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12 comic book epics you cannot miss this year


It's official: 2019 is the year of the comic book movie. We've rounded up 12 essential blockbusters that you need to see this year.

1. Alita: Battle Angel

Released 6th February

Technically this sweeping post-apocalyptic adventure is based on a popular Japanese manga source, as opposed to a comic book. Nevertheless a love of the fantastical and super-human underpins this eye-scorching adventure from writer/producer James Cameron (Avatar) and director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City).

Bird Box's Rosa Salazar is the cyborg hero rescued from the scrap heap who must discover her true destiny, with Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelly rounding out the starry cast.

2. Captain Marvel

Released 8th March

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) expands its ranks with this 1990s-set origin story of Carol Danvers, the air force pilot destined to transform into interstellar superhero Captain Marvel. 

The latter is reportedly the MCU's most powerful character so far, and we're expecting Oscar-winning Room actor Brie Larson to more than put her stamp on the character. As directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden embroil us in an engrossing battle between alien races the Kree and the Skrulls, expect an appearance from a de-aged Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury.

3. Shazam!

Released 5th April

We're used to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) toiling around in the dark and sombre realms, but that has all started to change with recent blockbuster Aquaman.

Shazam! continues the latter's lighthearted tone with the story of a young kid capable of transforming into a superhero upon saying his name. The movie looks fast, furious and very funny as Thor actor Zachary Levi embodies the kid-encased-in-an-adult-body persona of Shazam!, replete with striking red armour and bullet-proof abilities.

4. Hellboy

Released 12th April

The Dark Horse hero from hell was previously brought to the screen by Guillermo del Toro with Ron Perlman in the lead role. Now, The Descent filmmaker Neil Marshall is bringing us a purportedly darker and tougher take on Hellboy's origin with Stranger Things actor David Harbour taking over where Perlman left off.

5. Avengers: Endgame

Released 26th April

Phase four of the MCU comes to its explosive and sure-to-be-emotional end as our Avengers deal with the fall-out from the deadly Thanos' (Josh Brolin) finger snap.

With Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) isolated in space and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) bereft back on Earth, we're faced with a world in which 50% of the population has been obliterated. How can this possibly be reversed? The future of the entire MCU hinges on this pivotal question...

6. X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Released 7th June

The popular Dark Phoenix comic saga was previously adapted in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. However, X-Men figurehead Simon Kinberg promises to do the storyline official justice as he takes over writing and directing duties in this latest superhero adventure.

Continuing with the timeline laid down by Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, the latest X-Men movie focuses on the younger Jean Grey (Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner) as she struggles with her burgeoning phoenix powers.

7. Men in Black: International

Released 14th June

It's easy to forget the Men in Black movie franchise is in fact based on a graphic novel source (The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham). And although Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones depart in this all-new story, there's an exciting new duo to take their place.

Step forward the Thor: Ragnarok pairing of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in a movie that introduces us to the British arm of the agency (represented by Liam Neeson). Fast & Furious 8's F. Gary Gray directs.

8. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Released 5th July

Tom Holland's wall-crawler is back following the events of 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming – and this time he's venturing far beyond the boundaries of New York.

For the first time in a Spider-Man movie, hero Peter Parker experiences danger on a global scale, as his school tour of Europe brings him into contact with the formidable Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). 

9. The New Mutants

Released 2nd August

Following several delays, we're finally due to get this horror-inflected take on the X-Men mythology in 2019. Intriguingly, it comes from The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone, here swapping tears for fears in the story of a group of young mutants persecuted by their own powers. Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton are among the cast.

10. Joker

Released 4th October

The Clown Prince of Crime has been treated to numerous incarnations over the years, from the maniacal Jack Nicholson to the chilling, Oscar-winning spectre of the late Heath Ledger. Now Joaquin Phoenix is set to bring his signature intensity to this gritty, grounded origin story, playing a failed comedian who transforms into Batman's nemesis.

11. Kingsman: The Great Game

Released 8th November

Director Matthew Vaughn is back for another blast of sartorially stylish action in the third Kingsman movie. It's purported to take Mark Millar's Kingsman characters back to the 1990s, so it's unclear whether the entertaining duo of Colin Firth and Taron Egerton will be back for this one. More details as we get them.

And our wild card choice currently on release...

12. Glass

Director M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable, released in 2000, performed the marvellously eerie feat of grounding a superhero origin story in recognisable surroundings. Shyamalan has now fashioned a sequel to both that film and his 2016 hit Split, as invulnerable David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and multiple-personality psychopath Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) are set on a collision course, all engineered by the shadowy Elijah Price/Mr Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).

Click here to book your tickets for Glass.

Which of these 2019 comic book blockbusters are you most excited about? Let us know @Cineworld.