For the most part, prediction articles like these have become more of a series of vague, ‘big-bullseye’ statements that can be easily supported no matter what happens, or, worse, sure things that couldn’t possibly go in any other direction, than anything coming close to a true prediction. Predictions should be risky. So, I’m going to try to stare a bit harder into my crystal ball, go way out on the limb, and get some big-time prognostication going on. And 2015 is full of so much awesome that there’s a lot of stuff to cover, and plenty of predictions to make. I’m only going to cover comic books and comic book films in this article, but I may get into other 2015 predictions later.
There’s a ton of big things happening in comic books in 2015, providing an ample opportunity to make some guesses about all sorts of stuff, but the way comics have become fodder for Hollywood Blockbusters provides even more of a chance to make wild predictions. But I’ll get to movies later.
Secret Wars is the event du jour at Marvel Comics this year, and although I’m super excited about it, I’m going to say it right now: Marvel is not rebooting their universe. Some things may reset a bit back to a more traditional form the same way the Heroic Age, Heroes Reborn, and other events have, but a full-on stopping of what is now followed by a full-on starting of something entirely new is in no way going to occur.
Secret Wars will see a culmination of many of the universes Marvel has built over the decades, may destroy several of these alternate universes (my guess is the Ultimate Universe is done), but will in fact see a continuation of what we have now.
Wolverine may be dead now, and the Wolverines weekly series may only be just now getting ramped up, but I predict that we will see the return of Logan by the end of the year. While he may not be back by December, the solicits marking his return will be running rampant before then. I predict Charles Soule will write his return.
The last bit of Marvel in 2015 I wanted to touch on is Star Wars. We already know that Star Wars #1 is going to be the biggest selling book in 20 years with over a million copies sold, but I predict that Star Wars #2 will be the biggest decline in sales from a debut issue to a following issue in history. That’s not a very big prediction, though. It’s impossible to repeat that sort of achievement. But I do predict a huge success with Star Wars comics for Marvel. Specifically, Star Wars will remain the #1 selling book for at least 3 months, only being supplanted by the other Star Wars books in the line, and only for the month the first issue of those books come out. That’s at least 6 months of Star Wars as the best selling comic, and, with so many great books coming out this year, that’s a pretty wild prediction. While I think all 3 of the Star Wars books will be great and in the Top 5 best sellers any month they come out, I don’t think that Star Wars will be the best of the 3. I think the Leia mini-series will be the best of these 3, the Darth Vader book will be good, but whatever book replaces that Leia book sometime between June-August is going to be THE breakout Star Wars comic book. This is when we start moving things toward cross-promoting for the new movie, and there’s a lot riding on that.
Convergence is the DC event of the year, and it’s a much bigger beast to tackle than Marvel’s event. Both the Pre and Post New 52 universes and characters are around, which is weird. DC has gotten some serious backlash from Crisis-esque events in the past, so I’m thinking they’ve learned their lesson, and are doing something totally different in an attempt to please everyone. My guess is that by the time Convergence comes to an end we’ll have a single DC universe with all of the best parts from ALL of their varying multiverses coalescing into a single Earth. But that’s not a very wild prediction, so here’s one: Convergence outsells Secret Wars.
Image is always a tough one to predict because they are always introducing new books. With a storied history like the Big 2 there’s some wiggle room and precedence, but not so with Image. And that’s a great thing! But looking into my crystal ball I do see some things going for Image that are quite possibly in the realm of reality.
I predict at least 1 more perennial hit for the publisher, meaning a title that is consistently selling well every time it comes out. The Walking Dead, Saga, and perhaps Wytches have already established themselves as best-selling hits (falling in the Top 25 every month), with Bitch Planet possibly reaching that same stature, but with so many new comics coming out each and every month from the best and brightest creative teams, there’s going to be at least one more biggy introed this year. My early guess is that this book is Jonathan Hickman’s The Dying and the Dead, but only time will tell.
My last Image Comics prediction is a doozy, but I think it comes rightly. With so many comic book properties being made into Hollywood Blockbusters, it’s only a matter of time before an Image book gets into the game, and I think 2015 will see that announcement. A currently published Image Comic will get a movie greenlight. The frontrunner is Saga, but there are some great alternatives; Lazarus, Sex Criminals, East of West, even Deadly Class are prime choice. My personal choice would be a Skullkickers movie, but that’s not very likely to happen.
