2018 has some awful big shoes to fill if it wants to top 2017, but there’s plenty of things on the way this year that have me seriously hyped. From the culmination of a decade of movies, to the return of a beloved animated series, to what is one of the biggest pro wrestling events this century, 2018 is shaping up to be another fine year in the entertainment field. Below I’ve got my picks for the movie, novel, tv show, comic, video game, and sporting event that I’m most looking forward to.
MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE – THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
It’s amazing to think how much work has gone into building up this pivotal film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By the time this releases, it will have been ten years and 19 movies that laid the groundwork for a massive blockbuster featuring all of the beloved superheroes that we’ve watched on the big screen for the last decade. It’s impossible not to appreciate the level of dedication and detail that’s gone into making such an ambitious project a reality. I still have questions about just how they’re going to accomplish this, but based on that incredible trailer that dropped late last year, the producers behind this immense flick will find a way to ensure that every familiar face gets their turn to shine.
MOST ANTICIPATED NOVEL – TIMELESS: DIEGO AND THE RANGERS OF THE VASTLANTIC
This came out in October of 2017, but if you know me, you know that my backlog of books is so long that I almost never can get to a new release the day it hits shelves. I am very excited to get to this intriguing adventure, and should be able to start it in February. Having just skimmed through some of the copious artwork that adorns the book, there seems to be plenty of memorable moments that are appropriate for the story’s unique setting. In alternate version of our own world, where the past, present, and future blur together, melding sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, dinosaurs, and giant robots, there no doubt has to be a lot of imaginative fun to be had reading this.
MOST ANTICIPATED TV SHOW – YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
I still consider it a crime that this show was originally cancelled, in the first place. For years, I lamented that Young Justice only got two seasons to its name. In the long line of quality animated productions from DC Comics, this show ranked among the very best, serving as an excellent showcase of DC’s younger superheroes. Although geared for a teenage audience, Young Justice didn’t belittle its viewers; it occasionally stepped into some very mature storytelling that even the big budget superhero films (from DC or Marvel) are afraid to tackle. With the handful of plot threads that were left unresolved at the end of the Season 2, this return gives Young Justice the opportunity to finish the story it originally tried to tell, and so much more.
MOST ANTICIPATED COMIC – GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE
I’ve always had an appreciation for stand-alone stories that get the job done in one shot, so DC’s line of Earth One graphic novels have been appealing to me since the time they were first announced. To this point, they’ve largely been solid, including reboot stories for Superman, Batman, the Teen Titans, etc., and I expect the Green Lantern to get similar treatment. Hal Jordan is probably my favorite superhero, and even after enjoying every last issue of Geoff John’s incredible run, I think there is a ton of potential for some new minds to utilize the character. Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko have done a fantastic job together on the gritty sci-fi series Invisible Republic, so I think they will be great fits to re-imagine the most famous Green Lantern of them all.
MOST ANTICIPATED VIDEO GAME — DRAGON QUEST XI: ECHOES OF AN ELUSIVE AGE
It’s been far too long since the West was graced by a brand new, numbered Dragon Quest entry–eight years, if we’re counting. That wait has been even longer for one to hit home consoles. Dragon Quest XI launched in Japan last summer, so I’d have to imagine that it finally gets its translation sometime in 2018, and hopefully it’s announced Nintendo Switch version, as well. Dragon Quest XI looks like exactly what you’d want out of a current-gen Dragon Quest game, taking all of the series’ color, charm, personality, and plastering it over a sprawling world that’s fully realized by cutting edge hardware. Coupling the classic elements with modern advancements in gaming might yield one of the most memorable entries in the franchise, yet.
MOST ANTICIPATED SPORTING EVENT — WRESTLE KINGDOM 12
At the time of this writing, I’m only a few hours away from watching what is undoubtedly my most anticipated pro wrestling event in well over a decade. If you do not believe in the athleticism of pro wrestlers, simply because the competition is choreographed, I would enjoy you to check out the work rate of the performers in New Japan Pro Wrestling. These guys hit harder and faster than just about anything you’ll find on this side of the Pacific, and with a more realistic approach to its presentation, New Japan comes across as a traditional sport, rather than the circus-like vibe that has long plagued the top American promotions. New Japan has been my wrestling love for over a year now; I’m a proud subscriber to their streaming service, and I’m beyond excited for their biggest show of the year, their WrestleMania, Wrestle Kingdom. Cody Rhodes vs. Kota Ibushi, Roppongi 3K vs The Young Bucks, a 4-way match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship between Marty Scurll, Hiromu Takahashi, Will Ospreay, and Kushida, there’s too many matches on the stacked card that I’m looking forward to. Most of all are the bout featuring Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho, and of course the main event as Kazuchika Okada defends his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the cerebral, arrogant Tetsuya Naito, who might just be my favorite pro wrestler going today.