San Diego Comic Con 2014: Marvel vs DC, Who Will Win This Year's Convention And Why?

By Steve Buja , Updated Jul 23, 2014 02:57 PM EDT

Every year the major comics publishers Marvel and DC descend upon San Diego, not for a convention, but for war. Make no mistake about it, dear reader. For you and I this is a weekend of long lines and bad food; for them, it is a bitter fight for survival.

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Every war has its tactics and strategies, its materiel and its manpower. Let's play favorites and see what both Marvel and DC are bringing to this balmy western Californian battlefield. Who is going to win this year's San Diego Comic Con? Let's find out.

MARVEL: Marvel has an impressive first party line up planned for Comic Con. They are the industry leader and they are acting like it. They have a highly anticipated new film, Guardians of the Galaxy, hitting theaters next week, so expect a lot of what they do to feature the misfits. Let's key into some of the highlights.

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Right off the bat, you must attend the Marvel panel in Hall H on Saturday. The event runs from 5:30-6:30, but you can be sure people will be lining up to get in at about 11 AM...on Friday. Marvel president Kevin Feige and "and special guests provide an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe." They've recently announced release dates for their upcoming Phase 2 and Phase 3 movies and have hinted at big Doctor Strange announcements. Perhaps an official Deadpool movie? I would be shocked if the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy is not there.

The comic book movie world is so firmly in Marvel's hand that the only way to disappoint folks would be to not show up. And even then, we'd still forgive them because man, making movies is hard.

Earlier on Saturday at 12:30 you can pop in for a discussion about 15 present and upcoming Marvel Video Games. They're promising exclusive announcements regarding Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes, plus a mass of updates to all of their social games, like Marvel Avengers Alliance. But expect some new announcements there, too. A super secret guest will be on hand, as will the, and I quote, "COOLEST GIVEAWAY we've ever handed out."

Early risers will get a treat from the Marvel Animation team. Expect big news on their latest hits, Marvel's Avengers Assemble and Marvel's Hulk & The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Fans will also be treated to the premiere of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors 'Spider-Verse'. In true Marvel fashion, they'll also be have an exclusive that everyone is going to be talking about.

On Friday night, con goers will get a chance to get the latest on the upcoming Agent Carter series, season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D with the cast of each. Jeph Loeb will also be on hand to dish about the upcoming television titles to the Marvel Television Cinematic Universe. Or perhaps the 'Marvel All Motion Media Universe' The MAMMU.

And that's just the juicy tip of the iceberg. We haven't even touched the actual comics. There are plenty of screenings, minor panels like Women of Marvel discussion and panels on the upcoming Death of Wolverine, the new Avengers and some how-tos. The official Marvel panel line-up is here.

Plus, people that aren't Marvel studios, such as FOX, are bringing the X-Men experience to you via the Oculus Rift! What you got for us, DC?

DC: Marvel has a lot going for it these days, but DC will always have one icon that could, in an all out nerd war, defeat the entirety of the Marvel Universe: Batman.

And this year, Batman is celebrating his 75th birthday alongside all of you at Comic Con. In fact, the party has already started for the comics giant. DC has unilaterally declared today, July 23, to be Batman day! They literally just made up a holiday and no one called them on it, because it's Batman.

On Thursday at 3:30, DC prez Jim Lee and chief creative officer Geoff Johns, along with a host of some of the biggest names in comics (including Grant Morrisson and Frank Miller) will host Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight. Which will look at the past of the iconic caped crusader as well as into the future for one of the world's most enduring characters. Simply to see the talent gathered in one place is worth it alone.

On Thursday night, Hall H will be packed with fans to get a first look at Batman: The Complete Series. The seminal, campy 1960s show is finally getting the full Blu-ray treatment. On hand will be acting legends Adam West, Burt Ward and the original (and still the best) Catwoman, Julie Newmar. Imagine being inside that huge hall and everyone is humming na na na na na...pretty awesome, right?

While Marvel pretty much exclusively dominates the film world, DC has found its home on television. Tonight at 6 people can check out the premiere of Constantine, which is based on the ever popular Hellblazer comic and the upcoming The Flash show! On Saturday in Hall from 8 to 11 you can get the world premiere of Gotham, the new FOX show based in the world of Batman. A whole panel, hosted by Stephen 'Green Arrow' Amell will be there to answer all of your questions regarding DC's many, many upcoming projects.

Think you know Batman? Why not test your knowledge at the Batman 75 Too Tough Trivia: Riddle Me This! on Saturday? Or learn about the future of the New 52 at the Champions of Justice panel Friday morning? The whole official DC line up is here.

The war for Comic Con will be a great and terrible thing. Marvel has the heat, it has owned the summer blockbuster season and has another coming out. DC has a fierce, passionate following and a ton of events and signings for people to attend. Each is bringing a lot of firepower to this. Only after enough men have died will we know the true champion.

For this humble reporter, I tossed my hat into the Marvel camp a long time ago and cannot break with tradition. Right now, Marvel is set to take the prize. DC, impress me.

Regardless, the real winners are you and me, the attendees and fans who, once a year, get to swim amongst familiar faces and old friends. San Diego Comic Con, we are ready for you.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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