What can we say about 2018? Well, lots of bad things. But some good stuff happened, too, and you clicked on a lot of stories, that’s for sure. Why not click on more? Perhaps even some you missed! Are you ready to find out io9's 100 most popular posts of 2018? Here we go...
On our list last year there was a lot of Marvel. This year? You guessed it—a lot of Marvel.
We’ve had set photos. We’ve had space-beepers. We’ve had comic universe teases. Hell, we’ve had notepads. But finally, finally, hope for a battered and bruised post-Infinity War Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived—in the form of the mighty Captain Marvel herself!
We’ve had months to recover from Avengers: Infinity War’s cataclysmic outcome, as Thanos, gauntlet in hand, snapped the snap heard ‘round the world. Now, after what feels like eons of waiting, we have our first look at what the original icons of the Marvel Cinematic Universe plan on doing to avenge their fallen comrades.
There’s a very simple new website making the rounds that all the kids are talking about. It’s called “Did Thanos Kill Me?”
Geoffrey the Giraffe, 1969-2018, purveyor of material joy.
Hot on the heels of Netflix’s The Dragon Prince, from Avatar: The Last Airbender head writer Aaron Ehasz, the studio has just stealthily announced that Avatar is coming back in an all-new, live-action series.
If you were one of the people incredibly excited by the possibilities left open at the end of Iron Fist season two, we have some very bad news. Netflix just canceled the show, making it the first Marvel show to get the ax.
Just a week after it shockingly put an end to Iron Fist after a promising second season, Netflix and Marvel have pulled the plug on another of their superhero shows. The streaming service has confirmed that after two seasons, Luke Cage is canceled.
A new report out today sheds more light on the allegations that 95-year-old Stan Lee is surrounded by bad actors who are all trying to get their hands on as much of the famed comics creator’s money as they can.
Mark Ruffalo wasn’t joking.
There’s a moment early into Netflix’s Bright, a cop movie that tries to blend social commentary about race with high fantasy, where Will Smith’s character beats a fairy to death with a broom while saying “fairy lives don’t matter.” Bright was not a good movie, but apparently, Netflix wants a sequel.
11) That Special Effect at the End of Avengers: Infinity War Was Based on One Specific Infinity Stone
The power of the whole Infinity Gauntlet was needed to fulfill Thanos’s master plan, but if the special effects are any indication, it was one stone in particular that did the job.
The characterization of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi has become the flashpoint in a raging wildfire of a debate about the current trajectory of the Star Wars saga. But with time to reflect since the release of the movie, it seems that Mark Hamill has come to a rather depressing realization that Luke’s fall is much truer to real life than he first thought.
13) Ryan Reynolds Sent a Gift to the Guy Who Changed the Avengers: Endgame URL Into a Deadpool Advertisement
When the Avengers: Endgame trailer dropped, fans who visited AvengersEndgame.com were met with an odd surprise. The domain, it turns out, is being squatted on, and its owner, Twitter user @AGuyInChair, has turned it into a redirect. For Deadpool. Because Deadpool vs. The Avengers is a thing we’re committing to now, I suppose.
You’ve seen the man behind the masquerade. Now you get to see just what Joaquin Phoenix’s nascent clown prince of crime will look like.
Marvel vs. DC is a debate that keeps on giving. It’s been filtered through every medium imaginable and, in recent years, played out in grand fashion at the movies. However, while Marvel Studios has had a very impressive string of critical and commercial successes, DC Films has struggled to do the same.
Marvel might make an Avenger out of her yet.
Dread it. Run from it. Avengers: Infinity War is finally here, bringing with it all sorts of questions about just what comes next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the wake of Thanos’ true arrival. Need some answers? Well, we have a few, as well as some extra questions about what happens now...
In spite of the more extreme elements of Rick and Morty’s saucy fanbase, the Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland-created scifi parody remains a pretty entertaining watch. But after three stellar, wildly popular seasons, its future is uncertain.
19) A $500 PC and an AI Did a Way Better Job Erasing Henry Cavill’s Justice League Mustache Than Expensive VFX
There’s a long list of things wrong with the Justice League movie, not the least of which being the hasty and poorly-executed digital removal of Henry Cavill’s mustache that he couldn’t shave during the film’s reshoots. But not to worry, some random dude on the internet with a $500 used PC and a world-changing AI just fixed at least one part of that film.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something filled with the coagulating blood of one’s enemies. The Trump household apparently wasn’t content turning the White House into a dark alternate dimension where all hope dies for just one year—this house of horrors has now become an annual holiday tradition.
