Miles Marshall Lewis shares his thoughts on the best movies and TV series that featured caped crusaders, mystic martial artists and more.
In the year of our Lord, Thanos, 2017 has found us inching ever so closer to superhero overload. From The CW adding another character to its Arrowverse (Black Lightning) to Disney’s monopoly-building purchase of 21st Century Fox (which owns X-Men and The Fantastic Four) — comic book nerds might be salivating and throwing their money at the screen for these projects, but the spandex-clad adventures don’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
2018 alone find us at least digging in-between our couch cushions to have enough ticket money for Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Venom and Deadpool 2, just to name a few. Add to the mix that the cross-pollination of these characters drives the market toward saturation, it is enough to make a geek’s mind blow out of his earholes. Before we kick off such craziness, @Okayplayer has decided to list the best superhero stories of 2017, which range from Amazonians from Themyscria to adamantium-clawed heroes on their last hoorah.
There is no place for wackness on this list (sorry, Inhumans) so if you have thoughts don’t hesitate to debate us on Twitter @Okayplayer.
Previously starved for major wins, the X-Men movie franchise finally hit one out of the park this year with the final film of the Wolverine trilogy. Set in a dystopian future, liberated by an R-rating, Logan found our favorite Canadian anti-hero fighting against forces bent on stamping out a hidden mutant refuge. A senile Professor Xavier made his final bow, X-23 debuted in the form of wildchild 11-year-old Laura Kinney, and Logan’s never-ending story came to a conclusive, satisfying close. (No rattling coffins here.) Since the Disney-Fox merger has concluded and is really happening, here’s hoping Marvel’s merry mutants get totally rebooted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe so that Logan, Thor and Rocket can split a beer one day.
Google “superhero fatigue” (we’ll wait) and an Iron Fist thinkpiece undoubtedly crops up in the top 10 results. Truth be told, audience exhaustion wasn’t the problem with Netflix’s kung-fu fighter. Sadly, Game of Thrones’ Finn Jones in the titular role alternately came off as whiny, whitesplaining, overearnest and not a very impressive fighter for the greatest champion of K’un-L’un. Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) was a bright spot; geeks might have wondered if/how Luke Cage’s Misty Knight would show up as his girlfriend. But his takedown of archvillain Harold Meachum and The Hand leader Bakuto did little more than cement Iron Fist as the weak link of the Netflix’s Marvel universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Lightning rarely strikes twice. Star-Lord and company did the damn thing again against the forces of Ego, but without the novelty that bolstered the first film, things felt a little different. Guardians of the Galaxy surprised us all because the comic-book source material never had much cachet; Marvel may as well have given us Alpha Flight or Squadron Supreme. The movie killed anyway because we underestimated it, and the Tarantino-esque soundtrack was kitsch, and they had jokes. Vol. 2 retreads most of the same territory, but Kurt Russell did great things with his Oedipal role in Peter Quinn’s origin story, and the movie overall made a great addition to the MCU’s resident space opera. Protect ya neck Han Solo.