhero movies? Studios keep pointing at the Catwoman and Elektra movies, insisting that an action movie with a female lead can’t be successful. Well, Jennifer Lawrence has proven that argument doesn’t hold water by turning Hunger Games into a blockbuster franchise. But Jennifer Lawrence’s success isn’t limited to the Hunger Games, she’s also a part of the X-Men franchise. Pay attention studios and give us more female superhero movies.