Well, this certainly is a thing someone made: what if all of the Avengers were, in fact, much more similar than they appeared? What if Marvel’s two most overmarketed properties merged together into one big superhero movie mess? What if…everyone…was…Deadpool.
It’s nearly four years to the day since Marvel announced Captain Marvel was going to be part of its Cinematic Universe. Since we’ve waited, civil wars have been fought, Thanos has come and culled half of existence, and little by little we’ve had teases of her arrival. And now we finally have our first look at her in action.
The Witcher has found its, err, Witcher—in none other than DC’s Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill.
Principle shooting has recently begun on Wonder Woman 1984, which means visuals are starting to trickle out. Here’s an exciting one for us, courtesy of Gal Gadot herself: Diana in her full costume, in all the glory and glitz of the 1980s.
Yeah. That happened. And here’s why the writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story decided to do such a shocking thing.
Almost a month after its release, fans are still vigorously debating many aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Much of that centers around the treatment of Luke Skywalker, including his moments near the end of the film.
Lois Lane has a hot scoop to report: Amy Adams is out of the DC universe.
The internet is made for many wonderful things, but also, it’s made for yelling at each other loudly about beloved animated movies. So why not add some more fuel to the fire with your own Disney vs. Pixar March Madness bracket?
Seeing as how Black Panther is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact it ends with two credits scenes is hardly a surprise. What is a surprise, though, is that while these scenes seem relatively self-explanatory, there’s a lot more going on in them than you’d think—especially in the second scene.
30) Oh My Stars and Stripes, Avengers 4 Director Joe Russo Just Hinted That Chris Evans’ Cap May Not Be Done Yet
In the wake of Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War, fans have slowly been figuring out which characters we didn’t see on screen may still be alive. For example, we know half the animals in the galaxy were killed. But the most humorous reveal now comes straight from Australia and Thor’s roommate, Darryl.
Though it would have made all the sense in the world if the sixth and final Infinity Stone—specifically, the Soul Stone—was hidden away in the heart of the vibranium meteorite that crashed into Wakanda, Ryan Coogler’s suggested that’s probably not the case. So the Soul Stone’s still out there somewhere in the vast Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what if it’s been hiding in plain sight this entire time?
Now we know just who’s behind two crucial figures in The Witcher television series. Netflix has confirmed the actors who will bring Ciri and Yennefer to life in its new fantasy epic.
Marvel Studios has revolutionized the way we watch movies in a particularly weird way—a decade ago, most people left the theater the moment the credits began rolling. Now, swathes of moviegoers diligently sit through all the credits, hoping to see a little something extra. Marvel’s latest film Avengers: Infinity War does this, but it’s so much more than an extra.
People, you may rest easy. I bring you tidings of great joy. We are out of the darkness. Love and hope reign forevermore. That’s right, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is ending next season.
The moment you first lay eyes on Black Panther’s Wakanda, you can immediately see the care and attention to detail that went into realizing the fictional nation’s diverse array of cultures. They blend elements of the fantastical with actual African iconography, languages, and tradition. But certain religious aspects have raised eyebrows.
Finishing a film, and especially finishing a film that might be (if very plausible rumors are to be believed) your last outing in a long film franchise, sounds exciting, right? Doing one last big scene, putting a capper on an incredible experience.
After the release of Avengers: Infinity War, everything about the Marvel Cinematic Universe was suddenly in question, with an obvious problem: How in the hell will Marvel market movies released in the future starring characters who Thanos seemingly snapped into oblivion?
With Avengers: Infinity War so transformative for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it offers plenty of room for speculation about all the characters we didn’t see on screen. Ooh, what happened to her, I wonder? Now, the Russo Brothers have offered a few answers.
For some reason, there seems to be a bit of confusion as to whether Thanos, the true star of Avengers: Infinity War, is hot or not. Let’s clear that up once and for all, shall we? He’s hot as shit.
Horror movies bring people together. Cuddling on the couch during the jump scares. Getting accidentally married for real on the set of your gothic horror film. Wait, is that last one not normal?
Black Panther is now in theaters and it’s great. Like, really great. And one of the best things about it is you don’t need to be super familiar with Marvel’s 17 previous movies to enjoy it. It totally works on its own. However, if you are familiar with those movies, maybe you walked out of the theater with a question.