I’m not going to make any huge predictions for anything but comic book related TV, but isn’t that really enough? Two shows from Marvel (not including Netflix) and almost too many to count coming from DC is quite enough, thank you very much.
Agent Carter is a complete mystery to me. There are a ton of directions they could take this series, but the stuff we’re really looking for from Marvel TV are connections to everything else. Sure Agent Carter will delve into early Stark Tech, maybe even foreshadowing Ultron, but I’m looking for something bigger, and I just know we’re going to get it. If you look at Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and all the great reveals we’ve gotten from that show, they haven’t really gotten deep into the most important totems of the whole damned Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Infinity Stones. We know Stark had possession of the Cosmic Cube at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, but I think that’s too easy. I predict we’ll see an Infinity Stone reveal on Agent Carter.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to build on the MCU with the Inhumans angle and such, but the proof of concept for this show is solidified, and Agents not only has the potential to become the center of the entire MCU wheel, I predict that in fact it will become that inarguable hub. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will pull in aspects of Ant-Man, build on the already established Avengers property, but also hint to Daredevil and everything they pull off in Agent Carter. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will become THE clear and undisputed center of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking of Daredevil, I’m super excited about Marvel’s entire slate of upcoming Netflix shows, but I’m going to predict a rocky road for the Daredevil series. Street-level heroes are not only difficult to pull off, but the combination of Marvel’s current high-profile properties coupled with DC already owning the tried and true formula for establishing street-level heroes, it’s not going to be easy. I foresee critical acclaim, but a lot of fanboy griping coming from Daredevil.
DC’s success on the small screen will not only continue, but extend to the point of overshadowing their movie universe. I’ll get to some movie predictions in a bit, but between Arrow and Flash DC has something special going on, and there’s no way that they will not build on that in gigantic ways. While it may be a bit difficult to do in the upcoming second half of the current seasons, I predict that before the end of the year 2015 we will either see or have official word of a wide crossover between the two series that goes on for weeks. I’m talking 4 or 5 episodes of each series that tie into each other marking the first ever TV comic book superhero crossover event. And I can’t wait to watch it.
I could get into all the great movies coming out this year and throw wild predictions upon all of them, but I won’t. Terminator, Mad Max, Star Wars, they’re all going to be awesome, so I won’t go there. I’ve been talking comic book related stuff and that’s where I’m going to keep it. And, with only 3 big comic book super hero films dropping in 2015, there’s not much to talk about. But I’ll find something.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind just how successful this film is going to be. A one billion dollar world box office is well within the realm of possibility, but I think this movie could do twice that, but that isn’t my prediction. No, my thoughts are a bit more dark. Knowing full well that Marvel has yet to do any sort of wrong, I think that the buildup the studio needs to do a Civil War movie the right way is going to demand that Avengers: Age of Ultron leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of movie-goers. That’s not to say that the movie won’t still be awesome, but there’s going to be some backlash due to shocking moments that geeks just aren’t expecting. I’m not quite sure how to phrase this prediction, but I’ll go with: Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron will have fans at each others’ throats, and imply major concerns for many MCU characters, leading to an overall concern at the viability of a continued success of the MCU at the levels the studio has seen previously. But everything will still be okay, and this entire instance will be a great catalyst for 2016’s Civil War, which is exactly what the geniuses over at Marvel want to happen.
While I have no doubt that Avengers: AoU will sell more tickets worldwide than Ant-Man, I predict the latter will be a more critical success than the Avengers. I’ll have to use some MetaScores at the end of the year to see if I’m right, but I truly feel that Ant-Man is going to have a level of heart that the Avengers is simply unable to attain, making it 2015’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy.
The red-headed stepchild of comic book films this year, there just aren’t a lot of people looking forward to seeing this reboot of a series of films that no one was really looking forward to, but I have hope for the Fantastic Four. I predict that, despite being an awkward and nearly unrecognizable version of Marvel’s First Family of Superheroes, this film will be great. Not good, great! The huge departure from the comic book versions of the characters just won’t be that big of a deal because the movie is just going to be a great movie. This is easily my riskiest prediction.
Making predictions is always a risk, but, while a lot of these types of articles never seem to really stick their necks out and play the prediction game balls to the wall, I’m prognosticating on make it or break it level. There will be absolutely no grey area whatsoever when it comes to these predictions, and I look forward to being both completely right and utterly wrong with all of them. Either way it’s going to be an awesome year, and a ton of fun. I’ll check back on this throughout the year when things become more clear and relevant, so follow us and stay tuned.