While 2018 was a massive year for superhero movies, 2019 is somehow even bigger. The new year has a grand total of 10 blockbusters waiting to be released in the coming months -- everything from M. Night Shyamalan's Glass to Todd Phillips' Joker. It's an eclectic slate, with all of the titles offering something different to the spectrum, but one thing they all have in common is specific moments we're excited to see play out on the big screen.
The truth is that a list like this could go on at extreme length, as there is a lot of awesomeness in store for audiences in the next 12 months, but we've assembled what we feel represents the cream of the crop. These moments are all expected to play out in their respective movies, and our expectations for them to blow us away are extremely high. So without further ado...
Tony Stark's Rescue
One of the most shocking superhero revelations to come out of the second half of 2018 was in regards to the fate of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark after Avengers: Infinity War. While many assumed that the hero would be in some way assisted by Nebula (Karen Gillan) to get off Titan and back to Earth, the Avengers: Endgame trailer instead revealed that he instead found his way into a random ship before getting lost in space. The situation allows us to imagine a pretty grim ending for the guy known as Iron Man, but it's frankly so grim that we know something is going to happen that spares his life.
The question, of course, is what? Assuming that Iron Man isn't destined to suffocate/starve out in the darkness of space, something is going to have to totally change his circumstances, and we are beyond excited to find out the answer. Will it come down to Tony Stark having some kind of genius revelation? Will his messages get to Pepper Potts in time, allowing her to orchestrate a rescue? Or is it possible that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) could provide some help? We have no idea right now for sure, but the options are all fascinating.
David Dunn vs. The Beast
It was almost exactly two years ago that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan successfully managed to fool the world with Split -- a movie that not only turned out to be a supervillain feature, but also a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable. Ever since that surprise landed we've been patiently waiting for the showdown between David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and The Beast (James McAvoy), and now that battle is almost ready for our eyeballs as a part of Glass.
Part of what's so exciting about this head-to-head matchup is that it's not entirely clear how everything is going to play out, particularly because of Shyamalan's reputation for twisty endings. David Dunn is an incredibly powerful guy, and it's extremely challenging to even injure him, but The Beast has two advantages. For starters, he has the full capacity strength of a human, allowing him to execute some extreme behavior, but more significantly it seems that he will have Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) in his corner. Glass is one of the few people on the planet who knows about David's weakness -- water -- and it's hard to imagine the villainous duo not taking advantage.
The Skrulls are a vitally important part of Marvel Comics history. First introduced back in the early 1960s, they have long been a primary set of extraterrestrial antagonists in the world protected by the Avengers, and it's not just because of their extreme aggression and desire to expand the breadth of their intergalactic presence. The Skrulls are an intelligent and crafty species, able to physically transform into any size or shape -- and it's exactly that transformation that we're crazy excited to see in cinemas.
The Skrulls are making their live-action debut in Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Captain Marvel, and while we've seen what they look like courtesy of the movie's marketing material, we still don't really know what it's going to look like when they morph themselves. On top of that, there is a high expectation that there will be some major twists and surprises involving which characters are secretly aliens in disguise, and we are anticipating every single little reveal -- up to and including the old lady that Carol Danvers discovers on the subway and punches in the face.
Billy Batson In Battle
Shazam is one of the most powerful heroes in the DC Comics Universe, but his primary weakness is also pretty damn obvious. As mighty as he may be when he is in superhero mode (where he will be played by Zachary Levi), the complete opposite is true when he says his own name and turns back into orphan teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel). Naturally, this Achilles' heel has been exploited many times in the comics, forcing Billy to fight his battles without his superpowers, and it's a creative situation we fully expect to play out in at least one sequence of David F. Sandberg's Shazam!
Trailers for the upcoming blockbuster have already shown us that we will be getting plenty of the great kid-in-an-adult-body humor, and Shazam will clearly have all of his special abilities from the comics, but we're most excited for what the film has in store when it comes to real drama. We don't really know anything about the plans of Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), but he is a character certainly intelligent enough to know how to seriously slow the hero down, and that will likely wind up involving Billy Batson needing to show some serious ingenuity.
The X-Men In Space
Because it existed way before the Marvel Cinematic Universe era, the X-Men movies have always existed a bit detached from their source material -- trying to be a bit more "grounded" and less "silly" than the comics. This has had certain consequences, like black leather uniforms and severely altered antagonists, but it looks the trend is really breaking with Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix. Not only are the film's heroes confirmed to be suiting up in blue and yellow, but we are beyond excited to see them head off on their first cosmic mission.
It's been teased for what feels like years now that Dark Phoenix will see Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) encounter the Phoenix Force while on an outer space mission, but we are still patiently waiting to see A) what that actually looks like, and B) what's going on that takes the X-Men beyond the atmosphere in the first place. It promises to be an electrifying sequence that we happen to know absolutely nothing about right now, but it's a big part of what's keeping us anticipating the June release.
