How to Feel About Every Upcoming Superhero Movie: 2018 Edition

As of the day this posts 1, it is the beginning of the culmination (things are confusing, ok?) of Marvel’s ultimate MCU plan, leading to the last set of movies, and then something New and Completely Different for the future. It is generally easy, then, to believe that things may change within the next few years in terms of superheroes.

Or maybe they won’t! Who knows! What we do know is that there are going to be a bunch more of these things over the course of the next few years, and that I am here to talk you through the appropriate hype level and/or anticipatory environment, as I always am, because I love all of you fine people.

The usual caveats apply – I am a terrible prognosticator, and I have even less of an ability to gauge what people will like – but, despite this, I still believe that all information contained herein to be 100% nice and accurate, and also that I’m still optimistic about almost all of them, because I prefer to live in hope of something.\

Avengers: Infinity War

WHAT IT IS: The first part of the last bit of the MCU. The beginning of the culmination of the….you know what? It’s really, really hard to describe what this is. It’s the film version of The Infinity Gauntlet, which was the first thing that I remember enjoying serially as a young person 2. So I’ve been successfully pandered to, is what I’m saying. Anyway, all of the MCU superheroes are going to beat up Thanos. Or, because this is the first part of a two-part bit of business, they’re probably going to fail to beat up Thanos, and some of them (Iron Man) are going to die tragically, and they’ll have to figure out how to get the help of Captain Marvel (see below) and possibly Adam Warlock (see the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) to finally finish the job. Plus teamwork and the real treasure being the friendships they made along the way or whatever. That kind of thing.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Because even the worst MCU movies 3 are still pretty good – they’ve yet to make one that wasn’t at least hugely watchable – and because they’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort into the whole thing. The Russo Brothers, of course, have already mastered the “everybody fights everybody else” story when they directed Community’s paintball episodes 4, so we know they’re capable. The MCU metadirectorial powers that be have been able to surprise audiences at several turns when they were not expected to 5, and while it’s true that this isn’t exactly some kind of underdog, it’s also the case that the whole thing does have to fall down at some point, but it sure seems like the first part of the grand finale isn’t that point.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Well, because the whole thing does have to fall down at some point. No winning streak lasts forever. The 1972 Dolphins didn’t lose a game, but the 1973 Dolphins did 6. Also the source material – which isn’t solely Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet, but which starts from there – is some real wild and woolly stuff 7, and who knows how much of it is going to make it through from there? In this case, I will say, that the real danger to the film would be hewing too closely to the source material, which would drag down a film, but which is also deeply unlikely, given that many of the pivotal characters aren’t a part of the MCU. In any event, I’m not waffling very much, except insofar as it does seem possible that this could be a difficult finish, and it might not work.

Deadpool 2

WHAT IT IS: The sequel to the world’s foremost R-Rated superhero comedy movie. It’s still going to inclue TJ Miller, which is…a real decision in 2018, and is almost certain not to age well, but hey, maybe that will be its biggest problem. It also cast Zayzie Beetz as Domino, which makes the level of pandering-to-me that the Infinity War movie managed to seem like small potatoes 8. But that’s beside the point. It’s a giant sequel with huge expectations to a movie that managed to not have had any expectations.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Ryan Reynolds is still Ryan Reynolds and while it’s true that some of my previous statements w/r/t Zayzie Beetz may seem to cheapen the sentiment somewhat, she is a great funny actress who seems to be doing well in the trailers. The decision to give Cannonball’s powers to Negasonic Teenage Warhead 9 shows that they are being thoughtful about their character-based decisions. I can’t think of a reason not to be excited for any comedy with Terry Crews in it. Plus, hey, what reason could there possibly be for including fucking Shatterstar if you didn’t have a good idea for what to do with him? I mean, they must have a good reason, right? Because that dude suuuuuuuuucks. And maybe there will only be enough TJ Miller in it to appreciate him without having to think about anything he’s done publicly since the first one came out.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: It’s got a lot of hype following it around, and while the first one was delightful, I don’t know if the framework is sturdy enough to hold up to it. We’ve seen RR do the thing, and so it will have lost some of its surprise if they’re not careful. It’s also always hard to tell if it’s going to be a funny movie, or if the trailer is just full of all the funny bits. And, of course, there’s the fact that they made a movie that includes Shatterstar, which is completely baffling, because that dude suuuuuuuuucks.

