The year 2017 was perhaps one of the biggest when it comes to superhero entertainment. We had more Marvel Studios movies than ever before with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok; we had not one but two massive DCEU movies in Wonder Woman and Justice League; we saw the final heartbreaking Wolverine story in Logan; and we had more superheroes on the small screen than ever. Legion, The Gifted, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Inhumans -- each television series featured more costumed characters than we could count.
We haven't even mentioned the massive comic book releases of the last year. DC Comics continued its Rebirth plans while also setting the stage for the arrival of the Watchmen characters in Doomsday Clock, while Marvel concluded its big Secret Empire event series before going through the Marvel Legacy line-wide relaunch. Yes, it was a very big year for superhero fans, and 2018 promises to continue that trend. Next year looks set to feature even more exciting superhero content, from all possible mediums. Here, CBR looks ahead at everything from movies, television series and comic books to list 17 superhero stories and sequels for fans to look forward to in 2018.
17 DEADPOOL 2
The first Deadpool movie was quite the surprise. While not many people had faith in Fox's direction for the X-Men universe, Deadpool arrived on the scene with a crazy sense of humor and a shocking R-rating that turned the movie into an instant hit. Critics and fans loved the Ryan Reynolds-starring film, and now 2018 is finally the year when we will get to see the long-awaited sequel.
This time around, Deadpool 2 promises to make good on the after-credits scene of the first movie, where Deadpool himself hinted at the inclusion of the famous mutant character Cable. Josh Brolin has been cast in the role and although we have yet to truly see any footage of the character in action, we can't wait to see Brolin and Reynolds clash together on-screen. The movie is released June 1, 2018.
16 MARVEL COMICS: INFINITY EVENT
Although we don't have a release date just yet, Marvel has teased that 2018 will see the release of a massive new comic book event related, in some form or another, to the Infinity Stones. As of yet, the event doesn't even really have a title, other than a lead-in called Infinity Countdown. But considering that this was the title of another Marvel event, look for an official title to be a little different.
The Infinity Stones have recently started appearing throughout various Marvel comic books. The Power Stone was featured in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Reality Stone appeared in Captain Marvel, and a part of the Time Stone appeared in Thanos. Soon, all six stones will have surfaced once more, and the stage will be set for a giant event – one that might even explain all of Marvel's recent comic book cancellations.
15 BLACK LIGHTNING
The CW is truly the of home live-action DC heroes. After Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, the newest series to join the network's superhero schedule is Black Lightning. Although the series will not take place in the Arrowverse proper, it is still produced by Greg Berlanti -- like all these other DC shows -- which means that a crossover wouldn't be impossible.
The series stars Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning, a high school principal who just so happens to be a retired superhero. With the power to summon and shoot lightning, Jefferson must come out of retirement and don the Black Lightning costume once again when the activities of local gangs become impossible to ignore. The series premieres January 16, 2018.
14 CONSTANTINE ANIMATED
Although the Constantine series had an incredibly short run over at NBC, Matt Ryan's take on the character proved so strong that the actor was given another go at the character in the Arrowverse. It started with a guest stint on Arrow, and now the actor is set to return once again for a couple of episodes on Legends of Tomorrow. But that's not all.
In fact, Constantine, as voiced by Matt Ryan, will be getting his very own animated series on CW Seed, joining other Arrwoverse-based cartoons such as Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Although these adventures are animated, they are very much a part of the Arrowverse canon. This means that this series will truly feature Constantine's mystical adventures as part of the very popular television universe. The series is slated to arrive early in 2018.
Spider-Man: Homecoming proved to be a massive success for Sony and Marvel Studios. However, make no mistake. Spider-Man may have returned home to the MCU, but that is not entirely the case for Venom. The popular alien symbiote will be starring in his very own solo movie, but it will not be one that takes place inside Marvel's shared universe.
