2016, with its superhero-versus-superhero dramatics in the form of both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War, proved to be one hell of a year for that increasingly dominant force in Hollywood: the comic book movie. Amazingly enough, 2017 promises to be an even stronger, more robust, and more diverse year, with a number of new releases that run the gamut from superpowered team-ups to all-out comedies.

The good news is that it’s never been a better time to be a comic book fan; the bad news is that it can be quite a lot to keep track of. That’s where we come in, dear reader – we’ve been following each of the 15 films that will hit either your closest theater or your personal Blu-ray player, so that all you have to do is sit back, count down the days, and enjoy the show.

Here’s our handy list, presented in chronological order. Tell us which ones you’re the most excited to see – and which new films you had never heard of before that you’re now interested in checking out – in the comments.

1. Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 02.07.17

Cinematic universe: DC Universe Animated Original Movies

Justice League Dark has become a major point of interest for genre fans for a whole host of reasons. For starters, there is the fact that it will be the first Justice League-branded production to be rated R, but an even bigger one is the comic book source material that director Jay Olivia has to work with. After Enchantress (the big bad from this past summer’s Suicide Squad) defeats the Justice League, it’s decided that a new, offshoot team is needed, one comprised of the more supernatural denizens of the DC Universe and dedicated to defeating such otherworldly threats.

The direct-to-video movie will feature a wonderfully eclectic cast, ranging from John Constantine (Matt Ryan) to Swamp Thing (Roger Cross) to Deadman (Nicholas Turturro), and it even features members of the traditional Justice League, headed up by the Justice League Dark’s founder, Batman (played by Jason O’Mara, who also portrays S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Jeffrey Mace in the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

The final reason that diehards have been keeping an eye out on Justice League Dark is because of the related, oft-delayed live-action movie that just may be part of the burgeoning DC Extended Universe. Although it currently appears to be dead in the water, director Doug Liman has just recently had some encouraging things to say about the project. Should this animated outing do well, Warner Bros. just may be tempted to finally give the official go-ahead on its big-screen brother.

2. The Lego Batman Movie

lego batman movie tuxedo 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 02.10.17

Cinematic universe: Lego Cinematic Universe

As if the smash success of 2014’s The Lego Movie weren’t surprising enough, the wholly enthusiastic response that the film’s portrayal of a jerky, egocentric Batman (Will Arnett) got made many sit up and take notice – particularly by Warner Bros, which was quick to greenlit a solo spinoff. The Lego Batman Movie is the result, and the trailers thus far have not disappointed.

Then there’s the cast – Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, Michael Cera as Robin, and Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, among many, many others – and the promise by the film’s producers (and The Lego Movie’s directors), Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, that Lego Batman will be nothing but a 90-minute Easter egg of all things Batman, which is just sweet icing on what is shaping up to be a very promising cake.

Given all the doom and gloom that is sure to appear in all the other comic book movies for this year, color us excited for a little bit of fun.

3. Logan

Hugh Jackman in Logan 3 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 03.03.17

Cinematic universe: X-Men Cinematic Universe

On the one hand, the X-Men cinematic universe seems to be on a bit of a downhill slide: X-Men: Apocalypse underperformed at the box office, and the Gambit solo film has seen nothing but delays.

On the other hand, however, there havebeen a lot of traction with a few spinoff projects: Deadpool was a critical and commercial darling, leading to development on two sequels (which will apparently introduce yet another side property, X-Force), and the solo Wolverine outings continue to generate nothing but excitement. This is especially true with Logan, particularly since it will be the final installment in the standalone Wolvie series – and, more notably, marks the very last time that Hugh Jackman will play the titular character.

And what a way to go out. Logan is based on the Old Man Logan comics from the Marvel Universe, depicting an on-his-last-rope Wolverine who is humanity’s best remaining hope in a post-apocalyptic future (but aren’t they all in the X-Men universe?). The previews have been nothing but stunning, and the film seems all but certain to be one of, if not the, best chapters in the overarching cinematic universe.

4. Wilson

Wilson Daniel Clowes Cover Art 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 03.24.17

Cinematic universe: N/A

Wilson is, without a doubt, the biggest never-heard-of-that-one-before adaptation release of the year.

Based upon the comic book by underground artist and writer Daniel Clowes (who was also responsible for the acclaimed Ghost World), the original graphic novel is actually structured as a series of one-page comic strips that all tie together to tell one larger, overarching narrative. While the film doesn’t feature such an idiosyncratic format, it does manage to convey the full essence of the misanthropic, loner, socially-awkward, and brutally-honest main character (Woody Harrelson), who ends up discovering that his ex-wife (Laura Dern), who divorced him 17 years previously, gave up their daughter for adoption and, thus, sets out on a journey to locate her.