The Incredibles 2

WHAT IT IS: It is the sequel to what is, if we’re all being totally honest, the greatest supehero movie ever made.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Brad Bird is a prickly, notoriously principled dude who makes no film before its time. He waited so long to make it because he wanted to have the right idea. The whole cast has returned, the trailers are awesome, Pixar has seemingly fixed their sequels problem, everything should be absolutely pipe.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: I mean, I guess it could be terrible. Brad Bird’s non-animated movies have not been that good. But The Incredibles is a masterpiece – I mean, like, a genuine actual masterpiece, a world-conquering display of human filmmaking ability, and a movie that I would watch every goddamn day and stay happy about it – and I trust Mr. Bird that he had a good time to go back to it. This film, perhaps more than any of the other ones here, could be launched off into some weird territory 10, and that would be a damn shame. But that seems like an edge case.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

WHAT IT IS: The sequel to Ant-Man, and the first post-Infinity War movie on the Marvel slate. This one appears to be expanding the role of Evangeline Lily’s Hope Van Dyne 11, and will probably be a relatively-lighter palate cleanser from what will surely be a gloomy Infinity War situation.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: The first one was a blast, cramming a caper film into a superhero costume, and letting Paul Rudd be Paul Rudd (and Michael Pena be Michael Pena). The building blocks are there for this to also be a lot of fun, and it’s being directed once more by Peyton Reed, who seems like the right guy for it, although see below.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: The world may never know how much of the movie Edgar Wright had actually prepared when he was fired and Peyton Reed took over, but since the first Ant-Man still had a decidedly Edgar Wright feel to it, it might have been a lot. Also, Ant-Man the character isn’t much of a thing, and there isn’t much else to hang this on. He was good for his, like, five lines in Civil War, but if any of the MCU movies is liable to lose serious steam in the near future, it’s this one.

Venom

WHAT IT IS: A somehow-still-happening film about a very famous Spider-Man villain/antihero. This time Tom Hardy is going to be the man in the black goo 12, and there’s probably not going to be any actual Spider-Man in there, and also it’s unclear how “Anti-” this anti-hero is going to be. I would guess “considerably,” but hey, who knows.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Tom Hardy is great, and the fact that he has so little in common with the traditional depiction of Eddie Brock means that it could be that they’re going somewhere new and interesting with the character. Venom can be a lot of visual fun – the costume reforming itself and doing cool black goo things and all that – and that always helps.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: There just isn’t a lot to Venom as a character, and to introduce him (sans Spider-Man) and figure out how to work him into a story right away seems like it could be a real slog. Plus between the inclusion of a bunch of prime-era Liefield characters 13 and the fact that this version of Venom, at least given the trailers, is giving off a serious Spawn vibe (an evil corporation! A streetwise grimdark antihero!), we are truly dragging the worst parts of nineties comicbookdom into the movie theaters, and that didn’t work very well the first time. Although I guess we can start getting real excited for those Foolkiller and/or Darkhawk movies 14, right?

Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse

WHAT IT IS: An animated Spider-Man movie centered around Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Weirdly, we know that Liev Schreiber is going to play the villain, but we don’t know who in Spider-Man’s deep stable of potential villains it’s going to be 15. Presumably the titular “Spider-Verse” here means there are going to be some other spider-characters, which could mean Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman, which could also be very exciting. This is, interestingly enough, also Sony’s picture – apparently they only gave the rights to Peter Parker’s Spider-Man over to Disney.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Miles Morales’s Spider-Man has a track record of being written pretty well, and the writer here is Phil Lord, half of the dudes that made The Lego Movie and got fired from Solo. Liev Schreiber is a great voice actor, and the adult figure’s in Morales’s life (his father and brother) are played by Mahershala Ali and Brian Tyree Henry, who are both great. It’s also the first theatrically-released animated movie based on a traditional superhero property 16, which means that, at the very least, we don’t have much to compare it to, so we might as well be excited, right?

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Mostly just the general waffle at the unknown here – we don’t really know what’s going on, and they’re keeping things pretty secret. Plus, there’s no telling how the animated version of this story could go. But Sony’s animated offerings include the all-time turd The Emoji Movie, the Hotel Transylvania movies, and the Smurfs movies. So there’s not a great pedigree there, even if Peter Rabbit was probably better than could be expected.

Aquaman

WHAT IT IS: As every single goddamn DCU movie approaches on the horizon I think “this could be the one where they right the ship.” This is the first DCU movie after the somehow-disastrous Justice League movie 17, so maybe they’ll figure it out this time.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Jason Momoa seems like he’s enjoying himself, and he’s certainly the kind of charismatic, fun-to-watch presence that could keep it going. Plus, maybe they’ve finally learned how to mitigate their grimdark nonsense and give it a sense of fun. I think that Aquaman has a pretty wide-open set of possibilities, given that there’s a huge chunk of the internet devoted to making jokes about how much he sucks 18, and thus – it can be inferred – very little expectation. Plus, at this point, if the movie turns out to be even moderately fun or different from the current DCU factory grind, it’ll probably win enough points through being graded on a steep curve that it’ll seem like a good movie. The trick here could be James Wan, who made the only good torture-porn movie (Saw) and made an awfully good movie about a fictionalized version of flim-flam “psychic researchers” Ed and Lorraine Warren (The Conjuring), so clearly he knows how to get good movies out of bad ideas.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: I mean, at exactly 1 good movie 19, the DCU isn’t exactly inspiring confidence. Again, there’s every chance they could correct the course here, but given that previous DCU movies have been both awful and profitable, I do have to wonder how much they’re actually going to try to change them, and how much they’re just going to adjust their expectations and go on from there. But then, I’m not in very many Warner Bros. film executive meetings, so I have no idea.

Hellboy

WHAT IT IS: A reboot of the delightfully weird horror comic, last heard from a decade ago when Guillermo del Toro directed the second of his amazing Hellboy movies. This time they got David Harbour to play Hellboy, and Neil Marshall to direct.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Marshall’s previous films prove he can handle horror-comedy (Dog Soldiers), in addition to straight up horror (The Descent) 20, and general big-tent weirdness (Doomsday). David Harbour has been great generally, and what we’ve seen of his version of Hellboy has looked wonderful. Hellboy is a long-running comic with a deep bench of characters and stories, and is open to all sorts of interpretations, so it seems like it would be pretty easy to get something out of it, cinematically speaking. The supporting cast includes Ian “Al Swearengen” McShane, who is always a treat to watch, and Mila Jovovich as an evil sorceress. Plus it’s R-Rated, so we could potentially getting some particularly gnarly visuals.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: It has some mighty big shoes to fill. The Del Toro Hellboy movies are both incredible, and set a very high bar for the expectation. It’s based on an original Mike Mignola story, and while it’s true that Hellboy is his character, and he wrote all of the comics, it is also true that all of the stories in the comics are not exactly the comics’ strong suit.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

