New Year’s has always been a little weird for me. I used to hate it; I’d think “Here we go again– another year that hopefully won’t be as bad as the one that just ended”… I used to be a really negative guy. Thankfully, I’m in a kind of better place these days, and I do what I can to stay positive.
It may sound silly, but I put a lot of stake in entertainment for helping to keep me upbeat. While there’s more important things than toys and movies and games and TV, these kinds of things get me excited, and serve as mile markers throughout the ups and downs that make up any year. Entertainment is there to distract us, sure, but I think it does something more important, allowing us to expand our horizons and (hopefully) sharpen our analytical skills. I truly love watching a movie or buying a new toy and then discussing and debating and conversing with others who are also passionate about whatever it is. That’s half the fun of being a geek.
So that’s where I’m coming from with this list– below are ten things that look super exciting in 2014. They are things I believe will change the pop culture landscape in some way or form, and will hopefully stick with us for years to come, as those special things that can turn a bad day around, or make a good day even better by revisiting.
Anyway, that’s enough of my quasi-profound thoughts… onto the 2014 list!
10. The New Ms. Marvel
While DC’s New 52 continues to be mired in ugly, backward attitudes toward many of its women, Marvel is making an exciting step forward with the February debut of Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel. Khan will be one of the few Muslim super heroes in mainstream comics, and a fresh change of pace from the typical white male archetype that’s been done to death in super hero comics. And considering the new series is coming from The Outsiders‘ G. Willow Wilson and Runaways‘ Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel is probably the most interesting mainstream comic hitting shelves this year.
9. Archer Vice
The FX series is going in a crazy new direction this year! I refuse to spoil it here, but trust me when I say the Season 5 premiere features a game changer that is both shocking AND a completely logical extension of where this series and its absurd characters would go. I cannot wait to see how things shake out, but Archer Season 5 is already one of the most exciting shows of 2014.
8. Four Horsemen Unleash the Power Lords
We’ve seen some preview figures from the latest Four Horsemen property, but early 2014 will be the launch of the main line, with new figures based on the classic creatures and heroes from Wayne Barlowe’s sci-fi toy line of yesteryear. The Horsemen knocked it out of the park with their sculpts, and once the series gets underway in full force, I expect to see some of the year’s best toys in this collection.
7. Masters of the Universe Will Get Good Again
Masters of the Universe had a few troubled years of late. For every fantastic figure released– perfect updates such as Ram-Man, Jitsu or Snake Face– we got stuck with garbage like the Fighting Foe Men (about which the less said, the better). But 2014 will start the two-year MOTUC end game, with each slot promised to deliver one of the remaining classic figures we all actually want. That’s exciting news, and if the rest of the vintage lineup comes out half as good as Two Bad or Modulok, Masters fans will be in for a real treat.
6. Community Returns… with Dan Harmon
After a mediocre fourth season, I wasn’t that excited for more Community. Then creator Dan Harmon came back, and my interest was piqued. But it wasn’t until I saw the recent promos that I got truly excited. Based on what we’ve seen, Season 5 could be a true return to form for Community, and if it is then I’ll be the first to welcome it back with open arms this January!
5. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar
The Dark Knight Rises left me completely burned out on Christopher Nolan, but I started coming around again after recently watching some of his older, better work like Memento and Inception. The first trailer for Interstellar was all it took to put me over the edge and rekindle my love for this director. In those few short seconds, I was reminded not only of a time when a new Nolan project was among the biggest news in the geek-verse, but also something new… There is a hope and a warmth in what we’ve seen of Interstellar which is entirely different for the typically cold, clinical director… and that little bit of heart could make this his finest work ever.
4. Hasbro’s New Marvel Legends
Hasbro’s brilliant move to save Legends was a master stroke of business savvy, merging the beloved but retail-unfriendly toy line directly to the media support it needs to reach a wider audience. With each wave anchored by a Marvel movie tie-in, hesitant retail buyers will now all be forced to support the line, which will see wider distribution and unique SKUs for each movie (so a hypothetical glut of Captain America figures won’t block the release of Guardians of the Galaxy). But I don’t think we’ll see any of these figures shelf warming, because they are incredible! With amazing all new sculpts, swappable parts such as unmasked heads and alternate hands, accessories, Build A Figures and great new collector friendly box packaging, the Marvel Legends Infinite Series represents Hasbro making all the right decisions, and I believe it will pay off for them with huge success.
3. Godzilla Smashes Back Into the Spotlight
Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla looks crazy exciting, and his previous film Monsters proves he knows how to weave together real human drama with giant rampaging creatures. Pacific Rim opened the door for well made, big budget Kaiju movies, and the new Godzilla promises to follow in those city block-sized footsteps this summer. If nothing else, we will undoubtedly see some killer Godzilla toys from NECA this summer!
2. Return of Planet of the Apes
2014 will be a great year to be an Apes fan! Not only will we see Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the eagerly anticipated sequel to the very good Dawn, but NECA will be releasing not one but TWO POTA toy lines– one based on the current mythos of Caesar and his revolutionary simians, and a classic line featuring the Apes of the 60s film series.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
I don’t think there is a summer movie more intriguing than Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. A sci-fi epic featuring a crew of untested heroes battling the likes of The Collector and Thanos, Guardians represents a big, bold new step for Marvel’s cinematic universe. The movie sports a strong cast, a great director in Super‘s James Gunn, and I expect it to pave the way toward the Infinity Gauntlet, as Marvel’s heroes go bigger and weirder than we’ve ever seen. I’m confident that this risky movie will hold its own as a major new sci-fi popcorn epic. The leaked list of Hasbro’s big toy line a LOT of confidence in this one… we could be looking at Marvel’s very own version of Star Wars!
There’s no doubt 2014 will hold a lot more surprises– I mean, there’s still 364 days for this year to throw some cool curveballs of all kinds. But even my little list above makes me very happy and grateful to be a geek in 2014, and I hope you feel the same way.
Happy New Year!