Whether you prefer your Marvel stories in comic book form or on the big screen, 2022 has a lot to offer superhero fanatics. The new year will bring with it several MCU sequels, a new wave of Disney+ shows and a big anniversary for everyone’s favorite wallcrawler.
Let’s take a look ahead at 2022 and break down all the big movies, shows and comics we’re likely to see over the next 12 months.
Spider-Man’s Big Anniversary
2022 marks a pretty major milestone for Marvel Comics. It’s now been 60 years since Spider-Man first debuted in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15, and he’s barely aged a day. You can expect Marvel to go all-out to celebrate Spidey’s birthday in 2022.
On the comics side, Marvel’s first order of business is wrapping up the Spider-Man Beyond storyline in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man. Beyond has seen Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly take over the mantle again, and it’ll culminate with the debut of a brand new villain called the Goblin Queen.
It’s probably safe to assume Peter will be back in action by the time Beyond ends, just in time for Marvel to really shine a spotlight on the 60th anniversary. That may involve relaunching Amazing Spider-Man with a new #1 issue. But at the very least, expect a new creative team and a fresh, accessible status quo for old Webhead.
Let’s also not forget about Spider-Man 2099, who’s celebrating his 30th anniversary and playing a big role in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One. We have no doubt Marvel will be capitalizing on that milestone, too.
We probably won’t see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man anywhere in 2022, but fans can look forward to two non-MCU Spider-Man movies this year. First, Jared Leto’s Morbius movie is finally hitting theaters in January, introducing this vampiric anti-hero to a much wider audience. Then, in November we get Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One. This long-awaited sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will usher in a whole new wave of animated multiverse shenanigans.
Given that it was just announced in November 2021, we probably shouldn’t expect the animated series Spider-Man: Freshman Year to debut in 2022. Ditto for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on the Playstation 5, which isn’t slated for release until 2023. But we are hoping to get a closer look at both projects over the course of the year
Major MCU Sequels
Phase 4 of the MCU got a belated start in 2021 thanks to the pandemic, and there’s no guarantee we won’t see the MCU release schedule continue to shuffle around in 2022. But currently, Marvel fans have three major MCU sequels to look forward to this year.
First up is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May. Not only does this film mark Spider-Man director Sam Raimi’s return to Marvel, but it also promises to dig even deeper into the multiverse concept. This time, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange experiences the true horrors lurking in other dimensions. The film also picks up on the major loose ends from WandaVision, with Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch playing a key role. We can all but guarantee a cornucopia of Marvel cameos along the way.
Next, Thor: Love and Thunder puts Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster back in the spotlight in July. Based heavily on writer Jason Aaron’s Thor comics, Love and Thunder sees Jane take up Mjolnir and introduces Christian Bale’s terrifying villain Gorr the God Butcher. But don’t worry, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is still a major character, and he’s bringing his new friends in the Guardians of the Galaxy along for the ride.
Finally, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever wraps up the MCU film slate in November. This sequel is one, giant question mark. We don’t yet know how director Ryan Coogler will move forward after the death of star Chadwick Boseman, or whether Letitia Wright’s Shuri will become the new face of the franchise. With production halted due to Wright’s on-set injuries, we can’t even guarantee the film will make its 2022 release date. Whatever happens, we’re sure it’ll be worth the wait.
All Eyes on the X-Men
Marvel dramatically revamped the entire X-Men comic book line with 2019’s House of X and Powers of X. That kicked off a new era for mutantkind. In 2022, Marvel is teasing the next phase of this epic storyline, something called Destiny of X.
Marvel has revealed early details for Destiny of X. Expect another wave of new comics like X-Men Red, The Immortal X-Men, Knights of X and Legion of X, along with major status quo changes for current titles like Marauders and X-Force. This new status quo will build on the fallout of books like Inferno, X Lives of Wolverine and X Deaths of Wolverine. We’ll have to wait and see if Marvel is teasing an even brighter future for mutantkind, or if the age of Krakoa will come crashing down.
Perhaps the biggest change in 2022 is that Inferno writer Jonathan Hickman will no longer be steering the ship as Marvel’s official Head of X. We’ll have to see just how the franchise moves forward without him.
It also remains to be seen where the X-Men will appear outside of Marvel’s comics in 2022. We’re still years away from any X-Men movies at Marvel Studios, but could we see some mutant characters start to appear in the MCU? Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could offer our first glimpse of mutants in the MCU if some kind of multiverse situation opens up a world where mutants exist.
Don’t expect either the animated series X-Men ‘97 or Insomniac’s Wolverine video game to release in 2022, but we are hoping to get a closer look at both projects over the course of the year.
More Marvel on Disney Plus
Even if Marvel Studios’ theatrical slate continues to be affected by the pandemic, fans can look forward to another busy year on Disney+.
We don’t have any firm release dates for upcoming Marvel shows, but we know Ms. Marvel will premiere at some point between July and September. Iman Vellani stars as Kamala Khan, certified Captain Marvel fangirl and up-and-coming hero in her own right.
Fans can also expect She-Hulk, starring Tatiana Maslany as Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters, the Nick Fury-centric Secret Invasion and Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector, during the course of 2022. All three are either currently filming or in post-production.
At this point, Marvel’s 2022 slate is probably too crammed to expect second seasons of shows like Loki or The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but we should hopefully learn more about the future of those characters over the course of the year.
The New Iron Fist Revealed
As much as 2022 looks to be focused on Marvel’s bread-and-butter heroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men, it also promises to be a big year for Iron Fist. Not Danny Rand, but a brand new Iron Fist.
The new Iron Fist limited series launches in February. Writer Alyssa Wong and artist Michael YG are introducing a brand new version of this almost 50-year-old hero. The new Iron Fist replaces the de-powered Danny Rand, but Marvel teases his powers and origin story may not be what fans are expecting. This new hero is also of Asian descent, a move aimed at addressing lingering criticisms surrounding Danny Rand’s role in the Marvel Universe.
This series will only run five issues, but it’s safe to assume the new Iron Fist will pop up in a number of places in 2022 and beyond. Fans are already predicting this character will form the basis for the MCU’s Iron Fist, rather than having Finn Jones reprise the Danny Rand role. With any luck, this new hero will resonate as strongly as other recent breakouts like Kamala Khan and Miles Morales.
What are you most excited to see from Marvel in 2022? Let us know in the comments. And for more superhero goodness, check out our look back at the comics industry in 2021. And be sure to like and subscribe to IGN wherever you watch.