Our Most Anticipated Superhero Movies and TV Shows of 2023
Film enthusiasts always welcome the start of a new year because it means we get lots of brand new films and TV shows to enjoy. 2022 was a strong year for the superhero genre, boasting hits like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Batman, and Peacemaker. However, 2023 is already shaping up to be a much bigger year for the superhero genre than 2022: Marvel is planning to double the number of new seasons of TV shows released on Disney+ this year, and DC is set to release 4 films in 2023 (as opposed to their single 2022 film).
There’s another fledgling superhero universe that’s also expanding this year: The Boys universe is growing with a spin-off series, Gen V, focused on college-aged supes. The success of Amazon’s The Boys franchise means Marvel and DC Studios aren’t the only ones dominating the superhero genre in 2023. Here are the 12 superhero movies and TV series we’re excited to see this year.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has the honor of being the first superhero film of 2023 with a release date of February 17. Historically, the Ant-Man films haven’t been the most exciting in the MCU. While the first two films were high-quality movies, they leaned more toward comedy than depth. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania could be a game-changer in the trilogy with the return of Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) to the MCU. However, this will be a different variant of Kang than the one first introduced in Loki. Still, the trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks much darker, more intense, and visually stunning than the first two films, thus raising the anticipation.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Fans had hoped to see Shazam! Fury of the Gods before the end of 2022, but delays pushed it back to 2023. While the DCU has struggled to release big hits in recent years, Shazam! is one of the few films in the franchise to succeed, both critically and at the box office. The first film is funny, surprisingly touching, and embraces the spirit of the comics well. While the sequel isn’t likely to hold earth-shattering connotations for the DCU or offer a groundbreaking premise, it does promise to be an enjoyable, spirited, and entertaining comic book adaption.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Obviously, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is one of the most anticipated films of 2023 because Guardians of the Galaxy fans have been waiting for SIX YEARS for this film to come out. The Guardians of the Galaxy series, which launched in 2014, has been very successful, due in large part to James Gunn’s masterful direction. The first two films are hilarious and filled with lovable characters, great music, and touching themes. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely be much larger in scale than the first two films, given its long period of development and the fact that it will introduce two extremely powerful figures from Marvel comics—Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) and the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).
The Marvels is a sequel to both Captain Marvel and the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel. Very few details about the film have been released, but we do know it will feature Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Paris). The cast alone is enough to excite viewers as The Marvels promises to be a truly epic female-led film. Plus, after the cliffhanger ending of Ms. Marvel, fans are really desperate for an explanation—which won’t be given until The Marvels hits theaters.
Blue Beetle might just be the upcoming DCU film with the most potential. The new film serves as an origin story for Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña), who becomes the hero Blue Beetle after discovering a scarab with extraterrestrial properties. Blue Beetle is the first DCU film to be led by a Latino superhero. In addition, the entire cast and crew is predominantly comprised of Latino people. Maridueña is the spitting image of Blue Beetle, and the DCU could really benefit from a fresh, young new hero.
Loki, season 2
TBD Summer 2023
Loki season 2 doesn’t have an exact release date just yet, but is expected to drop sometime in the summer. The series will start where season 1 left off and further explore the multiverse war sparked by the death of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors), as well as Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) entrapment in an alternate universe where another variant of He Who Remains has come to power. Loki season 1 received rave reviews, largely due to brilliant performances from Hiddleston and Owen Wilson. Season 2 will likely be even better, as it will expand beyond the basic introduction to the multiverse.
Set to premiere sometime in 2023, Secret Invasion follows Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) as they realize that every aspect of Earth has been infiltrated by shape-shifting Skrulls. If done right, this series could be a totally mind-bending psychological thriller—literally no one can be trusted, and anyone could secretly be a shape-shifter. There are bound to be plenty of twists, turns, and betrayals to keep fans invested.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Agatha: Coven of Chaos has been confirmed for a 2023 release, but all plot details have been kept under wraps. What we do know is that the standout fan-favorite of WandaVision, Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), will be making her return. Heartstopper‘s Joe Locke has also joined the cast, along with Emma Caulfield and Maria Dizzia. The secrecy around the plot has only increased the anticipation and excitement for the series, as viewers don’t really know what to expect.
While plot details for Ironheart have been kept under wraps, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever gave us a solid introduction to Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams (a.k.a. Ironheart). We already know that this young genius is capable of creating which rivals that of Iron Man, and she has a good heart and will defend those who need defending. After getting a taste of her character in the Black Panther sequel, viewers are eager to see what more she can do with her own solo series.
Gen V is a spinoff of The Boys and takes place during the same time as The Boys season 3. However, the new series will focus on a college for supes run by Vought that pits super-powered students against each other. The trailer for Gen V promises the series will be just as gritty, graphic, and disturbing as The Boys, and will feature cameos from its bigger sibling. Further expansion of The Boys universe might depend on this series, which contributes to the anticipation.
The Boys, season 4
The Boys season 4 will also be released this year, presumably sometime after Gen V‘s premiere. Meanwhile, the stakes have never been higher: Butcher (Karl Urban) is dying, a supe child is behind enemy lines, Homelander (Anthony Starr) is completely out of control, and there’s a head-popping politician on the loose. Plus, there’s the looming threat of Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) and the question of whether he will return in season 4. The Boys has been effectively building up to season 4 for years, making this an installment that viewers won’t want to miss.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will likely be the final superhero film of 2023, with a release date of December 25. The film had originally been planned for release in December 2022 before delays pushed it back. The Aquaman sequel will follow the eponymous hero (Jason Momoa) as he recruits an undisclosed ally to help him save Atlantis. While the first Aquaman wasn’t a perfect film, it was the highest-grossing DC movie of all time, and reviews tended toward the positive. Meanwhile, the promises of enhanced visual effects and worldbuilding—and the knowledge that this is likely the last time we’ll see Momoa as Aquaman—have made fans restless for its release.
(featured image: Marvel Studios / Prime Video / Disney+ / The Mary Sue)
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