Bracing For Another Superhero Movie Onslaught

It’s been happening for a few weeks now: every so often, for seemingly no reason, my right eye lid twitches. I don’t feel any pain or tension or anything like that—the lower lid just starts wiggling all around. I was a little worried at first; was it exhaustion? Too much caffeine? Spidey-sense misfiring?

I think I’ve figured it out. I think it’s that blend of quiet skepticism, anticipation, worry, and hope that tends to wash over me in the spring time — it’s the Comic Book Movie Quiver, coming on strong.

I just went on IMDB and did a quick little scan of the various genre/action/superhero/fantasy/sci-fi/super-epic-nerdo-fest movies and I can see why the twitch is happening already—there are a lot of these kinds of movies coming out over the next eight months, many of which I know I will actually go to—we haven’t seen a year with so many comic book-related titles like this since 2011 (Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, The Green Hornet, Green Lantern, The Adventures of Tintin)!

This is, of course, not necessarily a good thing!

As the years have passed, I have finally accepted that the most enjoyable aspect of this anticipatory position is, well, discussing the anticipation. As we learned in 2011, not all of these movies will come close to being worthy of our hard earned cash. They will disappoint, frustrate, and even anger us. Our conversations will not be ones of hope, but tirades of judgements and irritation, outlining the “what could have been,” followed by vows not to fall for the same trickery the next time.

That being said, I am very curious as to what you all are excited about and figured I would go down my list to get the conversation going.


Iron Man 3 (US Release: May 3) – Excitement Level: 6/10 (10 being insanely excited) – Iron Man is one of the best comic book movies ever. Iron Man 2 was, in my opinion, absolutely awful and an incredible disappointment, to the point that it makes me honestly wonder if I really want to give the franchise another chance. I will not be going on opening weekend, and can’t say I am all that excited about it. Robert Downey, Jr. is a fantastic Tony Stark, but he’s best in small Avengers-sized doses and I don’t really care about his Malibu house getting blown up again. Yes, Ben Kingsley looks pretty great as The Mandarin, but I found myself admiring his odd accent more than anything else. This movie has a lot to make up for; we’ll see if it can deliver.

Star Trek: Into Darkness (US Release: May 17 ) – Excitement Level: 8/10 – I wanted to put a 9 here but I am very nervous to get too excited for this movie, because I really liked the last one (I saw it three times in the theaters alone–perhaps one time too many, I admit). Benedict Cumberbach has all the signs of being an effective, if somewhat laconic, bad guy, but I am concerned that the overall story will be less than inventive. That being said, I think Chris Pine is an awesome Kirk and I know the folks behind the movie really love Star Trek, so I am optimistic about it. Definitely going, hopefully on opening night.


Man of Steel (US Release: June 14) – Excitement Level: 9/10 – Again, the more excited I am, the more worried I get—damn you, age and experience! I was one of those fans who actually thought he enjoyed Superman Returns only to realize over the days and weeks that followed how bad that movie actually was (though there are a few good moments, to be sure). My history and affection for the character are at the point now where part of me almost wishes this film wasn’t coming out, that perhaps it is best if I just enjoy the character in the comfort of my own memories, while the other, much louder and passionate part of me is absolutely on-board with Zack Snyder’s attempt at bringing this hero to the masses—again. This is, by far, the film that I am most interested in, and I really, really do hope it’s going to be good. 100% there opening night.


The Lone Ranger (US Release: July 3) – Excitement Level: 2/10 – I only include this because I really did like the first year or so of the Lone Ranger comic book. This basically looks like a chance for Depp to bring his version of Jack Sparrow into the Tonto character. While I am vaguely curious to see how a Western can cost $250 million to make, I am not sure I’ll ever see this movie, opening night or otherwise.

‘Pacific Rim’

Pacific Rim (US Release: July 12) – Excitement Level: 8/10 – I know that this technically not a comic book film, but like, a story directed by Guillermo del Toro about giant robots battling giant aliens that have arrived on Earth via a transdimensional portal deep in the oceans is more than appropriate for this list. This could be terrible, like Transformers 4 terrible, but I still want to see it on as large a screen as possible. I’ll go one week after opening, I think.

