General consensus is that 2016 was a pretty rough year for society as a whole, for many different reasons that range from personal to politics to the loss of many bright lights in the creative community. That being said, there were a great many things that were still bright shining spots in the dour year that was 2016 and over the next few days we will point out our favorites in various of those areas.
We continue spotlight of favorites with our favorite moments! Originally this was going to be our favorite news or favorite stories, but it became clear that these chosen entries transcended the idea of just a news story, they are moments in 2016 that brought a smile to the face. Whether that moment was the announcement of something through a news story, a moment on the big or small screen, something to do with a video game, comic, book, anything. As long as it was a moment that was thought to be a happy one, it was up for grabs to make it on this list.
Check out our 15 favorite moments below and share your own in the comments below or through Twitter and/or Facebook!
THE CW FOUR PART CROSSOVER EVENT – INVASION!
Okay sure, this technically was three parts with a small prologue moment on the first of four nights, but that’s not what is important. The CW DC heroes all teamed up to fight aliens! There was a time when comic book events were something fans anticipated and looked forward to, long before fans became jaded at the assembly line of yearly events, and this crossover played right into that excitement and joy of seeing your favorite heroes come together to take on something bigger than themselves. While there were quibbles to be had about the story overall (like characters just disappearing at times), seeing Arrow and Flash and Supergirl and all their allies teaming up to take on the Dominators was the shot in the arm that The Arrowverse needed and brought smiles to the faces of nerds/geeks across the world.
THE DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Speaking of superheroes, the long-running science fiction series took a dive right into that world this year for it’s annual special. Pulling inspiration directly from comics like Superman and Spider-Man (both series making an appearance in the show) and from classic fun superhero films like the Christopher Reeves Superman films, the special was full of campy light-hearted fun using the tropes and amusing aspects of being a hero mixed with the usual hijinks of alien invasions that the Doctor must use his cunning mind to fight off. It was a welcome addition to the series which hadn’t been on air since the previous special the year before. It was definitely easily one of the best holiday specials that the series had done in the last few years.
THE EMERGENCE OF WONDER WOMAN IN THE DCEU
This year saw Batman and Superman finally come together to share the big screen for the first time, but that wasn’t the highlight of their film. That honor easily goes to Wonder Woman who emerged as a force to be reckoned with in her first live-action feature film appearance ever. Gal Gadot owned the part and put both the male heroes in their place as she threw down with Doomsday like the badass that she is. The Amazonian Warrior wasn’t finished there though. She continued her march across 2016 through two trailers for her upcoming solo film where she was just as regal and awesome as Batman V Superman, various images and posters for her film and the Comic Con trailer that came out for Justice League. While 2016 was an awesome year for Wonder Woman, 2017 will fully be her year to reign supreme.
THE MCU DEBUT OF SPIDER-MAN & BLACK PANTHER
While Wonder Woman dominated on the DC side of the big screen, it was Spider-Man and Black Panther who took that spot for the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year. At the same time that fans got to rejoice as Spidey finally joined the rest of the Marvel heroes they got to rejoice even more as the awesome character that is Black Panther burst onto the screen to show that he is not a character to be taken lightly. This was Marvel giving us just a small taste, like a Baskin Robbins sample spoon size taste, of how great their screen versions of these characters are ahead of their solo cinematic outings coming in 2017 and 2018 respectively. After that tasting, we’ll definitely take two scoops of what Marvel is offering.
THE EMERGENCE OF NEGAN ON THE WALKING DEAD
This entry is likely not to be liked by all readers, as reactions to Negan and the first half of season seven of The Walking Dead are very mixed. While the pace of season seven has been pretty slow so far and the jumping around from groups and characters has left many of the characters very underused (Carol & Morgan to name just a few), Negan definitely has made an impact upon the series much as he did the comic book series it’s based upon. This was clear right away when he came in and killed both Abraham and Glenn in rapid succession. While those were painful losses, in a way it was a good thing for the series. For a long time the show was liked for it’s realism and character work, and trumpeted that no one was safe. Then for about a season and a half they got to a point where only secondary or just introduced characters were dying in sometimes gruesome yet emotionless deaths. Negan shook things up, and is a villain that is fitting for this world. More so then the very neutered version of the Governor that emerged on the series (though it was good that he was toned down from the horrible character in the comics).
