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The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017

The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017

The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Photo Credit: Laura Alston for Okayplayer

The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman

The #MeToo movement made 2017 the year of the woman in a unique kind of way, and Wonder Woman led the zeitgeist early in the springtime. For every Elektra and Supergirl that Hollywood foisted on us over the years, fangirls and fanboys finally got the worthy female superhero movie we deserved. (Kill Bill kicked ass, yes, but doesn’t strictly count.) Like in Captain America, DC Comics took us down the road of a World War II adventure, pitting Diana against Ares, the god of war. Star Trek’s Chris Pine pulled his weight as a beefcake Steve Trevor, but Gal Gadot truly made Linda Carter proud, catapulting Wonder Woman to the iconic spot she’s long deserved on the silver screen.


The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Marvel Studios

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Peep the new MCU formula: the crossover! (Word to Iverson.) The Avengers: Infinity War trailer that broke the internet proves Marvel can balance about 30 characters better than DC handled six in Justice League. (Ouch.) But this year, Thor: Ragnarok was practically a Thor-Hulk buddy movie, and Spider-Man: Homecoming got major mileage out of throwing Iron Man into Tom Holland’s full-length debut as the wallcrawler. The music was a minor quibble—surely even Queens teens spend more time listening to trap music than “Blitzkrieg Bop,” even if The Ramones were from Forest Hills—but the teenage Peter Parker literally never gets old learning the ropes and cracking the jokes. And Michael Keaton (of Batman and Birdman, naturally) gave a great meta performance as the Vulture. Can we get Kraven though?


The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Netflix

The Defenders

In retrospect, it’s hard to believe The Defenders was the endgame Netflix was building towards since Daredevil in April 2015. Though the network thankfully shortened its episodic run from 13 to a tighter eight, The Defenders—though sometimes satisfying—felt anticlimactic in the wake of greater series like Jessica Jones. DD, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica went head-to-head against The Hand (mixed metaphor?) and Elektra, with a near-fatal ending for Matt Murdock. Aside from Luke Cage checking Iron Fist’s white privilege and one particularly kickass battle scene, The Defenders ranks near the very bottom of the heap of Netflix’s MCU. (Because Iron Fist.)


The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Marvel Studios

Thor: Ragnarok

Issa yeeeessss! Director Taika Waititi wrested Thor away from the dry Norse god Asgardian stuff and threw him into a sci-fi buddy movie with Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) worthy of all that celestial Jack Kirby imagery that colored 1960s Marvel Comics. For geeks with fond memories of alien Beta Ray Bill and writer-artist Walt Simonson’s wondrous stint on The Mighty Thor, the third (final?) film of the Thor trilogy delivered big time. Tessa Thompson’s hard-drinking Valkyrie (A valkyrie? the Valkyrie? Who cares?) added some needed melanin to the franchise; #BlackGirlMagic is always a win. Casting Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett as Hela took it over the top. May all future MCU solo movies be Marvel team-ups.


The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Netflix

The Punisher

Frank Castle and Elektra took Daredevil’s season two to another level, and fandom rejoiced when The Punisher was announced. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot made all the right moves here. With President Drumpf in office and homegrown terrorism on the rise (i.e., the Las Vegas shooting that led Netflix to cancel their Punisher preview at October’s NY Comic Con), the series had a lot to mine. Disgruntled war vets, lone gunmen, Make America Great polemics and shady politicians are all accounted for here. Jon Bernthal continued to make for a perfectly brooding Punisher, and they even generated some heat with reporter Karen Page. Nice one.

See Also
Quentin Tarantino was Talked Out of Making a 'Luke Cage' Movie with Laurence Fishburne


The Year in Superheroes: Our Favorite Movies & Series For 2017
Source: Warner Bros.

Justice League

So where did this go wrong? Sure, Justice League wasn’t absolutely terrible. Yes, Zack Snyder sadly exited over a family tragedy, making way for Avengers director Joss Whedon to bring the film some Marvel magic. (Which most likely mainly meant jokes, but did we need an upbeat Batfleck?) And there was that weirdly botched CGI to cover up Superman actor Henry Cavill’s moustache from Mission Impossible 6. Steppenwolf also seemed a weak choice to bring the Superfriends together compared to Darkseid or, y’know, a giant starfish. Flash was funny, Aquaman was endearingly frat boy, but Cyborg was sadly underwhelming. What could have saved Justice League? Maybe it’s a DC Comics thing and we wouldn’t understand.

Miles Marshall Lewis is a popular cultural critic and author. Follow him (and us!) on social media @MMLunlimited.

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