But with Tom Hardy in the title role, it almost seems like that is reason enough to be excited for the solo Venom movie. The actor is phenomenal in every role he plays, and we can't wait to see the raw pathos he will bring to Eddie Brock and Venom. It doesn't matter that we will not see Spider-Man in the film. What matters is seeing Venom, doing what Venom does best. The movie will be released October 5, 2018.
12 THE INCREDIBLES 2
It's been an incredibly (pun intended) long wait, but the sequel to Pixar's The Incredibles is finally here. The original movie, which centered around a family of retired superheroes trying to live normal lives, is one that is beloved by many, and the fact that superheroes are bigger than ever right now means that the time has never been more right for the Incredibles to return.
The first movie was like a comic book come to life in all the best ways possible, and we can't wait to see what returning writer-director Brad Bird has in store for the Parr family in the sequel, which is slated for a June 15, 2018 release. Elastigirl is said to have an expanded role, with Mr. Incredible being the one who stays home to watch over the children. Surely the results will be all kinds of incredible. Yes, that pun is also intended.
11 SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
The MCU isn't the only place to look for a Spider-Man movie. Although Marvel now has the rights to include Peter Parker in its shared cinematic universe, that hasn't stopped Sony from producing an entirely new animated film based on the character. Not only will this be the first animated Spider-Man feature film, it will also star Mile Morales as the kid behind the mask.
The first trailer for the movie was recently released, and it promises stunning visuals and tons of excitement. Although we know little about the film, the title is hint enough. Into The Spider-Verse calls back to a very famous comic book storyline, and it strongly implies that the movie might feature many other versions of Spider-Man fans have grown to love in the comics. You can look forward to this movie in Christmas, 2018.
Krypton, a television series taking place on Superman's home planet years before he was born, was in development for quite a long while over at Syfy. We caught an early trailer earlier this year, but now we finally have a release date: March 2018. The series is rumored to take place in the same universe as the DCEU movies, though we will have to watch it to have absolute confirmation.
The series will focus on Clark Kent's Kryptonian grandfather Seg-El. We already know that Adam Strange, a famed space traveler in the DC Comics, will also have a role on the series. Adam will arrive as a time-traveler, warning of Krypton's destruction. It will be up to Seg-El to try to find a way to save his homeworld. Will he succeed and create a new alternate timeline? We don't know, but we can't wait to find out.
9 ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
The first Ant-Man movie closed out Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it was a movie that was small in scale in more ways than one, it also managed to establish a lot of pieces for the future. Scott Lang is Ant-Man, but Hope Van Dyne is finally about to make her debut as the MCU's Wasp in the sequel. The Wasp is an important character in the Marvel comic books, and we can't wait to see her on-screen.
Furthermore, there is a certain amount of mystery surrounding the film, because it will be released July 6, 2018, after Avengers: Infinity War, and before the untitled sequel, Avengers 4. This final Avengers story is a two-parter, and it's rather curious that Ant-Man and the Wasp is released in-between. Will it cover more Infinity ground, or will the movie take place before Thanos comes to Earth?
8 BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT
DC's direct-to-video animated releases are always something to look forward to. Some of these movies take place in a shared animated universe, while others bring to animated life classic comic book stories for fans to enjoy all over again. This was the case with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and now fans will get another movie based on a classic Batman story.
February 6, 2018 will see the release of Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, based on the 1989 graphic novel of the same name by the creative team of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola. Gotham By Gaslight re-imagines Batman in the Victorian days. Wearing a costume that verges on the side of the steampunk, Bruce Wayne will tackle against an enemy unlike any he has faced before: Jack the Ripper.
7 AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER
With Avengers: No Surrender, Marvel comic book fans have one massive event to look forward to in 2018. Starting in January, all three various Avengers titles will be turned into a giant, weekly 16-part series that will be co-written by Mark Waid, Al Ewing and Jib Zub and illustrated by the likes of Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto and Paco Medina.
The event kicks off in Avengers #675, when the Earth will be stolen – and it will be up to every Avenger ever to assemble once more to find it and save it. The first pages of the event have been released as a preview, and already it showed that No Surrender will have a very big impact. With every major Marvel character involved and the return of Thanos' Black Order, this is one comic you won't want to miss.
