Which Comic-Con at Home panels are worth your time at this year’s virtual SDCC event? Comic conventions are one of many annual rituals put on hold by necessity thanks to COVID-19. In 2020, the iconic San Diego event was held virtually with Comic-Con at Home – a webcam-heavy affair where actors, writers and producers beamed into zoom calls while fans watched online. The usual glut of trailers and key details remained, but many felt the format was lacking, especially when the likes of DC held their own at-home cons which to much greater success
With COVID still a factor in the summer of 2021, SDCC is once again brought to the world via Wi-Fi connection. Held between July 23 and 25, Comic-Con at Home 2021 will still attract the usual stars and, hopefully, give fans a better idea of what to expect from every major movie and TV franchise in the coming 12 months and beyond. It won’t be as exciting, certainly, but that’s what the current situation demands.
Marvel and DC will be giving SDCC 2021 a miss, preferring to drop their big news via in-house events such as Disney Investor’s Day and FanDome, respectively, but there’s still plenty for fans to enjoy over the coming week. Here are the panels that will be worth tuning in to. Honorable mentions include Fear Street (July 23, 4pm PDT), Blade Runner: Black Lotus (July 23, 5pm PDT), Lucifer (July 24, 5pm), and Legends of Tomorrow (July 25, 12pm).
Unmasking Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – July 21, 1pm PDT
Given the quality of past releases, it perhaps isn’t much to say Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins is the best of the trilogy, but there’s reason to be optimistic nonetheless. Starring Henry Golding as the eponymous ninja, Snake Eyes serves as an origin story of sorts, charting the character’s training among the Arashikage clan and subsequent allegiance with Uncle Sam’s most flexible plastic soldier. Featuring an exciting and diverse cast of talent, plans are already afoot for a possible sequel. The “Unmasking Snake Eyes” panel at SDCC 2021 will incorporate virtually the entire main cast, as well as G.I. Joe comic writer, Larry Hama. Some lucky viewers can also win the chance to watch a special advance screening of the full movie.
Dragon Ball Special Panel – July 23, 10am PDT
Currently experiencing a resurgence thanks to Dragon Ball Super, Goku and his friends (mainly Vegeta, to be honest) were last seen in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, which performed incredibly well at the global box office. Another movie is confirmed to be in production, but details are few and far between at present, with Akira Toriyama revealing only that an “unexpected” villain will face the Saiyan duo. Dragon Ball‘s upcoming film will be a key topic at SDCC’s “Dragon Ball Special” panel, which will feature key producers and the Japanese voice of Goku, Masako Nozawa.
Star Trek Universe – July 23, 10am PDT
With numerous projects coming to Paramount+, Star Trek enjoyed a big presence at 2020’s Comic-Con at Home event, and Gene Roddenberry’s enduring franchise is back for 2021 – albeit in a more animated capacity. The panel will cover both Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Prodigy. The former aired its debut season in August 2020, and has been confirmed for a further 2, with Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2 due to air in August 2021. The comedy series stars the less-than-glamorous Cerritos crew, and revels in an intergalactic stew of franchise history. Star Trek: Prodigy will land on Nickelodeon and aim itself at a younger audience, but longtime fans can at least look forward to the return of Kate Mulgrew (her voice, at least), as Kathryn Janeway. The panels will feature Mulgrew, Ella Purnell, Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, and many more.
Star Wars: The High Republic – We Are All The Republic! – July 23, 1pm PDT
The galaxy far, far away might be taking a break from the big screen after a divisive end to the Star Wars sequel trilogy but, elsewhere, the franchise is expanding at pace, with numerous Disney+ projects in the pipeline and multimedia outlet The High Republic going strong in books and comics. Currently in Phase 1 (“Light of the Jedi”), the story set 200 years before The Phantom Menace is only just beginning. The High Republic‘s SDCC 2021 panel will be moderated by Krystina Arielle (from Star Wars: The High Republic Show) and will feature a range of authors including Claudia Gray and Charles Soule. Upcoming titles previewed will be The Rising Storm, Race to Crashpoint Tower, and Out of the Shadows.
