Hollywood seemingly had something for superhero fans of all ages and tastes in 2017, from critically acclaimed films like Logan and Wonder Woman to more raucous crowd-pleasers such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sure, Justice League fell short of critical and commercial expectations, but all in all, it was a banner year for superhero movies.
Of course, that means the bar has only been set higher for 2018, which boasts a calendar absolutely packed with live-action and animated superhero fare. Let's take a look at what will arrive in theaters over the next 12 months.
Black Panther (Feb. 16)
Director Ryan Coogler will continue the story of T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as the king of Wakanda following his father's death in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Marvel's Black Panther will also be a landmark for people of color, featuring a predominantly black cast, while unpacking sociopolitical messages, with Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) returning to exploit the African nation.
It will be intriguing to see how T'Challa navigates the Marvel Cinematic Universe landscape post-Civil War, as he made a secret pact with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and granting asylum to Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). They'll partner to defend Earth against Thanos' invasion in May's Avengers: Infinity War, so hopefully Coogler lays the foundation here as to why Panther didn't ultimately side with Team Stark, and hints whether the Soul Stone is indeed in Wakanda.
The New Mutants (April 13)
Director Josh Boone is known for his 2014 teen drama The Fault in Our Stars, so expectations are high for his full-fledged horror approach to Fox's X-Men spinoff The New Mutants. Inspired, in part, by the influential 1984 Marvel Comics storyline "The Demon Bear Saga," the film stars Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as Wolfsbane, Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) as Magik, Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) as Cannonball, Blu Hunt (The Originals) as Dani Moonstar and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) as Sunspot.
Unlike in the comics, however, the five teen mutants aren't students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but instead held against their will at an asylum-like government facility, under the supervision of Dr. Cecelia Reyes (Alice Braga). There, they not only have to grapple with their emerging superhuman abilities but also with the ghosts of their pasts, as the building appears to be haunted -- by a demon bear, for starters.