The 22 Can't-Miss Panels of Comic-Con 2020 (at Home)

The cast of Riverdale at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. In 2020, panels like this will be held virtually.
The cast of Riverdale at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. In 2020, panels like this will be held virtually.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a positive spin to the horror show that is 2020 here’s one: Everyone is going to San Diego Comic-Con.

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That’s because, of course, actual San Diego Comic-Con was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic. In its place is Comic-Con @ Home, a wholly virtual recreation of the convention, its panels, events, and more. Now, how exactly does that work? Will it be lame? Those questions and many more won’t have answers until the event begins July 22, which was when Comic-Con was set to start with its preview night.

What we do know is Comic-Con and its partners have put together an admittedly impressive schedule of virtual panels, all of which will be available on the official Comic-Con YouTube page. And while we’ll dive deeper into that schedule next week, we thought you may want to have a glimpse at the biggest panels you yourself can enjoy next week from the safety of your computer or mobile device.

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Star Trek: Picard is part of Comic-Con @ Home.
Star Trek: Picard is part of Comic-Con @ Home.
Photo: CBS

The Star Trek Universe Virtual Panel

Last year, it was one of the biggest panels at Comic-Con. This year promises more of the same as the teams and casts behind Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Picard all grace your screen.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PST (all times are in PST, aka San Diego time)

Truth Seekers

What’s Truth Seekers? It’s the new horror-comedy from the production company of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The Shaun of the Dead BFFs also star here in a show about a group of online paranormal investigators.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

A Look Inside Marvel’s 616 on Disney+

Marvel Studios won’t be making a trip to Comic-Con this year, but an intriguing Marvel show coming to Disney+ will. It’s Marvel 616, a new documentary series that explores “the intersections of storytelling, pop culture, and fandom within the Marvel Universe.” Directors Gillian Jacobs and Paul Scheer are among the panelists.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Utopia

From Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn comes a new Amazon show about a group of comic book readers who figure out that the events of a graphic novel are real and they can save the world. The show stars John Cusack, Rainn Wilson, Jessica Rothe, and Sasha Lane, among others, who’ll all be on the panel.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (Yes, despite it being a virtual convention, some panels overlap. But since it’s all on YouTube, you can mostly watch when you want.)

Almost all of these people will be part of Comic-Con @ Home.
Almost all of these people will be part of Comic-Con @ Home.
Image: HBO
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His Dark Materials Virtual Panel

The cast and crew of the HBO show His Dark Materials (including stars Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda) will appear to discuss the first season of the show and, we’d imagine, what’s planned for season two and beyond.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

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Collider: Directors on Directing

Three major Hollywood directors—Robert Rodriguez, Colin Trevorrow, and Joseph Kosinski—sit down to discuss the past, future, and present work. Let’s hope Star Wars: Duel of the Fates, Trevorrow’s rumored Star Wars: Episode IX script, gets brought up,

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When: Thursday, July 23, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

The Boys Season 2

Amazon’s The Boys is back, and the whole cast, along with executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, are ready to chat about what’s coming up next for the subversive superhero show.

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When: Thursday, July 23, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Charlize Theron in The Old Guard.
Charlize Theron in The Old Guard.
Photo: Netflix
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Charlize Theron: Evolution of a Badass - An Action Hero Career Retrospective

What more needs to be said than that? Besides, maybe watch The Old Guard before the panel. And yes, this is an hour-long Interview with Theron herself.

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When: Friday, July 24, 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Lucasfilm Publishing: Stories From a Galaxy Far, Far Away

There’s not much Star Wars at Comic-Con @ Home save for a Doctor Aphra panel and this one, which brings together a ton of awesome Star Wars authors to talk about their upcoming books.

When: Friday, July 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

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AMC’s The Walking Dead

Like Star Trek, one of the other huge “regular” Comic-Con panels that’s actually making the jump to virtual is perennial favorite The Walking Dead. What can we expect? Nothing on the next season, most likely, thanks to covid-19. Instead, we’ll learn more about the season finale that was previously delayed: episode 1016 “A Certain Doom.”

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When: Friday, July 24, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond

Fear the Walking Dead will also be at Comic-Con @ Home but we’re more interested in this panel, which will finally lift the curtain on the third show in the universe. Except the whole cast and crew to be in attendance.

