SAN DIEGO — "Community" mastermind Dan Harmon is back at Comic-Con – albeit in cheap Iron Man costume.
Harmon, who was replaced as showrunner of the quirky NBC sitcom's fourth season after a clash with then-cast member Chevy Chase, kicked off Sunday's presentation at the pop-culture convention by lunging onto stage in cardboard armor, which cast members Danny Pudi and Jim Rash slowly ripped off.
NBC announced in May that the show had been renewed for a fifth season, and Harmon was reinstated.
"I am billionaire playboy and creator Dan Harmon," he said as he introduced himself to the crowd, channeling Tony Stark.
He was also joined on stage by former "Community" producer Chris McKenna and co-stars Nicole Yvette Brown, Allison Brie, Ken Jeong and Gillian Jacobs. Joel McHale, who is shooting the film "Beware the Night" in New York, and Donald Glover, who will only star in a handful of the 13 episodes in the fifth season, weren't present.
"I don't consider them the last 13," noted Harmon. "I'm going to do everything I can to get us that sixth season."
The "Community" presentation at the pop-culture convention served as a celebration for the more than 5,000 fans in attendance in Hall H, the largest venue at the San Diego Convention Center. "Community" viewers launched a social networking campaign to help save the on-the-bubble series, which features lingo like "pop! pop!" and "cool, cool, cool." Sunday's panel marked the first time the show was presented in Hall H in the four years it's been coming to Comic-Con.
When asked what they'd like to see their characters do next season, Rash said he wanted Dean Pelton to take up cage-fighting, while Brown hoped Shirley will meet her sister.
"Sherri Shepard is probably available," Brown said.
Harmon teased that the new season would feature another animated installment and a follow-up to the fan-favorite episode, "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons."
Despite the fact he wasn't involved in the fourth season, Harmon told the crowd he wouldn't push the reset button on Greendale Community College. Instead, Harmon and the show's writers will refocus on getting to know the characters.
"I know that's not a fun Comic-Con thing to say," said Harmon. "Let's get back to grounded storytelling!"
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