THE THOR CIVIL WAR SHORT
When the Avengers heeded the call to take sides in this year’s Captain America: Civil War, two of the major omissions were Thor and Hulk. While we saw the Hulk leave everyone behind in the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, with Thor we just had to assume the reasons that he was not brought in to help. Then Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi put together this amazing little short with Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo to give us a humerous take on the reasons that Thor didn’t show up to probably quickly put an end to the squabbles between Captain America and Iron Man.
WE GOT THE DEADPOOL FILM WE DESERVED
It only took close to a decade, but the Deadpool film that always should have been a thing actually became a reality. Not only did it become a reality, it was the surprise hit of superhero films and of 2016 coming in just a hundred millionish less than Batman V Superman, a film featuring two of the most iconic heroes ever. Hitting such a big milestone so early on set the tone for a year that was full of surprises both good and bad as films that should have been good were considered failures or made far less than expected and a lot of franchises were stopped dead in their tracks by poor performances. That an unexpected film made a giant box office in the generally considered dead month of February meant we were in for a topsy turvey style year. But it’s okay because Ryan Reynolds got to play the part he was born to play, and the joy of a simplistic and hilarious film helped brighten our lives this year.
STAR TREK DISCOVERY
In a way this is sort of a cheat, as the series doesn’t debut till May 2017, but in a sense the series fully came to life this year. Everything from plot, to teasers, to castings were all spread through this year to give us little tastes of Star Trek finally making it’s return to seriealized television form after over a decade of being away. While the movies are great in their ways, Star Trek Beyond really recapturing the feeling of old trek this year, television is where Star Trek was born and where it should be available to take in alongside the films as it used to be. Granted the news of this series came with the bad news of losing Bryan Fuller as showrunner because of a busy schedule and it will only be available in the United States through CBS’ streaming platform CBS All Access, but it’s still great news. The addition of Sonequa Martin-Green as the lead character with Michelle Yeoh as a captain along with Doug Jones & Anthony Rapp as lieutenants along with three cast Klingon characters adds to the excitement. Bring on May 2017.
THE SURPRISE OF 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE
Just less than two months before it released in theaters, J.J. Abrams and company surprisingly revealed that they had been working on a quasi-sequel to Cloverfield under the cloak of darkness for years. The project had been known as Valencia and The Cellar when it was greenlit, to throw fans off the scent. While it seemed crazy to keep a film secret and only debut a trailer so soon before it emerged, the move paid off for the film which was really good and was only tied to Cloverfield in the sense of them being similar films with otherworldly creatures and dangers facing the protagonists. The best part about the surprise was that it showed that if you have a quality product, there is no need for this modern trend to release a trailer over a year before then release four or five more trailers plus fifty TV spots up till the point of release. Sometimes simple is the best.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF X-MEN RESURRXION
Times have been pretty dark for the X-Men comic book line at Marvel for the last decade, ever since the events of the 2005 storyline House of M and it’s aftermath Decimation, with them currently facing extinction at the hands of the Terrigen Mists of the Inhumans that are circling the globe. So it came as a welcome breath of relief when Marvel announced that starting in April 2017 things are going to get a lot more bright and fun for the merry mutants of Marvel. Not only are the books relaunching but iconic teams will be formed using the Blue and Gold team designations from the 90s, the fun softball games of old are coming back, Generation X is making a big return, and biggest of all is that the X-Men are going back to their roots of trying to be superheroes to prove to the world that mutants are not a threat. This is the exact shot in the arm that the franchise needs to regain it’s footing at the top of Marvel’s lists. (Check out more HERE).