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When: Friday, July 24, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

 Tom Austen in Helstrom.
Tom Austen in Helstrom.
Photo: Hulu
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First Look at Hulu’s Helstrom

Come on, with photos like this, who wouldn’t be excited? All kidding aside, this panel will finally reveal how Hulu and Marvel are bringing to life the hellacious, pun intended, Marvel characters of Daimon and Ana Helstrom.

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When: Friday, July 24, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

A Zoom with Joss Whedon

Normally, Joss Whedon is the king of Comic-Con. But after a year that included accusations of verbal and sexist abuse, do we really think this is going to happen? And if it does, will that be addressed? We doubt it.

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When: Friday, July 24, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

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Constantine: 15th Anniversary Reunion

A Keanu Zoom? Yes, a Keanu Zoom. The iconic actor will join director Francis Lawrence and producer Akiva Goldsman to talk about the DC Comic adaptation that has been gaining cult status over the years.

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When: Saturday, July 25, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Guillermo del Toro and Scott Cooper on Antlers and Filmmaking

If Guillermo del Toro speaks anywhere, about anything, you want to watch. He’s the best. And this panel, where he talks about the latest film he produced, Antlers, along with its director, Cooper, will surely be more of the same.

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When: Saturday, July 25, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Bill and Ted are coming to Comic-Con... at home.
Bill and Ted are coming to Comic-Con... at home.
Photo: Orion Pictures
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Bill & Ted Face the Music

Let’s break it down: stars Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler; writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson; director Dean Parisot; plus series newcomers Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine—in a panel moderated by Kevin Smith. *air guitar*

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When: Saturday, July 25, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Peacock Original Series: Brave New World

Based on the famous novel by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World is one of Peacock’s signature shows, so it’s rolling out the whole cast for “an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of Peacock’s highly anticipated new series.”

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When: Saturday, July 25, 3:00-4:00 p.m.

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HBO’s Lovecraft Country

One of our most anticipated shows of the summer will be coming to our homes during Comic-Con with the full cast, as well as showrunner and executive producer Misha Green, in tow. They’ll talk all about the period supernatural show set to debut on HBO soon.

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When: Saturday, July 25, 4-5:00 p.m.

What We Do In The Shadows

Anyone who has seen this hit TV show based on the hilarious movie knows when you put that group of actors together, things are bound to get weird and hilarious. Which is what we’re expecting from this panel hosted by none other than Haley Joel Osment, who was one of season two’s standout guest stars.

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When: Saturday, July 25, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Locke & Key is among the shows represented in a cool Comic-Con at Home panel.
Locke & Key is among the shows represented in a cool Comic-Con at Home panel.
Photo: Netflix
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Scary Good TV: A Conversation with Horror’s Top Showrunners

During quarantine, so many of us have resorted to finally catching up on some of the shows we’ve been meaning to binge. And now the showrunners of some of those horror shows, like Locke & Key, Creepshow, NOS4A2, Channel Zero, and even the upcoming Chucky, are coming together to talk about their shows.

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When: Saturday, July 25, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

The 100

Fans of The 100 have likely been very anxious to hear from the creators what, exactly, they have been thinking as the show nears its end, and as Comic-Con @ Home nears its own end, we’ll finally find out.

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When: Sunday, July 26, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

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A Conversation with Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion is Comic-Con royalty so it’s only right that he gets his own adoring panel, expected to feature appearances by Joss Whedon, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Mekia Cox, Molly Quinn, Seamus Dever, and Jon Huertas.

When: Sunday, July 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

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One final note. The Comic-Con website says that while most of the panels will be available after Comic-Con, “there are some that may have a limited time period attached to them.” So if you want to watch, do it live or close to it! And, again, these should all be accessible at the above times via the Comic-Con YouTube page.

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We’ll have much, much, much more Comic-Con @ Home next week.

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For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

Bill and Ted Moderated by Kevin Smith

Since learning more about Kevin Smith he’s a lot like Adam Sandler in that people give these guys way more shit than they deserve. Adam Sandler has a lot of bad movies, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about the guy himself. And the same goes for Kevin Smith. Some bad movies but a great guy. Also, he’s a damn good example of happy, excited, wholesome fanboys should strive to be.

“A lot of people accuse me of being a shill. Holy fuck, I WISH studios would pay me to say good things about movies! Show me which dick to suck and where to sign! Of course there are movies and stuff I don’t like, but I don’t want to talk about those. I’d much rather talk about stuff I really love and enjoy.” (Paraphrasing)