This photo shows a scene from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” virtual reality experience. Comic-Con attendees will have an opportunity to enter the mind of Professor X. (Oculus Rift/Fox/AP)

Comic-Con International in San Diego has grown into such a massive spectacle over the years (it’s now essentially a mandatory event for stars and their high-profile movies, TV shows, and, oh right, comics) that it seems like it would be difficult to top each successive year of madness.

Some buzzed-about events at this year’s edition, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday, will feature previews of upcoming movies including “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Pixels” and “Goosebumps.” On the TV side, there are panels centered on “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead,” along with send-offs to the final seasons of “True Blood” and “Sons of Anarchy.”

Every summer, like clockwork, there are always absurd stories that come out of the four-day, jam-packed event on the West Coast. Here are 10 types of wild things that can happen at Comic-Con:

A famous actor can be right next to you and you may never know.

Last year, there to promote the final season of “Breaking Bad,” Bryan Cranston decided to wear a mask of his own character and wander around the floor. No one noticed until he appeared on the panel and took off the mask. Surprise!

Andrew Garfield might show up dressed as Spider-Man.

Well, it’s happened twice now — sure, the movie may already be out, but maybe he just really likes dressing in character.

Fan intensity might just bring a celebrity to tears.

Joss Whedon was about to openly start weeping in 2012, when he was asked on a “Firefly” panel to describe what the hardcore fandom of the cult favorite show meant to him after all these years.

Fan intensity could cause scary situations.

There are multiple horror stories about crowded ballrooms for panels and insanely long lines — let’s just hope nothing comes close to the terrifying incident in 2010 before the Universal Pictures panel, when one attendee stabbed another with a pen over a seating arrangement scuffle.

All sorts of surprises on stage.

Like when Jason Momoa had some fun with his “Game of Thrones” castmates and randomly showed up at the panel, just to hang. Or, the entire cast of “Guardians of Galaxy” can just show up with no warning.

A-listers can show up in handcuffs.

It was all a big joke about the idea that Harrison Ford was held prisoner and being forced to attend Comic-Con to promote “Cowboys & Aliens,” but still — Harrison Ford arrived in handcuffs.

Or, stars can actually run into trouble with the law.

Actor Rhys Ifans made headlines for more than just plugging “The Amazing Spider-Man” when he was arrested for an alleged incident involving an altercation with a member of security.

Shocking amounts of sneak peeks for upcoming movies.

It happens all the time — in 2007, Jon Favreau famously debuted an early look at an extended “Iron Man” trailer.

Industry heavyweights appear to the thrill of everyone.

James Cameron stunned the thousands of attendees with a 25-minute preview of “Avatar” back in 2009. Meanwhile, a couple of years later, all Steven Spielberg has to do is show up and mention “Jurassic Park 4” and everyone is still excited.

You can get a preview of the future.

Not to be dramatic, but after people witnessed the hysteria of the first “Twilight” panel back in 2008, it was clear this thing was going to be an extraordinary success and would stage a pop culture takeover. And then it did.



Comic-Con 2014: DC Comics marks ‘Batman Day’ Wednesday with national celebration

As Batman turns 75, the comic book icon isn’t just enduring, he is thriving

More entertainment news