Friends, nerds, countrymen - lend Hollywood your Spock ears.
Film goers are entering yet another summer movie season, or what's become the "comic book movie season." Those tired of the trend of comics as source material should probably check out now, as this year is even more cape-filled than the last.
For everyone else, this year's a dream in the land of geekdom. From DC's flagship hero to the return of Marvel favorites, Vulcans and lesser-known offerings, this season promises more than a few heroes.
An Iron curtain call?
Starting off 2013's slew of films is "Iron Man 3" - and rightly so, as the first entry in Marvel's Robert Downey Jr.-led franchise was responsible for a sea change in comic book cinema in 2008. It was "Iron Man" that introduced a viable model for interconnected films, overlapping arcs and the general takeover that led to 2012's hugely successful "Marvel's The Avengers."
This time, Downey's Tony Stark is pitted against villains The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian, creator of the Extremis virus. Could this be the end for Iron Man? Though "Avengers 2" doesn't seem likely without Ol' Shellhead, the trailers imply that things don't go so well for our hero.
The film will be joined by another Marvel Studios sequel, "Thor: The Dark World," later this year. Wasting no time with high-profile superheroes on the big screen, "Iron Man 3" will set the course for what's to come, as it opens today. Or at least, it will be a solid warm-up to items that follow.
Will fans boldly go?
"Star Trek Into Darkness" is the much-anticipated follow-up to J.J. Abram's 2009 take on the Trek universe. Slated for May 17, the film introduces a new, terrifying villain in Benedict Cumberbatch, who may or not be playing the classic baddie Khan. The idea has caused debate across fan forums, sci-fi publications and comic shops around the world.
So why is "Into Darkness" included on a list of comic book movies? Well, nearly every major imprint has had a "Star Trek" series at one time. A list of geeky films for the summer just feels incomplete without phrases like "warp speed" and "phasers."
Man of Steal the show?
"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder is no stranger to the comic book film. His 2007 cult-favorite, "300," based on the Frank Miller series, gets its own sequel later this year (and Snyder has writing and producing credits on that, too). Two years later, he provided his own take on "Watchmen," widely touted as the best graphic novel of all time.
Bryan Singer tried his own hand for the world's first superhero in "Superman Returns," and while some appreciated the allegory and likeness of star Brandon Routh to Christopher Reeve's take, many were just a bit bored.
Trailers for "Man of Steel," which debuts June 14, imply a much larger scope and darkness unseen in other Supes offerings. This is partly due to scribe David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan, architects of the massively popular Batman films of the last decade.