WHAT IT IS: The fourth movie in the current X-Men continuity. It may also be the last – the Disney/Fox merger is supposed to take full effect before the next one would come out, and after the last one it was rumored that most of the cast was leaving, although that turned out not to be the case. This one is going to tackle a particularly iconic X-Men story, that of Jean Grey’s possession by and eventually triumph over/sacrifice to the Phoenix force. It’s hard to tell how much of the comics storyline is going to be here, but it could be the weirdest one yet, and that’s saying something given that the last X-Men movie included Apocalypse.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: The current run of X-Men movies have gotten increasingly crazy and comic-book-ish (with the exception of the dire, gritty Logan, which was also the best X-Men movie made so far), and so this one has a lot of room to be pretty out-there in terms of comic-book-iness. This cast has proven to be reliably good, and who knows? Maybe for the last time out they’ll all bring their best game and we’ll get something really cool out of it.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Leaving aside the fact that X-Men United already botched the holy hell out of adapting this story, there’s also the fact that, while I liked Apocalypse a lot, I’m decidedly in the minority, and the things that I liked about it (the fact that it was the most like a comic book of any of the X-Movies, the fact that it was absurd and weird and barely-linear) are the things that a lot of people most decidedly did not like about it. Furthermore, even if the movie tells a bare-bones, direct version of the Dark Phoenix storyline, there’s still a lot of story there, and trying to get it all in in a way that is entertaining and not an overstuffed, overlong mess seems like a pretty tall order, especially for a first-time director.

Glass

WHAT IT IS: The sequel to Split, which revealed itself to be the sequel to Unbreakable, and thus the third of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson will be back for this one, and we’ll get some more of that sweet, sweet McAvoy action.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: After years of self-indulgent nonsense, Shyamalan has come back, first with the satisfying The Visit, and then with the real return to form by way of Split. Bruce Willis remains a mostly-reliable draw, and Unbreakable is one of his finest hours, so seeing him step back into that role is pretty exciting. The same goes for Samuel L. Jackson. Plus, he waited fifteen years to start revisiting this story, so I’d assume he has something ready to go.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Even with his recent uptick in quality, there are still more misses than hits in Shyamalan’s filmography, and it’s still too early to tell how much of it is something he’s able to sustain vs. how much of it is just having happened to have made a couple of good movies.

Captain Marvel

WHAT IT IS: The first (finally!) female-led MCU film. This one is set in the nineties, and stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, presumably as currently written by the great Kelly Sue Deconnick. Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson will be involved, which further manages to tell us that SHIELD will be involved.  This is also going to be interesting because none of the other MCU players are in the continuity yet – Tony Stark has yet to visit that cave, Bruce Banner hasn’t been blowed up yet, Captain America is still on ice, etc. – so they’ll either have to develop a new set of supporting characters or launch her off entirely on her own. The latter seems likely, as they’ll also have to explain why she hasn’t been involved in the events on Earth yet in the MCU.  

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Brie Larson is reliably excellent, the Captain Marvel character is a lot of fun, the nineties setting could be a hoot 21, and there’s plenty of cool early-SHIELD business they could get up to. Captain Marvel is also a cosmic character, and their only other cosmic title is Guardians of the Galaxy, which is fantastic. Oh, and they’re bringing back Lee Pace, so we’ll get some more Kree stuff, which tended to be pretty good in the comics.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: It’s a fairly unknown quantity, I guess? I mean, I’ve got pretty high hopes for it, so there’s always the disappointment, but this far out from it, having only seen production stills and whatnot, it’s pretty hard to tell what the failure modes there might be. I guess it could be too nineties-y, that’s a real risk. Disney has handled more difficult Marvel heroes with aplomb, this one should be relatively easy to get right, provided they don’t do anything stupid.

Shazam!