The Wolverine (US Release: July 26) – Excitement Level: 6/10 – X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a distressingly bad movie—I know this because I remember saying bad things about it years ago and now can’t remember much of it at all.  This next installment looks to be good; the tone seems to be right and I appreciate how it’s tied in a bit more with Logan’s actual history. I do find the yelling and screaming and the claws a little tiring, but, if done well, this movie could help Fox redeem themselves with Marvel fans…a bit. I’ll try to see it on opening weekend but I’m not gonna freak out about it.


Elysium  (US Release: August 9) – Excitement Level: 8/10 – Like Pacific Rim, this is not a comic book film per sé, but I really enjoyed District 9, which was also directed by Neill Blomkamp, and it’s nice to see an original science fiction/genre film coming out. I don’t know anything about this movie, but the tech looks nice, Damon looks to be having fun—it just looks like it’s gonna be fun.  I’ll see it opening weekend, dammit.

Kick-Ass 2  (US Release: August 16) – Excitement Level: 5/10 – Make no mistake, I quite liked the first movie, but a large part of that enjoyment came from Nicolas Cage’s great performance. I can’t help but think that, not unlike the second volume of the comic, that this movie is kind of superfluous. It’s like making a sequel to Galaxy Quest – why? The first film exists just fine.  I’ll probably wait for the reviews to come in before I see it, but I am not inspired by this one at all.

After the summer months, we actually have two significant sequels:


Matt Damon in ‘Elysium’

Sin City, A Dame to Kill For (US Release: October 4) – Excitement Level: 7/10 – I kinda forgot this movie was coming out, you know?  I never saw the first film in the theater but enjoyed the special edition at home quite a bit. I wonder if perhaps too much time has passed since the first film’s outing, but I am happy to go back to Sin City again. I may not be super excited but I am definitely interested in the film, and may try to see it opening night, just because it will be October and I’ll need that kind of excitement, I think.


Thor 2 – Dark World (US Release: November 8) – Excitement Level: 7/10 – I really enjoyed the first Thor movie; I liked how Kenneth Branagh handled both the real world and Asgard scenes, and think Chris Hemsworth is a fantastic Thor. That being said, I thought Avengers served as a great sequel, and kind of don’t know why this movie is needed—but I guess that Marvel is positioning this as a kind of sequel to Avengers…soon we’re going to need numbers on all of Marvel films just to see where they fit in sequence! According to Marvel, “Thor battles an ancient race of Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith who threatens to plunge the universe back into darkness after the events of The Avengers.” I know nothing of Malekith and find that the description lends itself perhaps more to a Lord of the Rings installment, but still, I am down for it. I assume I will go opening weekend — my wife Whitney loves Hemsworth/Thor/same person.

There are quite a few other “genre” films coming out in 2013 as well, of course. We’ve got the new Hunger Games movie, Hobbit 2/3, Ender’s Game…lots of selections, but the films mentioned above are the ones that kind of scream “iFanboy-friendly” to me.  It’s funny; even though there are a lot of these kinds of movies coming out, I don’t feel as sensitive to comic book overload as I did in 2011, perhaps because we’re just used this kind of thing by now.

As I mentioned above, Man of Steel is the one I am most excited about, having written about it years ago. I talked with a  producer on the film (working with one of the many production companies working on it) for well over an hour about Superman and the movie itself, and she said that they were well aware of just how fantastically personal fans were taking the film, and she was confident that I was going to love the movie. We’ll see.

How about you? As you look at this list, which films get your eyelid all a flutter?


Mike Romo is an actor in LA who drinks too much coffee and doesn’t get enough sleep. He replies to email, uses twitter, and shares photos on Instagram. Give him a like on Facebook, too!



  1. Isn’t the prequel to 300 also coming out this year?

  2. I had no idea they finally made Sin City 2. I’ll probably skip it and wait for it on HBO or wherever.

    Now that I have a kid, I only get out to the movies a few times a year. IM3, Thor 2, and Star Trek are locks. I have a decent chance of seeing Kick Ass 2 with a couple of guy friends who I usually go see ridiculous movies with (and who also are saddled with span and rarely get out of the house).

