Marvel and DC have another big year ahead of them in 2018. While the DC Extended Universe only has one movie coming out, it's James Wan's Aquaman, a standalone feature that's built up a lot of hype over the last year. Then over in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three will be hitting its penultimate year, while the X-Men universe over at Fox will explore three different corners of this mutant-filled world.

Now that 2017 is wrapping up, I've looked over all the major characters who will be featured in the Marvel and DC franchises during 2018 and selected the ones who are the likeliest to shine and steal the show. Starting off, let's look at someone we just saw help save the world last month.

Aquaman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced Aquaman to the DC Extended Universe, and Justice League started to flesh him out, but we'll really get to know him in the Aquaman movie next year. Although Justice League wasn't the critical powerhouse that DC and Warner Bros was hoping for, Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry was among the more well-received elements of the movie, so one can imagine that with the proverbial stage all to himself, he'll draw even more fans. But beyond giving moviegoers more of Aquaman's gruff personality, the Aquaman movie will also show Arthur embracing his royal Atlantean duties for the first time, which will surely make him a more interesting character.

Thanos

Ever since Thanos grinned at the camera in The Avengers' mid-credits scene, Marvel movie fans have been waiting to see the Mad Titan get off his space throne and finally show why he's the overarching antagonist of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That time will finally arrive in Avengers: Infinity War, when he leads The Black Order and his monstrous hordes in trying to obtain the six Infinity Stones, and as we've seen in the first Infinity War trailer, Thanos will secure at least two Stones. Thanos will also be driving the story in a way that's akin to a heist film, so fans needn't worry about him being treated like many other MCU villains. The comic book Thanos remains one of the Marvel universe's greatest baddies, and I suspect that Infinity War will present Josh Brolin's iteration as being equally notorious.

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