By Marc Bernardin
July 10, 2009 at 07:54 PM EDT

If Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was narrating a documentary about the San Diego Comic-Con, he’d greet the announcement of the con’s programming — which lists all the panel-related goodies — with something like, “And with these directions entered into the navicomputer, the March of the Nerdguins can begin.”

The Comic-Con masterminds don’t just drop their programming infodump in one fell swoop like some eager teenager, they parcel it out over a few days. All the better to whet eager appetites. Yesterday, Wednesday and Thursday’s schedules went public, and we’re gonna whittle it down to the stuff that sounds the awesomeist. Okay, here we go:

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Warner Bros. TV is screening the pilots for Human Target, V, and The Vampire Diaries. Treat these three hours as the calm before the storm. Who knows if they’ll be any good, but at least you’ll be sitting down.


Disney’s 3D panel. Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, footage from Alice in Wonderland and Tron, moderated by Patton Oswalt. MODERATED BY PATTON OSWALT!

The Middleman Cast Reunion. The entire cast of the loved and lost ABC Family series will read through the script of a never-filmed episode. Which seems like the most awesome elegy ever.

Spotlight on Bryan Lee O’Malley. Don’t forget, this is a “comic” convention, so see some comics stuff, too. And O’Malley, the writer-artist behind the Scott Pilgrim books, gives good panel.

James Cameron’s Avatar. This’ll be the Thursday hot ticket: a first look at Cameron’s 3D alienapalooza.

The Summit Entertainment presentation, featuring New Moon. You won’t be able to get into this panel. Unless you’re willing to wait outside the Convention Center starting now, just give up hope.

Entertainment Weekly Presents Wonder Women: Female Power Icons in Pop Culture. Yes, I’m tooting our own horn, but we’ve got Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Kristen Bell on a panel together. You’d toot, too.

Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I’ve just gotta see what the final Heath Ledger film looks like.

Unlocking Arkham: Forensic Psychology and Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Real psychiatrists analyzing the pathology of comic-book villaiins? Sounds both odd and fascinating.

We’ll be handicapping the other days’ programming, too. So come back early and often. What looks good to you?