Comic Book Movies in 2013

It’s going to be an awesome year for fans of comic book movies. Awesome year, I’m telling you. There’s at least one comic book-related film coming out each month starting in May. And I haven’t even started to take a look at the other awesome, non-comic book films. Note that the dates that I indicated here are from ComingSoon.net, they’re subject to change especially since not all countries follow the same release schedules.

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Iron Man 3 – May 2

Marvel’s Avengers universe kicks off “Phase 2” with Iron Man 3. According to reports, Phase 2 is going to be darker, with the individual Avengers going through some rough times, and it’s very evident in the Iron Man trailers released. The main cast is intact, with Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle reprising their roles. The new antagonists are Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley, the latter portraying Iron Man’s longtime nemesis the Mandarin.

I’ve been waiting for the Mandarin to show up. I don’t think Tony Stark has really faced a villain that was competent enough to give him a lot of trouble, or even come close to beating him. But with the Mandarin on board, Stark’s in trouble. Actually, based on the trailers, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

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Man of Steel – June 14

Another much awaited film, Man of Steel is another attempt to relaunch the Superman film franchise. They have Henry Cavill playing Superman/Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Michael Shannon as General Zod.

I don’t really know what to think of this movie. It’s being produced by Christopher Nolan, so I’m hoping he can bring some of his Dark Knight Trilogy success to DC’s other top brand. At least they’re starting off the franchise with a super-powered antagonist, so we’re probably going to have an experience that’s different from what Superman Returns gave us.

What I’m really hoping for is a story that explores Superman’s desire to fit in. He is, after all, not from this world, and yet he serves as a symbol for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”.

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The Wolverine – July 26

I have to admit – I hated X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It had a good concept, had actors that I liked in the cast, but everything was just flat. The makers were simply trying too hard to keep the X-Men franchise alive. If I were to re-watch all the X-Men films, I would surely skip that.

However, I’m still interested in this sequel. The film is supposedly based on source material that put Wolverine in the A-List of heroes, and the film is looking good right now. Hugh Jackman is still the cornerstone of the sub-franchise, and since this is set in Japan, the rest of the cast is new. Let me throw this out there – my expectations for this movie are low, but my hopes are high.

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300: Rise of an Empire – August 2

This is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel Xerxes so I added this to my list. Is this a prequel? A sequel? This film is based on the Battle of Artemisium, which was happening at around the same time as 300‘s Battle of Thermopylae. Now, 300 was awesome primarily because it was based on one of the most iconic battles of the ancient world, with a small number of combined Greek forces holding out and almost winning against the large Persian army. But the Battle of Artemisium?

Okay, for those who don’t want to look it up at Wikipedia, let me give you an idea. The Battle of Thermopylae was the land battle, with Leonidas and his gang trying to prevent the Persian land forces from invading Greece by clogging up the pass of Thermopylae. The Battle of Artemisium was the battle at sea, with allied Greek forces protecting the straight of Artemisium, facing almost similar odds as the Persian navy also considerably outnumbered the Greek navy. If I go any further with the story, that’d be a spoiler, so I’ll stop here and leave it to the curious few to discover on their own as to why I’m a little underwhelmed.

Since it’s not completely based on the historical battle but rather on Frank Miller’s follow up, then it’s likely that the film is going to be more exciting than I think.

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Kick-Ass 2 – August 16

A superhero movie that didn’t take itself too seriously, the first Kick-Ass was a refreshing take on the superhero movie formula, featuring a superhero wanna-be who actually ends up becoming a hero in the end. And it’s not a surprise as Mark Millar, the writer of the Kick-Ass graphic novel, has written comic book story lines that can really fit in the real world. Check out Ultimates volume 1 and 2 (a more realistic re-telling of the Avengers) and even Nemesis.

They may have lost Nicolas Cage – his character died in the first movie – but they gained even more star power in the form of Jim Carrey, who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes. Whatever the storyline is, it’s going to be a real treat to see Hit-Girl in action again.

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – October 4

This sequel took so long to produce, they had to re-cast several roles to different actors. The first movie was released so long ago that I’d need to re-watch it before checking this one out. Actually, the delay sapped out most of my interest in this sequel. It’s still on my list of films to watch, but I’m not that enthusiastic about it right now. Maybe when I see the film clips, once they’re released.

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Thor: The Dark World – November 8

The second movie in Marvel’s Avengers Phase 2 series of films. One of the things that wasn’t explored in the first Thor movie was the other realms of the Nine Realms, and we’ll get to see that here.  Most of the cast are returning, save for Fandral who will now be played by TV’s Chuck. I don’t know much about this film, other than we’ll get to see the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and that Christopher Eccleston (Destro in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) plays Malekith the Accursed, the film’s main bad guy. Whatever this film is about, I’m sure to catch this just because it’s part of the Avengers film franchise.

Wow, I just realized that out of seven films, only one isn’t a sequel (Man of Steel). That can be good or bad, but for me it’s a good thing as I’m a fan of continuity and I like seeing characters grow and progress. This list and the other non-comic book related films guarantee that I’ll be catching a movie at the cinemas at least once every month.

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