Comic Con Crowd Journeys Into Many Realms

Batman, The Hulk and other superheroes were celebrated at New York Comic Con over the weekend, where blockbuster movie previews and celebrity cameos almost eclipsed the books. Thousands of fans, some in costume, flocked to the Javits Center for the event. USA TODAY's Whitney Matheson hits some of the highlights:

Trailer treasures

Buzz-worthy moments included a surprise screening of the latest trailer for "The Dark Knight," the sequel to "Batman Begins," which opens July 18. The crowd gasped at new footage of the Joker (played by Heath Ledger, who died in January), and security patrolled the room to keep the clip from getting out before it goes public in about two weeks. Footage from "The Incredible Hulk" (June 13) also made its debut, including an "Iron Man" crossover scene featuring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. "Hulk" villain Tim Roth made an unannounced appearance, as did Lou Ferrigno (Hulk in the 1970s TV version), who has a small role in the film.

'Believe' it

Chris Carter and writer/producer Frank Spotnitz remained fairly tight-lipped about the super-secret "X-Files" film due July 25, which just last week got its subtitle: "I Want to Believe."

"There are just too many opportunities for spoiler sites to ruin our fun," Carter said during a panel after a brief, vague trailer. The duo did say the film takes place in the present day, six years after the cult series ended. Also, DC Comics' Wildstorm imprint will launch a new line of "X-Files" comics later this year. "It has been lovely not only to see people excited for the film, but to see how much affection there is for the series," Spotnitz said. The duo added that they won't rule out future "X-Files" movies if "Believe" succeeds.

Sail on

Another "Chronicles of Narnia" is on the way, regardless of how "Prince Caspian" does this summer. Producer Mark Johnson revealed that the third "Narnia" film, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," begins shooting in October. A May 2010 release is planned. "Caspian," starring Ben Barnes, opens May 16.

Monster mashup

A large crowd gathered to greet the forces behind "Hellboy 2," including director Guillermo del Toro and stars Selma Blair and Ron Perlman. But once an array of creepy costumed creatures from the sequel (in theaters July 11) assembled behind them, all eyes were diverted. "I don't hate CGI," del Toro said, "but I hate when it's lazy CGI."

'Galactica' gala

One of the biggest crowds gathered for a "Battlestar Galactica" spotlight. Cast members Michael Hogan, Michael Trucco and Rekha Sharma discussed the Sci Fi Channel series' final season (Fridays 10 p.m. ET/PT). "To play a character that has gone on a four-year arc is an absolute gift," Hogan said. The panel concluded with fans chanting the show's mantra: "So say we all!"

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