WHAT IT IS: Well, what it isn’t is the movie where Dwayne Johnson plays Black Adam, which is what it was rumored to be for quite some time. Instead we’re going to get a movie about the most litigated superhero in history, who has to be called his original catchphrase instead of his name 22. Instead it’s the movie where the kid from Jolene turns into the guy from Chuck, who has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury 23.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Well, it’s a character that has zero cinema history associated with him, so that’s something that could help it along. I mean, there’s really only a couple of good stories, so the primary reason to be excited about it is the hope that it could be converted to a Miracleman/Marvelman 24 movie, which would actually be as grim and dark and child-threatening as the current DCU movies are, but which is actually a nifty bit of superhero philosophy and whatnot.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: There’s just so little there to work with. Shazam has his fans, certainly, and certainly there are good movies made out of cult superheroes all the time (see above w/r/t Hellboy), so it’s not like it’s destined to be bad. But it’s still a DC property, and its one without a strong vision of its own, so it sure seems like it’s going to be more subject to the forces that make creative decisions, which seems like it’s in an especially precarious place. But I will also say that, of all these, this is the one where my well of ignorance is deepest, as I’ve only ever read Jeff Smith’s run on the book, and a handful of other things over the years. Still, it’s hard to feel inspired about.

Untitled Avengers Sequel

WHAT IT IS:The movie in which, having been (presumably) smooshed all over the map like a bunch of supermops, the MCU superheroes come together with Captain Marvel and probably some other folks as well, and make Thanos pay for his actions or whatever. This is your annual reminder that the conflict in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book ends with Nebula (Karen GIllan’s character in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies), who had been turned into an experiment in living death, getting her revenge by literally stealing the glove off of her father’s hand while he’s distracted over his subconscious doubts about his worthiness of ultimate power. So what I’m saying is: we probably know that the movie isn’t going to follow the book in this manner.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: This is, by all available evidence, the jumping-off point to whatever the post-phase MCU is 25, and will probably kill everybody off to bring in some new people or whatever, so that’s pretty exciting. Plus it’ll be a (I’m guess) satisfying conclusion to the ten years of movies that have brought us to that point, so it’s hard not to be excited, and will probably be even harder given that it’s a direct sequel to Infinity War.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Well, all of that wrapping up and all of that introducing newness is pretty fraught, and the whole thing could fall apart around us, the unsuspecting audience, and our impossibly high expectations. Plus, the book ended with a lot of questions about worthiness and operatic Thanosisms, and we don’t know much about the Thanos we’re getting here, so that could all go pear-shaped as well.

Gambit

WHAT IT IS: The Dumb Comic Book Nineties continue their roaring back, this time with Channing Tatums’ uh…passion project. He seems like a smart, charismatic dude, but I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Anyway, Gambit was last played by Tim Riggins in X Men Origins: Wolverine, which was awful, and Tim Riggins’s Gambit was awful. He was featured in the nineties X-Men cartoon, so he has an outsized place in the memories of a bunch of dudes in their thirties, which, I guess, includes Channing Tatum. He makes things explode when he touches things and throws them – his preference is for playing cards – and he’s got a cajun accent. Oh and he wears a trenchcoat over body armor and carries a quarterstaff because the nineties were a nightmare hellscape. If I sound like I’m having trouble making this sound cool, it’s because, I assure you, it was not.  

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Um…well, Magic Mike sounded like a dumb idea also, and it turned out to be a really good movie, so clearly Channing Tatum can surprise us all. Plus maybe it’ll actually be a parody or something that we won’t have to take seriously, like 21 Jump Street? That’s another movie that sounded like a terrible idea with Channing Tatum in it. I don’t know, man.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: If the idea of two hours of Channing Tatum doing a cajun accent doesn’t give you a case of the screaming jibblies, then you’ve got a stronger constitution than I do, to be sure. But Gambit was, even at the height of his popularity, a character that didn’t spend a lot of time in his own, solo, stories. We’re a couple of decades past that popularity now, and I don’t think that time is going to have been kind to him. Plus most of his solo stories that did exist (including the one in the aforementioned nineties cartoon) were about the goddamn fucking thieves guild and, my dudes: they were so dumb.

