The past year may have been the biggest ever for superhero entertainment. Marvel Studios gave us a massive sequence of films that started with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. But this was only for starters. After that, everything just got bigger with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Similarly, DC also had a very big year, with Wonder Woman and Justice League dropping only a few months apart. Both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe are bigger and more popular than ever — and it will only keep growing from there. Plus, on the television side of things, there are now more superhero-based TV shows than ever before. On The CW, DC has given fans an entire shared universe of shows, with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning.
As for Marvel, they have taken over ABC’s channels and Netflix with Runaways, Cloak & Dagger, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher and The Defenders — and this isn’t even mentioning the Fox’s X-Men shows Legion and The Gifted, as well as its Batman-origin series, Gotham. Add various comic-based shows like Lucifer, Riverdale and The Walking Dead, and there isn’t a day where you can’t find a scheduled television show featuring comic book characters. But these are all things that we’ve seen in the past year. What of the future? In the coming year, there will be as much, if not even more, superhero movies and television shows. Here’s everything fans simply can’t afford to miss.
The last big comic book movie to hit the screen was a few months go and now, things have finally started to quiet down. But nor for long because, come October 5, we will see the release of the solo Venom film starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. While there is much we don’t know about the film, we do have a sense of what the story will be.
Thanks to the latest full trailer, we know that the movie will involve Venom going toe-to-toe against another evil symbiote, one who goes by the name of Riot. Venom may not take place inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is meant to be a soft launch for Sony’s shared Spider-Man universe of movies.
Titans is only one of four live action DC shows that will help to launch DC’s very own streaming service. The series stars Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy and Raven, all founding members of the Teen Titans team. You might have seen these characters in animated form before but make no mistake, this new series isn’t for children.
The first trailer of Titans was released during Comic-Con International in San Diego, and it didn’t waste any time in showing that the upcoming series will be dark, gritty, violent, edgy and filled with profanity. A disenchanted Robin will look to step out of Batman’s shadow when Titans begins sometime later this year.
The last DCEU movie to hit theaters was Justice League in November 2017. It’s been a long wait, but finally we will see the latest entry in the universe with the release of Aquaman on December 14. Starring Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, the film is set to plunge viewers deep under the waters of Atlantis.
There, a real battle for the throne will take place between Arthur Curry, the Aquaman, and his evil half-brother King Orm, aka Ocean Master. The first trailer of Aquaman was released at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and it only gave us a glimpse of the colorful world of Atlantis and the epic action that will unfold in the film.
17. DOOM PATROL
Titans may not have premiered yet, but we already know that the series will establish the groundwork for another, quirkier super-team that will then have its own spin-off show on DC’s streaming service. The Doom Patrol will first appear on Titans, which is currently shooting, and the characters will then star in Doom Patrol sometime in 2019.
There is little we know of this version of the Doom Patrol other than a few casting announcements. However, you can expect the characters to be much different than what you know from the usual DC movie or TV show. These are characters that are much crazier, and that live on the fringes of the superhero world.
16. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Before the year is out, we will get another Spider-Man movie – just not a live action one. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated movie that comes to us courtesy of Sony. The film is set for release on December 14th, and it stars Miles Morales as the titular character – but certainly not the only one.
Into the Spider-Verse is a film set to feature all sorts of alternate reality versions of the character, from Spider-Gwen and Spider-Ham to Spider-Man Noir and Peni Parker’s SP//dr suit. On top of that, Miles is set to go up against a trio of villains with Prowler, Kingpin and the Green Goblin all set to appear in the film.
15. SWAMP THING
After Titans and Doom Patrol, the third series to headline the DC Universe streaming service will be Swamp Thing. However, where the two previous shows are interconnected and part of the same universe, Swamp Thing is set to be part of a different continuity. Other than an official logo, we know next to nothing about this project.
However, it’s a safe bet that the series will star Alec Holland and his monstrous alter ego, the Swamp Thing. But the creature is no villain – Swamp Thing is a hero, who can move all across the world through plant life. You can expect this series, which should drop sometime in 2019, to have some serious horror overtones.
14. X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX
It’s already been two years since X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters, and now the long-awaited sequel, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, will finally be coming next year, on February 14, 2019. By bringing the focus on Jean Grey and the power she wields, the movie is set to adapt one of the most popular X-Men comic book stories of all time.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is said to be set in the ’90s, and it will feature the team of mutants wearing costumes lifted straight from the comic books. Most of the cast of Apocalypse is returning, and the X-Men are set to go to space, with not only the cosmic Phoenix entity taking center stage, but the alien race of the Shi’ar as well.
13. YOUNG JUSTICE
It’s not only live action shows that will help launch the DC Universe streaming service. Yes, Titans is the big release that’s coming, but what fans are really looking forward to is the return of Young Justice. No, this is not a new animated series, but a long-awaited return of a new season after Young Justice was cancelled in 2013.
Now, five years later, fans of the beloved series will finally get to see the cliffhangers of Season 2 addressed. Titled Justice League: Outsiders, all central characters are set to return, with the added threat of Darkseid. There is not an official release date, but the animated series is expected to launch the DCU alongside Titans in 2018.
12. CAPTAIN MARVEL
The after-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War teased the arrival of Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. While it’s already been more than a year since Marvel announced that Brie Larson was cast in the role, we have yet to see her character on-screen – but all of that is set to change on March 6, 2019, with the release of Captain Marvel.
We already know that the movie will explore the character’s origin story, which is set to take place during the ’90s. Not only will the movie star Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg as younger versions of Nick Fury and Agent Coulson, Captain Marvel will also answer the question of where Carol Danvers has been all this time.