Rick & Morty – July 23, 4pm PDT
Currently in the middle of its fifth season, Rick & Morty will be crashing into Comic-Con at Home. Hot topics of discussion will include Rick & Morty season 5 so far, the episodes to come, and what the future holds for the dysfunctional duo and their eclectic group of friends and enemies (mostly the latter). Names slated to appear are Dan Harmon, Scott Marder, Chris Parnell (Jerry), Sarah Chalke (Beth), and Spencer Grammer (Summer).
Simpsons Season 33 & Beyond – July 24, 11am PDT
The Simpsons is always game for a laugh, and with everyone’s favorite family showing no sign of slowing, the gang are back for SDCC 2021. Airing between September 2020 and May 2021, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were last seen in The Simpsons season 32, but the animated classic has already been green-lit for a further two outings. Comic-Con at Home’s “Simpsons Season 33 & Beyond” panel should give some idea of what comes next in Springfield, and what madcap predicaments the cast will face over seasons 33 and 34. Featuring the likes of Al Jean and Mike B. Anderson, the panel promises season 33 previews and behind-the-scenes details, as well as special guests and moderation from the voice of Lisa Simpson herself, Yeardley Smith.
The Walking Dead – Various
With new projects amassing faster than a zombie horde, The Walking Dead has plenty to discuss at SDCC 2021, and will spread the fun over 3 separate panels on July 24 – Fear The Walking Dead at 1pm PDT, Walking Dead: World Beyond at 2pm, and the main series at 3pm. Fear The Walking Dead‘s slot will revisit the recently concluded season 6, possibly teasing some early details for season 7. World Beyond will bring a clip from its upcoming second (and final) season, which is due to land later this year. Lastly, fans can expect a new trailer for The Walking Dead season 11 – the closing chapter in AMC’s long-running series.
Names listed as appearing on each zombie zoom call include much of the main Fear The Walking Dead cast (led by Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey and Colman Domingo), the World Beyond stars, and a few The Walking Dead names.
Doctor Who – July 25, 10am PDT
Ahead of Doctor Who season 13, showrunner Chris Chibnall will appear alongside the Thirteenth Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker. They’ll be accompanied by companions Mandip Gill (Yaz) and new addition John Bishop (Dan). Most intriguing of all, a special guest is promised to make an appearance. Our money’s on Jo Martin – the new (old) incarnation of The Doctor revealed in season 12.
Dexter – July 25, 1pm PDT
When Dexter season 8 aired in 2013, fans weren’t exactly satisfied by the ending. Indeed, the story of Michael C. Hall’s serial killer has the indignity of regularly ranking on lists of the very worst TV show finales. Looking to put that right, Dexter is back for a 10-episode sequel series, which hopes to deliver the ending fans deserved the time around. Expected later this year, the Dexter revival picks up with “Jimmy” living a new life, and will feature John Lithgow, Jamie Chung and Jennifer Carpenter. Dexter‘s SDCC 2021 panel reunites Hall with showrunner Clyde Phillips, and newcomer Julia Jones who’ll be playing Angela.
Netflix Geeked: Army of Thieves – July 25, 2pm PDT
Netflix will be showcasing a range of wares during Comic Con at Home, but arguably the most exciting of all is Army of Thieves – a prequel to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, which dropped earlier this year. The spinoff stars (and is also directed by) Matthias Schweighöfer, who appeared in the original movie as Ludwig the safe-cracker. The story follows his character on an ambitious heist set during the early stages of Army of the Dead‘s Las Vegas zombie outbreak. Among the panel attendees will be Zack and Deborah Snyder, Schweighöfer, and co-star, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), who are promising a “first look” at the highly-anticipated second installment of the Netflix franchise.