    Pacific Rim looks risky. I’ll probably see it eventually.

    I like the look of Elysium, and also Oblivion and After Earth, but have a feeling I’ll have to wait on all of those.

  3. Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness are definites for me because the wife also loved all the first movies. I’m most curious about Man of Steel because I think it will dictate WB future endeavors with comic movies. I’m actually crazy excited for Elysium because I loved, loved, loved District 9. This looks to have that same feel. Also, I’m excited for Thor 2, which I’ll hopefully be able to catch on my own before it leaves theaters.

  4. Most excited about the new Star Trek since I’m an original series fanatic from boyhood and the teaser footage looked really great. Also primed for Man of Steel since it’s a bit of an unknown when it comes to straight ahead comic sourced films. Otherwise, I will see most of the films listed above, but with varying degrees of enthusiasm / expectations.

  5. I am most excited for Iron Man 3. I am getting a good vibe from the previews, and it is directed by Shane Black.

    I had almost no interest in Man of Steel until this past week when I re-watched the trailer. There are glimpses of a good movie, and if the aim was to convey more tone than actual plot, it was successful. And, supposedly, it is supposed to be the beginning of the DC Universe / JL movies. So, I am becoming more excited for that one.

    I was already excited for Star Trek and Thor 2. Can’t wait for those. The rest are probably wait-for-video.

    • Yes, my excitement for Iron Man 3 wouldn’t be particularly high (thought the first film was fine, the second was awful) except for Shane Black. I’ve said this a lot but the guy who wrote and directed Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang making a super hero movie with the star of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang makes me unbelievably happy.
      Hopefully the studio stayed out of the way and let magic happen, needless to say my expectations are high.

  6. I’m excited for them all safe for Elysium and Pacific Rim!

    Just like Sugar Crisps, you can never get enough Comic Book/Superhero movies!

  7. I think director Shane Black is gonna bring something different to the table for Iron Man 3, something darker, edgier. I am cautiously optimistic but am hoping for a better experience than IM 2.

    As for Man of Steel that’s the one I’m most looking forward to. I had problems with many of the previous Superman films (I.e. spinning earth backwards, magic kisses, and Super-offspring etc.), so I hope this one delivers.

    Star Trek Into Darkness: in JJ Abrams I trust, so if it’s on the same level as the first one I’ll be happy.

    The Wolverine: the trailer didn’t impress me, but hopefully they learned their mistakes from the first film and give us the Wolverine we all want to see.

    Thor 2: this’ll be awesome. Please Thor put on the helmet!

  8. Pretty much going to the theater to see the Avengers-related Marvel movies.

    The rest of those films I will eventually watch at home.

    Although Pacific Rim and Elysium both sound really cool.

  9. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’m pretty nervous about Man of Steel, Mike. Looking forward to chatting with you about it. Hopefully we’ll be gushing over it.

    Let’s see. Aside from Sin City and Kick -Ass 2, these are probably all opening weekend flicks for me. Though, with this gig, they might all be. That said, I have exactly zero interest in Kick-Ass. Most excited for Man of Steel, Elysium, Pacific Rim and Star Trek. The Thor lust will be coming along soon enough. Love the character and the first film. Iron Man 3 doesn’t have me actively excited, but I’ll be there and opening day, and I expect I’ll be thrilled with it once I’m back in that world.

  10. I don’t get why a previous bad movie in a franchise should make a difference on what to expect from a new one… unless it is being made by all the same people. Iron Man 3 has a different director, and perhaps more importantly, a different writer. Same thing for Wolverine. Also, why aren’t Ender’s game and Hobbit ifanboy friendly?

  11. Sin city 2,Man of steel and star trek into darkness.

  12. My excitement levels mirror Mike’s for the most part. Star Trek and Man of Steel are the big ones. All of these movies show promise in different ways.

    The thing is I rarely go to the theater anymore. I didn’t see Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers until I picked up the blurays in December. I’m sure I’ll wind up watching most of these next holiday season as well.