DC GAVE THEIR LINE A REBIRTH & REVITALIZATION
A big part of DC Comics 2011 New 52 reboot of all their titles was a hope that it would bring fresh eyes to their line and “revitalize” their old characters. While it did that in some cases, the reboot also came with a chucking of a lot of fan-favorite concepts and characters and left a really confusing continuity that kept changing month to month depending on the title that left old fans really confused. Then came DC Rebirth in May of this year. The complete relaunch of the line saw fan favorite characters, teams and concept all make their return in new ways and breathed new life into a great many books. A return of the old universe’s Superman & Lois Lane along with their new superpowered son Jonathan was one of the biggest perks of this Rebirth, as a Superman that is a hero & a dad is just a perfect story to tell. While there were some concerns about DC in a way playing it too safe, ending many of the experiemental bucking the trend books from the New 52 that people had come to like in order to only focus on big name heroes, and focusing on too many male white creators from the old guard, overall the Rebirth has been a boon to the company. Since then they have began to change course a bit to rectify some of those issues, so hopefully 2017 will see them fix those issues even more.
THE 600 EPISODE EVERY SIMPSONS EVER MARATHON
The Simpsons have been a staple of Fox’s lineup for 28 seasons now, having just hit 600 episodes earlier this year with a renewal already in line to take them to 30 seasons and possibly beyond. Fatigue over the show’s long run had set in for many. Then FXX announced that just like in 2014 when they gained the rights to air the series, they were planning to do a “Every Simpsons Ever” marathon to begin on Thanksgiving Day. Sitting and watching episode after episode, not giving up sleep or other duties in the process, from the classics to the new episodes a new appreciation for the animated comedy series that keeps chugging on was found. It was a great joy to sit there seeing the humble beginnings to the dominant mega-franchise turn that the series took, feeling all the emotions of those earlier classic episodes and tweeting about it with the rest of the world that was all turning in to watch 13 days of The Simpsons goodness. Bring on the all Simpsons channel now we say!
RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 CONFIRMATION
While Grand Theft Auto is the big series that Rockstar Games is most known for, and it’s a pretty awesome series, the news that the fantastic 2010 game Red Dead Redemption is at last getting a sequel seemed to excite the internet greatly. It was a move that most weren’t expecting and were glad to see, especially when the gorgeous and scenic first trailer was rolled out. There isn’t much known about the game at this point like where it takes place, the characters, time period, story, or anything else but that is fine. Just knowing that the game is coming in 2017 sometime is good enough. We’ll take more running, riding and gunning around the wild west in any form that we can get.
SUPERMAN WAS FUN ONCE AGAIN
For the last few years both the films and the comic books have taken a view of Superman that makes him feel a bit grimmer, grittier and less the fun heroic character that most of us grew up reading and watching. It was a view that of course carried into this year’s Batman V Superman, for better or worse depending on your view. Then came DC’s Rebirth in comic books and the second season of Supergirl on The CW, which both brought a much more fun and truth, justice and the American Way style Superman of the old comics, movies and TV shows. In the comics Clark and Lois from the previous universe are now in the New 52 universe living new lives while they raise their superpowered son Jonathan and seeing Superman still flying high as the cheerful hero as he raises a son is fantastic. At the same time Tyler Hoechlin brought that same sort of cheerful heroic take of Superman to the small screen, much to the delight of fans. 2016 was the year that reminded the world that Superman can be and should be fun.
THE CONTINUED REBIRTH OF ARCHIE COMICS
Following years of experimenting with additions to modernize their comics, Archie Comics dove fully into a relaunch of their properties last year with the July launching Archie by Mark Waid & Fiona Staples and the October launching Jughead by Chip Zdarsky & Erica Henderson. Both series brought the beloved Riverside characters into the modern age with new stories and new situations. That rebirth continued this year with the excellent titles Betty & Veronica by Adam Hughes, Life With Kevin by Dan Parent and J. Bone, Josie and the Pussycats by Marguerite Bennett & Cameron DeOrdio & Audrey Mok, and Reggie and Me by Tom DeFalco, Sandy Jarrell, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Jack Morelli. All have brought a new flavor to the shiny new Archie Comics universe, expanding upon the beloved characters. They aren’t even done yet. A brand new set of one-shots that introduce new stories with werewolves, Archie’s band The Archies, tiny versions of the crew and Sabrina the Teenage Witch are coming out in 2017, and if they do well they could be turned into ongoings. Long live Archie Comics!
That wraps up our list of 15 of our favorite entertainment moments from 2016. Did we miss any other great moments from this year? Let us know what your favorites were by commenting below, through Facebook or on Twitter!