A year is a long time—but somehow, 2018 has felt abnormally long. Whether it’s due to the grim news cycle chasing us wherever we go, or the fact that so much actually happened, we thought the only way to really celebrate the close of 2018 was to acknowledge the things you’d swear didn’t actually happen this year, but did.
The Fantastic Four are one of the most iconic teams in superhero comics, but for a while, Marvel Comics just...got rid of them. After the cancellation of the Fantastic Four comic and then the events of Secret Wars in 2015, the team was disbanded, with Reed and Sue traveling the universe mostly unseen while Johnny and Ben were left on Earth. That is, until just a few months ago, when Marvel finally re-introduced the FF ongoing series and brought the gang back together.
Okay, so it’s easy to forget this one, given that, well, Tomb Raider was a really forgettable movie. The average-at-best loose adaptation of the legendary gaming franchise’s recent reboot series came and went at the box office, but let’s be real: If someone asked you, you’d think it came out at least a year or two ago, right? Not in March!
Tomb Raider gets off easy given that it was a pretty blah movie, and there were a bunch of those that we also were horrified to re-learn actually came out in the last year. If we listed them all, we’d be here for another year, and one that feels about three centuries long.
But A Quiet Place? A Quiet Place is one of the best movies of the year. And yet it feels like we’ve been hearing about it—see what we did there—and even its sequel ideas, for such a long time that it’s been around for ages. Except it hasn’t! It’s eight months old!
Remember when getting one slice of these Marvel Netflix shows was a huge event? Now they all come along at once! Yes, really, the entirety of Netflix’s Defenders slate (sans The Punisher) actually aired new seasons this year—Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all put out second seasons, while Daredevil released its third season.
Catwoman and Batman got engaged last year, but it was all building up to this year’s big marriage in Batman #50. There was hype, there were wedding invites, fans queued up in their best cosplay and formal wear to buy the issue and celebrate themselves some holy batrimony...and then it didn’t happen. Oh, and the New York Times spoiled that it didn’t happen days before the book came out.
Whether you liked the issue or not, people were pissed, as were retailers that planned big events and variant covers for an event that didn’t actually happen. So pissed that, hey, remember when Batman writer Tom King had to have security at Comic-Con because of Batman #50-related death threats? It feels so long ago.
It might have been early this year, but yes, Star Trek: Discovery season one’s entire back half aired in 2018. Which means we got so many ups and downs as Burnham and her friends trekked across the Mirror Universe. Starfleet re-found its ideals and Tilly kicked ass as her Mirror counterpart (yay!), Captain Lorca decided he wanted to Make the Empire Glorious Again (ugh), and yes, Discovery’s much anticipated and praised gay couple—the first in the Trek TV franchise—came to an unseemly end as Dr. Hugh Culber got his neck snapped by Secret Klingon Turducken Ash Tyler.
It was a a lot. But it was also this year. Oh, how we forget.
Remember when there was going to be a Most Popular Movie Oscar next year? And the drama, rightfully so, because it seemed like the Academy was trying to pigeonhole popular cinema off to the side to save the real awards for the big boy real movies? That was only in August! And then it got delayed because the Academy saw everyone was mad a whole month later!
Feels like a lifetime ago, but at least we’ll get to reignite the debate over the category when the Academy eventually tries to relaunch it in 2019. Whenever 2019 actually happens, that is, because it would require admitting that this hell year is over.
Legendary Defender may have only just come to a close, but it’s crazy to think that its wild schedule—and the fact that this year started five lifetimes ago—means that four of its eight seasons actually aired in 2018. Which is ridiculous, even for an animated show. You’d think a show that’s had eight seasons would’ve been around for a lot longer than two years, but no!
Saga itself feels like it’s been a part of our entire lives—instead, it’s just been six years—but this year not only did the series announce a surprise hiatus, it went out on a milestone issue for the series that resulted in a major status quo shift for what is still one of the most consistently excellent comics around. But because Saga has been around for so long, it suddenly not being part of our comics list every other month has gone a long way in making 2018 feel as long as it has.
I almost thought Szechuan hysteria also happened in 2018, but thankfully we were spared that existential nightmare. Instead, 2018 in Rick & Morty fandom was spent...well, waiting for new episodes, not getting them, and then freaking out about not getting them. And then freaking out that maybe they wouldn’t be coming at all.
But then it was revealed that Rick & Morty wasn’t just getting a single new season, but 70 more episodes. Turns out, the reason fans hadn’t gotten word of more episodes for so long was because a much longer future than just one season was being negotiated for. Still, better than losing your entire shit over some nugget sauce, as far as years go.
It was late last year we first got word of the seemingly unfathomable idea that the House of Mouse was looking into purchasing one of its biggest rival studios—making the movie industry a much smaller, megacorp-y place befitting our society barreling ever forward into the dystopian cyberpunk future (sadly without all the neon). But really, the Disney/Fox deal’s year was this year, as we spent this past century of 2018 following along with the highs and lows, the almost scraps, the surprise competing bids, until it all eventually got sorted 50 years ago, in July.
Somehow, it feels like we’ve been imagining how the X-Men and Fantastic Four could be integrated into the MCU much longer than this year. All hail our megacorp future, I guess?
There are so many DC movies in the works that when we wrote a 2,500-word guide to just what was being made earlier this year, we somehow managed to forget at least another two movies that were happening!
The DCEU’s future has always seemed like this weird mishmash of uncertainty and behind-the-scenes hotswapping, but this year it felt especially dragged on, as the slate expanded to add not only Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and Stephen Spielberg’s Blackhawks films, but talk of a Jared Leto-led Joker solo movie, and even a Supergirl film that could potentially pave the way to bring Henry Cavill’s version of Superman into retirement, if rumors are to be believed. And that’s before you get into the big progress made on the Batgirl and Birds of Prey movies, which both took significant steps forward this year, too.
It’s been an wild 78 years for the DCEU in 2018, honestly—but hey, at least it’s going out on a high note with Aquaman kicking ass in a delightfully silly manner at the box office.
Okay, now I’m starting to refuse to believe that this one happened this year myself, and I’m the one writing this list.
The Lost in Space reboot wasn’t even that bad! WHO REMEMBERS IT, THOUGH!? How is this year only going to have been 365 days long? It’s impossible. We’re lying to ourselves. It’s been 2018 for decades, and it will never stop being 2018.