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2015 Comic Book Movies: An Optimistic Look at Them

There's a lot of movies coming to theaters this year and, luckily for us, a decent amount of 'em look like they're worth checking out!

2015 is packed with movies we want to see and odds are we're going to spend a crazy amount of money at our local movie theaters. Sure, there's some really tempting non-comic book movies coming out (e.g. Mad Max: Fury Road), but seeing as this is, you know, Comic Vine, we want to focus on the films that are either based on comic books or have a fair amount of comic books based on the franchise. Look, it's easy to jump to conclusions and be skeptical when there's a limited amount of information about a movie (e.g. just a trailer, officially released photos, maybe you're not a fan of the director/cast) and that's understandable, but instead of complaining about what we don't like, we want to say why some of these movies have potential and could be worth watching. Now, we're not saying all of them will be brilliant and mind-blowing, but we do believe they're worth considering for at least a matinee and we're going to tell you why. So, grab a drink (or some popcorn if you want to really embrace the article) and let's talk about 2015's biggest comic book movies.

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (January 27)

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You can watch the first movie from the comfort of your home. That's always nice since you don't need to worry about people babbling, making way too much noise as they eat, or looking at their bright cell phones during the movie, right? DC's next animated project, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, is finally going to put Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, in the spotlight. It's something many fans have been waiting for, especially since Aquaman was replaced by Billy Batson, a.k.a Captain Marvel/Shazam(!), in Justice League: War. Drawing inspiration from Geoff Johns' very awesome Throne of Atlantis event and more than likely taking elements from his first story arc on The New 52 series as well, this movie will finally show casual fans that Aquaman isn't a joke. It's time to bring an end to that misconception and this movie just may be the way to convince your non-comic reading friends that Arthur Curry is not only a cool character, but also quite a badass. This is looking like it'll have plenty of big action for our eyes to enjoy and hopefully establish a good emotional connection to the hero. When all is said and done, we're hoping this will also tease what they have planned for the next Justice League animated movie. Maybe it'll be Wonder Woman's time to step front and center in the next one? No matter what the future has in store for this new animated universe, it's terrific they're giving Aquaman an entire movie. Here's hoping it'll be well worth the wait. And even if it isn't, at least we know there's at least one scene with giant sharks eating enemies. So, there's always that. Even if this is just okay or even disappointing -- which we're seriously hoping it won't be -- there's always Batman vs. Robin and Justice League: Gods and Monsters (Bruce Timm!) being released later in the year.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)

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Matthew Vaughn, the director of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, chose to direct this movie instead of X-Men: Days of Future Past. That's right, he chose to direct this instead of one of 2014's big comic book movies. Why, you ask? Because he wanted to make a "fun spy movie." And you know what? This is looking like it'll be a whole lot of purposefully over-the-top fun. His previous work shows he knows how to develop characters while also dishing out plenty of solid laughs and thrilling action sequences. With this movie -- which is inspired by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' comic -- it's looking like he has the opportunity to create one hell of an entertaining and smile-inducing movie. In addition to the amusing concept, the movie has Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Michael Caine. So yeah, this is looking like it'll be a pretty good time. Even if the plot doesn't drop our jaws, it seems like the performances and huge amount of fun it offers will counter that.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

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Seriously, do we really need to sell you on this one? Okay, The Avengers didn't have the best plot around, but it was still beyond cheer-worthy and an amazing experience. From the sharp banter to the wonderfully directed action scenes (we still adore watching the extended shot that moves from hero to hero in New York), it looks like we're going to get more of the same and a more impactful plot. With this sequel, Joss Whedon knows that expectations have been raised and you can tell they're going all-out with this one. Iron Man in the Hulkbuster armor taking on Hulk will likely be worth the price of a ticket alone, but then we also have to take into account that this movie is going to be huge for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Vision, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are entering the picture and this will build the hype for 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Plus, James Spader is Ultron. How awesome is that? We are absurdly excited for this one and it's looking like we won't be let down.

Jurassic World (June 12)

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Show of hands: who wants to return to Isla Nublar? We're going to assume a good amount of you raised your hands and rightfully so. Many of us grew up with this franchise and it made us even more fascinated with dinosaurs. The opportunity to return to the classic island and get lost in a whole new park (you know, before everything falls apart) is so appealing. There's more than nostalgia working for this one, though. It's looking like it'll focus heavily on horror elements. A deadly hybrid has broken free, so it's basically like "what if a Xenomorph was on Isla Nublar?" There's one moment in the trailer that either had you grinning and excited like a child on Halloween or wanting to flip a table and exclaim something unpleasant: Star-Lord Chris Pratt leading a group of velociraptors. Based on what we've seen, it looks like Pratt's character raised them and has trained them to the point where they'll follow his lead. Is that silly? Yes. Does it have the potential to be insanely fun to witness? Hell yes. It's all a matter of how they handle it and, even if it is worthy of a facepalm, that's only one element in the entire story. For many of us, this is a movie we simply won't be able to resist. The studio knows this and hopefully instead of taking advantage of that and delivering a blatant cash grab, this will be an exciting and memorable edition to the franchise that's full of fan service. Fingers crossed, fellow JP fans. And yes, this is here because there were Jurassic Park comics!