Joker Throws On The Paint
Following the release of Shazam!, there is only one other DC Comics property hitting the big screen in 2019, and it's kind of an outlier. Not only is Todd Phillips' Joker not a part of the mainline DC Extended Universe, it's also the only film of the year to purely center on the antics of a supervillain. We're still not fully sure what to make of it, and its mission to tell an origin story for the titular character, but one thing we certainly are excited for is to see the path taken to have Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck put on his clown makeup.
We don't know too much about the specific plot of Joker, or that much really beyond the intentional Taxi Driver vibe, but one thing we do know is that the character design looks fantastic. It's distinct from the makeup worn by all previous live-action iterations of the character, from Caesar Romero, to Jack Nicholson, to Heath Ledger, to Jared Leto, and it's wonderfully insane. This film, and Fleck's journey to become the Clown Prince of Crime, very much has our curiosity.
The New Mutants Activate Their Powers
It was all the way back in October 2017 that we got to see the first trailer for Josh Boone's The New Mutants, but being such an early preview we didn't get to see much. Released on Friday the 13th, it was designed more to sell the tone of the movie, and didn't really feature much of the action we're used to seeing in superhero fare. That being said, the main characters in the film definitely have some amazing abilities, and we can't wait to see them in fight mode.
New Mutants centers on a core group of five protagonists, and each one of them brings something exciting to the table. There's the werewolf transformations of Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams); the explosive speed of Cannonball (Charlie Heaton); the illusions of Mirage (Blu Hunt); the interdimensional portals of Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy); and the solar powers of Sunspot (Henry Zaga) We've never seen characters quite like them in the X-Men movies before, and even though this feature has been delayed multiple times it's still something we're hotly anticipating.
Mysterio Suiting Up In His Bubble Helmet
It's almost surprising that we have not yet seen a live-action version of the Spider-Man villain Mysterio. Hollywood has been making wall-crawler movies for nearly 20 years now, and yet the brand has never utilized the antagonist whose abilities are all about movie magic. Thankfully the Marvel Cinematic Universe is preparing to fix this oversight this summer in Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing the part, but even more exciting for us than getting to see Mysterio's special illusions is simply just getting to see him in his iconic costume.
There are many villains with outlandish duds in the pages of comic books, but Mysterio's getup is one of the best. Not only does he outfit his scaled green armor with a flowing purple cape, his entire face is obscured by a round, mirrored helmet that Spider-Man mockingly calls a fishbowl. It's an amazing look that surely must be a challenge to make realistic, but we have every bit of faith in the world that the Marvel artists and filmmakers in the costume department for Spider-Man: Far From Home know what they're doing.
Captain Marvel Going Full Binary
There are many reasons why we are pumped for Captain Marvel (hence the film's second appearance on this list), and beyond the involvement of the Skrulls there is the impressive significance of the titular hero's arrival to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have been hearing for months if not years that Carol Danvers is going to be one of the most powerful entities introduced into the canon, and anticipation is at 11 to see how exactly that will wind up manifesting cinematically.
In the comics, Carol Danvers' powers come on in stages, but it is when she becomes known as Binary that she is at her peak. With the ability to tap into a white hole (the inverse of a black hole), she finds herself with the power to manipulate cosmic energy and essentially change elements of the nature of the universe. We can't say for certain if Captain Marvel will be reaching this full potential in either Captain Marvel or Avengers: Endgame, but we're keeping our hopes up.
Hellboy's New Right Hand Of Doom In Action
It's been more than a decade since we last saw Hellboy on the big screen, and while we're sad that the movies from Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman are done, we're still keeping our hopes up for Neil Marshall's vision. David Harbour looks absolutely fantastic in the full makeup, battle-worn and still ready to continue taking on the forces of evil, and in particular we are excited to see a whole lot more of what the demonic hero can do with his Right Hand Of Doom.
The Right Hand Of Doom doesn't exactly have any special abilities - it doesn't transform or shoot anything - but it's special in that it has no nerve endings and is totally indestructible. As a result, Big Red is able to do a hell of a lot of damage with it, and it's always a blast to see. The first Hellboy trailer gave us a taste of what it can do, but we have high expectations for a good bit more when the full feature arrives in April.
A New Owner For The Infinity Gauntlet?
Fans have spent months speculating how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will essentially reverse the devastating ending of Avengers: Infinity War. Nobody in the world believes that key characters like Black Panther and Doctor Strange are going to be permanently dead, so the big hanging question is how Avengers: Endgame will go about bringing them back. Based on what happens in the comics, one popular theory is that someone other than Thanos will wield the Infinity Gauntlet, giving them the power to resurrect those killed during The Decimation, but there is a simple question that follows that: who?
This entry is a bit different than the others on this list in that this isn't something we're guaranteed to see, but at the same time it is still very much something that we are anticipating -- particularly through debate about the query posed above. Could it be a responsibility given to Captain America (Chris Evans), given that his moral compass always points true north? Or could it be Captain Marvel, given that she's said to be one of the most powerful entities in the universe? Or maybe the movie will even go full adaptation and have Nebula give it a spin. All options are on the table right now, and the arguments about it -- as well as how Thanos will potentially lose the Gauntlet -- will continue to rage for the next few months.