  13. In order from most excited to least excited:

    Man of Steel (can’t wait, I’m cautiously optimistic)
    Iron Man 3 (as far as I’m concerned, Marvel is 6/6 since the first Iron Man came out. I didn’t even have a problem with IM2)
    Star Trek: Into Darkness (not a comic book movie, but it’s on this list anyway, so I included it)
    Thor: The Dark World (the first Thor movie surprised me at how good it was, love Hemsworth in the role)
    The Wolverine (while I think Jackman does a great job in the role, his casting is all wrong, the success of this movie has nothing to do with him, but the material he’s given)
    Kick Ass 2 (I enjoyed the first one, I’ll probably catch this one on dvd)
    The Lone Ranger (will also probably wait for dvd)
    Elysium (don’t care)
    Pacific Rim (looks monumentally stupid, like something SyFy would show on a Saturday afternoon double feature with Sharktopus)

  14. So, Ender’s Game eh? I love that book, am distressed by the author’s politics, and am now confused about what I am to do about that.

    • +1

    • My rule of thumb is that if an author’s politics are relevant to what they are writing, than it’s fair to criticize/boycott them. If they are not relevant to the work at hand, then they are not an issue. Thus, while I disagree strongly with Card’s views on sexuality, I do not know if that is a fair reason to boycott Ender’s Game. A tricky issue, I know — normally I would reread the book before the film, yet, in this case, I’m not sure . . .

  15. I’m definetly seeing all of these except I’ll almost certainly wait and rent The Lone Ranger. I’m most exctied for Iron Man 3, and like a lot of other people I’m a little worried about how Man of Steel is going to turn out. For some reason the MTV Movie Awards teaser got me more excited for it though.

  16. *Pacific Rim* is EXACTLY as if Guillermo del Toro made a *Transformers* movie, and that’s a great thing. I have no particular fondness for the plot summary I’ve read; it’s very give-or-take. But del Toro has never let me down. He’s never made a bad movie, and he has a knack for taking crazy things and making them insanely good. I’m on board. I suspect we’re all about to find out just how bad the Transformer movies actually are by getting a glimpse of how good they could have been.

    As for the others, I’m looking forward to *Into Darkness*, though I suspect my worry is significantly less because I’m not a great Star Trek fan, though I greatly enjoyed the first of the reboots. Similarly, I’m interested to see what Snyder does with Superman, but I won’t be crushed if it’s disappointing. I’ll wait for initial critical reviews to decide where my money goes outside of that.

  17. Probably most excited for Sin City 2, I loved the first one so damn much. Also very excited for superman but definitely worried that we dont all get let down…again. I’ll watch most of the rest but I have zero interest in pacific rim, not my kind of thing.

  18. Can’t wait for Man of Steel. Most of the others I’m excited for but not nearly as excited as I am for Man of Steel. Pacific Rim and Elysium look cool

  19. Iron Man 3 6/10, just feels like an accuse to put as many CGI Iron Mans on the screen at once (wait for cheap night 2-3 week)
    Star Trek 9/10, the new trailer has me really excited for this one (week 1-2)
    Man of Steel 9/10, the recent General Zod viral campaign has brought me from a 7 to a 9. (week1)
    Lone Ranger – Meh (wait for dvd)
    Pacific Rim 6/10, maybe a 7 because watching large things smash each other on a big screen is always enjoyable. (cheap night week 2-3)
    Wolverine 8/10, hopefully they will get it right this time. Hopefully. (Cheap night week 2)
    Elysium 8/10, looks like a fun sci-fi flick. (week 1-2)
    Kick-Ass 2 9/10, not so much for the movie itself, as I am more interested in seeing Jim Carrey as Col Stars n Stripes. (week 1)
    Sin City 7/10, More Marv is always good (cheap night week 1-2)
    Thor 2 8/10, eager to see the exploration of the realms. (week 1-2)

  20. I’m interested in seeing in theaters (but not 3D):
    – Pacific Rim
    – Sin CIty 2
    – Elysium
    – Wolverine
    – Star Trek
    – Iron Man 3

    So more than half. Not bad. Probably see Thor 2 too.

  21. Most excited for Star Trek. Will hopefully see it opening weekend & since my girlfriend is a bigger fan than I that shouldn’t be a problem . . .