Spider-Man 2

WHAT IT IS: The sequel to the excellent Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the first movie to be free and clear of current phase system of the MCU. As the first post-Infinity Marvel movie, it’s got some stuff resting on it.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Tom Holland is the best onscreen Peter Parker. Genuinely. He’s so good at playing the character that even if the whole thing flies apart without the direction of having an over-arching goal 26, his movies are likely to still be good. Spider-Man movies are always about Peter Parker, and they fail when they don’t do a good job by the character. If someone who knows what they’re doing writes it, it’ll still be fine.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Obviously the inverse corollary here is that if someone writes it that doesn’t know what they’re doing, then it will suck. With the previous Spider-Man series, it was fairly easy to tell when they were going to suck: it was exactly the point at which they had too many villains. So keep an eye on who gets cast as villains, and how many of them there are. It really shouldn’t be more than “two,” and “one” for preference.

Cyborg

WHAT IT IS: It’s a movie about Cyborg, the member of the Justice League that is…a cyborg. The DCU is building their thing around mother boxes and some of their more Kirbyesque elements, and this is coming between Justice League movies, so it’ll probably be expositorily important or something.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: At this point? Because it’s way out in the future, and they could have fixed all sorts of problems by then. Ray Fisher seems like he’s alright and will do fine I guess. I think the best-case scenario with this one is that it turns out to be a remake of the Albert Pyun movie, with the character Cyborg in the role originated by Jean-Claude Van Damme (who plays Gibson Rickenbacker) 27, and a plague that kills everybody, and a crazy-ass action road movie to New York to find a cure. That’d be great.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Well, it’s not going to be any of those things, it’s not going to have any characters with guitar names, and the DCU has been a ball of boring garbage the whole time so far and there’s no sign of that changing. Sigh.

The New Mutants

WHAT IT IS: The long-delayed first installment in a series that, in the comic books, led up to X-Force 28, but in this case is going to be a post-X-Men horror title. The trailers looked cool, but it’s been turned into a football by the Disney/Fox scheduling/merger shenanigans, which isn’t great. It’s too soon to tell if that’s a vote of confidence or sign of quality or whatever, or if it’s just the way it is by fate and happenstance.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Well, an X-themed horror movie sounds pretty great, and the television show Legion has plumbed those waters pretty effectively, so there’s proof that it can be done. The cast seems pretty cool and the New Mutants aren’t a set of characters that many people have tried much with, so it’s all pretty open-ended.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: Much like any movie that’s relatively far off in the future that we don’t have much explanation for, what seems like it could be an asset (its unfamiliarity) could turn out to be the liability of people not knowing what they’re in for. While it’s true that the MCU has largely avoided falling into that trap, it’s still a thing to watch out for. Plus, they haven’t exactly put the movie on the express train to release towne, so who knows what’s actually going on with it?

Wonder Woman 

WHAT IT IS: The sequel to the only actually-good DCU movie.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: Wonder Woman went over pretty well, and there’s no reason to think that that particular magic couldn’t strike again, especially since, as is still the case with superhero movies even now, somehow, we don’t have to worry about all the origin story stuff and can spend more time with Wonder Woman as Wonder Woman.

BUT I’M WAFFLING BECAUSE: There are probably a billion ways this could be screwed up, but it’s very far off, and I’m not actually waffling that much. I’m sure it’ll be good, and hey, by then maybe the DCU will have straightened itself around and we can all be happy people.

 


  1.  to those of you reading it in the future, congratulations on surviving to the future! 
  2.  I was 9, I’m old, etc. 
  3.  Iron Man 2, Doctor Strange 
  4.  you will not convince me that this is not a spiritual sibling to Community’s paintball episodes, and if you think I don’t mean that as the very highest of praise, then you do not understand where I’m coming from here. 
  5.  seriously, I’m a Black Panther fan and I didn’t think that movie was going to be as good as it was. 
  6.  shoutout to Wikipedia for abetting that, which is one of up to three references to football in the entire history of this blog. 
  7.  Gerry Duggan’s Infinity series was slightly more wild, and slightly less wolly. It’s good stuff though. 
  8.  and the effects of which pandering I’ll not be detailing here for reasons of propriety, but which you can probably guess if you examine, say, this publicity still and remember that Domino was a going concern when I was, like, 12. 
  9.  a thing that I only actually realized when the trailers for this one came out. 
  10.  in addition to being a painstaking genius, Brad Bird is also a real weirdo, philosophically speaking, and The Incredibles avoids having a weird philosophical position by not actually taking a philosophical position, and letting its characters speak to their philosophical positions and see how it all shakes out.
     
