2018: The Year of Super-Heroes

2018: The Year of Super-Heroes

Superhero movies have been a major part of the cinematic landscape of 2017, with Logan, Wonder Woman, and Thor: Ragnarok standing out from the crowd. In 2018, it looks like the superhero genre will dominate even more, kicking off in February with a slate of movies that will keep fans excited all year. Whether you prefer the Avengers, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Justice League, or even Pixar, there will be at least one superhero movie for you next year. Here are the movies coming out in 2018 that should excite any comic book fan.

Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman first debuted as the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, but his first solo outing should give us a much more satisfying trip to Wakanda. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film clearly follows the pattern of Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok in allowing a visionary director to put his own spin on a Marvel movie rather than adhering to a house style. Black Panther’s combination of high-octane action and visual splendor is like nothing else we’ve seen on screen before. Coogler is responsible for Fruitvale Station and Creed, both of which starred Michael B. Jordan, and he’ll re-team with his frequent screen star in this movie as well, with Jordan playing villain Erik Killmonger. The rest of the impressive cast includes veterans Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker, alongside popular up-and-comers Danai Gurira, Lupita N’yongo and Daniel Kaluuya. From everything we’ve seen of Black Panther so far, we’re in for a wild ride with his pic hits theatres on February 16th.

The New Mutants
This X-Men spinoff looks to play up its horror aspects rather than resembling just another ordinary superhero movie. The original 1980s New Mutants comic series has always had one foot in the horror genre, and this cinematic adaptation looks to capitalize on that thrill appeal. The characters at the centre are each marked by dark roots. Magik is a demonic witch who literally grew up in Hell. Wolfsbane is a werewolf. Mirage is haunted by a demonic bear spirit that wiped out her family. From the trailer, it looks like the movie is going to incorporate all of that and place the characters in an unsettling institutional setting. The X-Men franchise has had its ups and downs, but by far the best of its films have been Logan, which had a much darker take than most. Superhero horror tales aren’t your ordinary popcorn fare, but who knows? Maybe The New Mutants will usher in a new era altogether when it begins haunting the cineplex on April 13th.

Avengers: Infinity War
No doubt, this is the event movie every Marvel fan has been waiting for since the MCU first launched with Iron Man a decade before. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and more will join forces to take on the ultimate threat to the universe in Avengers: Infinity War.
Thanos, who first appeared in the mid-credits scene of The Avengers, has been working in the background in the five years since, gathering the Infinity Stones that will give him ultimate power over space and time. Now all of the heroes must unite to stop him from ruling the universe—or destroying it. This is going to be an epic like no superhero movie before has been before, so count on hearing a lot about that Infinity Gauntlet when this thing blasts into theatres on May 4th.

Deadpool 2
Although Ryan Reynolds was previously picked on for his first performance as the Merc with a Mouth in X-Men: Orig
ns – Wolverine, he was able to redeem himself as the character in 2016’s Deadpool. The film became both the highest grossing X-Men movie and the highest grossing R-rated movie. It’s that R rating that enabled the film to capture Wade Wilson’s unique combination of irreverent humour and extreme violence that made his comics so popular. If he’s able to recapture that tone again in Deadpool 2, which features the first movie appearances of Cable and Domino, the sequel should bring even more four-letter words to the big screen when it bows into theatres June 1st.

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The Incredibles 2
More than a decade has passed since Pixar’s The Incredibles proved that not all superheroes and villains have to originate in comic books. The animated flick captured the tone and visual style of classic superhero comics and blended it with a wholesome family comedy about finding the value in being different. Given its success, an immediate sequel seemed in order, but it’s taken 14 years for Pixar to finally put The Incredibles 2 on the release slate. The good news for fans of the original is that we don’t have to worry about the characters having aged in the off-time, which means, yes, Jack-Jack is still a baby who’s making a big old mess for those powerful parents. Check it out on June 15th.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
2015’s Ant-Man turned out to be a fun and successful superhero outing, but Ant-Man and the Wasp look to increase the intrigue by bringing in a second superhero in Evangeline Lilly’s character Hope van Dyne. She’ll be the first Marvel heroine to have her name in the title of a film, and even though Lilly is playing the original Wasp’s daughter, it’s still exciting to see any version of the Wasp join the Marvel Cinematic Universe at long last. Count on this one to be fun and refreshing when it flies onto screens July 6th.

Venom
Not many details have emerged about this adaptation of the popular Spider-Man villain, and occasional anti-hero, Venom. However, we know that Tom Hardy is playing the title part and director Ruben Fleischer will helm the pic. Fleischer first proved he could effectively mix humour and violence in 2009’s Zombieland, so if that’s the direction this film takes, it could be the Deadpool of the Sony Spider-Man universe. It’s hard to imagine how you can introduce Venom in a film that doesn’t include Spider-Man, but hopefully, they can divert attention from that problem with a deft script and plenty of action. We’ll find out soon enough, as Venom arrives in theatres October 5th.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
After all the time travel and continuity chaos of the last few X-Men movies, the ending of X-Men: Apocalypse finally introduced a stable team of heroes who can move forward as a unit. Dark Phoenix will pick up with that collection of heroes, but will immediately make them face Earth-shattering chaos as Jean Grey’s powers start spinning out of control. There are also rumours that Dark Phoenix will take the X-Men into outer space, a setting for many of their comics stories not yet visited in the movies. If so, circle November 2nd, 2018, on your calendar twice because this one will be a must-see.

Untitled Animated Spider-Man Movie
When the news was coming out about Spider-Man’s arrival in the MCU, a lot of fans were disappointed that it was Peter Parker appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming rather than his successor in the role, Miles Morales. So, Sony has made an effort to appease those fans by making an animated Spider-Man movie focused on Morales. The character will be voiced by Shameik Moore, and while not many other details are out so far, this movie is already sounding like it will be a lot of fun when it casts its web on audiences starting December 14th, 2018.

Aquaman
Although Justice League certainly had its share of flaws, one of the more appealing characters in the film was Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. And in just over a year he’ll get his own movie to swim around in. In it, Amber Heard will return as Mera who had a brief cameo in Justice League. Patrick Wilson will play Aquaman’s evil half-brother the Ocean Master, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen is set to appear as co-villain Black Manta. Meanwhile, Willem Dafoe plays the wise Atlantean Vulko, with Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison as Aquaman’s parents. On top of all that, the movie’s directed by James Wan, who’s proven his merit with both thriller and action movies. So, count on Aquaman to make a splash when it lands in theatres December 21st.

Batman Ninja
Batman’s seen and done a lot of things over his decades as one of DC’s premier crimefighters, but he’s never undertaken a quest quite like the one he’ll face in Batman Ninja. This animated feature sees the Caped Crusader—along with the Bat Family and some members of his rogues’ gallery—hurled through space and time to medieval Japan, where they find themselves in the midst of a battle between good and evil. The animated project promises a fresh—and visually stunning—perspective on some of the publisher’s most venerable characters; so, look for it on Blu-ray and DVD sometime in 2018.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
The live-action Suicide Squad movie was something less than a home run for Warner Bros. and DC, but the anti-hero group has been one of the publisher’s best-loved creations for years, and with the right adaptation, they could easily make a more successful jump to the screen. Maybe animation is the answer—and we’ll find out in 2018, when Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay arrives. Little is known about this outing at present, but we do know that it will bring the Squad into DC’s Animated Movies continuity, marking their first foray into the animated universe that also contains the Justice League and the Teen Titans. 

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