2016: The year of the Comic Book Film.

Even though comic book films have been around in some shape or form since 1978 with the release of "Superman: The Movie," they haven't been as plentiful until the recently released summer movie schedule for next year. An unprecedented seven films (five based on marvel properties, two on DC properties) will be dominating multiplexes starting next February. That number will only increase between next year and 2020. While a newer generation of moviegoers may consider this overkill, those of us who grew up in the late '80s and late '90s remember what a barren wasteland the summer movie season was when it came to superhero flicks. Very few films outside of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman franchise were released (and we all know how that series ended), and we were left with such table scraps as "Spawn," "Tank Girl," "Judge Dredd," and "The Phantom." Not to mention superhero parodies like "Mystery Men," "Blankman," and "Meteor Man." So I for one can't wait for the new slate of comic films coming up in the next four years-----but let's just start with the seven being released next year:

Deadpool; February 2016. This flick was a long time coming since "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" back in 2009. Luckily, Ryan Reynolds will be donning the trademark red-and-black outfit here instead of being depicted as some ultimate mutant with his mouth sewn shut.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; March 2016.  Now, we're talking! Two of the most well-known comic book characters of all time finally appear in the same movie---and if that's not enough, the film will feature Wonder Woman along with smaller appearances from Cyborg and Aquaman that will lead into a long-awaited Justice League film the following year!

Captain America: Civil War; May 2016. For all of the comic fans who were dissatisfied with the last two "Spider-Man" franchises, this one's for you. Because this film will deal with one of the most compelling comic book storylines in the last ten years (my opinion) that heavily involved the wall-crawler, the upcoming Marvel Studios production will be the first to welcome Spidey to the MCU-----with the cooperation of Sony.

X-Men: Apocalypse; May 2016. Here's another one I'm pumped about (along with Batman v Superman). I loved "Days of Future Past," as it combined the best of the first two "X-Men" films with "X-Men: First Class." Now, we finally get to see the biggest threat to the movie X-Universe make his debut: En Sabah Nur, a.k.a., Apocalypse. And let's not forget the younger versions of Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Angel/Archangel, Nightcrawler, Jubilee, and Gambit!

Suicide Squad; August 2016. This one could go either way in terms of quality for me. The big question here is whether or not this film will share a universe with Batman v Superman. While I'm only familiar with this anti-hero team through the animated "Justice League" and live action "Smallville," this flick could surprise me.

Gambit; October 2016. No more appearing in civilian name only on a mutant registration list, or getting owned by Wolverine in a 5 minute cameo. This time, it's all about the Ragin' Cajun!----that is, after his initial appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse first. With Hugh Jackman's Logan being phased out soon, someone has to take his place as "the cool mutant."

Doctor Strange; November 2016. And now we near the end of next year with the true motion picture debut of the Sorcerer Supreme (the less said about the low budget 1970s film they did on him, the better). All I ask is that they use this character to help introduce "magic" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So yep, that's what you can expect at this point in terms of comics gone hollywood next year! And look, I know that it's now fashionable to complain about things no matter how little we know about the final product, but think of it this way: We could still be at the mercy of "The 90's comic book film!"