Comic book movies show no signs of slowing down with the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) producing groundbreaking superhero film every year. Yet even by their standards 2018 is shaping up to be even more packed with masks and capes.

In this article we look at the 5 most anticipated superhero films of 2018. We also address how both companies have used the gaming industry to help the superhero genre become the most dominant in the film industry.

Black Panther – February 16, 2018

Black Panther

It is a sign of the strength of the Marvel brand that Black Panther, a relatively unknown hero outside the comic book series, has become one of the most anticipated films of 2018. Chadwick Boseman’s performance as the African prince T’Challa was considered one of the highlights of last year’s superhero films. His upcoming movie, Black Panther will see T’Challa return home to Wakanda, only to find his lineage as king is under threat from enemies both inside and outside his home country. The film will also bring back Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue from Age of Ultron.

Marvel: Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018

Avengers Infinity War

This is quite possibly the most anticipated superhero movie of all time. Marvel has been building up to this climactic encounter with Thanos since 2008’s Iron Man. The film will outdo both the Avengers films and the latest Captain America in terms of the number of heroes on screen. Characters from all the Marvel films will be present including Captain America, Star Lord, The Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, Rocket Raccoon, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange.

Infinity War will continue from the events of Captain America: Civil War and fans are looking forward to seeing how the Avengers team reforms after the split.

Deadpool 2 – June 1, 2018

Deadpool 2

Deadpool was an unexpected success, garnering over $780 million from the box office. It isn’t surprising that Fox wants to “strike while the iron’s hot” with the Merc with a Mouth. Ryan Reynolds will return to play the anti-hero once more and the sequel will retain its R-rated humor and violence.

What makes Deadpool unique among the other superheroes is that he knows he’s just a “comic book hero.” He’s aware of the existence of his writers and artists, which is why he often makes jokes that break the 4th wall. With Deadpool 2, fans can probably expect the same kind of innovative and irreverent storytelling style that fans enjoyed in the original. Reynolds truly redeemed his superhero credentials with Deadpool after his disappointing stint as the Green Lantern.

Venom – October 5, 2018

Venom Movie

Venom is the first film from the Marvel Universe that will focus on the exploits of the villain instead of the superhero. Tom Hardy will star as Eddie Brock, the man who gained his “venomous” powers through the Alien Symbiote.

Details about the movie remain under wraps, as the plot, cast (except for Tom Hardy), and directors are all still unknown. Sony Pictures says that the movie will not collide with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and instead form its own timeline so as not to interfere with Marvel Studio’s Spider Man story.

Aquaman– December 21, 2018

Aquaman movie

Fans of Game of Thrones will likely already know who’s playing Aquaman. Jason Momoa has proven over and over again that he’s fit to play any badass movie character, and Aquaman looks already promising thanks to his impressive physique and glorious beard. While Aquaman made a short debut in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans will get a better sense of his character in the Justice League movie which is set to be released in November 2017.

The World of Superhero Movies

As of 2017, MCU has 16 films, while DCEU has 3. Most of the movies became vastly popular thanks to the marketing prowess of the two companies, which usually involve licensing video-game titles based on the superheroes. There are several successful video games that helped launch their respective movie franchises including Marvel: Future Fight, which is a free-to-play mobile fighting game developed by Netmarble Games. The game often releases new and playable superheroes based on upcoming MCU titles.

For the DCEU side, some video game titles are also helping market upcoming movies. When DC was building the hype for Wonder Woman, it paved the way for many mediums to help increase the movie’s traction by releasing games directly and indirectly related to the famous female superhero. A Wonder Woman mobile game, which pays homage to the Queen of Themyscira was released featuring the original Wonder Woman Linda Carter. Wonder Woman Gold showcases mysteries and bonus features that cater to the more mature demographic. All the animations and sounds used in the game were inspired by the TV series that helped launch Carter’s career. This isn’t uncommon for the Slingo brand as it also has other superhero themed games like Hellboy and Zeus: God of Thunder among its rosters

A movie-inspired game for the latest version of Wonder Woman was also released by Warner Bros in the form of Rise of the Warrior, which is a side-scrolling action adventure flash game.

It is likely that we will see new video games based on the above list as Marvel and DC have both used videogames across mediums to effectively market their films.

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