Comic-Con 2014: Thursday's Big Events

Following Wednesday evening's brief preview, Comic-Con makes the jump to light speed Thursday when the first full day of events kicks-off in San Diego.

A celebration of what's hot in comic books, film, TV, video games, costumes and collectibles, the four-day festival is expected to attract more than 130,000 fans to the San Diego convention center and environs.

Fan-boys and -girls will flock to the big events - especially the cast reveals and sneak peeks of highly-aniticipated blockbuster movies. This year's titles lighting up the pop cutlure radar include "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Antman," Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" and the final installment of the latest Tolkien-based trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

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TV series loyalists can get their fill of "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead," "Orphan Black," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Gotham," the Batman-based police procedural from Fox that will debut in the fall.

Check back throughout the convention for updates on what's happening, the hot news and all the latest celebrity pics.

And don't forget to download the official NBC Comic-Con 2014 App to optimize your fan experience.

Here's what we're excited for on Thursday July 24:

Spotlight on Bill Finger, the Co-Creator of Batman

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the movie "Batman" and the 75th anniversary of character's debut. And Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader's co-creator, would have turned 100 this year. At this special panel, Finger's living descendants Athena Finger ("The Cape Creator: A Tribute to Bill Finger") and her son Benjamin will celebrate his life and achievements. Others on the panel include Bob Kane's biographer Tom Andrae ("Batman and Me"), actress Lee Meriwether ("Batman: The Movie's" Catwoman), author Marc Tyler Nobleman ("Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman") and executive producer Michael Uslan ("Batman," "The Dark Knight film trilogy"). 11:30 a.m. Room 4

USA Network Teases "DIG"

USA's newest series "DIG" will make its debut at Comic-Con. The show follows an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem, who, while investigating a murder, uncovers a global conspiracy 2,000 years in the making. Series stars, Jason Isaacs ("Harry Potter"), David Costabile ("Breaking Bad") and Alison Sudol ("A Fine Frenzy" will discuss the series' concepts and attendees will be treated to an exclusive preview before "DIG" premieres in the fall. 11:30 a.m. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

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Charles Schulz and Social Commentary in Peanuts

Through the gentle humor and slapstick antics of the "Peanuts" gang, creator Charles Schulz quietly offered up a look at the social and political climate of the changing world around him. This presentation by Corry Kanzenberg (curator, Charles M. Schulz Museum) explores the intersection of "Peanuts" and the topical world, and is followed by a Q & A panel featuring Seth Green ("Robot Chicken," "Family Guy") and Art Roche (content director, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates). 12:00 p.m. Room 25ABC

NASA's Next Giant Leap

The 45th annual Comic-Con coincides with the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, and to celebrate NASA is making its first official appearance at the San Diego fest. "NASA's Next Giant Leap" will be moderated by actor Seth Green with a panel featuring Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, current NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, and JPL systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi ("Mohawk Guy" from the Curiosity rover landing). They'll be discussing NASA's plans to send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before, and the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket, which will carry humans to Mars. 3:00 p.m. Room 6A

DC Comics: Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight

Batman has become one of the most enduring characters in popular culture. To celebrate the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary, legendary Batman creators Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Denny O'Neil, and Scott Snyder will man this historic panel to discuss the great detective's legacy. 3:30 p.m. Room 6BCF

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"Thunderbirds" at 50

5, 4, 3, 2 ... 1 - Thunderbirds are go. The beloved British series featuring marionettes and incredible rescue craft that fueled the imaginations of kids of all ages in the 1960s gets the Comic-Con treatment 50 years since it first debuted. Originally created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, "Thunderbirds" is currently being given a CGI reboot by ITV and will return to screen in 2015 as "Thunderbirds Are Go."  Creators and producers of the new series will discuss the importance of heritage programming and what's next for the Tracy family and their heroic rescues. 4:30 p.m. Room 8

"Hannibal": Embrace the Madness

The creative minds behind the award-winning NBC TV series "Hannibal" are getting together. What's on the menu? Season 3 dish and what goes on behind-the-scenes. Panel speakers include executive producer/creator Bryan Fuller and stars Caroline Dhavernas (Dr. Alana Bloom), Scott Thompson, and Aaron Abrams (Special Agents Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller). 4:45 p.m. Ballroom 20

The Heroes of "Star Wars Rebels"

This new animated series explores the 20-year stretch of "Star Wars" history between Episodes III and IV, and it's a dark time in the galaxy. "Star Wars Rebels" executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg as well as series stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, and Taylor Gray will offer up a preview of this highly-anticipated series coming to Disney XD in the fall. 6:00 p.m. Room 6BCF

"Sharknado 2: The Second One"

A Sharknado is about to hit the Big Apple! "Sharknado 2: The Second One" stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Kari Wuhrer, and Judah Friedlander and director Anthony C. Ferrante discuss the sequel to the SyFy TV movie that became a social media phenom in 2013. 7:15 p.m. Room 6BCF

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