2018 is around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your pop culture calendar. Movies, conventions, fan events and more are on the way. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
Cons – The Staff of PCU
January 4 – January 7: Super MAGFest
While not occurring during the regular “convention season” every year, Super MAGFest does cater specifically to those who love all things video games, with a focus on video game music. It also runs 24 hours a day for those four days. The convention will take place at the Gaylord Hotel in Baltimore Maryland, and will include performers such as punk band Cowabunga Pizza Time and nerd core duo Double Experience, as well as special guests including game creator & director Hideo Yoshizawa and gaming YouTubers Extra Credits.
February 16-18: Katsucon
Considered the “kickoff” convention for the DC Metro area, Katsucon is the region’s first big anime and pop culture convention. Expect on-the-ground reporting from PCU.
March 30-April 1: Awesome Con
A relative newcomer to the crowded East Coast convention scene, Awesome Con has been surprising fans with major guest appearances from celebrities like David Tennant and Stan Lee. This year, AC is headlining several Guardians of the Galaxy actors, including Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, and Karen Gillan.
May 5: Free Comic Book Day
Stretching back to 2002, Free Comic Book Day is the industry’s annual giveaway and promises events, signings, and sales at stores across the world as the publishers promote their big books for the year.
July 19-22: San Diego Comic-Con
The mother of all cons. Expect all kinds of news and announcements, some of which may actually have to do with comics.
July 27-29: Bronycon
Baltimore is known for cons, and for whatever reason, the My Little Pony centric con is a big one.
August 10-12: Otakon
The DC area’s other big anime con.
September 15-16 (estimated): Small Press Expo
If mega-superhero cons aren’t your thing, consider SPX in Bethesda, MD. Plenty of big-name creators attend, but it’s an opportunity to meet them for their non-DC/Marvel work and learn about what Fantagraphics and other indie publishers are offering.
September 28-30: Baltimore Comic-Con
This is the DC area’s other huge con. The big question this year is whether the new competitive Philadelphia Comic Con is going to diminish its numbers. Hopefully not, as BCC remains a great opportunity to meet creators one-on one. The Baltimore Book Festival runs at the same time nearby, so consider visiting both.
October 4-7: New York Comic-Con
If San Diego Comic-Con is the mother of all cons, NYCC is its angry cousin. Again, expect more news and announcements, and angry fans griping about tickets selling out in five minutes.
October 28: Halloween Comicfest
The “other” Free Comic Book Day, HCF is another free comic book opportunity, but revolving around horror and costume contests.
December 6*: Library Con
For this one you don’t even have to leave the house! An all day, online celebration where you can speak to authors from around the world about sci-fi, fantasy and graphic novels as well as learn from librarians and con planners about how to set up your own events.
Film – Adam and Armand
January 26: Maze Runner: The Death Cure
The long delayed conclusion to the Maze Runner trilogy finally drops to kick off 2018. However, it has been so long since part 2, will anyone care?
February 16: Black Panther
Probably PCU’s most-anticipated movie, Black Panther is 2018’s first entry in the Marvel Universe’s film lineup and features an all-star cast of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.
March 16: Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander takes over the reins from Angelina Jolie in this reboot of the franchise. Are we excited, or is this just one more pop culture entry on a cluttered film calendar?
March 23: Pacific Rim: Uprising
Immediately after Tomb Raider, we get the second film in the Pacific Rim franchise, starring John Boyega as the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost.
March 30: Ready Player One
We also get Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited adaption of Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel about virtual reality warfare in a dystopian future. That’s three big releases in three weeks. Remember when May was the kickoff of summer movie season?
April 13: New Mutants
Here’s a gamble: can you make a successful X-Men movie if the name X-Men is not in the title? We’ll find out with this…what, eleventh entry in the X-Men franchise if you count all the Wolverine and Deadpool movies?
May 4: Avengers: Infinity War
This is the mother of all MCU films, which promises to bring together all the plot threads which run back to 2008’s Iron Man (which will be 10 years old at this point).
Star Wars Day
“May the Fourth” is also the big annual Star Wars weekend, so expect sales and events nationwide. The likely reason Solo isn’t coming out this day is because Infinity War must have pre-empted it.
May 25: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Surprisingly, Solo will be only our fourth Star Wars film in four years (it feels like there’s been more). With casting and directing problems, the industry is worried that this one could be a bust. We’ll have see how it comes out–it’s Star Wars, so you know you’re seeing it anyway.
June 1: Deadpool 2
How does Deadpool follow its own act? If the trailers are any indication, hilariously. Ryan Reynold’s sequel is another must-see on the pop culture calendar.
June 15: The Incredibles 2
Another tough act to follow, The Incredibles 2 is one of those movies we’ve been waiting to see for well over a decade. With no proper Fantastic Four movie on the horizon, we’re hoping that this one will continue to serve as a wonderful next-best-thing.
