Between the release of “Marvel’s The Avengers” and the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, the comic book movies of 2012 had something for everyone.
But it wasn’t just the movies themselves that we’re thankful for this year. There were plenty of announcements and developments that got us jumping for joy, from Marvel developing a “S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV series to their plans for Phase Two and beyond.
Spider-Man And Gwen Stacy Win Our Hearts
Yes, “The Amazing Spider-Man” was great and brought our favorite web-slinging superhero back to the big screen and blah blah blah, but let’s face it, the best part of that movie was that it brought Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone together. Even if you have a heart made of stone, it’s hard to deny that these two are one of Hollywood’s most adorable couples. Don’t believe me? Just watch Garfield’s “surprise” appearance during Stone’s “Saturday Night Live” opening monologue. Now that’s something to be thankful for.
— Terri Schwartz, MTV Movies contributor
Joss Whedon Rules The World
Only a truly dedicated Joss Whedon fan would stand on a Leeds, UK sidewalk for several hours, waiting in a long queue to get an autograph from James Marsters, who played Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” This was me, many years ago (I didn’t end up getting the autograph, but that’s a story for another time). And I’m still a loyal Whedonite.
I’m thankful that “Marvel’s The Avengers” has brought Joss to the attention of the entire world. I don’t selfishly guard the Whedonverse from newcomers; a talent like that should be shared with the masses, not hoarded by the few OG’s.
— Tami Katzoff, The Weekly Whedon columnist
Nicolas Cage Goes Completely Insane
I’m thankful for Nicolas Cage. Only the most perfect of men could have pulled off a task as unimaginable as playing Ghost Rider in “Spirit of Vengeance.” Thankfully, Nic Cage (God’s gift to the world) was blessed with the foresight to paint his face and wear neon lights all over his head in order to prepare for the role. Seriously. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes footage.
— Ryan Rigley, Assembling Avengers columnist
Bryan Singer Returns To ’X-Men’
I’m thankful that Bryan Singer put off the inevitable and took back the reins of the “X-Men” franchise. Matthew Vaughn is a fine director, but it was Singer’s richly characterized, allegorical take on the Marvel mutants that helped set the modern standard for comic book movies and showed you could tweak the source material without being disrespectful.
— Jeremy Gordon, This Mutant Life columnist
“The Crow” Stays Grounded
I’m thankful that the ill-conceived idea to remake “The Crow” has been delayed at least another year. (No offense, Bradley Cooper. No disrespect, producer Jeff Most.) It’s just that “The Crow” is my favorite comic book adaptation of all time; I saw it six times in the theaters, paying full price each time, in an era before I had access to advance screenings or other writerly extravagances. I was a fan of Brandon Lee since “Rapid Fire” and James O Barr’s comics were gritty, filled with pain, pathos, romance and nods to some of my favorite bands. Having grown up on comics, heavy metal and action flicks, “The Crow” was a perfect storm for me when it arrived.
While I’m not somebody who has a problem with all reboots as a matter of principle, I do take exception with the idea of remaking Lee’s original. There’s no reason why the franchise can’t continue with other heroes, as it has, with varying degrees of quality. (Sorry, Edward Furlong!) Why should we mess with what the late, great Brandon Lee laid down as Eric Draven? At least this year, “The Crow” was left alone, and for that, I’m very thankful.
— Ryan J. Downey, 15 Years of Devil’s Night columnist
“The Walking Dead” Eats Us Alive
After the painfully dull disappointment of last season, “The Walking Dead” had become the high school boyfriend of my TV lineup: as much as I hoped it might work out between us, I was ready to dump its decaying behind over Thanksgiving if I didn’t see some serious changes. (Namely: more zombie headshots, less entire episodes in which Daryl Dixon spends 45 minutes trying to climb up a hill.)
Imagine my surprise when Season 3 turned out to be an awesome nonstop fun-fest full of drama, brutality, and some of the most creative gross-outs we’ve seen since Bicycle Zombie! Thanks, “Walking Dead”! I believe in love again!
— Kat Rosenfield, “The Walking Dead” recapper
DC Entertainment Makes Its Move
With “The Dark Knight Rises” behind them, it’s time for DC Entertainment to look forward. And I am thankful that after many false starts, aborted projects, and films that didn’t quite live up to fan expectations, DC now seems to be taking a cue from the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is working to build a cohesive universe of superhero films centered around the most iconic superhero team of all time, the Justice League. I have high hopes that “Man of Steel” will be the start of a long run of successful and enjoyable films based on the characters of the DC Universe.
— Matt Adler, Hollywood Justice columnist
Marvel Goes Balls-Out With Post-’Avengers’ Plans
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the gluttony, so when thinking about what I appreciated most this year, my mind goes immediately to the Marvel Universe and how they insist on spoiling us year after year. Two months after fulfilling what may have been too ambitious of a promise, the studio behind “The Avengers” unleashed the full scope of Phase Two upon the masses as San Diego Comic-Con. The films sound strange, enormous, and fun, the only things we can ask for from the kings of the superhero flick.
— Kevin P. Sullivan, MTV Movies Blog editor
“The Dark Knight Rises” Easter Egg
Christopher Nolan finally relented and put “Robin” in the damn movie anyhow. Sure, it was just a throwaway line that made some in the audience groan. But Joseph-Gordon Levitt was Nightwing, and that’s all that matters, dammit!
— Valerie Gallaher, MTV Geek editor
“The Dark Knight Rises” ended Nolan’s Batman run on a high note. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” delivered one of the most fun and crazy superhero movie performances of all time. (I will fight any of you who disagree.) “Dredd” was criminally under-viewed, but it still made up for Sylvester Stallone’s shlock. But of all the things comic book movies got right in 2012, it was — in my opinion — “The Avengers.” Beyond that, it was recognizing the film’s true star and giving him new life: Agent Coulson.
Who knows how Coulson is going to come back from such a tragic, memorable death. Frankly, I don’t care. The fact that we’re going to see more Clark Gregg as the stoic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, on a weekly television show no less, is cause enough for great rejoicing. I’m thankful for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m thankful for Whedon, and above all else, I am thankful that we live in a world owned by a man named Phil.
Now let’s eat some frickin’ turkey!
— Josh Wigler, MTV Splash Page editor
What are you thankful for this year, comic book movie fans? Let us know in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter!