2015 was a mixed year for Superhero and comics films and TV. We had the continued success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe with Avengers: Age of Ultron being (in my opinion) as exciting as hoped for, and Ant-Man being far more enjoyable than many feared the troubled production would be. Then there was the shocking failure of Fant4stic (Fantastic Four) that was far worse than the trailers suggested it might be (more in-depth analysis of this coming soon).
DC stayed clear of cinema screens for the year but intensified their efforts on the small screen. Supergirl made a very strong start, joining the list of DC successes alongside Arrow and The Flash, both of which combined to set up a further spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which will premiere later this month. iZombie, last years surprise success has returned for a second season and also become a continued success finding considerable favour with fans. All of these (except of course Legends of Tomorrow) look set for the year ahead with renewals in the summer essentially certain for all but Supergirl, though I expect that will get a second season too.
This year is looking like a far more mixed and fascinating prospect. Just a few highlights are:
Deadpool (Feb) – Marketed as something fresh in the genre, Ryan Reynolds is enthusiastically putting all his efforts into promoting this film and the fans do seem to be genuinely excited and optimistic about the end result. All signs are looking good that it will be a success, though maybe on a smaller fiscal level to the more mainstream movies partly due to the R rating.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (March) – Has the potential to be huge but as Man of Steel was quite a disappointment this sadly could be too, potentially killing the return viewings revenue. I love Superman but I’m really struggling to get excited about this much at all. There are visual flourishes that could raise the levels of spectacle, but as the previous film was so woefully devoid of the heart that the character usually abounds in I worry that this may follow suit and the trailers while raising lots of profound possibilities and deeper topics for discussion, focus heavily on the action above all else.
Captain America: Civil War (May) – I’m going to put my neck out and predict this will be at least slightly more successful than Batman vs. Superman, and I’m 99.9% sure it’ll be better. While not an Avengers movie officially, it will feature loads of the characters in ensembles, taking two opposing sides in a divisive confrontation. Expect cameos galore and game-changing developments that will shake ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ to their very core, this should be the highlight of the year.
X-Men: Apocalypse (May) – Bryan Singer is returning to the world of the X-Men once again with what looks like it could be a conclusion to the current trilogy that began with First Class and excelled with Days of Future Past.
Dr. Strange (Nov) – Adding the more mystical elements to the MCU is an interesting prospect, I know better than to call it a risk though as that’s exactly what people said about Guardians of the Galaxy and look how that turned out.
There’s also the possibility of seeing the Channing Tatum fronted Gambit, though things seem to have gone quiet on that front which makes me feel like we should be expecting delays, the film has already had to find a new director (Doug Liman) with the departure of Rupert Wyatt, so I wonder if they will manage to get it ready for an October release.
On the television front there’s also much to look forward to with Marvel’s Agent Carter set to return for a second mini-series in a couple of weeks which I’m looking forward to as the first season was really very enjoyable. Legends of Tomorrow is also starting this month which looks like it will also be a lot of fun, very cleverly incorporating time travel into the story so each episode may feature different time periods and keep the settings and challenges fresh and ever-changing, though I can’t quite foresee how the ensemble will work together. In the fall there are a few shows that are currently in development that (all being well) should appear, things like Krypton if done justice will add much variety to the comic adaptation landscape. On top of that all the current shows will be returning for the second halves of their seasons, with shows like Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really maintaining their high quality this season things are looking very good indeed.
I intend to aim to review one title a week as I tried to do before (but got too far behind on). This will include a mix of the newest releases, some from last year that I haven’t yet written reviews for, and some older films and shows that I am going to see for the first time this year.
I know some criticise the film and TV industry for over-reliance on this genre of movies and shows but I don’t care, I enjoy them and feel that there’s enough variety to find something interesting to talk about regularly and I’m sure there will be a few surprises to uncover over the year.