I know I always say this, but it’s a great time to be a comics fan. There’s never been a better era for comic book adaptations and that includes comic book movies. Every year has been bigger than the last, and 2018 was an especially incredible one, with critically-acclaimed already-iconic Avengers: Infinity War and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
2019 is set to be the biggest year yet for comic book movies, with not only Marvel and DC but some surprising new additions to the list as well. I’ve compiled them below, and the Malaysian release dates are based on the most recent information available. Stay tuned because this article will be updated with the latest details from time to time.
1. Glass (17 January)
The first comic book movie isn’t based on a Marvel or DC property, or any other existing comic book property at all. I’m talking about M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, the third and final movie in what some are dubbing the “Eastrail 177” trilogy (which consists of 2000’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split).
Glass is still very much a superhero movie and one that looks like it’s going to subvert many of the genre’s tropes, just like both Unbreakable and Watchmen did during their respective times. Unlike those two (due to how well-received comic book movies are nowadays compared to back then), Glass is sure to grab the world’s attention.
2. Captain Marvel (7 March)
The first of three Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies slated to release in 2019, Captain Marvel has the tough act of not only being a prequel of sorts (taking place in the past, during the 90s) but also serving as the bridge between 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
3. Shazam! (4 April)
The first of two DCEU or Worlds of DC movie slated to release in 2019, I have particularly high hopes for Shazam after Aquaman, which ignited my faith in the studio. In fact, Shazam! looks to be molded after the tone of Aquaman more than its predecessors like Man of Steel or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Shazam is different compared to other DC heroes. He’s a kid who turns into an adult with the powers of multiple gods, so that means an entirely different dynamic even compared to teenage heroes like Robin or Cyborg. Let’s see if Warner Bros and David F. Sandberg will be able to pull off what is essentially a magical version of Superman.
Super Sapiens Hellboy (11 April)
While some still can’t get over Guillermo Del Toro’s iconic take, I’m actually looking forward to a darker R-rated Hellboy with closer ties to the comics. I was overwhelmed by the number of comic book references and easter eggs contained in the first trailer for the new reboot, which I detailed in my breakdown and analysis article here.
Hellboy deserves to be in the spotlight as much as any of the characters from Marvel and DC. Mike Mignola himself (the creator of Hellboy) is co-writing the script this time, so we know that that this movie will be the most authentic adaptation of Big Red yet. Fingers crossed for the beginnings of a Hellboy cinematic universe or Mignola-verse.
5. Avengers Endgame (25 April)
Avengers: Endgame is perhaps the most highly-anticipated comic book movie of 2019, and rightly so. It is the culmination of more than a decade and four phases of the MCU, which will then probably give birth to a new era.
While the first trailer for the movie doesn’t reveal much, it does set the stage for the darkest and bleakest MCU movie yet. Head on over here for my breakdown and analysis of the Avengers: Endgame trailer. What’s more is that this won’t even be Marvel Studios’ last movie of the year, because that goes to another upcoming movie.
6. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (6 June)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix was initially scheduled to release in late 2018, but it was then delayed due to last-minute reshoots. This movie is set to be a more faithful adaptation of Chris Claremont’s beloved Dark Phoenix Saga. The X-Men will be wearing their classic yellow spandex again, but this time it’s closer to the Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely designs.
The movie takes place in the 90s, about a decade after the events of X-Men Apocalypse. It’s funny how there’ll be two comic book movies set in the 90s in 2019 (now I feel old). On another note, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will probably be one of the last X-Men movies to be produced by 20th Century Fox thanks to the company’s acquisition by Disney.
7. Spider-Man Far From Home (July)
Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to be the first MCU movie post-Avengers Endgame and the beginning of a new phase. The only thing we know about this movie is that it will take place in Europe, as well as featuring villains Mysterio and the Elementals.
While I’m not fond of the MCU Spidey, I’m still excited to see what the world will be like after the events of Avengers Endgame.
8. The New Mutants (1 August)
The New Mutants will most likely be the last X-Men movie to be produced by 20th Century Fox, but at least it’ll be unique. The movie is said to be a thriller with horror elements, which is a first for an adaptation involving the Children of the Atom.
In the comics, The New Mutants is to the X-Men what the Teen Titans is to the Justice League, starring a group of teenage group of in-training mutants. It was relatable to younger readers while exploring mature emotional themes at the same time.
9. Joker (October)
The final comic book movie of the year is Joker. In an unconventional twist, this movie will not be part of the main DCEU universe established by Man of Steel. Instead, it will be standalone, acting as a Joker origin of sorts.
Don’t expect to see Batman or any DC hero in this low-budget affair starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime and directed by Todd Philips. Although Venom proved (to a point) that a movie focusing on a villain can be successful, it remains to be seen if the Joker can hold his own without the presence of the Dark Knight.
Did we miss anything out? Which of these nine is your most anticipated comic book movie of 2019? As usual, share us your thoughts in the comments section below.