If the movie sounds iffy to your traditional superhero sensibilities, you owe it to yourself to check out the red band trailer – it promises to be not only the most off-beat comic book film of the year, but also, possibly, the funniest, as well.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

guardians galaxy 2 baby groot1 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 05.05.17

Cinematic universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Often described as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s answer to Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy eschewed Earth almost completely and instead opted to fully embrace the cosmic side of the shared universe, delivering colorful, zany characters – and an infectious ‘80s soundtrack – along the way. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. II promises more of the same, but with two key differences: first and foremost, it’ll add the likes of Kurt Russel and Sylvester Stallone to the cast, helping to answer such burning questions as who Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) mysterious father is; and, secondly, it’ll have absolutely nothing to do with the MCU’s ongoing mythology, such as the location of the long-lost Infinity Stones and Thanos’s (Josh Brolin) quest to track them all down and become, essentially, a living god.

Both of these items make the movie stand out the most from the rest of its Marvel brethren (how else could you describe a film that features Ego, the living planet?) and, therefore, a must-see entry of 2017’s comic book entries.

6. Wonder Woman

wonder woman movie gal gadot 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 06.02.17

Cinematic universe: DC Extended Universe

After the strongly divided response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. is looking to steer its still-fledgling DC Extended Universe into surer waters, starting with its first release of the year, Wonder Woman.

The Amazonian princess’s first solo outing is actually a flashback to nearly a century ago, when Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) finds herself swept up both in World War I, specifically, and the world of men, generally, before she gets burnt by the experience and turns her back on humanity, becoming the transient presence that we originally encountered in Batman v Superman. The different time period, the inclusion of what seems to be an all-star cast (starting with Gadot’s co-star and love interest, Chris Pine), the vision of the first female director of a major superhero picture (Patty Jenkins), and the greater reliance on a traditional adventure story and, even, humor all combine to make what just might possibly be one of the biggest releases of the year.

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider Man and Iron Man in the Homecoming trailer 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 07.07.17

Cinematic universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the most anticipated comic book movie of 2017.

Let’s start with the fact that Spidey has been one of the most popular – and profitable – properties since his big-screen debut in 2002, then throw into the mix Tom Hollard’s memorable introduction as the Web-head (and as a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to boot) in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, and end with Michael Keaton’s presence as Homecoming’s villain and none other than Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.)’s presence as Peter Parker’s mentor; that final shot in the trailer of Spider-Man and Iron Man swinging and flying, respectively, side-by-side towards the camera was enough to make throngs of fanboys swoon all by itself.

There’s even an extra sweetener to consider: given that Spidey is going to appear as an Avenger in 2018, this makes his latest solo movie one of the last pieces of set-up for The Avengers: Infinity War. Is it possible to get even more excited for the film?

8. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 2017 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 07.21.17

Cinematic universe: N/A

The next space opera outing from Luc Besson after 1997’s The Fifth Element, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based off of one of the most popular and longest-running (43 years!) French comic book series of all time.

Called Valerian and Laureline, the comic is actually – and predictably – quite convoluted (you can check out our primer for the full lowdown), but, at essence, it follows a pair of “spatio-temporal” agents that traverse both space – as in the entire galaxy – and time on a variety of missions that mostly revolve around preventing other time travelers from creating paradoxes and, thus, erasing life as they know it. A heaping helping of ’60s-era politics and religious thought was embedded all throughout the series’s run, and while it’s unknown whether Besson has kept this vein alive in the big-screen adaptation, Valerian certainly looks like it’s keeping all the strange aliens, larger-than-life landscapes, and action-adventure beats intact.

9. The Coldest City

coldest city comic book movie charlize theron 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 07.28.17

Cinematic universe: N/A

Forget superhero vigilantes, supernatural adversaries, or alien empires; The Coldest City is a traditional, hardboiled spy thriller, set in 1989 Berlin, right before the Wall’s collapse and the symbolic end of the Cold War. The film stars Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) as an accomplished MI6 agent, James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse) as her forced German ally, and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Toby Jones (the Captain America films) in supporting roles – a well-rounded (comic book) cast to bring to life the story of a “ruthless espionage ring” that’s started to hunt down and kill undercover spies from the West.

Filling out the rest of the film’s bona fides are its director (David Leitch, the producer and co-director of John Wick and the second-unit director of Captain America: Civil War) and its source (a 2012 hardback graphic novel written by Antony Johnson, who has promised to make his espionage tale into an ongoing series).

10. Batman and Harley Quinn

batman harley quinn animated movie 2017 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: Summer 2017

Cinematic universe: DC Universe Animated Original Movies

Unlike Justice League Dark (and most of the other direct-to-video Warner Bros. Animation films), Batman and Harley Quinn isn’t based on a seminal title in DC Comics lore, but, rather, boasts a brand-new, original story.

As if that weren’t enough to get Bat-fans all a-twitter, the news that Harley Quinn’s co-creator, Bruce Timm (who also served as the co-creator and producer on such projects as Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond as well as the co-director and producer of the DTV Superman: Doomsday), is the main force behind this DC Animated Original Movie should send viewers everywhere into spasms of joy.