Aquaman is the latest superhero to get a solo film courtesy of the DCEU, and we can't wait to see what this movie will look like. Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry was a highlight in 2017's Justice League, and the actor managed to make the character popular for mainstream audiences. Now it's time for Aquaman to step away from his friends in the Justice League and claim his Atlantean throne.
The movie is directed by famed horror director James Wan (The Conjuring, Annabelle), which makes us wonder what might be hiding in the darkness of the ocean's depths. Amber Heard will return to reprise her role as Mera, and the film will also serve as the next big puzzle piece in the DCEU. The movie hits theaters next Christmas, December 21, 2018.
5 THE NEW MUTANTS
The latest entry in Fox's universe of X-Men movies will be The New Mutants, which is slated to hit theaters April 13, 2018. The movie is noteworthy because it doesn't feature any of the big X-Men names. Instead, it tells a much smaller story starring characters that comic book fans know and love, but characters who might be new for the general audience.
The New Mutants will be a partial adaptation of the famous New Mutants comic storyline "The Demon Bear Saga," and already the general excitement for the movie has spiked ever since the first trailer was released. The movie promises to be so dark that it verges on the side of horror, and it just might introduce audiences to a new team of mutants to rival the X-Men.
4 BLACK PANTHER
King T'Challa was introduced on-screen in Captain America: Civil War, but his solo movie, Black Panther, is where we will finally see the character truly cut loose. Civil War was only the beginning of T'Challa's story, and it looks to be one that is wholly fascinating and exciting. For one thing, Black Panther will take place in the kingdom of Wakanda, a very famous location in the comics.
The movie looks set to be unlike anything we have seen in the MCU so far, and with this being the last piece of the puzzle before Avengers: Infinity War arrives, there might be some interesting developments pertaining to the larger story at work. Directed by Creed's Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Andy Serkis, the movie hits theaters February 16, 2018.
3 ACTION COMICS #1000
Next year, 2018, will be the year where Action Comics reaches a most impressive milestone. As the longest-running American comic book on the stands, the Superman series will finally reach issue #1000. This is quite notably no small feat, and you can bet that DC will go all-out to make sure that this release receives the praise worthy of such an achievement.
DC Comics has gone through its very own Rebirth, a relaunch that saw Action Comics revert to its original numbering almost two years ago, and now the time has finally come to celebrate 80 years of Superman. We don't yet know what story will be featured in the issue itself, but it's a safe bet that it will honor Superman's long legacy, from his first appearance to his status as an icon for hope.
2 JESSICA JONES SEASON 2
It's hard to believe that the first season of Jessica Jones was released on Netflix back in November 2015. Since then, we had another season of Daredevil, we were introduced to Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and finally we saw all four not-so-super heroes band together to save New York. Now, finally, after almost three years, Jessica Jones returns for season 2.
Much has changed since we last saw Jessica in her own series, and it will be very interesting to see where the character goes from there. Although we don't know much about the series, a short trailer revealed that Jessica will once again be working as a private investigator, and it just so happens that we might not have seen the last of the Purple Man, Kilgrave. The series hits Netflix March 8, 2018.
1 AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
If there is but one superhero movie to see in 2018, if there is one cinematic experience that might be one of the most anticipated, it's Avengers: Infinity War. The movie will assemble every Avenger we have seen on-screen ever since Tony Stark outed himself as Iron Man back in 2008. Captain America, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Star-Lord – there isn't one superhero who won't be involved.
And with good reason. Thanos, who has been teased ever since the first Avengers in 2012, is finally coming. The villain will look to collect all six Infinity Stones to rule over all, and it just so happens that Earth is one of the first stops on his list. Words can barely describe how excited we are for this movie, Marvel's crowning achievement and the conclusion of nearly a decade of Marvel movies. May 4th 2018 can't come soon enough.