According to our recently updated Upcoming Superhero Movies Schedule, we have nine superhero movies hitting theaters in 2017! What’s gracing the screens with intense sci-fi action, brilliant comic book accuracy, the struggling human condition among super-humanity, and eye-puncturing, brain-cleaving special effects? Let’s see, we have the LEGO Batman movie (yes, it’s a LEGO iteration of Batman, but still a superhero), Wolverine 3, Power Rangers (yes, they’re superheroes), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, the Justice League, and Bloodshot. So, with all this filmic, superhero goodness gracing the big screens next year, and considering my varying degrees of excitement for each one, I decided to rank the 2017 superhero movies starting with those I’m less concerned with, and ending with what I consider to be the absolute pinnacle of forthcoming superhero entertainment. GO!
Release Date: Unknown
Sony’s teaming up with Valiant comics to bring its premier super-assassin to the big screen. A super-solider created by super-secret agency Project: Rising Spirit, Bloodshot benefits from the regenerative efforts of nanotechnology. When one says “super-solder,” one typically thinks of Captain America. Well, let me correct your thinking; Bloodshot is more like the Punisher as far as his “directness,” and he suffers from removed and manufactured memories very much like Wolverine. With overused sci-fi concepts, an uncertain release date, and in my opinion, a lackluster comic series, I have to score this as…least awesome.
8. Power Rangers
Release Date: March 24th, 2017
Yeah, I was a little older when Power Rangers hit the airwaves, so I blame my disinterest on maturity. Also, I found the costumes too bright, and the personalities so vacuous I was expecting some news source to proclaim them the vanguard tactical unit of a Pod-Person invasion. Perhaps if I was younger, I would have better appreciated a gaggle of young teens with exceptional karate skills beating the hell out of an old space-witch and her doting, incapable servants. I mean, it had giant robots, which is usually a pretty effective lure for me, but for some reason…meh. I had hacky-sacking and didgeridoo sessions to perform on campus or something.
7. Wolverine 3
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
So it’s Jackman’s last Wolverine film, and it’s loosely based on the comic arc, “Old Man Logan,” a story taking place in a relatively distant future where the villains have successfully…
1. Killed all the superheroes.
2. Divvied up the United States among themselves.
Now, this sounds like a cool concept, but with rumors regarding the inclusion of Donald Pierce and the Reavers as the villains, and images taken from the film showing people dressed in tuxedos…Well, I’m just not sure how accurate a translation we’re getting. Unfortunately, when it comes to FOX’s X-films, every X-story has a habit of being thrown at the wall simultaneously, and the success rate of such a method is, in my mind, marginal. Sure, sometimes this works, but sometimes….you get X2. So, I’m kind of excited, but not convinced we’re getting something super-awesome. If we find out later he’s wearing, FINALLY, his full costume? Well, maybe I’ll reconsider his current placement.
6. LEGO Batman Movie
Release Date: February 10th, 2017
Will Arnett’s Batman was HILARIOUS in the LEGO Movie so I’m sure his solo film will be exceptionally uproarious. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, given the trailers have been pretty darn chuckle-inducing. But, it’s not live-action, which kind of drop-kicks any sense of realism whatsoever. I like my escapist fantasy just fine, but I like my superheroes grounded by utilizing the…uh…the more realistic live-action approach where characters are mostly biological and not….interchangeable, inviting blocks of plastic. Again, I’ll enjoy it, but I wont be able to get into it, if that makes any sense.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Release Date: May 5, 2017
I’m looking forward to this. The Marvel movie that really shouldn’t have, really, really did, as Marvel successfully introduced its “universe” beyond the (present) concerns of its (usually) Earth-based heroes. Yes, out there, several ‘gagillion’ light years away, there are talking raccoons, sentient, monosyllabic trees, death-worshiping aliens, and a former Earth-person with blood ties to intergalactic royalty. This film was a big gamble, but it paid off. Here’s to the sequel bringing more of the same, and further expanding the elastic Marvel tapestry.
