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Marvel Studios Hall H Panel Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

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San Diego Comic-Con: When it starts, biggest panels, how to watch and more

Your guide to keeping track of it all from home

San Diego Comic-Con, the mecca for the film, television, gaming, cartoon and comic book-obsessed around the world, is finally here.

Between new trailers, movie announcements, release date confirmations and casting news, there’s a lot to keep an eye on. Toss in the fact that this convention spans about five days and it’s easy to feel like you’re in way over your head.

That’s where we come in. We’ve broken down the times of the biggest panels, what day to expect the most news and, in cases where panels are streaming, how to watch them. Consider this a “Guide to enjoying SDCC remotely,” because the fun shouldn’t just be reserved for those who can attend in person.

Of course, Polygon will be on the ground to bring you interviews, previews and news from the big three panels — 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Marvel — as they happen. We’re expecting to hear some interesting details from Netflix about its next two big movies — Death Note and Bright — along with Stranger Things and The Defenders. Adult Swim will have more information on the third season of Rick and Morty, and Nickelodeon is going to give us a bunch of nostalgic feelings with its upcoming catalog.

San Diego runs from Wednesday night through Sunday evening.


When is SDCC?

This is actually a really good question. Comic-Con has been continuously expanding over the past few years. It needed to add extra days in order to satiate fans’ demands.

This year’s con begins Wednesday night at 6 p.m. PT, but that’s essentially a preview night for attendees. Warner Bros. TV will be showing off some of its new shows — last year’s fans were treated to a great episode of NBC’s Powerless, which never actually made it to air — and the showroom will be open for people to walk around.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday run all day, all evening. Sunday the convention runs until 5 p.m. PT.

Thor Ragnarok
Thor Ragnarok

When are Marvel, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. panels? Can I watch them?

Ah yes, the big three! The good news is that we have details on when the panels are. The bad news is that, unfortunately, because they’re all in Hall H, you won’t be able to stream any of them.

What does that mean? Different things for different studios. Marvel is notorious for not posting trailers or sizzle reels online, so unfortunately, the best you’ll get is by watching descriptions of things happening on Twitter. 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., however, have changed their tune in recent years and should be uploading everything they show during their panels. Especially Warner Bros., who was on the ball with posting trailers to YouTube the moment they dropped. Remember that first Justice League look?

Now, for the important details!

20th Century Fox — 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 20

Warner Bros. — 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Marvel — 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Netflix is going to be there, right?

Oh, yeah!

Stranger Things, season 2 Netflix

Well, what can I expect?

Netflix is bringing four different properties with it to SDCC: Death Note, Stranger Things, The Defenders and a new movie called Bright. Each of these will have dedicated panels. We’re expecting trailers out of The Defenders and Bright, but considering Death Note and Stranger Things both recently got new ones, don’t expect much out of those. We may get behind-the-scenes featurettes or sizzle reels, but that’s about it.

Each of these panels are taking place in Hall H so, again, you won’t actually be able to watch anything. But as soon as those trailers drop or news breaks, Polygon has you covered.

The times of those panels are:

The Defenders — 5:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19

Stranger Things — 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Bright and Death Note — 3:15 p.m. PT/6:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

The CW

What about the CW?

The CW will definitely be at Comic-Con. With Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale and a whole slate of new shows coming to the network this year and next, San Diego Comic-Con has become the place for CW fans.

The CW tends to bring clips from upcoming seasons and teasers to SDCC, but — because it wants to combat any potential leaks online — there will be no streaming. To get any news, Twitter is going to be your best bet.

The times of those panels are:

Riverdale — 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 21

Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, The Flash and Arrow — 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21. Heads up, this panel runs three hours.

Supernatural — 10:30 p.m. PT/1:30 a.m. ET on Saturday July, 21.

DC Rebirth Gary Frank/DC Comics

Okay, but this is a comic con, right? What about the comics?

Just because SDCC has been taken over by movies, television, cartoons and gaming doesn’t mean that comics have been completely forgotten. There are a number of cool panels for the comics enthusiasts.

Some of these will be streamed, but unfortunately, SDCC hasn’t released that information yet. As soon as we know, we’ll update this post to let you know.

The panels you should keep an eye out for can be seen below.

Robert Kirkman in conversation — 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m ET on Thursday, July 19

Geoff Johns in conversation — 3:15 p.m. PT/6:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19

DC Universe Rebirth — 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. PT on Friday, July 20

Marvel: Secret Empire — 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Roxanne Gay panel — 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 21

Image Comics panel — 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 21

Marvel in conversation with Joe Quesada — 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite Capcom

So we have movies, TV shows and comics. But didn’t you mention games?

I did! San Diego Comic-Con is an interesting place for games because it takes place so soon after E3, where publishers tend to lay out many of their big surprises. That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be events and panels for gaming aficionados, though.

We know we’re going to get a new look at Call of Duty: WWII, a panel dedicated to Crackdown 3, and Nintendo will have a pretty big presence for Splatoon 2, which is out on Friday.

Here are the times of all the gaming-related panels. Since this is the gaming world, some of these should be streaming on Twitch. We’ll add details about which panels will be streamed when they’re available.

Crash Bandicoot panel — 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19

Call of Duty: WWII Nazi zombies — 11:45 a.m. PT/2:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 19

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite — 11:15 a.m PT/2:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Destiny 2’s narrative journey — 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Middle-earth Shadows of War — 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20

Crackdown 3 — 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Monster Hunter: World — 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Sonic Mania: Behind-the-scenes 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 21

Polygon will have ongoing coverage of the convention all weekend, so stay tuned.