Although the sun is setting on 2011, one of the most prolific years ever for superhero shows, 2012 aims to raise the bar even higher. Not only are massive amounts of new shows planned for the upcoming year, but the A-listers are being tapped. While Wolverine and Superman, both originally planned for 2012 releases, scurried off to less crowded pastures, 2012 still promises to be plenty busy. And though any superhero show may at least offer a hint of promise, I can't be super excited for all of them. Here is the ranking of my anticipation for announced shows planned to debut in the upcoming year:
19) Dredd - 21 September 2012
Winning the award for my least anticipated superhero show of 2012 is Dredd, which will debut in no less than 3 dimensions. Even though the potential for puns is limitless, I will say that while I am not dreading the movie I am left scratching my head wondering who though this would be a bankable film. The 1995 Stallone take on Judge Dredd is probably the only thing most people know about the character and that's not a good thing. Who knows, this could be good... or at least better than the previous attempt, but without knowing a bit more I really just don't care.
18) The Prodigies - TBA
Don't let the somewhat generic / Watchmen-y poster fool you. The Prodigies (in 3D) boasts computer animation that would have been considered cutting edge in 1994 back when Prodigy was king of online bulletin boards. Today, you could find better looking animation on a movie made for cell phones. Even though the movie was released in 2011 in Europe, it will hit the US sometime in 2012. The synopsis along with a faint hope that story trumps the animation quality saved this from the bottom spot, barely:
NYC, Central Park, 2010. Five young teenagers are violently assaulted. But they’re not your average teenagers… they’re prodigies. The trauma of the assault incites them to lash out against the world in a cold and calculating way. The five chillingly brilliant minds come together to concoct a perfect revenge. The only person aware of the pending doom is Jimbo Farrar, a sixth prodigy, who has gathered them. As long as he fights against his five counterparts with all his might, there’s hope for the world. But should he turn over to their side, it’s only a matter of time before a disaster of apocalyptic proportions ensues…
17) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - 17 February 2012
Vomiting and urinating fire should each provide 30 seconds of entertainment. Beyond that guaranteed minute, I don't think there is any promise. One of the problems is that even if they won't call this a sequel, Cage reprising his role certainly gives the appearance that it is one and unfortunately the first Ghost Rider was not that good. It had a couple of great visuals, which is what gets me slightly interested in seeing this one.
16) Powers - TBA
The Powers TV series being developed for FX is based on the Image Comics series of the same name. Set to premier in the spring, the series involves homicide detectives who investigate cases involving super power related murders. Not having read the comics, and knowing little else about this project, I can't get too excited even if I remain hopeful.
15) Men in Black III aka MiiiB - 25 May 2012
Who didn't love Men in Black? The original 1997 entry in the series based on the comic that was eventually published by Marvel was a real treat and one of my favorite movies starring Will Smith... but Men in Black 2 with its terrible effects and unlikable characters was a disaster. How it didn't kill the franchise remains a mystery to me. I guess filmmakers are hoping the 10 year hiatus may be enough for fans to give MIB^3 a shot. I admit the trailer has given me a slight interest in the movie mostly since I am a sucker for time travel. If this one falls closer to the original than the sequel it just might be good, though I would be amazed if it turned out to be anything more than an "also ran" in this crowded summer.
14) Beware the Batman Sneak Peek - November 2012
This could be more wishful thinking than fact, but I am hoping for an hour long preview of Beware the Batman in November similar to the early looks at Green Lantern and Young Justice in 2011 and 2010. If I knew this would add for sure, I would rate it higher, but there really is no guarantee. There is some rumoring that this will be a bit darker of a show, and I like that. I also like the idea of incorporating more recent rogues like Professor Pyg. Even though I am not yet sold on the computer animation I sure am eager for a few seconds of animation to give me an idea what to expect from this next chapter in Batman's epic animated history.
13) Chronicle - 03 February 2012
The ordinary people with extraordinary abilities approach to superheroes has been pretty well played out, but the added realism of the found footage style of film making just might allow that old chestnut to be dusted off for one more movie. I also believe that people don't really tire of a concept as long as the final product is a good movie. So, will this be good? I have no idea but it does look interesting enough that I would go slightly out of my way to track down this low budget "chronicle" of friends torn apart by their new found abilities.
12) Whatever rises from the pool of in development projects including Deadman / Spectre / Booster Gold / The Hulk / Mockingbird / Aka Jessica Jones / Cloak and Dagger
There are tons of live action B or C list hero projects in development for TV and even though none of them has been officially announced for 2012, as a betting man I will put my money on Booster Gold as having the best chance of actually airing on SyFy by year's end. This entry is a bit of a cheat because I am not chomping at the bit for Booster, but I am anticipating the process to see which of these pitched ideas actually make it beyond Internet rumor. Of the ones listed, I would most like to see The Hulk (if they can make it good) and the Spectre.
11) Green Lantern: The Animated Series - Spring 2012
I think I may take some heat for not placing this higher. After all, I love the Green Lantern character and Bruce Timm can practically do no wrong. But the thing is that the first two episodes already aired in 2011. So the cork is already out of the bottle so to speak. And even though the episodes were good I honestly wasn't blown away enough to be drooling for more. When the series begins to air, I will definitely catch it, but I am not staying up late thinking about it. Within the series the Reds and Greens have already been introduced so at this point I am most looking forward to the promised onscreen debut of Agent Orange himself, Larfleeze.
And that's it for the lesser of next years superhero show crop. Which of these has the most potential? Come back next week for the top 10!