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Marvel and DC: Your guide to superhero films in 2016

Marvel and DC: Your guide to superhero films in 2016

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This year is set to bring Marvel and DC fans a lot of joy as some of their favourite comic superheroes, villains, and anti-heroes are being brought to the big screen in spectacular fashion. Expectations are high for competing studios, but given the sheer amount of superhero content coming out in cinemas, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.

If the wave of exclusive images, new trailers, and rumours are starting to confuse you, then take a look at the easy guide below.

Deadpool (Marvel)

Who is it about?

Deadpool/Wade Wilson is also known as The Merc with a Mouth…and for good reason. This wise cracking anti-hero is a legend in comic history, given his penchant for breaking the fourth wall and generally kicking ass. This film adaptation sees Ryan Reynolds as the titular character in his first solo outing (Reynolds previously portrayed Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine).

What’s it about?

A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

Why watch it?

The marketing geniuses behind the film have been churning out some impressive promos, with hilarious posters and an out-there trailer that seems to just skim the surface of what this film will offer. It’s been rated R – so you know they’ll be staying true to the foul mouthed Deadpool fans love.

Release dates

USA: February 12

UK: February 10

Australia: February 11

NZ: February 11

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (DC)

Who is it about?

Batman and Superman – two of the Justice League’s most famous members who made their first comic book appearances in the 1930s.

What’s it about?

Fearing the actions of a superhero left unchecked, Batman (Ben Affleck) takes on Superman (Henry Cavill), while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

Why watch it?

This is the first time that Batman and Superman will come head to head on the big screen, and with Snyder’s dark thematic style, it’s sure to be a tense ride. But most importantly, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) makes an appearance.

Release dates

USA: March 25

UK: March 25

Australia: March 24

NZ: March 24

Captain America: Civil War (Marvel)

Who is it about?

While the comic series Civil War features A LOT of superheroes, the main players in this film adaptation are Steve Rogers aka Captain America and Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Vision, and Black Panther will be appearing too.

What’s it about?

One year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, another international incident involving Steve Rogers and the Avengers results in collateral damage, prompting politicians to form a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to call in the Avengers, which results in the fracturing of the team into two opposing factions – one led by Rogers (Chris Evans) who wishes to operate without regulation, and one led by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who supports government oversight – while they attempt to protect the world from a new enemy.

Why watch it?

The Civil War crossover limited series (2006 – 2007) shook the comic world in a big way. I won’t spoil the ending for you but s*** got real. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have commented that the film does use the essence of the Civil War series, but that naturally things have been adjusted to suit the actors who have become a big part in shaping the characters. This one is not to be missed.

Release dates

USA: May 6

UK: April 29

Australia: April 29

NZ: April 28

X-Men: Apocalypse (Marvel)

Who is it about?

More or less the same team of mutants from X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past including Magneto, Professor X, and Raven. The younger versions of Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Jubilee, and Nightcrawler all appear in supporting roles. Psylocke, Archangel, and Magneto all appear as Apocalypse’s “horsemen”.

What’s it about?

Since the dawn of civilisation, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

Why watch it?

The first ever mutant is the big bad in this one so it’ll be interesting to see how Professor X and Raven go about solving that minor hiccup. Psylocke aka Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock will be making an appearance…and she’s not to be messed with if Olivia Munn’s training videos are anything to go by.

Release dates

USA: May 27

UK: May 19

Australia: May 26

NZ:  May 19

Suicide Squad (DC)

Who is it about?

The Suicide Squad aka Task Force X is a team of supervillains serving long sentences or death row sentences at Belle Reve Penitentiary. Assembled by Amanda Waller, the team are used by the government in dangerous missions in exchange for shorter sentences. A variety of villains have been part of the squad in different comics, but this film adaptation sees Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, El Diablo, and Deadshot as key members. The Joker is also appearing in the film but is not part of the Suicide Squad.

What’s it about?

It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realise they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

Why watch it?

DC knows how to do villains and this is the mother load. Harley Quinn has never appeared on the big screen before, and was such a fan favourite after featuring in Batman: The Animated Series that DC decided to include her in the comic universe too. Given Margot Robbie’s crazed performance in the trailers, Quinn is sure to be popular. Jared Leto is also the latest actor to tackle the Clown Prince of Crime and looks perfectly creepy and manic. Will Smith’s character, Deadshot, has a pretty sad background in the comics, so it will be interesting to see if he’s given a redemptive storyline in the film.

Release dates

USA: August 5

UK: August 5

Australia: August 4

NZ: August 4

Doctor Strange (Marvel)

Who is it about?

Created in the 1960s, Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange aka Doctor Strange was an egotistical doctor who became the Sorcerer Supreme – the protector of Earth against magical threats – after the bones in his hands became shattered in an accident.

What’s it about?

After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant and conceited surgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil.

Why watch it?

The cast is pretty damn impressive with Cumberbatch playing the titular character and Tilda Swinton appearing as The Ancient One (Strange’s mentor). Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, and Benedict Wong also star in key roles. Not too shabby Marvel.

Release dates

USA: November 4

UK: October 28

Australia: TBC

NZ: TBC