Comic-Con

Comic-Con 2018: 10 biggest ways celebrities surprised fans in past decade

San Diego Comic-Con is well known for wild surprises.

Fans, vendors, reporters and pop culture enthusiasts from near and far are already scouring every corner of the internet for rumors and hints about what might happen over the five-day run of the biggest comic book and pop culture convention in the known universe, which opens Wednesday night, July 18.

Inevitably, though, everyone will be surprised by something. Isn’t that what we all love about it?

Here are 10 of the biggest surprises of Comic-Con in the last 10 years.

2009 — ‘Twilight’ cast hands out breakfast to fans

 
Actress Elizabeth Reaser surprises fans by making an early morning appearance at Comic Con in San Diego, Calif. on Thursday, July 21, 2011. AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Some fans had been camping out for days when they were approached by cast members from the “Twilight” film series. Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser and other co-stars signed memorabilia, posed for photos and handed out breakfast goodies to people in line for the Comic-Con panel for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1.”

2011 — Andrew Garfield’s emotional undercover appearance

Andrew Garfield described the moment he showed up for a panel for “The Amazing Spider-Man” dressed as Spider-Man as the coolest moment of his life.

“I’ve always wanted to be at Comic-Con in Hall H as Spider-Man with all of you guys, it’s always been a dream of mine,” a fully costumed Garfield said at the microphone in the audience, seeming to be just your everyday Spider-man fan, before taking his mask off.

He gave an emotional speech about how much the character meant to him growing up and how proud he was to get to fulfill the role.

“I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid and he gave me hope,” Garfield said. “I’m humbled to be here like you do not know.”

2013 — Bryan Cranston cosplays his own ‘Breaking Bad’ character

 
Vince Gilligan, left, Executive Producer of the television show Breaking and actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn speak at Hall H at Comic-Con. A mask from the character Walter White sits on the table. K.C. Alfred

Cosplaying the character you portray on television is the ultimate Comic-Con win. Actor Bryan Cranston rolled up to a “Breaking Bad” panel in 2013 with a realistic Water White mask on before pulling it off to reveal it was actually him. Because he’s a legend, Cranston also secretly wore the mask to walk the exhibition hall floor.

He’s not the first — and won’t be the last — star to go undercover at Comic-Con. Check out this list to see how other celebs have done it, and scroll down to see one other example.

2013 — Tom Hiddleston appears as Loki

 
Tom Hiddleston in character as Loki. Kevin Winter / Getty Image

During Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel in 2013, fans were enjoying an already mind-blowing presentation about “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” when the lights cut out and the voice of character Loki could be heard.

Then, suddenly, actor Tom Hiddleston made an appearance dressed as Loki, to which the crowd responded with thunderous applause and chants of “Lo-ki! Lo-ki! Lo-ki!”

“I am Loki, of Asgard! And I am burdened with glorious purpose. Stand back, you mewling quim!” he said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

2015 — J.J. Abrams and ‘Star Wars’ treat fans to a free concert AND free doughnuts

 
The San Diego Symphony performs music from Star Wars during a concert at the Embarcadero Marina Park South at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 10, 2015 in San Diego, California. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

During a 2015 panel for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” J.J. Abrams shocked fans by asking them if they wanted to see a live “Star Wars” concert. The crowd in the Hall H was then given special lanyards and storm troopers guided them to an outdoor concert put on by the San Diego Symphony orchestra.

Music from the “Star Wars” franchise was played, much of the “Force Awakens” cast was there, fans were handed light sabers — light sabers! — and there were fireworks, too. Earlier in the day, Abrams purchased doughnuts to be passed out to fans waiting in line for the panel. Bonkers.

2016 — Henry Cavill sneaking up on Will Smith

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Will Smith was at Comic-Con promoting “Suicide Squad” and fellow DC star Henry Cavill took the opportunity to prank him. Wearing a “V for Vendetta” mask through the convention floor, the “Man of Steel” star first took photos with unknowing fans of Superman before surprising Smith at an autograph signing session for fans.

2017 — ‘Barb’ appears in the crowd at the ‘Stranger Things’ panel

During panels at Comic-Con, cast and creators often turn it over to fans to ask questions. At the “Stranger Things” panel in 2017, one of the actors from the show turned up in the audience.

SPOILER ALERT! Shannon Purser plays the character “Barb” who disappears in season one, so Purser asked the panel if her character would be returning in season two. The crowd — and the cast — loved her appearance.

2017 — Halle Berry chugs whiskey during a panel

At the “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” panel in 2017, Channing Tatum poured Halle Berry a glass of whiskey that she chugged in front of thousands of people in Hall H. The film is about “a group of well-tailored and Scotch-loving British super spies,” and Berry and Channing represented the American spies who join them accordingly.

2017 — Kansas performs the ‘Supernatural’ theme song

After being used in the final episode of “Supernatural’s” first season, “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas has been played in every season since, making it the show’s unofficial theme song. The band pulled off one of the most unique surprises in recent Comic-Con history by performing it in front of a packed Hall H crowd full of die-hard fans of the show.

2017 — Lupita Nyong’o goes undercover

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In town to promote both “Black Panther” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Lupita Nyong’o dressed as the pink Power Ranger and danced around the convention. She visited some “Star Wars” displays and also bopped through the streets of downtown San Diego.

You never know what you’ll see at Comic-Con so have your phones and social media accounts at the ready.

Email: abby.hamblin@sduniontribune.com

Twitter: @abbyhamblin

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