Five Geeky Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

If you’re reading this, congratulations! You made it through another year of highly anticipated Hollywood blockbuster sequelsgadgets to blow your money on, depressing politics, and idiotic expressions. Of course, while you may not consider your continued existence on the planet to be anything even remotely close to a major life achievement, you can at least take comfort in the fact that (a) you’re (most likely) reading this with no missing body parts, and (b) you weren’t hit by a stray bullet that really should have found its way through the skull of the moronic motherfucker who fired the gun where it came from.

punisher

The only guy who should be firing guns on New Year’s Eve, and just because he’ll most likely be pumping bullets into any idiots who try to follow suit.

Anyway, now that the dust has settled, the unused fireworks have been (hopefully) drenched in water and quickly disposed of, and everyone has already planned how to repurpose the season’s leftovers over the next few days (hello, week-long ham breakfasts), I’ve decided that it’s time to make a list. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with my New Year’s (read: first few days of January’s) resolutions. I’ve been on Facebook long enough to know that that sort of thing is frowned upon by everyone – in fact, I’ve seen more posts mocking people who post “New Year, new me” status messages and resolutions that actual “New Year, new me” status messages and resolutions (which I think means we really ought to dial down the cynicism a bit and stop being hope-killing jackasses to each other).

Without further ado, here are five geeky things that will definitely make my 2016 a wonderful year.

5. Marvel vs DC at the Box Office

Over the past couple of months, I’ve read a number of comments from film critics and movie bigwigs alike who were getting sick of the whole superhero film genre and predicting its demise. Well, my only advice to them is to grab the biggest paper bag they could find and prepare to hurl, because the comic book movie train sure ain’t stopping this year. Especially from the big two, Marvel and DC.

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AAAHHH! Get the hell away from me, Spielberg

For starters, we’re getting the first-ever live-action silver-screen (that’s a LOT of hyphens) clash of comic book titans Superman and Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is expected to really, truly, *officially* kick off the DC Cinematic Universe. (Actually, I’ll be taking a leaf out of my Facebook friend Mikey Sutton’s book and say that I kind of predicted/anticipated that they’d do this. Check out this review of Man of Steel that I wrote as a Facebook note when the film came out in 2013. Sure, I didn’t get the title right, but I *still* think “World’s Finest” would have been a better name for this film. Oh well.)

DC and Warner Bros. are also coming out with Suicide Squad, which definitely wins the award for “Most Surprising Choice of Comic Book Property to Turn Into a Movie, Ever” (or maybe I’m just a tad bitter because we’re no longer getting that Sinister Six movie I was so excited about). It features fan-favorite character Harley Quinn, Will Smith in a comic book-inspired role that doesn’t involve him wearing a suit and tie or being a good guy, and a Joker who’s mentally damaged enough to actually have the word “Damaged” tattooed on his head. (Yikes.) Oddly enough, I’m a bit more stoked to see this film that BvS, though coming from a self-professed Marvel guy, I guess that isn’t much.

On the Marvel front, there’s Doctor Strange, a film I’ve been really excited about ever since it was first announced. (I even wrote a news article about Benedict Cumberbatch being cast as the good Doctor, back when it was still a rumor.) I can’t wait to see how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to handle magic – sure, we already got Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but her powers were slightly, er, altered, and the whole idea of magic wasn’t really explored in that overstuffed movie.

Fox is releasing a Deadpool film this February, and it seems like it found the perfect leading man in Ryan Reynolds. I’m cautiously optimistic about this one – I wish he’d be more like the talkative, conflicted, and genuinely funny mercenary that Joe Kelly and Gail Simone wrote him as, and not the meme-spouting, lolsorandumb idiot he eventually devolved into. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

Oh, and there’s also X-Men: Apocalypse, which features two of my favorite X-Men, Cyclops and Angel/Archangel. As both have been buried under tons of disrespect and Wolverine screentime in earlier films, I can only hope that they get treated properly in this film. I’m not a big fan of the villain (yadda yadda yadda, survival of the fittest, look at me and my big blue lips), but I have faith in Fox after they released Days of Future Past and proved that they could actually do something decent with the X-franchise.

There are other comic book-inspired films coming out this year, like the Ninja Turtles sequel, but it’s really the building cinematic rivalry between Marvel and DC that makes things truly interesting.

Observant readers (yup, all three of you) would also notice that I left out a particular Marvel film in this entry – more on that in a bit.

4. New and Returning TV Shows

There was a time in my life when I felt that TV shows were just too boring and tedious for me to get into. Sure, there were a couple of shows here and there that I enjoyed (mostly cartoons, which sadly reveals more about me and my mental age than I would have wanted), but for the most part, I stuck to comic books and novels. Now, however, after endless TV marathons with the girlfriend, I’m actually looking forward to new seasons of our favorite shows.

