With seven films schedules from three different studios, (four if you count Sony's team-up with Marvel Studios in Civil War) 2016 promises to be the biggest year for comic book movies to date.
Of the year's new movies, two focus on super heroes fighting each other, four are massive on ensembles, and three are standalone introductions to new portrayals of beloved comic book characters. We're all excited for each of them but the question remains around dinner tables and in comment sections: Which one will be the best?
My answer: Deadpool.
Sure, some may consider jumping to this conclusion a bit hasty, seeing as footage from Doctor Strange has yet to be released and Gambit hasn't even started filming yet, but let history speak for itself.
When you ask someone what their favorite comic book movie is, chances are they'll say one of three films - The Dark Knight, The Avengers, or Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, The Winter Soldier or Iron Man might sneak into a few of those, but even then, they fit the following explanation for that.
Each of those films had a unique touch of magic new to moviegoers. The Dark Knight took an outstanding Christian Bale portrayal of Batman and pitted him against one of the best cinematic antagonist's in history in terms of both writing and performance. Heath Ledger's Joker has been unmatched in his villainy.
Then, look at The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Each one of these films has that same touch of magic. The Avenger's threw together a handful of super heroes on the big screen for the first time ever after building them individually for four years. Guardians took characters most executives would laugh about featuring in a movie and made audiences laugh instead.
Now, Deadpool is coming along. What is it's magic touch? It's attitude. It's sex and it's violence. Not to mention, it will shatter the fourth wall all along its journey. There have been previous R-rated comic book movies which earned R-ratings from the MPAA, such as last year's successful Kingsman movie, but Deadpool didn't just earn an R-rating. Deadpool set out for an R-rating to match, if not exaggerate, its comic book content.
Moviegoers expecting a super hero film will be shocked and appalled by Deadpool's ruthlessness. No, I haven't seen it yet, but I've watched every clip and trailer to come across the Internet and already it is unlike any comic book movie I've ever seen. It doesn't look to be violent just to be violent but instead it looks violent to set a tone. It's self-aware and smart.
Deadpool will have that same magic of The Avengers, of the first time you see Jurassic Park or Star Wars or other groundbreaking, original films. It's that feeling of seeing something new which is hard to find in a movie theater crowded with reboots and sequels. If Deadpool has the hilarious, action-packed story the early reviews and reactions have claimed it does, there's no doubt it will be the number one comic book movie of 2016.
The closest competition will come in the form of Doctor Strange. Marvel Studios' new standalone film will bring magic to the mostly grounded universe, hot on the heels of the Russo Brothers' Civil War, and we all know they're going to keep things as realistic as possible. Doctor Strange can't deny being the 13th film in a long line of Marvel Studios productions, though, and its overall tone will have to fit, at least a little bit, of what we've already seen.
The Fox X-Universe has never stepped near Deadpool territory. Following the success of Day of Future Past, the studio will surely aim for another hit, having bounced back from the less favorably received X3 and Origins.