Man, can you believe 2014 is already over? It feels like only yesterday that we were wrapping up 2013, with arguments over who would win the Oscar (congrats, "American Hustle"), weeks before we knew the "'Man of Steel' sequel" was actually "Justice League" all along.
But here we are, on the very last day of 2014, and boy, what a year it was! Big surprises in and out of theaters, announcements of all shapes and sizes from the major movie studios ... it's hard to keep track of everything that happened, so here's our best attempt to jog your memory:
1. Remember when Captain America made a "Winter Soldier" tie-in appearance on "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," and it was revealed that Agent Coulson has been a prototype Vision android this entire time, and now the whole show is building toward "Age of Ultron" in the most glorious way? That was cool!
2. Remember when "Guardians of the Galaxy" was a massive hit, because of course it was, and once the trailers came out everybody knew it was going to be awesome? Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon is an all-star and Chris Pratt is now officially the guy. It's a good world.
3. But let's not forget the best part about "Guardians," of course: the cameo of Jennifer Lawrence as Carol Danvers, alias Captain Marvel, at the very end. How Marvel kept something like that a secret right up through release, with only the slightest tease at Comic-Con, is beyond comprehension. "Captain Marvel" in 2016! Phase Three!
4. (And "Black Panther" in 2016! And "Doctor Strange" and "Guardians of the Galaxy: Planet Hulk" in 2017! And "The Avengers: Infinity" in 2018! Phase Three!)
5. Oh, and "The Defenders" on Netflix? Looks totally great. That "Luke Cage" trailer rocked. Isaiah Mustafah kills it. Only three months away!
6. Meanwhile, DC confirmed that, yep, it's "Justice League" after all, and you know what? It looks pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Ben Affleck as Batman, you might be alright. And Bryan Cranston as Darkseid, not Lex Luthor? Inspired!
7. No other DC movie news at this time though. :(
8. But, hey, don't look so down! TV's been great for DC fans! "Arrow" remains on point and "The Flash" is quickly gaining steam. "Gotham" on Fox never came through, and that's a shame, but hey, at least they're doing another "Wonder Woman" pilot.
9. Outside of comics, remember that time when "The Hobbit" was only a trilogy? Ah, the days before "Part 4: And There And Back Again" was a thing that got announced.
10. And remember that time when George R.R. Martin delivered the final two "A Song of Ice and Fire" books as one massive Christmas present, just a few days ago? Still reeling from that one. Winter came, and it was awesome. Best part of all? Now "Game of Thrones" is free and clear to land without stepping on GRRM's toes! Everybody wins! (Except the Lannisters. They all died. Good riddance.)
11. And remember that time when "The Walking Dead" was suddenly pretty good again? After the death of Rick Grimes and the ascension of Daryl Dixon at the end of season four, the show really experienced a creative resurgence.
12. Oh, and remember "24: Live Another Day," and how great it was to see Jack Bauer again? It was extra cool how they brought Tony Almeida back into the fold and made him a soul-patch wearing, Cubs mug-drinking good guy again.
13. Oh, and remember how at the "Lost: 10 Year Anniversary," they announced that new episodes of "Lost" would be back on TV in two years? Good thing Josh Holloway's available now that "Intelligence" fell through.
14. Oh, and remember how Joss Whedon announced he's shooting an independently financed and released "Firefly" movie in his house early next year? Comic-Con 2015's gonna be nuts!
15. Oh, and remember "Better Call Saul"? If you don't, better call Saul, because it was totally awesome and you should remember that, you weirdo.
Man, that's not even scratching the surface of all the great news that broke in 2014. We didn't even touch on the greatness of "Godzilla" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and the power of Peter Dinklage's mustache in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Heck, even the new "Amazing Spider-Man" was pretty damn good.
And just think about it! We're about to enter the year everyone's been waiting for: 2015, the year that sees a new "Avengers" film, the first-ever "Justice League," and the return of "Star Wars" (great new teaser yesterday, btw), among other projects.
In short, 2014, was a hell of year. At the end of 2013, it was hard, impossible even, to imagine that a better year could exist — but 2014, you kicked butt. If there's a lesson here, it's that every year brings something big and worthwhile for movie and TV fans. Here's looking forward to whatever the future brings next!
What were your favorite movies, shows and news stories from 2014, fellow time-travelers?