There’s Flash, a show that I simultaneously love to watch and love to mock (Barry’s just so stupid most of the time – HERPDERP LOOK AT ME I’M SO FAST, LET ME WALK RIGHT UP TO YOU SO YOU CAN SHOOT ME WITH YOUR BULLSHIT SCIENCE GUN – but the geek references and world-building are too damn compelling for me to resist); Arrow, which I watch because I’m a sucker for the aforementioned world-building; and Supergirl, which I watch because eh, why not. There’s also iZombie, which isn’t exactly a superhero show, but is also based on a comic book series. They’re coming out with a new show this year, Legends of Tomorrow (a.k.a. We Can’t Use Batman or Superman, So Here, Have Some More Captain Cold) – we’ll probably watch that one, too.

I can’t wait to see the next episode of How to Get Away With Murder, a show that I can’t praise enough. It’s just so excellent, and coming from a person who doesn’t normally watch these kinds of things (drama shows where everyone is a dick in some way or another), that means a lot. Game of Thrones is a show that we binge-watched, and we’re looking forward to the next season (I have yet to read any of the books, and I don’t think I’ll have time to – sorry, purists, please don’t hurt me).

What I’m REALLY excited to watch, though, are the Marvel Netflix shows. Daredevil is getting a second season – the first season was so excellent that it actually compelled me to make a custom Funko Pop! figure of the character’s final suit. (That was a lot of pausing, screencapping, and playing, but it was worth it.) It features the debut of the Punisher under the banner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which makes it a must-watch even more. There’s also Luke Cage, which continues the adventures of the character after we were introduced to him in the stellar series Jessica Jones.

3. More Comic Books to Read

These days, I often find myself thinking that the comic book characters I used to follow have changed almost beyond recognition – in some cases, far too much for my tastes – and that I’m no longer part of the target demographic of the big two. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve completely lost interest in comics; quite the opposite, in fact.

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Now stop trying to stab me with your sword, please. Jerk.

This week sees the release of Spider-Man/Deadpool, a comic book I’ve been waiting for since I first learned of Deadpool’s existence (and thought that he and Spider-Man would probably quip up a storm). I still follow the adventures of Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man – he owns his own company now, which makes things quite interesting for the guy who used to be unable to even find two nickels to rub together. I’m doing my best to get into the post-Secret Wars Marvel universe, though I’m still not entirely comfortable with the idea that Mary Jane’s moving away from Spidey and going to become a supporting character in Invincible Iron Man.

As for DC, er… I have no idea what the heck they’re trying to do anymore. They’ve lost me. (Except for that Batman/TMNT crossover, which I’m currently following.)

For the most part, though, I think I’ll be tracking down the issues and stories I’m missing from my collection – it’s going to be an interesting year of going through discount sales, convention booths, and bargain bins.

2. Captain America: Civil War

I purposely didn’t mention this film at the beginning – it ranks high on my list for one reason.

Sure, it’s the follow-up to one of the best superhero films I’ve ever seen (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and it promises an all-out brawl between two warring superhero factions pulled straight from the comic books. Come on, who doesn’t want to see Iron Man, Cap, and Bucky slugging it out? Or Hawkeye firing an arrow with Ant-Man on it? Also, it’s directed by the Russo brothers – the masters behind CA: TWS and the same folks who’ll be directing the Avengers: Infinity War films; I have no doubt that this’ll be a great movie.

However, what excites me the most about this is that it features the official Marvel Cinematic Universe debut of Spider-Man, played by actor and (apparently) real-life acrobat Tom Holland. The thing that really gets me about this is that they’re so secretive about Spidey. They’re really playing their cards close to the chest, and building up enthusiasm for the return of their most popular and commercially successful icon to the Marvel movie fold. Heck, at this point, no one has even seen his costume yet!

He could look like this…

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Or this…

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Or even this…

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Yes, there’s actually a difference, just bear with me here.

All I know now is that I never really thought this would ever happen, but I’m thankful that it did. (And that I really, really want a Spider-Verse movie that lets all three movie Spideys – Holland, Garfield and Maguire – meet and team up.)

1. Actually Writing My Own Comics

And we’re finally here – the thing I’m most excited about.

I recently joined a talent search (spoiler: I wasn’t chosen), but it really pushed me to finally get off my ass and start writing scripts again. The problem with me – well, one of the many problems with me – is that I have a shit-ton of ideas, but never move forward with any of them. I’ve got characters, stories, and scenes floating around in my head, but tend to be too scared, lazy, or distracted to actually sit down and put them on paper.

Well, I’m changing that this year. I started writing again today – so far, I’m done with the outline and the first two pages (which was a lot harder than I thought). I’m looking forward to finishing this, and writing more comics afterwards.

And someday, I’ll be writing Spider-Man for Marvel. I hope.

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