  11.  as evidenced by the fact that they put her in the title. I’m a very good detective, guys. 
  12.  a role previously played by Topher Grace 
  13.  see above w/r/t Deadpool, Shatterstar and Domino 
  14.  true story: one of these, if it was announced as a movie, would make me for-real happy. Other true story: it is definitely Darkhawk (who was a guy with an alien suit that gave him the powers of – simultaneously – Daredvil, Iron Man and Wolverine, and was ridiculous and silly, but in a fun, cool way) and not Foolkiller (who was a more punish-y version of The Punisher, and was ridiculous and silly in the worst of all possible ways. 
  15.  I am just putting out into the world, The Secret-style, that I have always wanted a Kraven the Hunter film appearance, and that Liev Schreiber would be a great voice for it. Please and thank you. 
  16.  there’s one more weasel clause than seems necessary because Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel property, but I’m comfortable making the argument that it isn’t a “traditional superhero property”, so there. 
  17.  I say “somehow” because it made a tonne of money, and it did get some positive reception, albeit mostly from the same people who think that Rotten Tomatoes is some kind of con-job collusion factory, and yet still seemed like a disaster. Full disclosure: I haven’t seen it, because I only liked one of the movies leading up to it. 
  18.  these jokes are, of course, made by people who haven’t actually thought about what it means to control every animal in the sea, but this isn’t the place for this argument. 
  19.  which is Wonder Woman, see below, although even that one still has the dumb cgi fight at the end of it. 
  20.  which is, editorially, one of my all-time favorite horror movies 
  21.  although it does come out only a few months after the similarly nineties-set Dark Phoenix movie, which doesn’t do much to allay my aforestated fears about the worst parts of the nineties rearing their heads in the superhero movies of our time. 
  22.  which was Captain Marvel, and the shortest version of the story for is that they called their superhero that then the comic book company was founded, then they were sued into not being able to publish their comic anymore, and now the character is Shazam. 
  23.  I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But Mercury is the Roman name!”, which is true! They switched panthea on us! But also, you will have to admit that “SHAZAM!” sounds much more superheroic than “SHAHAH!” which is what it would be if he had the speed of Hermes, the Greek version of that God. So they get points for editorial decisions if not fealty. 
  24.  earlier when I said he was the most litigated superhero I wasn’t kidding: there was yet another barrister smackdown about his later name, which is Marvelman in the UK (where he was written excellently by Neil Gaiman and by Alan Moore, and Miracleman in the US. 
  25.  Kevin Feige has said that after Phase 3, there will be no more phases, which seems sensible, given that even the folks at Disney know that this superhero pace can’t go on forever. 
  26.  this seems, to me, to be the most likely outcome for the MCU, that it could all just fling itself apart because nothing is driving toward any kind of unified theory like the first three phases were. Of course, there’s no reason that Kevin Feige’s “no more phases” business should be taken at face value and, by the time this comes out, they might also control the X-Men, and so we might get all crazy kinds of crazy shit. But as it stands right now, it seems like everything fracturing is the most-likely failure mode for the MCU. 
  27.  other characters are Marshall Strat and Fender Tremolo, and if this set of names doesn’t make you want to run directly out and watch this movie, then I don’t know what to say to you. 
  28.  which is the team that Deadpool is assembling in Deadpool 2 

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