Comic-Con 2011 highlights: Film, TV, gaming news and cosplay photos

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are two of the silver screen giants who attended Comic-Con 2011. Read about highlights and see photos from the year's geekiest event.

Comic-Con International just wrapped up its 42nd convention. More than 100,000 fans gathered at the San Diego Convention Center to celebrate some of the geekiest comic books, movies, games, and TV shows.

There were plenty of superstar panelists, including Steven Spielberg, Stan Lee, and Peter Jackson, who made a surprise appearance to everyone's delight. The star of the Hollywood scene was Spielberg, who made his first Comic-Con appearance. The Oscar-winning director was there to discuss Jurassic Park 4. Other Hollywood highlights included a room of fans wearing Edgar Allan Poe masks (which were actually 3D glasses) during a presentation on the new movie called The Raven about the author. A new Mass Effect movie was announced, and the Paranormal Activity 3 trailer premiered. The new trailer for Dexter season 6 was a major highlight, and fans cheered to hear that Beavis and Butthead is returning to TV.

In gaming news, Stan Lee and Val Kilmer discussed X-Men Destiny and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. It was announced that the Star Wars Kinect will release with a special R2-D2 Xbox 360 bundle (look for it late 2011). Batman: Arkham City was a hot topic, and much advertised with previews and panels. Nintendo DS will be rejuvenated by Aliens: Infestation, and Freddy Krueger was announced to become the fourth downloadable character for the new Mortal Kombat.

Comic-Con 2011 attendees also had an opportunity to preview the upcoming Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine game. Halo 4 was announced in a panel with Frank O'Conner and Kevin Grace. David Jaffe drove fans through the single-player campaign of Twisted Metal, while SoulCalibur V promised to revive old memories while refreshing an old series.

Impressions from a Comic-Con first-timer

I had the chance to speak with Comic-Con first-timer Adam Faris, of Louisville, KY, after he returned from the event. He was surprised by what a strong presence Hollywood has at Comic-Con, but what surprised him most was the number of people engaging in cosplay -- particularly how much skin the women showed. He attended a panel on that very subject: whether the scantily-clad female characters in comics and games objectify women, and what that means for those who dress like those characters.

Farris also remarked that the enormous crowd was so congenial and friendly, even at moments when you would expect tensions to run high, that he is considering taking his entire family next time he attends.

That might be the biggest surprise of all of Comic-Con 2011: a crowd of 120,000 people all coming together as friends, united by shared interests, and capable of shrugging off the disappointments of not getting into their preferred panels and continuing to revel in the good time.

More Comic-Con 2011 news

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Photo credit: Cynr via Flickr