San Diego's Comic-Con, one of this year's biggest events in fan culture, is bringing the spotlight to jet engine-powered suits, sneak-peak trailers, video game demos, and more.

The annual event, which runs from July 20 to July 23, has been an entertainment haven--decked out with flashy festivities like panels, zombie walks, and make-shift parades--for fans to unite and share their enthusiasm.

The first convention was held in the 1970s with a little more than 300 attendees. Last year, more than 135,000 people attended the 728 exhibits, according to estimates from The Los Angeles Times. And this year's event is expected to bring similar numbers.

Here are some of coolest things to watch for at Comic-Con San Diego.

1. Dragons, demogorgons and Defenders

Several panels featuring the creators and stars of hit TV shows like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and The Defenders are scheduled to take place over the course of Comic-Con's four days. Often, never-before-seen trailers will premiere at the event.

On Friday, the cast of Game of Thrones will hold a panel discussion. But don't expect them to give too much away (the seventh season premiered just last Sunday). Also on Friday is The Defenders panel, which will give fans a first look at Marvel's new superhero team set to debut on Netflix on Aug. 18. The actors who play Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fists, and Daredevil will speak at the panel.

On Saturday, the stars and creators of Stranger Things will discuss the highly anticipated second season and show some preview clips. Here's hoping they also address the internet campaign that wants justice for Barb, a beloved character that died in the first season.

2. Meet the Women Challenging Hollywood

There's been no shortage of headlines about gender pay gaps, sexual harassment and discrimination against women, both in Hollywood and elsewhere. On Friday and Saturday, several panels will tackle some of these topics and other issues women in the entertainment industry must face.

The panel, "You Do What?! Women in Film Production," will be a discussion about women who work in traditionally male-dominated fields of production. "Women on the Dark Side" is a chat with the women creating darker female characters. Another can't-miss is "Women Creators Breaking Stereotypes," a discussion about the female writers who are challenging the traditional roles created for women characters.

3. The Games You've Been Waiting For

For gamers, one of the most exciting opportunities at Comic-Con is the chance to see--and yes, physically hold--the SNES Classic Edition. The new Nintendo console is a resurrection of the popular 1990s gaming device. The SNES comes loaded with 21 games and was displayed on Thursday at Comic-Con.

There's also something for passionate gamers who need some career guidance: On Friday, a panel called "Career Path to Game Development" will give advice to those hoping to land a job in the competitive market. Attendees will get inside knowledge about the skills and training necessary to make it in the industry. And on Saturday, audience members can pitch their most creative ideas and receive constructive criticism from the experts. Talk about taking career day to the next level.

If you can't make it to this year's San Diego event, Comic-Con will be holding a regional event in New York City between Oct. 5 and Oct. 8 at the Javits Center.

Published on: Jul 21, 2017