The final live action series that will spearhead the DCU streaming service is Stargirl, which was just announced a few weeks ago at Comic-Con International in San Diego along with a piece of promo artwork. We don’t yet know which actress will star in the role, but we already have an idea of the broad strokes of the story.
Stargirl, which is closely associated with the Justice Society of America in the comic books, is said to go on a quest to find the JSA in her own live action series, which means that we might end up seeing the full superhero team on Stargirl sooner or later. We don’t have an official release date yet, but the series is expected to arrive in 2019.
After Aquaman, the next film in the DC Extended Universe will be director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi in the title role. Levi’s Shazam is the alter ego of Asher Angel’s Billy Batson, who turns into a powerful superhero whenever he shouts the name of the wizard who granted him this very special power.
A trailer for Shazam! was released very recently, giving us a glimpse at the lighter tone of the film compared to the rest of the DCEU. Actor Mark Strong is also set to star in the villainous role of Doctor Sivana, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the film also lays the groundwork for Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. The film is set for release April 5, 2019.
9. CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA
Following the success of the dark, cinematic and modern take on the Archie Comics mythos seen in the fan-favorite CW series Riverdale, the same producers will next give us The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Of course, this series is based on the character Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
But like Riverdale, this is not meant to a be a fun and lighthearted show. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on the horror comic series of the same name, a twisted tale of covens, demons and dark nights. At one point, the two series were considered to be part of the same continuity, but now, Sabrina is said to take place in its own separate universe. The first season will begin on Netflix later this year.
8. THE NEW MUTANTS
Originally, Fox’s New Mutants film was supposed to be released in April 2018. However, due to extensive re-shoots and a shift in the studio’s release schedule, New Mutants is now slated to hit theaters August 2, 2019. The film takes place in the same X-Men universe as Fox’s other movies, and is meant to introduce a whole new team of mutants.
Inspired by the comic book title of the same name, The New Mutants will star fan-favorite X-Men such as Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball and Sunspot. On top of that, the movie is set to feature a different tone than most superhero films by venturing into the horror side of things.
7. NEW WARRIORS
It’s been quite a long while since we’ve heard any news about New Warriors, but it’s still a Marvel series that is set to come. A television series based on the comic book team of the same name, New Warriors features such fan-favorite characters as Squirrel Girl, Mister Immortal, Night Thrasher and Speedball.
The series was at one time set to air on Freeform, but those plans haves since changed. A pilot for New Warriors has already been filmed, one that ABC is said to be very proud of. Currently, the studios’ plan is to find a new home for the series, and hopefully have it release by the end of the year, or sometime in early 2019.
6. SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
Even though the current iteration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming to an end in Avengers 4, it won’t be long before we witness a new start with the beginning of Phase 4 in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is slated for release July 5, 2019. Tom Holland is set to reprise his role as Peter Parker, and rumors are that Mysterio will be the villain this time around.
The title of the Homecoming sequel is meant to be a reflection of the story, which will see Peter Parker travel abroad. Taken out of his comfort zone and his usual stomping grounds of New York City, it should prove interesting to see Spider-Man bring his superhero antics to the international stage.
5. THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY
The Dark Horse comic book series The Umbrella Academy, from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá is much different than your usual affair. It’s a superhero story, but one that is much quirkier and zanier. The series tells the tale of six adopted siblings with superpowers who form a masked team of superheroes.
They go up against threats like zombie robots, giant mummies and death cults who want to bring the Moon down on the Earth. The comic book is set to be turned into a live action series on Netflix, starring Ellen Page. The first season doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s said to be coming in 2019.
4. AVENGERS 4
Avengers: Infinity War ended with the mother of all cliffhangers, leaving fans worldwide wondering what would happen now that half of the Avengers had been wiped out from existence after Thanos’ Infinity snap. Finally, all of these answers will come with the release of the untitled Avengers 4 on April 26, 2019.
The film is less than a year away and still the official title has not been confirmed. All we know is that Avengers 4 is likely the final Marvel film for many actors who have been a part of the MCU ever since Phase 1. We know very little of the film, but there are rumors that it will feature time-travel in some capacity, and perhaps even alternate universes.
Daredevil may not be a new television show, but it’s one that hasn’t seen a new season in quite a while. In fact, Season 2 was released over two years ago. The character did return in Netflix’s superhero team-up series The Defenders, but finally Matt Murdock will embark on the latest chapter of his story when Daredevil Season 3 arrives on Netflix later this year.
The Defenders ended with Matt Murdock believed dead by his superhero friends. But secretly, Daredevil had survived the ordeal, and he was last seen in the care of his mother’s sisterhood. Now, Season 3 is set to feature a return of Daredevil’s black costume, and Wilson Fisk will once again be back to make Matt’s life a living hell.
2. WONDER WOMAN 1984
After the massive success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film, fans were already looking forward to a sequel. It might be a long wait, but the next film will finally be released on November 1, 2019. Of course, Gal Gadot is back in the role, and the Amazon Princess will now go up against one of her most famous villains: the Cheetah.
Kristen Wiig is joining the film as Wonder Woman’s enemy, while Chris Pine is also returning to the film in a mysterious capacity. Titled Wonder Woman 1984, the movie is said to be not exactly a sequel, but a different chapter of Wonder Woman’s story set in the days of the Cold War.
Perhaps one of the most highly-anticipated television projects to come in the next year is HBO’s take on the Watchmen graphic novel. The series is not meant to be a direct adaptation of the comic, but rather an adjacent story that takes place inside the same universe. The pilot has already been shot, and HBO is expected to move forward with the series anytime now.
Starring Regina King in the lead role, as well as Jeremy Irons, the project also boasts Lost and The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof spearheading the series. There is a lot we don’t know about HBO’s Watchmen, like which characters from the comic books will appear, but it’s one project that still has us all very excited to see get a full season.
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