The entertainment world is constantly growing and evolving, and the superhero film and TV movement in on the forefront of that growth. Superheroes have had a long and glorious run of animated content along with a few live-action stints starting back in the early 50's with Superman, Batman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk and several others. Yet, it seems that in the past decade, interest in the genre has grown drastically as it shifted from children and lifelong fans to the mainstream TV audience, and there is no appearance of any slowdown in the near future as the genre expands network by network.
With the release of Arrow, The CW got off to an early start, followed shortly by ABC releasing Agents of SHIELD, then Fox brought us Gotham, NBC attempted Constantine, CBS flew in with Supergirl and Netflix set the bar even higher with Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It's crazy to think that these TV series are only the beginning and there's still so much more to come. However with the ever-expanding collection of networks bringing us sister shows and spin-offs, we have a lot more to look forward to. We also get to look forward to more networks getting in on the superhero craze with FX planning both Legion and The Hellfire Club as well as the Watchmen series at HBO that's currently in-development.
Now, Superheroes aren't limited to growth on TV as anyone who has seen basically any movie in the last decade can attest to. Marvel Studios has brought us a hero every year since 2010, now giving us two a year with plans to expand to three heroic movies starting in 2017. Yet, they're not the only player in the game: Warner Bros. is bringing us the slow-to-start DC Universe with next year's Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad as well as Fox bringing us new mutant iterations with X-Men:Apocalypse and Gambit coming soon. With the rash of superhero content, there have been so many fantastic moments in the last decade let alone the epic moments from 2015 - here are my top 10.
1. Batman V Superman trailer reveal of Doomsday
We've been anxiously waiting to see the Dark Knight face off against the Man of Steel, and thanks to Warner Bros., we will get to see that happen soon. Yet, after the most recent trailer dropped, we know now who ultimately these characters will face off against - Doomsday, the killing machine apparently engineered from General Zod's DNA. Doomsday's appearance has some fans up in arms, but regardless of your opinion, all of the reveals in the trailer were incredible (including the money shot of the DC Trinity).
2. Agent Simmons
The season 2 finale on Agents of SHIELD still has me reeling. Watching Simmons get swallowed up by the Kree monolith left me on the edge of my seat, because I finally got to see my adorkable Fitz ask his love, Simmons, out on an actual date. I know, I know... Simmons isn't actually a superhero, but we have no idea what happened to her before we returned into Season 3 hoping to find out just what had happened. We were left wondering through the majority of the opening episode before discovering that she is on a completely different planet, in a different galaxy. WHAT?!? As the season has continued we've seen glimpses as to what she was subjected to on the other side, and that she isn't the same Simmons anymore.
3. Flash/Arrow crossover setting up Legends of Tomorrow
DC's cinematic universe is set to begin testing the water in 2016, but the TV universe has been flourishing thanks in large part to The CW network. When Arrow was introduced, it seemed out-of-place, considering the main collection of angsty teen high-concept romances that The CW was running at the time. Yet once The Flash was added, the two shows became a one-two punch for The CW and it's been a beautiful partnership. The team-up recently had a crossover event that set up the highly anticipated DC's Legends of Tomorrow which will see guest stars from both shows team up to face off against the immortal villain Vandal Savage.
4. Jessica Jones tests new ground
Marvel began a journey with Daredevil on Netflix, and although it created a unique ambiance, Jessica Jones truly shines as the newest star of Netflix. Her story is the darkest that Marvel has produced to date - which says a lot considering that we watched Kingpin decapitate a man with a car door. Yet, thanks to the electric performance by Krysten Ritter as the titular female lead and David Tennant's terrifyingly charismatic villain - we have been introduced to an incredibly dynamic show that elevates the storytelling of Marvel to even loftier heights. Jessica Jones pushed the boundaries and introduced complex and mature concepts, to the superhero mythology; making the characters seem even more realistic.
5. Fantastic Four proves to be less-than-fantastic
20th Century Fox needs a new set of heroes to lead their future superhero franchises, especially considering that Hugh Jackman plans to hang up the claws after one final Wolverine film and the key players from X-Men: First Class are nearing the end of their contracts. 2015 was supposed to be the year that the Fantastic Four rose to take the reigns - yet for whatever reason (erratic behavior from director Trank or studio alterations) the film fell flat. The film felt too small despite the stakes and the story was too thin, and it seems to have halted Fox's plan in their tracks.
6. Mjolnir gag in Avengers: Age of Ultron
The incredible success of Marvel's first major team up, 2012's The Avengers, earned rave reviews and critical acclaim. The follow up film from Joss Whedon, The Avengers: Age of Ultron was full of narrative wit and the fantastic scene where the Avengers all let down their guard and we find Thor challenging his fellow heroes to lift the mighty hammer, proving one by one that they're not worthy to wield it (short of Captain budging it slightly). Although the scene seemed inconsequential at the time, it resurfaced later when Vision, fresh from his 'awakening' casually hands Mjolnir to Thor unaware of the implications leaving us with an unwavering trust in this new incredibly powerful character.
7. Daredevil's 6.5 minute fight scene
A partnership between Marvel and Netflix spawned our first highly anticipated series, Daredevil, in April of 2015 - which at the time was an incredibly bold move considering Daredevil was only known to most audiences as a part of the lack-luster 2003 film starring Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner. Yet, Marvel chose to take the risk and it paid off in ways that the studio is still reaping now. The series took us on a roller coaster ride and crafted an exquisite narrative that is equal parts kinetic/frantic fight choreography and emotional/intellectual story-telling. The crowning jewel from the second episode is the single-take, 6 and a half minute brawl that left us all thinking "holy shit."
8. Spider-Man returns to the MCU
We've been waiting for this to happen. Through two attempts by Sony pictures; the first with Toby McGuire and the second with Andrew Garfield. Both attempts failed to inspire any long term stability and then Sony did the unthinkable, although long-rumored, and even longer wished for deal to return Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The announcement that Peter Parker would finally return to Marvel and join for Civil War as well as allow for a complete hard-reboot of the franchise. Tom Holland will portray the web-slinger and is swinging in next year with his own franchise planned for 2017.
9. Martian Manhunter reveal on Supergirl
David Harewood's character, Hank Henshaw, was obviously carrying a secret and it took us a half season to learn what that secret was. We all had our ideas and theories, and when his secret was finally revealed I know for a fact that I squealed like a schoolgirl when he transformed into one of my all-time favorite DC characters: Martian Manhunter a.k.a. J'onn J'onzz. The martian reveal adds an incredible dynamic to Supergirl considering that she still does not know who Henshaw truly is, and that she will likely face villains from his past in the near future (*ahem* white martians *ahem*).
10. Justice League: Gods and Monsters flips the hero script
This straight to DVD animated film is a breathtaking concept in my mind. We all have seen variants of DC's Trinity over the years from members of the Crime Syndicate of America to gender-bent heroes on Earth-11. Yet, for some reason the alternate version of the trinity in Justice League: Gods and Monsters truly captured my emotions. Not only do we discover that the titular characters of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are no longer the alter-ego's that we normally associate with them. The three are in fact different people entirely; Superman is the son of General Zod, Batman is Dr. Kirk Lanstrom and Wonderwoman is Bekka (widow of Darkseid's son Orion). The trinity, in this universe, are a brutal group that maintains order by extreme force, but as the story unfolds they learn the truth and find some semblance of redemption.