4. Wonder Woman
Release Date: June 2nd
I really want to see this; her “introduction” in Batman V Superman was certainly enjoyable and a breath of fresh air. Of course, this could be an erroneous perception, as the rest of the film seemed to plod about, meaning anyone moving quickly, directly, and not weighted by the dense gravity of the plot or overall sense of dismay might be perceived as having greater, actual value. BUT…the sets look great, her costume is AMAZING, and there’s a chance she’s conveying her divine origin directly to Batman; this would be a great lead into Justice League, considering they’re both on a meta recruiting mission in order to:
A. Properly atone for Batman’s treatment of Superman.
B. Behave in a way inspired by Superman.
C. Fight the hell out of some space-born calamity creeping into the periphery of Batman’s already terrifying dreamscape. Or something.
3. Thor: Ragnarok
I love Thor. Always have. From the Walt Simonson run introducing Beta Ray Bill all the way to Lady Thor. I love it; I eat it; I drink in the odd mixture of alien space-vikings beating the “Hel” out of each other across the infinite canvas of always blinking outer space. Thankfully, Chris Hemsworth embodies the strapping god of thunder, and Marvel completely respects the source material, giving us the PERFECT live-action iteration of Asgard and its especially empowered population.
Now, with Thor: Ragnarok, we’re getting a film occurring upon that infinite canvas, with Thor receiving additional muscle in the form of Mark Ruffalo’s incredible Hulk. And, with the Hulk’s inclusion, we’re receiving a narrative based on the classic Hulk story, Planet Hulk. Yes, this is the one where the Avengers, exasperated by Hulk’s arbitrary, super-destructive “SMASH-ing” business, launched the pants-destroying mammoth into deep space. How did the Hulk fare in space? Well, he landed on an incredibly hostile world with a severe power handicap and ended up fighting for his life in gladiatorial contests. So, Thor and the Hulk fighting giant monsters in gladiatorial matches set on an inhospitable world. COUNT. ME. IN!
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Release Date: July 7, 2017
Look, Spider-Man’s introduction into the MCU was great, and Tom Holland conveyed the Wall-Crawler’s Parker-ness/Spider-Man-ness with gentile, mildly conflicted aplomb. Iron Man is great; his charisma engulfs every scene he inhabits, and….he’s my personal fave! Their relationship? Equally great; the father/mentor/son/mentee dynamic is warm, heartfelt, and greatly appreciated. Well, we’re going to see more of this in Spider-Man’s very first film taking place in the MCU proper. And, he’s fighting the Vulture, and potentially the Sinister Six, or at least the embryonic manifestation of Spider-Man’s legendary Rogues assemblage. Oh, and Aunt May is super-attractive.
1. Justice League
Release Date: November 17th, 2017
Say what you will about Batman V Superman; DC has been taking great pains to ‘correct the ship’, making sure the next installment detailing the further adventures of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman is lighter, less emotionally devastating, and perhaps scripted more intelligently with greater care given to the characters involved. And, Superman…uh…”returns,” behaving more like, well, Superman, and not the individual frozen by expectations presented by a world not fully his own.
Oh, and we’re getting Batman and Wonder Woman assembling the League, meeting up with the likes of Flash (who will, in a way, enter into a mentorship with Batman) Cyborg, and a very, VERY commanding Aquaman.
Now, for all the questionable plot choices, you have to admit that BvS looked BEAUTIFUL with equally stunning special effects (let’s exclude “Doomsday” from that observation before you start shaking your fist). Imagine that epic aesthetic applied to a collection of the greatest heroes in comic book history as they wield extraordinary abilities in an effort to stifle the agency of a dark and terrible space god.
Good grief, this movie could reach a level of cinematic grandeur only hinted at in BvS.
Seeing an assembled Justice League and DC’s Trinity on the big screen – now under the care of creators concerned with accurate character portrayals and less questionable conceits – makes Justice League, officially, my “MOST AWESOME.”
So, what do you think? Agree with my ranking, or would you completely scramble the order? Shoot me a comment. Let me know what you’re thinking.