Casting anyone other than Harrison Ford in the role of Han Solo just feels like sacrilege, but since Ford is now 76 years old, playing a younger version of himself would be all but impossible. Or at least impossible if you rely on the standard Hollywood de-aging tricks like makeup and CG. Artificial intelligence, it turns out, does a pretty amazing job at putting Ford back into the role of Solo.
Last year, Mark Hamill set off a flurry of speculation when he told Empire Magazine there was a big, last-minute alteration to the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that would’ve changed something about the then-upcoming Last Jedi. Now that the latter film is finally out, Hamill was able to spill the beans on what needed fixing.
After seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story, we were struck by the fact that the Millennium Falcon has more mysteries than we thought it did. Oddly, the Star Wars Twitter account might have resolved one of them.
If you felt The Walking Dead had been spinning its gore-covered wheels for the last several seasons, well, last night’s episode introduced something that is truly new. It’s arguably the most important moment since Negan and the Saviors swaggered onto the scene, if not before. But since this is The Walking Dead, I have to wonder: Will it actually change anything?
Earlier this month, we got our long-awaited first trailer for the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff film, and it was actually pretty fine. Not the disaster some fans might have expected given the movie’s tumultuous production, just not the greatest trailer in the world. But it turns out there’s one way to make it pretty dang great: A bit of “Sabotage.”
Children are the future, after all.
The Shape of Water is the story of a star-crossed affair between a mute woman and a fish man god-creature, a film that all but dares us to imagine the convoluted mechanism by which the latter’s genitalia becomes external and, uh, able to do sex stuff with a human. It’s also nominated for Best Picture now. Go figure!
Lessons are immediately forgotten. Trips are wasted. Obviously poor decisions are made. Hell, Jadis, Queen of the Garbage People, somehow became the episode’s most sympathetic character. When that happens, you know your Walking Dead episode has major, major problems.
51) Even If Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Gets Made, Dave Bautista Isn’t Sure He Wants to Come Back
Well, this is just a right ol’ mess, isn’t it.
In the three months since its release, Avengers: Infinity War has become a staple of pop culture dialogue. Thanos, his snap, and the jokes are already integrated into our everyday lives. So you’re probably wondering, is there really more we can learn about this massively successful movie? It turns out the answer is a very big yes.
Director Rian Johnson kept a lot of ideas and plot elements out of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including Luke Skywalker’s reported third lesson for Rey, Supreme Leader Snoke’s origins, and that time a porg sliced its head open with a lightsaber. One of the more curious ones, involving the Knights of Ren, was because Johnson figured they’d probably die under his watch.
Paul Rudd could be joining the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Uma Thurman is heading to Netflix for supernatural shenanigans. Alex Garland doesn’t want to direct a follow-up to Annihilation. Plus, new footage from Jurassic World and the return of Humans, and new set pictures from Iron Fist. Spoilers, go!
The Last Jedi takes aim at some of the most deeply-held establishments and tenets of the Star Wars saga, laying the ground for a new generation to build something different in their place. That’s all heady stuff, but it also broke another Star Wars tradition that was a bit easier to miss: It’s the first film in the main saga not to use the infamous “Wilhelm scream.”
56) The Avengers: Infinity War Cast Found Out About the Ending On the Day of Shooting, While in a Van
If you thought you had a hard time learning about the ending of Infinity War, it seems like the stars had an even rougher one.
After having to wait through an entire midseason hiatus to finally learn his fate, Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes made his grand exit from The Walking Dead last month. Now that the dust has settled on Carl’s departure, however, Riggs clearly wants people to know he’s no fan of how Carl was taken out... although that’s not to say he’s not having some fun with it.
Marvel Studios’ parent company Disney would very much like to get its hands on all of the sweet, juicy, profitable comic book IP that Fox smartly secured back in the ‘90s, but the House of Mouse’s tentative $52.4 billion offer might no longer be enough to seal the deal.
Avengers: Infinity War is demanding, heartbreaking, exhilarating, massive, and dense. More than seemingly any movie so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it requires its viewer to be intimately acquainted with all the films that come before it—and, if you are, it’s rewarding and audacious in ways the franchise has never been before and isn’t likely to be again. It’s a movie that is not screwing around.
