It was a great year to be a geek in 2015. From comics to video games to TV shows to movies, geek culture dominated the pop culture scene, proving more than ever that geeks are the coolest thing on the planet. To celebrate the last year, we’ve run down some of the biggest “geek” events of the year, which range from heartbreaking deaths to cataclysmic comic catastrophes to the return of the biggest science fiction franchise of all time:
If 2015 needed to be summed up with one perfect 1:41 video, it’d probably be this one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Oscar Isaac singing Bill Murray’s timeless take on the Star Wars theme song.
Seriously, 2015 was THE YEAR OF THE STAR WARS. The Force Awakens has dominated geek culture ever since Disney released its first trailer for the new sequel over the summer. Not only is The Force Awakens well on its way to crushing every box office record known to man, the Star Wars comic franchise also helped Marvel cement its place as the top-selling publisher in comics. Star Wars has also had a big role in television, with Star Wars: Rebels introducing characters from the long-running Clone Wars TV series as well as Darth Vader as the show’s new “big bad”.
If you weren’t a fan of Star Wars, my condolences. It probably wasn’t a great year for you.
A lot of geek TV series turned to the tried and true method of letting their audiences sweat a little over the fate of some of their favorite characters. From Glenn on The Walking Dead to Felicity on Arrow to Simmons on Agents of SHIELD to Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, it seemed like a lot of characters were doing their best impression of Schrodinger’s Cat on television this year. While some shows gave fans some resolution (Glenn’s zombified corpse surprisingly wasn’t locked up in a barn), there’s still a couple of characters whose fates we won’t discover until 2016.
Water on Mars
2015 wasn’t just about science fiction and superheroes. Some big science stories also broke in 2015, including evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated about the existence of water on our nearest celestial neighbor, but NASA presented the strongest proof yet that there’s water (albeit a mineral filled “briny” version) flowing either on or just under the surface of the Red Planet. Flowing water means that life could be supported on Mars, meaning that we could one day discover extraterrestrial life (in microscopic form) on another planet besides our own.
Coincidentally, The Martian also came out this year, which was a fine movie about Matt Damon getting stuck on Mars and growing potatoes until his NASA buddies came and rescued him.
The Year of the 'Taker
[Warning, the following section contains discussion about wrasslin’, which some of our readership hates with a burning passion. If you’re one of those readers, just hit the “Next” button now and save yourself the indigestion caused by reading about a fake sport.]
The WWE had an….interesting 2015. Disappointing injuries to countless stars, including Daniel Bryan, Sting, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, marred much of the company’s plans. Luckily, there’s always one man the sports entertainment company can depend on to put on a show (and I’m NOT talking about John Cena). The Undertaker, one of the WWE’s oldest stars, returned to face off against Brock Lesnar, the former WWE and UFC champion who broke his 20 win streak at WrestleMania in 2014. After a controversial match at SummerSlam, Lesnar and the Undertaker squared off in one of the best matches of the year at Hell in a Cell. Although the Undertaker ultimately lost his battle against Lesnar, he celebrated his 25th anniversary with the WWE at Survivor Series, teaming up with his “brother” Kane to absolutely demolish the Wyatt Family. We’re probably not going to see too many more great Undertaker matches (he turned 50 earlier this year), but he certainly showed why he’s one of the best in the business this year.
Marvel and DC Reboot (but Not Really)
Marvel and DC both had a busy year shaking up their respective comic universes with soft “relaunches” that changed both continuity and their respective comics titles. DC led things off with Convergence, a two month event that coincided with the company moving its offices from New York to Burbank, California. Although Convergence didn’t have the catastrophic consequences of Flashpoint or Crisis on Infinite Earths, it did lead to a bevy of new titles and the return of the pre-Flashpoint Superman, who’s now living in secret with his family in the main DC world.
Over at Marvel, Jonathan Hickman concluded his epic Avengers run with Secret Wars, which saw the actual destruction of the entire Marvel multiverse. We don’t know how the Marvel universe got put back together again (Secret Wars has suffered from delays) but the “All New, All Different” universe that followed features a host of refugees from other worlds. With radically different versions of Wolverine, Reed Richards, Hawkeye, the Hulk and Spider-Man running around the Marvel universe now, how long will it be before another superhuman civil war breaks out? (Spoilers: We’ll see one in 2016.)