Terminator Genisys (July 1)

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Will this be as good as The Terminator or Terminator 2: Judgment Day? All signs are pointing to no. Will it be silly fun and popcorn entertainment? Probably! So, if you're okay with taking another trip into the robotic, time traveling world of Terminators and watching people attempt to prevent judgment day, this may be the kind of movie where you just have to turn off your brain and enjoy the madness. It's tough to imagine them bringing more substantial material to this instead of making things a little more convoluted, but maybe -- just maybe -- it'll make us eat our words and deliver some thought-provoking twists. We certainly hope so, but right now, it's looking like this will just be a fun way to see some more Terminator madness and spectacle. Besides, it has Arnold back in action and it looks like they're going to have a lot of fun with that. I mean, the trailer has him diving headfirst into a helicopter. If they're revealing that in the trailer, it makes us wonder what other ridiculously enjoyable bits of action they'll save for the feature. Just don't go in expecting this to be a phenomenal addition to the franchise and it's very possible it'll entertain you with eye-pleasing visuals and robotic mayhem. Or at least we hope so!

Ant-Man (July 17)

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Yes, an Ant-Man movie directed by Edgar Wright could have been phenomenal, but there's no point in complaining about what can't be changed. Maybe there's an alternate universe out there that'll enjoy his take on the character? Even if Wright leaving the project and the way it was handled immediately afterwards left a bad taste in your mouth, there's just no denying the simple fact that Marvel Studios sure knows how to make audiences laugh. Sometimes the need to make jokes can get in the way of the tone, but for this movie -- a movie starring the lovable Paul Rudd as Scott Lang -- the focus on big laughs will be perfect. Marvel knows they need to go all-out after probably wowing audiences with Avengers: Age of Ultron, so it would be silly to think they're not giving this one everything they've got. Not only does it have the tough act of being the movie to follow the Avengers' sequel, but it's also introducing viewers to a whole new property; one that many casual fans more than likely don't know very well. When it comes to entertaining audiences and making them laugh, Marvel Studios knows what they're doing. And, considering the creative handling of the Ant-Man test footage, we're anxious to see how they'll make this hero drop our jaws. When you have a God of Thunder and a genius in an advanced armor being put to use in other movies, we're certain they'll do what they can to make Lang's ability to shrink a total blast to witness. Marvel Studios' projects may not always be memorable, but they're well-made and often know how to win over a large range of audiences. We're pretty confident this one will make us smile.

The Fantastic Four (August 7)

Just so you know, this isn't an official banner or part of a poster for the movie. One hasn't been released yet.
Just so you know, this isn't an official banner or part of a poster for the movie. One hasn't been released yet.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most polarizing part of the list. Clearly, this reboot is taking the franchise in pretty new direction and all of our opinions of it are stemming from unofficial photos and remarks made by the cast and crew. If you go in expecting it to stay extremely true to the source material, it's looking like you simply shouldn't buy a ticket in the first place. But, if you're open to seeing how they'll put a new spin on Marvel's first family, this may be worth a watch. It's tough to say since we haven't had a look at any footage and there isn't even a poster yet (what gives?), but the director certainly has relevant experience. Josh Trank directed a found footage movie called Chronicle. It's about three friends that suddenly gain powers and they learn how to use them. Sounds a bit familiar, yeah? As long as changes are handled well and the focus is on the family dynamic and discovering how to control new abilities, this should have potential. Now we just have to wait and see what the first trailer has to offer.

Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens (December 18)

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Unless you strongly dislike J.J. Abrams (or Star Wars, obviously), there's no way you're going to miss this. One of the biggest franchises is finally returning and it's bringing back some of the original cast! Yeah, the prequel trilogy is disliked by many, but it looks like Abrams is really embracing the mythos and there's so many directions the story can take after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. The first trailer was such a great way to tease us as well. That swooping shot of the Millennium Falcon and TIE Fighters? The X-Wings soaring over the water? Man, it just feels good to return to this franchise and see so many familiar elements back in action but with new twists. The combination of practical effects and CGI is most definitely appreciated (the ball droid, BB-8, is real!) and the trailer is full of shots that have us beyond anxious to see this all play out on the big screen. Some of the movies on this list might be saved for a matinee viewing or we may not race to see them right away, but we're absolutely seeing this one the day it opens. Star Wars is back and it looks awesome.

Which of 2015's comic book movies are you excited to watch?