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    If you've never been to Comic Con it's hard to imagine how big, crowded, and slightly overwhelming it is. It's impossible to see everything or everyone, and it's important to manage your time and cut your losses. The line up to get in to see Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead in Hall H started forming last night. By this morning there was virtually no chance of getting in to those panels. To top it off, I spent a fruitless morning trying to track down publicists to get invites to the press rooms - WB, I'm looking at you... Unfortunately, being a "newbie," I also made a few tactical errors as fatigue set in and I missed a few panels I would have liked to have seen - such as the one Misha Collins crashed on transformative works that Orlando Jones was sitting on with Henry Jenkins - a USC professor who is the father of Aca-fans.

     However, I did get to see a few really great panels - and took quite a few pictures. Here, then, are the highlights...

     The Bones panel was intimate with just Stephan Nathan, Emily Deschanel, and David Boreanaz. Four months have passed since Booth was arrested and he's still in jail and having a rough time of it - if the clip they showed is any indication. He will have lost all trust in everyone, especially the FBI which result in a case of heightened PTSD. Brennan is busy getting them a new house... Boreanaz was in fine form, basically running off with the panel for a fair bit of it. However, some of the things that fans can expect this season? A look at the world of psychics (Cyndi Lauper may return!!), human trafficking (domestic slavery), a forensic convention - Boreanaz had great fun comparing this to a game of Clue - and a Wolf of Wallstreet take off. The 200th episode will be one of the "odd" episodes and Nathan will be directing. Deschanel was very gracious in thanking the fans for their support and crediting them for the show's success. 

     The Entertainment Weekly: Brave New Warriors panel was a great one. It included Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Brenton Thwaites (The Giver), Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead). I missed the moderator's name, but he was one of the best I've seen so far at Comic Con. Mison was the real highlight of the panel - apologizing to everyone for everyone not being able to get into the Game of Thrones panel - with Bernthal and Rossi adding some terrific stories as well. Rossi said he was intimidated by having to work with Ron Perlman at first, but they've become fast friends and still spend the holidays with each other in New York. Highmore said he was too young to have been intimidate by working with Johnny Depp. Highmore also said that now that he's graduated from university, he feels more pressure - as he can't say that he's splitting his time. Bernthal really has broken his nose 14 times - the first time hurt the worst. Rossi also talked about the uncertainty of his character's life span and related that he's been naked and bloody a lot lately...

     Mison said he was touted as a "classically trained" actor when he was announced as the lead for Sleepy Hollow - he admitted he didn't really know what that meant but suggested he vaguely thought it involved "being slightly floppy and having a weird accent"! He also told the audience that he once auditioned for a part and convinced them that he was fluent in French when he could barely understand it. Luckily, a French sound guy helped him keep up the facade after he actually got the part! Mison also related that John Noble was "excellent" and that he'd been thrilled to get to work with him. The didn't meet before they did their first scene together, in which Noble eats Crane's sins. As Noble was dipping the bread into blood and eating it, Mison said he was reminded of Noble's scene in Lord of the Rings when he eats the tomato - resulting in Mison trying very hard not to laugh... All in all a terrifically - and unexpectedly fun panel.

     Next up was the Marvel panel, featuring Agent Carter and Agents of SHIELD. Agent Carter hasn't really started shooting but they still provided us with a great clip. Michelle Fazkas and Tara Butters will be doing double duty on Agent Carter and Ressurection as writers. They were joined by Christopher Markus, Stephen McFreely, Louis D'Esposito (who will direct the first episode), and Haley Atwell. The show will take place in 1946 and with the war over and Steve gone, Peggy will be looking to pick up her life. Peggy has concerns about what's going on in the world and how to go about making it a better place. We were told to "get ready for her to kick some ass!"

     I think it's going to be an interesting parallel between Carter building SHIELD against the evil in the world, and Director Coulson about to try to do the same thing. Both series will be creation stories.

     It was announced that Joe and Anthony Russo will be directing the 2nd and 3rd episodes with Joe Johnston (Captain America) directing the 4th. The show will focus on what it takes to be a woman working in a man's world. There will be lots of similarly strong women on the show - some good and some evil. Atwell expressed her gratitude at getting to play the part, especially a woman that young girls can look up to. The first three questions were all cospaly versions of Agent Carter herself!

     The Agents of SHIELD panel followed immediately with the entire cast - including Brett Dalton. Clark Gregg got a standing ovation. Brett related that he was stunned to learn he was HYDRA - the producers took him aside to tell him - but he quickly embraced the idea - and really enjoyed working with Bill Paxton. Clark Gregg admitted that he actually squeed when he learned the trajectory for his character. And yes, he used the actual term squee. Ming Na Wen and Chloe Bennet said they freaked out and cried a little when they learned about Ward's betrayal. Bennet said "I kissed him!" but Wen clearly won as her character "slept" with him! It's clear the cast truly do have a great time together.

     Lucy Lawless was confirmed as joining the show as a SHIELD veteran - with a knife - named Isobel Hartley. Nick Blood will also be joining the show as Lance Hunter a mercenary who Coulson employs as SHIELD is in tatters with no government support, and they need help! The big bad was revealed as Reed Diamond playing Daniel Whitehall.

     The Arrow panel proved that the stars of that show are also a tightly knit family. Emily Bett Rickards and Katie Cassidy were not in attendance. Andrew Kreisberg revealed that the biggest surprise they could give us for the end of season two was a happy (ish) ending. But warned that they gave the happiness just so they could take it away! Stephen Amell was as gracious and self-deprecating as always. He said that he feel responsible for the show - not least of all because he promised the fans that the show wouldn't suck - and that's what drives them every day. He said he just tries to make every episode better than the last.

     David Ramsey revealed that the baby is going to up the stakes for Diggle. But he also warned that Diggle might be forced to leave the team. Willa Holland revealed that she has been hitting the gym. Everyone thinks that Thea is backpacking across Europe but that's far from what she's really doing. Marc Guggenheim related that they will flash back to the scene in the limo and play out the whole thing, taking Thea forward on her journey this season. Roy has a new suit - and Stephen lamented that he now has the second best costume on the show! Paul Blackthonre's Lance will now be Commissioner.

     Ray Palmer will be joining the characters and he will also have eyes for Felicity. Amell revealed that Oliver and Felicity would go on a date, but that it would go horribly. Colin Donnell will make a return appearance in episode 3.04. Episode 3.08 of Arrow and episode 1.08 of Flash will cross over to be a two event. Oliver will meet Katana in Hong Kong, and Peter Jung will also be a bad guy.

     It was confirmed that Ivo is NOT Felicity's father, but we will have an episode that goes back to Felicity's time at MIT and the episode will be called The Oracle.
 

     One young fan requested that Stephen perform the voice over from the beginning of the show, and also took the time to tell Colton Haynes and Willa Holland that they were the perfect couple and John Barrowman that he was the best villain. Amell - as expected - did not fail the panel and recited the voice over - almost flawlessly!

     I haven't been able to share the countless terrific costumes that I've seen this weekend so far, but it's well worth the effort to seek out the many pictures out there already. More panels tomorrow!

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