June 22: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Guys. This time, we’ll be build a park where the dinosaurs don’t eat everyone. We swear.
July 16: Ant-Man and the Wasp
Of course we’re looking forward to seeing a female co-lead (Evangeline Lily) in an MCU film, but how exactly is this supposed to follow Infinity War?
July 27: Teen Titans Go! To The Movies
Oh, hush. Some of us are actually looking forward to this movie. The question is whether it will be a higher-grossing 2018 DC film than Aquaman.
July 27: Mission Impossible 6
Tom Cruise is still making movies. Will Henry Cavill’s mustache be worth the confusion it caused in Justice League?
October 19: Halloween (reboot)
Jamie Lee Curtis returns…again…to John Carpenter’s franchise. Again.
November 2: X-Men: Dark Phoenix
The first X-Men movie with a proper title to not include Hugh Jackman, but which will include a rampaging Sophie Turner. Are November movies a thing now? Because Thor: Ragnarok did well here, and Justice League did not.
Also coming this weekend is Creed 2, which is just proof that Spaceballs‘ prediction of the Rocky franchise reaching 5,000 films isn’t impossible.
November 16: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald continues to milk the Harry Potter and Johnny Depp cows at the same time. Who are we kidding? We expect this will be good, pre-Thanksgiving fun.
November 21: Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
This needs no explanation beyond “it’s more Wreck-It Ralph” and we love it.
December 14: Animated Spider-Man Movie
We don’t have a lot of detail on this beyond it being a Miles Morales movie. Stay tuned.
December 21: Aquaman
If you don’t count Teen Titans Go!, this is DC’s only film offering for the year. Jason Momoa returns as the charismatic Arthur Curry, one of the best things to come out of the DCEU.
December 25: Bohemian Rhapsody
The biopic of Freddie Mercury and Queen starring Rami Malek, this looks to be amazing, moving and truly beautiful.
December 25: Mary Poppins Returns
Emily Blunt takes over the titular role, can she live up to Julie Andrews’ iconic performance?
Television – Belle
Black Lightning – The CW – January 16
As I’ve said very recently, I don’t really care about the Arrowverse. Between its blatant disrespect of 70+ years of canon (yes, I’m still pissed about Black Canary and Arsenal), whitewashing of characters (I’m looking at you R’as Al Ghul, White Canary and Sandra Hawke) and its strong female characters it bores me when I’m not actively rooting for the villains of the shows to actually win. That being said Black Lightning has me tentatively onboard mostly due to the casting of Cress Williams. As a huge fan of his I’ve followed his career since I saw him as smooth yet sweet Terrance on Living Single and the perpetually neurotic Steve on Sports Night. Here’s hoping the show lives up to the talent of its amazing lead.
The Crossing – ABC Studios
When refugees start showing up in a small fishing town in Washington State from seemingly nowhere questions arise. Especially when it becomes clear that the refugees aren’t from the another country but instead from another time. From the writers of Matador and Revenge and with a cast that includes Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez this series has all the hallmarks of a cult classic.
Seven Seconds – Netflix – February 23, 2018
Netflix throws its hand into the anthology series ring with Seven Seconds. In the aftermath of a racially charged shooting Seven Seconds explores the fallout from multiple point of views. Starring Regina King, Russell Hornsby and David Lyons this looks to be a thoughtful, engaging and hard look at race in America.
Good Girls – NBC – February 26, 2018
Three friends get fed all the way up with everything, their spouses, the economy, the world as a whole. So… they plan a heist and that’s where things get interesting. Starring Retta, Mae Whitman and Christina Hendricks this new dramedy looks intriguing if for no other reason than the acting and comedic chops of the three ladies mentioned above. That combined with commentary about the world we’ve found ourselves in should make for smart, satirical hit.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones – Netflix – March 8, 2018
After a brutal first season that dealt with a myriad of issues, the least of which were having superpowers, and a wonderful all star team up on The Defenders, Jessica is back. A little less broken, a little more powerful and a lot more focused Jessica will continue to deal with the fallout of Kilgrave’s death as well as Matt’s sacrifice and all that comes with being a member of a superhero team in the ever changing landscape of New York.
Krypton – SyFy – March 21, 2018
Exploring the years before Krypton went boom, this new series on Syfy boasts a great cast and some top notch special effects. The question is: do we care enough about the House of El to want to see how everything went so very wrong?
The 90th Academy Awards – ABC – March
You know what this is. In a year where so many Hollywood legends have fallen to sexual harassment claims, it’ll be interesting to see how the Academy handles this season. This coupled with the continued pushback about the lack of diversity in winners and nominees should make this year’s awards one of the most highly charged in history.