Star Wars fans are still getting their heads around the game-changing choices Rian Johnson made for the franchise in The Last Jedi. However, it seems like George Lucas would’ve made similarly massive decisions if he’d made the sequel trilogy. He just would’ve waited a bit longer.
You’d imagine that—as one of the most important people in comics history, who always happens to have executive produced and had cameos in all of Marvel’s films—Stan Lee wouldn’t exactly have to worry about money. But according to a report from The Daily Beast, Lee’s finances are in a state of disarray thanks to people in his orbit who’ve been taking advantage of him in order to get to his wealth.
Avengers: Infinity War’s ending wasn’t just surprising, it changed the universe as we know it. So, of course, fans are trying to figure out where to throw the blame around. One cocky space dude has gotten a lot of flack for how things went down, but the actor playing him is having none of it.
63) James Gunn Will No Longer Direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the Wake of Appalling Tweets [Updated]
Walt Disney has announced that it has severed ties with James Gunn, removing him from production of the third Guardians of the Galaxy film, in the wake of multiple old tweets from the director joking about rape and pedophilia.
As Marvel superheroes go, Deadpool’s penchant for hanging out with regular old humans who lack healing powers mean that his presence is likely to end up getting them maimed or worse. Step aside, Peter. It’s Fred Savage’s time to shine in Once Upon a Deadpool’s first trailer.
65) The Real Reason Behind Rick and Morty’s Season 4 Delay Is a Little Less Dramatic Than We Thought
Last weekend Dan Harmon, one of the minds behind Rick and Morty, sent fans into a worrisome spiral when he tweeted about the nebulous future of the show. While Harmon was right in that a fourth season has yet to be ordered by Adult Swim, the reason for it is... well, a little boring in comparison to thinking the show is doomed.
The instant fans walked out of Avengers: Infinity War, we all started speculating. How did that happen? Is that character really gone? Can these events be reversed?
Netflix’s decision to cancel Marvel’s Daredevil was a surprise. No one knew it was coming. Not the stars, not Marvel’s executives. Not even the writers, who were already laying out plans for the next chapter of Daredevil’s story. We got a chance to talk with one of the writers who was working on season four, who shared her shock at the show’s demise and why she think it spells doom for the future of The Defenders TV universe.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently being promoted with a series of stylish, colorful posters. According to one French artist, those posters are plagiarizing his work.
You know what we’re talking about. The thing. You know, that one? Look, let’s just get past a spoiler warning and dive into what we’re actually talking about.
The show that kicked off Marvel and Netflix’s ambitious series of interconnected superhero shows has come to an untimely end.
Each time Netflix has canceled one of its Marvel shows, the network teases that the characters will live on. That may be true, but it’s sounding less and less likely that it’ll be in their current iterations.
Fans nowadays are angry. Oh, are they angry. And director James Mangold is worried about the effect it’ll have on the culture industry.
Did you feel that? There has been a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of Rey theorists suddenly cried out in terror... and were suddenly silenced. Well, actually, they’re probably about to start shrieking about clones and Kenobis and whatnot again, because actor Simon Pegg just reignited the debate around Rey’s parentage.
You had all that time on that island, Luke. Not even once! For shame.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
The continuity relationship between Marvel’s television and film output in recent years can be described as tenuous at best. And that’s been mostly fine—the Marvel movies of recent years have been relatively insular, with little need for their events to impact the likes of SHIELD or the Netflix shows. Avengers: Infinity War is an altogether different beast, however.
Before Rey, Finn, and Poe came to a galaxy far, far, away, a TV show on a kids network had already started to define the new era of Star Wars. That show, Star Wars Rebels, ended its four-season run tonight with a three-episode special that not only concluded the story that began way back in 2014, but offered a peek of the future, too.
Much like any major comic book crossover event, the Disney/Fox merger saga has been exhaustingly drawn out, narratively dubious and marked by a number of dramatic twists and turns, but after the long battle, a decision has been reached. Today, an overwhelming majority of Disney and 21st Century Fox’s shareholders agreed to the $71.3 billion merger deal that will see the movie rights for both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four come to Marvel Studios.
Well, that was fun while it lasted.
81) New Details Emerge About Disney’s Streaming Service, Which Will Have Less (and Cost Less) Than Netflix [Updated]
Disney is banking hard on becoming a competitor in the streaming service game, with Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger calling it the company’s “biggest priority” in 2019. A new report shows how the service plans on doing just that. Mainly, by relying on its own movies.
