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The 7 biggest highlights of Comic-Con 2018

Godzilla and Buffy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, oh my!

Comic-Con International 2018 - Warner Bros. Theatrical Panel Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Game of Thrones and Marvel may have skipped the San Diego Comic-Con this year, but the annual event yielded plenty of big announcements nonetheless. From new heroes to new movies to just plain news, here are the seven biggest and most interesting developments to come out of Comic-Con 2018.

1) Godzilla, Aquaman, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass earned the most trailer buzz

Though several TV shows and movies released teasers and new footage, one of the biggest drops was literally big, with Godzilla: King of the Monsters providing a supersize jolt to the proceedings in perhaps the convention’s best sneak peek.

Other much-discussed previews on the film side included M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero sequel Glass, and DC’s Aquaman and Shazam! The latter two accompanied a look at the new Wonder Woman in an apparent turning point for the franchise away from darkness and toward a brighter, more blatantly fun aesthetic.

On the TV side, we got a look at our first female Doctor in Doctor Who and a preview of a bigger and bolder universe in the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Discovery.

2) Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming back

At the beloved animated series’ 10th anniversary panel, series creator and producer Dave Filoni announced that the series will return for a final season, this time on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

The show, which focuses on the years in between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, originally ran on Cartoon Network from 2008 through 2013, with a sixth season streaming on Netflix in 2014. For those still grieving the show’s cancellation, its return is cause for celebration. The new season will be 12 episodes long.

3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer is getting a reboot — with a twist

More than two decades after it premiered, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is making a return to TV. This time around, Buffy, who was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the original series, will be played by a black actress.

While the project doesn’t yet have a network attached, series creator Joss Whedon will serve as an executive producer, and Monica Owusu-Breen will take the reins as showrunner and head writer.

4) Supergirl will welcome TV’s first transgender superhero

The CW’s Supergirl is aiming to make history with TV’s first transgender superhero. Transgender actress Nicole Maines has been cast as Nia Nal, a.k.a. Dreamer, a character Deadline describes as “a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.” She’ll join Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) team of reporters at CatCo. Though little else is known, her narrative arc is meant to mirror Supergirl’s in coming into her own as a superhero.

5) Andrew Lincoln is officially leaving The Walking Dead

The rumors are true: Season nine will be Rick Grimes’s last go-around on The Walking Dead. At the show’s Comic-Con panel, Andrew Lincoln, who has been the star of the show since its premiere in 2010, confirmed that he is exiting the series.

“A sort of large part of me will always be a machete-wielding, Stetson-wearing, zombie-slaying sheriff deputy from London, England,” Lincoln said as part of his farewell. The panel ended in a bittersweet standing ovation led by Lincoln’s co-star Norman Reedus.

6) Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance to promote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

At the end of the panel for the second Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie (during which stars Zoë Kravitz and Ezra Miller said they if they had magical powers, they would use those powers to “impeach Trump” and “smash the patriarchy,” respectively), Johnny Depp showed up in costume and in character as Grindelwald.

His appearance came as something of a surprise, given the controversy over his recent Rolling Stone profile, as well as accusations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife Amber Heard, who appeared in Hall H shortly afterward to promote Aquaman. Depp was met with cheers by the audience, though the reaction online was considerably more mixed.

7) American Horror Story’s multi-season crossover is here

The culmination of the increasing connection and overlap between various American Horror Story seasons has arrived. After Ryan Murphy’s announcement that the eighth season of his horror “anthology” will be a crossover between two of its previous seasons, Murder House (season one) and Coven (season three), an announcement at Comic-Con revealed that the official title for the new season is Apocalypse. The poster looks just as creepy as ever, and apt given that Murder House ended with the birth of the Antichrist.