PEAK SUPERHERO1 of 10
The superhero movie craze only heating up in 2018, and with movies like Avengers: Infinity War and X-Men: Dark Phoenix adapting some of the biggest comic book stories of all time, the genre is reaching for bigger heights than ever before.
With Black Panther - the first major superhero movie of 2018 and potentially one of the biggest ever - just days from theatrical release, we're revisiting our list of the Newsarama staff's most anticipated films of the year.
Since, like Dr. Doom, we believe in science, we made our rankings based on a poll of the entire 'Rama team, ordering them based on a distillation of our personal lists.
Oh yeah, P.S. - we're not addressing New Mutants here because the film's release was pushed back to 2019.
#8 - ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL2 of 10
Manga and anime adaptations were a touchy subject in 2017, but this year's Alita: Battle Angel may be a chance to do right by a classic story.
Embracing the uncanny valley elements of the story and taking even subtle cues from the previous iterations of the android Alita's tale, the trailer for this lesser-known comic book adaptation sets the stage for a new wave of live action anime films.
#7 - VENOM3 of 10
Now that we know Tom Hardy's Venom will be based on Venom: Lethal Protector and "Planet of the Symbiotes" - and won't have a connection to the MCU's Spider-Man - it's clear that what we're going to get a truly Venom-centric movie.
Venom without Spider-Man may sound dicey to some, but many of the antihero's biggest fans would likely be unsatisfied with a repeat of the character's campy role in Spider-Man 3 - so it seems Sony may be erring on the more adult-oriented side for this film rather than trying to square it with Tom Holland's decidedly family friendly take on the wallcrawler.
#6 - X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX4 of 10
When it comes to the X-Men, there is no bigger or more defining tale than the "Dark Phoenix Saga." Though X3: X-Men United incorporated some of the basic elements of the timeless story, this summer's X-Men: Dark Phoenix dives right into the story with the Phoenix Force, the space journey, and even the Shi'Ar intact.
With the X-Men film franchise's future up in the air thanks to Disney's deal to buy 20th Century Fox, this may be first director (and long time X-Men producer) Simon Kinberg's chance to go out on a high note, with the film fans have wanted to see basically since forever (and in movie terms, since the final Phoenix tease in X2).
#5 - DEADPOOL 25 of 10
Die-Hard Deadpool fans may not have been surprised when his first movie went gangbusters, but for the rest of the world, it was a bit of an R-rated surprise.
With the still-technically-untitled sequel Deadpool 2 setting a bigger stage with Cable, Domino, and more, we're ready for more of Ryan Reynolds being maybe a little to excited to play Wade Wilson - with the added twist of Josh Brolin's grumpy, time-traveling Cable to play the straightman this time.
#4 - AQUAMAN6 of 10
It seems the biggest complaint about Jason Momoa's performance as Arthur Curry in Justice League was that there just wasn't enough of him. Fortunately, come December 21, fans will get to dive into Atlantis for Aquaman, a solo-adventure that many are looking to to right the DC cinematic ship.
With Momoa being joined by Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, and Yahya Abdul Mateen, the star studded cast will have a fairly straightforward action adventure to explore, according to director James Wan. Sometimes, good fundamentals are all you need.
#3 - ANT MAN & THE WASP7 of 10
Compared to many other Marvel Studios films, 2015's Ant-Man was only a modest success - but with a charming cast and a warm heart, the small film was enough to set the stage for something bigger in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Adding Evangeline Lilly's new hero to the title isn't the only thing we're hoping the sequel expands on. Given Lang's association with the Avengers - and the promise that the film's Quantum Realm has some big surprises in store - Ant-Man and the Wasp could be an unlikely but essential chapter in the MCU - in other words, 2018's Thor: Ragnarok.
#2 - AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR8 of 10
If you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and judging by ticket sales, most of us are), it's impossible not to be excited for Avengers: Infinity War, which brings together basically every hero - and many other supporting characters and villains - for a knock-down, dragout battle royale with Thanos and his Black Order.
With so much on the line - and a full decade of movies leading up to its story - Avengers: Infinity War is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated superhero movies of all time (though we're anticipating one other 2018 film even more). Now it just has to live up to maybe the biggest hype ever, set the stage for a concurrently filming sequel, and maybe try not to kill every Avenger in the process...
#1 - BLACK PANTHER9 of 10
February's Black Panther is more than just the first MCU film to be headlined by a Black character (though that is a pretty big deal) - it's a chance to see a classic Marvel property with connections to the deepest parts of the publisher's lore brought to life in stunning detail.
From the moment the first trailer for director Ryan Coogler's film hit, audiences have been captivated by the bursts of breakneck action, the tangible world of Wakanda, and a sci-fi vision that unabashedly draws from non-Western source material. We've only seen something like 7 minutes of Black Panther thanks to the material released so far, but if the whole film lives up to the hype that just those brief scenes have brought, there will be no question why it's Newsarama's most anticipated superhero movie of 2018.
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