    I’m pretty excited for Iron Man 3. (Yes, I’m one of the five people who liked 2)., Won’t see it opening weekend, but hope to see it on a weeknight the first week.

    I was pretty mixed on the first Thor film, but I like the fact that 2 looks to be more Asgard focused. Perhaps we’ll even see the Warriors Three do something of import? Perhaps Sif will have more than two lines? I’m cautiously optimistic on this one . . . I’ll see it in theaters, though it might not be first week.

    This film did very little to excite me until the trailer I saw before The Hobbit. Now I’m curious. I will see it, though whether it’s theaters or video will depend on what I hear about it . . .

    I want to be excited about Pacific Rim because of del Toro, but honestly the preview left me cold. Unless I hear exceptional things, it’ll probably be video . . .

    I loved District 9, and thus I have high hopes for Elysium. Keeping fingers crossed.

    Lone Ranger on video (if that) & solely for Depp. Wolverine, video as well. I have pretty much zero interest in Kick-Ass (never saw the first film, was tired of it by the end of the first series) or Sin City (again never saw the first film, was mixed on the comic).

    • For “This film . . .trailer before Hobbit” read “Man of Steel.” D’ast the lack of an edit tool . . .

  22. Wow! There’s two phrases you pretty much never see together: “Nicolas Cage” and “great performance.”

    Were you serious?

  23. I am getting a bad, bad feeling about Iron Man 3. I have read about the filmmakers mocking the idea of the Mandarin and his “magic rings.” As all real Iron Fans know, the Mandarin’s rings are not “magic.” They’re the product of extraterrestrial technology. We haven’t seen the Mandarin use his rings in any of the trailers, so I’m beginning to think that Shane Black turned the Mandarin into a terrorist with a fetish for bling.

    The trailers suggest that Black has produced yet another sequel to his horrid “Lethal Weapon” series. This time, Iron Man and Iron Patriot are the “cop” buddies who experience a lot of explosions. I hope my impressions are wrong.

    • Looks like Mandarin is a former American operative turned terrorist. The latest preview starts with him saying “My fellow Americans…” That could help explain the Cap shield tattoo, the camo pants and combat boots, the dog tags hanging on the survival knife, etc. I honestly have no problem with any of this because I think the comic Mandarin is cheesy. ;-P

  24. Mike you captured exactly how I feel about Man of Steel.

  25. I just found an old list I made at the start of the year (for a film discussion podcast/webshow/thing) of my top 10 most anticipated films for 2013. Interestingly only thee of these films are are on there:
    10. Stoker (Chan-wook Park)
    9. Iron Man 3 (Shane Black)
    8. Trance (Danny Boyle)
    7. Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon)
    6. Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski)
    5. Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow)
    4. The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance)
    3. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro)
    2. Elysium (Neill Blomkamp)
    1. The World’s End (Edgar Wright)
    Remember this is taking into account UK release dates (a lot of these came out last year in the US) and my opinion has changed a bit since then.
    Still I’m super stoked for Iron Man 3, and Star Trek 2 now.
    Man of Steel; meh, it may well be amazing but nothing I’ve seen gets me even remotely excited.
    The Wolverine dropped off my radar when Darren Aronofsky left the project but the trailer peaked my interest a little.
    I’m gonna wait for reviews for Sin City 2, I’m a noir buff so I could love it. Nothing much excites me about Thor 2, I’m sure it will be perfectly fine, I’ll probably check it out on shiny, shiny disc unless reviews are stellar.

  26. IM3: 7/10. I really liked 1 and 2 but I’m just sort of burnt out on Marvel. I’m still planning on seeing it just not right away.
    Man of Steel: 10/10 (if it’s good). This is probably the one I’m most looking forward to, I want to see reviews (of those I trust first) but if they’re good then I’m fine paying $8 to see it.
    Pacific Rim:9/10. Love Del Toro and Hunnam so can’t wait for this.
    Thor 2: 8/10. Loved the first Thor, I don’t know why anyone would ask “Why is this needed?”. Asking that of Marvel ever is pointless, that said I am looking forward to this.
    Star Trek 2:1/10. Not a Trekkie. And the first one bored me, there I said it!!!
    Lone Ranger:0/10. No plans on ever seeing this, this could be the next Prince of Persia but people will probably compare it to Alice in Wonderland.
    Elysium:X/10. Haven’t seen any trailers and didn’t love District 9 so maybe I’ll see it.
    Sin City 2:8/10. I liked the first Sin City, but “A Dame to Kill For” was probably my favorite book in the series so this is no-brainer for me.

