Comic-Con 2014

Where might you spot Darth Maul at the urinal, Mario and Luigi spinning tracks on the DJ booth, and Supergirl ordering a Starbucks latte (and consider it completely normal)? Comic-Con is an annual 4-day pop-up universe, where sci-fi fans, fantasy enthusiasts, and cosplayers finally feel 100% at home among 130K of their own.

Whether you’re heading to San Diego for the convention or not, open up Entertainment Weekly‘s July 25 issue, along with their special “Comic Con 2014” issue in the Next Issue app to explore the movies, TV shows, comics, games, and big names set to make an appearance. But don’t stop there. We’ve found a few up-and-comers in the sci-fi / fantasy world that are about to blow your mind. Here, the top 7 things we’re most excited about at Comic-Con 2014.

1. Movie – Mad Max: Fury Road

It may sound like your every-day remake of an 80s classic, but Mad Max: Fury Road is anything but. Director George Miller explains, “There are few digital effects and even less dialogue.” Instead, the characters are revealed through a chase scene that starts in the opening credits, and doesn’t end for the full 110 minutes. Miller will be at Comic-Con to introduce teaser footage from his post-apocalyptic adventure, but it’s yet to be known if stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron will make an appearance.

2. TV Show – Burka Avenger

Just going by its name, you can tell Pakistan’s first-ever animated TV series is breaking down boundaries. Burka Avenger features what some may call the unlikeliest of superheroes, a kind-hearted female teacher who dresses in traditional Muslim garb and fights against extremism and injustice, using only the aid of ideas and pens. For the American audience, the entire 13-episode first season is available on YouTube. Even more surprising? The series was created by British-Pakistani pop star, Haroon. If you’re at Comic-Con, visit the exhibit and learn more. You may just see him there.

3. Comic – Avengers NOW!

Marvel Comics tend to be a dominant force at Comic-Con, but this year things are changing up a bit. With the Avengers NOW! initiative, the Big Three (Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor) are undergoing full makeovers. A newly-suited Iron Man, an African American Captain America, and a female Thor will all take center stage on comic book stands this October.

4. Gaming Star – Joseph Garrett (aka Stampylonghead)

23-year-old Joseph Garrett recently quit his day job to pursue a career in…Minecraft? If you’re not familiar, Minecraft allows players to adventure with friends in a building-block world of their own creation. Garrett (aka Stampylonghead or Stampy Cat) is a Minecraft player turned children’s entertainment mogul. His whimsical YouTube videos have gained a following of 3.1 million, attention from Jack Black, and propositions from Disney and Warner Bros. Comic-Con attendees can meet Garrett and his gang of Minecraft pals for the first time this year. Here, his most popular video.

5. The Costumes

What would Comic-Con be without the weird, whimsical, wonderful costumes? This year, we can expect our fair share of Walking Dead zombies, Game of Thrones characters, and maybe even some of the new and improved Avengers (see #3).

Some of our favorites from years past include extraordinary heroes doing ordinary things, and the cutest of the cute…kids’ costumes.

6. The “Con Exclusives” 

No Comic-Con experience is complete without collecting some epic souvenirs. Geek Magazine brings us the best con-exclusives of 2014 (complete with booth numbers for those attending).

7. The San Diego Experience

If you’re already in San Diego, why not go for the full experience? Venture outside the Comic-Con world to check out WIRED‘s 8 things to see, do and eat. Something gives us the feeling that for this weekend only, showing up in full costume is totally accepted.