There is absolutely no other information currently available on the picture – not even a firm release date – which has left many to wonder whether Timm will stick with the traditional, Animated Series version of Harley or opt to pull another Batman: Gotham Knight, providing a take that is inspired by and narratively attached to Suicide Squad’s recent rendition. Either way, this should be one for the history books.

11. Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Elton John Kingsman The Golden Circle Poster Tease 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 10.06.17

Cinematic universe: N/A

Okay, yes – technically speaking, Kingsman: The Golden Circle isn’t based on a pre-existent comic book. But this actually fits with the first film’s story, which was co-written by the director, Matthew Vaughn, and only loosely based on the famous Mark Millar’s and even more famous Dave Gibbons’s original comic miniseries. And given that Vaughn’s writing partner, Jane Goldman, has gone on the record as saying that the sequel’s story is even crazier than its predecessor’s, this is a departure that, perhaps, viewers should welcome with open arms.

Here’s what we know so far: the cast includes the likes of Pedro Pascal, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, and, even, Elton John, alongside the returning faces of Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, and – in a mysterious move – Colin Firth. The plot sees the Kingsmen abscond to America following the destruction of their secret headquarters in the United Kingdom, where they team up with the Statesmen in order to stop the evil Poppy’s (Julianne Moore) dastardly plan.

12. Thor: Ragnarok

Thor Ragnarok Miek Planet Hulk 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 11.03.17

Cinematic universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Thor: Ragnarok, the third – and, quite possibly, final – film in the Thor series, sees the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) return home to Asgard to look into just who, exactly, might be attempting to hunt down and unite all of the Infinity Stones. Oh, yeah – along the way, he has to fight off the Ragnarok (Norse mythology’s version of the apocalypse), team up with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and help be the direct bridge to next year’s The Avengers: Infinity War, most likely in the form of protecting the Soul Stone from being claimed by Thanos.

There are a number of other elements of note, as well, starting with the fact that Natalie Portman declined to reprise her MCU character, moving on to the brand-new character of the Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and ending with the inclusion of the highly popular Planet Hulk storyline from the comics. In short, Ragnarok is quickly solidifying itself as the perfect follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as the fitting prelude to Infinity War.

13. Justice League

justice league movie images 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: 11.17.17

Cinematic universe: DC Extended Universe

In a year dominated by big-name comic book movies, all signs are currently pointing to Justice League being one of, if not the, biggest heavy-hitter of them all.

That’s no small feat, but seeing the likes of Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman, the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) – and, just maybe, Green Lantern, to boot – all on-screen for the first time together can go a long way to fitting the bill. Even better, a number of supporting characters from the previous four movies will make an appearance (including Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor), making for one of the most packed-to-the-gills films in ages.

What has die-hard fans most foaming at the mouth, however, has been the repeated assurances from both Justice League’s cast and crew about how the picture will have a lighter, more fun tone, truly selling the awe and wonder of seeing all these gods and goddesses fighting together (and, it must be said, still fighting amongst themselves, as well).

14. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders 2

batman return caped crusaders trailer blu ray dvd 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: TBA 2017

Cinematic universe: N/A

Warner Bros. Animation surprised everyone last year with the release of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, a continuation of the classic 1960s Batman television series in animated form, replete with key original actors returning to lend their voices to the proceedings: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), and Julie Newmar (Catwoman). (Another delightful surprise: it received a limited theatrical run just before its home video release, as well, making the movie even more of an event.)

It didn’t take the studio too long at all to announce a follow-up, tentatively titled – of course – Return of the Caped Crusaders 2. While we have yet to receive word on a release date or a potential return to movie theaters, we do have one concrete piece of information, and it’s an exciting one: William Shatner has been cast as Two-Face, a character who never managed to make an appearance in the TV show’s three-season run. Here’s to hoping that’s just the tip of the hype iceberg.

15. Bloodshot

Val2 15 Comic Book Movies to Look Out For in 2017

Release date: TBA 2017

Cinematic universe: N/A

Valiant Comics is the biggest comic book publisher you’ve never heard of. Originally started in 1989 by a former Marvel editor-in-chief, the company went through a series of corporate owners (and bankruptcies) in the decades following before finally landing on its smaller, more stable footing under its current CEO and chief creative officer, Dinesh Shamdasani.

Some of Valiant’s more popular titles include X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and Ninjak, but the flagship character, by far, has always been Bloodshot, a former solider who has been injected with billions of nanites that allow him to interface with computers, to possess a Wolverine-esque healing factor, and, even, to shapeshift – although he lost his memories in the process, propelling him on a quest of self-discovery and (what else?) revenge.

In early 2015, it was announced that Valiant had signed a five-film deal with Sony Pictures, with Bloodshot naturally leading the way. Given the absolute dearth of information since then, it has led many in the industry to believe that the film will miss its 2017 release window, although there is still a slight case for optimism. At any rate, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe so dominant, the X-Men universe arguably fading, and the DC Extended Universe still struggling to find its voice, there has never been a better time for a new major player to arrive on the scene. Let’s just hope that Bloodshot can deliver – and soon.

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