    • Forgot the Wolverine: 0/10. Never again, sequel to one of the worst comic movies ever. Not getting any of my money!!!!

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      “this could be the next Prince of Persia but people will probably compare it to Alice in Wonderland.”

      I have no idea what this means.

    • Ok you know how horrible PoP was? Lone Ranger could be just as bad, they have the same director I think. I thought Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” was pretty boring and pointless, but people seem to like it (or maybe it was the 3D. My roommate described it as “one of those movies you only see once”.). However I have no knowledge of the Lone Ranger mythos so I’m just going by instinct here. To me it reminds me of PoP tho. I could be wrong and it could turn out to be the next Pirates…

    • Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Ok, you’re saying people liked Alice in Wonderland.

    • Lone Ranger looks fun in a Pirates kinda way and pretty much just wanna see it cause I like Johnny Depp and I do know The Lone Rangers deal but not sure if this follows it or if it even matters. I think its supposed to take more inspiration from the literary version before the TV series like Green Hornet did with the radio serial before the show or comics. Alice in Wonderland is one of those eye candy movies to me which I like having on when I wanna relax and not need to be too involved in a film, same goes for Snow White and the Huntsman and a few other films cause I tend to look deeper into films than most I find and at the same time take the ones that get the most slack just for what they are. I also think The Wolverine looks alright and don’t think it’s considered a sequel but a different chapter in Logan’s story. Hugh Jackman is good as him, Liev Shrieber was a much better Sabertooth, they showed how he got his jacket and Gambit wasn’t bad. I tend to enjoy some of these movies a lot more looking at em this way instead of trying to find things to dislike. Fuck all this worrying and uncertainty about comic films. If anything they get me excited and give me something to look forward to seeing in the theatre or when it hits BluRay. Most of em anyway. Ryan Reynolds Deadpool deserved an Oscar 😉

  27. Most excited for Elysium, Pacific Rim and Star Trek: Into Darkness. None of which I’m as excited for as Man of Steel. Like you, Mike, my anticipation for that movie grows by the day and I have to constantly remind myself not to get my hopes too high. Last time I did that Green Lantern happened and I was crushed by its mediocrity. It’s nice to know that the studio is aware how much the character to means to particular fans.

  28. Your thoughts on all of these movies are pretty much the same for me Mike. (Two Mike’s with the same opinion? Weird.)

    But I am excited to see more Sin City even though the wait has been ridiculous. It’s cool to see Josh Brolin is going to be Dwight BEFORE he has facial reconstruction just like in the story. Although if I was Brolin I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not since he winds up being Clive Owen…

    I’m also hoping The Wolverine is much better this time around. But you can’t get worse than the Origins movie….that’s just impossible.

  29. Another great article by Mike Romo. He always writes what I am thinking.

  30. Why is “Star Trek” a Superhero or even Comic Book movie? There

  31. Hey Mike how high are your Man of Steel expectations after the latest trailer.

  32. Pessimism and worries? Fuck that noise, enjoy a movie and relax.

  33. Does anyone else think the costumes in oblivion rip off fantastic for e?

    • Oblivion looks sweet. I doubt the people working on them effects and costumes even read or seen the brief history FF’s white n black costumes have, good chance they haven’t anyway but also just as good they would’ve. But my question to you is do you think those FF costumes were ripped off of the many different futuristic white costumes in movies, video games and other comix that’ve come before?

  34. I’m excited for Pacific Rim, Elysium, Oblivion, the 3rd Riddick movie (in September), the 300 prequel….and I must admit Man of Steel. Henry Cavill as Supes will either be a resounding success, or it will relegate Superman to the same level as The Shadow……never to be in film again.

  35. Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel are the ones I am looking forward to the most, but really want to see Iron Man 3 and the Wolverine as well. Will definitely be seeing Kickass 2 also.