One of the most fascinating things in the lead-up to Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War was the cast admitting very few of them had seen a full script. The reason, according to directors the Russo Brothers, was to cut down on the chance of spoilers leaking out.
After last week’s episode of silent zombies and fences that couldn’t be shot through, I was determined to go into this week’s episode of The Walking Dead with an open mind. I wanted to look for the good, I really did. Instead, I got a brutal, nihilistic reminder of the show’s most fundamental problem: Rick Grimes.
You know the rage-quit? The moment when you’re playing a game where everything is so stacked against you, so engineered for your failure, or just so frustrating that you suddenly decide to stop playing instead of making yourself feel miserable? That’s what everyone in Discovery should do.
Monday’s penultimate pair of Rebels episodes, “Wolves and a Door” and “A World Between Worlds,” revealed a new part of Star Wars mythology we’ve never seen before. It’s something that could potentially change everything on Rebels, but also the movies—all while setting up a finale that will probably do just that.
86) A Brief History of George R.R. Martin’s Annoyance at Lady Stoneheart’s Exclusion From Game of Thrones
George R.R. Martin has two strong consistencies in his professional life. One is writing infuriatingly mouthwatering food descriptions. The other is repeatedly reminding the world that he’s still not over Game of Thrones cutting one of his favorite characters from the novels: Lady Stoneheart.
87) One of the ‘Net’s Longest-Running Webcomics Has Done Something Weird to Its Most Memed Strip [Updated]
“Loss” is one of the modern internet’s most pervasive, and most strange, memes. Now, it’s, uh, a little different.
We’ve heard barely anything about Jon Favreau’s take on The Lion King since Disney announced its plans to add the beloved film to its long list of remakes, outside of some extremely exciting casting. But now, we finally have a look. And, unsurprisingly, the man who turned The Jungle Book into a visual feast has done the same here!
A few months ago, artist BossLogic created a very fun Infinity War-style poster that featured Hawkeye, Hawkeye, and more Hawkeye. It was a pretty convincing poster. Maybe a little too convincing.
Disney has revealed the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX, which will see the directorial return of J.J. Abrams. Among the cast are the expected stars, like Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac. But it looks like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will be back and we’ll even see the return of the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. It will also mark the end of the Skywalker saga.
The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was insanely massive. The TV spot that just debuted at the Super Bowl is too but, the coolest part is, well, we’ll let you see.
92) New Daredevil Season 3 Trailer Introduces a Major Comics Villain to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe [Updated]
Every Netflix series set in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe introduces a handful of new villains for their heroes to duke it out with and the latest Daredevil trailer proves that the show’s third season isn’t going to be an exception. Matt Murdock will face off against Wilson Fisk, but the Kingpin won’t be alone.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a more self-satisfied, obnoxious episode of television in my life. But what’s even more obnoxious is that the season eight finale of The Walking Dead was still gratifying to me, too, if only because it looks like it finally got the AMC show back on the right track (...maybe).
A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski, is a superlative horror film because it does all the little things right. It stars simple, relatable characters who live in a well-defined yet fascinating world, and face a terrifying, but wholly understandable, villain. When the building blocks of a movie are that solid, it’s no surprise everything that follows is so damn good. A Quiet Place was built right.
As surprising as it was to learn that Superman himself was Netflix’s top pick for Geralt in its upcoming live-action adaptation of The Witcher, what’s even more bewitching is what the actor looks like as the titular Witcher.
The cast of Marvel’s Black Panther has been touring the world for months promoting their movie in interviews and red carpets where they’re inevitably asked to do the iconic “Wakanda Forever” salute. While there’s a lot to discuss about Black Panther, the one question that virtually everyone involved in the movie has been asked at some point isn’t about the film’s plot at all—it’s a request to do the salute. And honestly, it’s about time that we let those poor people do whatever the hell they want to do with their arms.
This according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Well, folks, we have it: After months of waiting, speculation, rumors, and demands, we’ve finally gotten our first look at Avengers 4, now known as Avengers: Endgame. As ever with these cryptic teasers, it’s a look that shows off a bunch of things... and yet, not a lot at the same time. Let’s go through and break it down.
Some Easter Eggs just make us feel good.
Well, Marvel did ask the world to name a more ambitious crossover event in history. It’s only fair that Nintendo replies.
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