2017 was a massive year for comic book films films, with big releases from three different studios — Marvel Studios, Fox, and Warner Bros.. In the end, despite some minor setbacks, it ultimately proved to be the best year to date for superhero films.
Warner Bros. united the Justice League this year, Fox said goodbye to Wolverine, and Marvel Studios sent Spider-Man off on his first official Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure. And while all three of those were big moments from 2017, they’re only a small portion of the superhero offerings from this past year. Despite the overall lukewarm box office, there’s no denying it was an exciting year for superhero properties.
Rather than delivering projects that were more of the same, this year, the studios stepped outside of their comfort zones and allowed director’s to truly leave their mark on their films. as a result, each title was able to stand out in what would have otherwise seemed to be an overcrowded year for comic book films. James Mangold’s Logan kicked things off back in March with arguably one of the best superhero films ever, on par with Christopher Nolan’s fantastic The Dark Knight. The film served as a goodbye to Hugh Jackman’s Logan, sending the titular character on a road trip with Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier while also introducing X-23, a character that has carried the mantle of Wolverine in the comics.
What makes Logan so notable is the fact that it wasn’t merely a superhero film. Mangold crafted an overall strong film that simply included characters with abilities. It was an R-rated take on the beloved X-Men, one that ended with an emotional goodbye to Jackman’s Logan, who has served as the central character to Fox’s X-Men universe since the beginning. It was a bleak, dystopian tale driven by the performances of its stars, perhaps most notably Hollywood newcomer Dafne Keen, who helped bring Laura/X-23 to life on the big screen.
The film was not only an improvement over Jackman’s prior solo Wolverine outing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but also a chance to build off the success of 2016’s Deadpool, which proved that it’s entirely possible to make an R-rated comic book film that’s capable of mainstream success. While Logan didn’t quite reach the box office heights of Wade Wilson’s first solo film, the movie managed to pull in an impressive $616 million at the worldwide box office while also making Keen a household name.
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