The year 2018 was a huge year, as far as I’m concerned: superheros dominated the box office, we lost a lot of celebrities, and saw stellar game after stellar game released. It was also a big year for me personally, thought that is another story. With today being the last day of 2018, I thought I could look back on some of what I thought were the defining moments of 2018.
“Wakanda Forever!”- The Black Panther
I already talked about it in my post on superhero movies I saw for 2018, but I will say it again: Black Panther was one of the biggest hits of the year. Its success goes well beyond that, however. It celebrates the traditions and customs of African cultures while also showing what it can become. That’s what Wakanda stands for.
To outsiders, Wakanda looks like a third-world nation. In reality, though, it has the kind of technology and economic prosperity that would make America green with envy. They have hoverbikes, people! HOVERBIKES!
At the same time, Wakanda is in tune with African culture and traditions. People walk through the streets of the city wearing traditional garments alongside more modern clothing. Wakanda’s military rides into battle in warrior garbs that are laced with vibranium and holographic shields. The method through which T’Challa officially becomes King is through ceremonial combat. It’s an amazing blend of technology and tradition, and shows what African culture can be. I can’t wait for the next time we visit Wakanda.
The Ultimate Pop Culture Drug- Ready Player One
Oh my god, this movie was the absolute BEST. For someone who has spent their entire life surrounded by popular culture, this movie was like being a kid in the world’s coolest candy store. I would have to spend days looking through the entire movie to list every cultural reference in this game. I hope Ernest Cline is proud of how the movie adaptation turned out.
If you didn’t see the movie or read the book, here’s the synopsis: it takes place in 2045, where everyone has basically given up on fixing the world. Instead, they put on VR headsets and hang out in the OASIS, which is the ultimate VR hub-universe where you can do anything! It was co-created by this giant pop culture nerd and gamer James Halliday. When he died, he left a scavenger hunt for three keys in the OASIS. The player who finds them first gets full control of OASIS. So, it’s Willy Wonka meets Bill Gates. If you haven’t seen it already, see it now.
RIP Dr. Stephen Hawking
Dr. Stephen Hawking was one of the most brilliant minds of our time, but he was always living time. He was diagnosed with ALS in his 20s, but that never stopped him from living a full and happy life. It also didn’t stop him from make guest-appearances as himself on various shows. And somehow, he managed to live for fifty years with the disease. But, he passed away in peace on March 14, 2018. I think he would have found it funny that he died on Pi Day.
“I don’t feel so good…” The Snap of Infinity War
If you’re one of the handfuls of people that haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War, then here’s a spoiler: Thanos wins and kills off half the universe. I watched half the cast of the movie turn into dust and fade away before my eyes, but the hardest part was watching Spider-Man die. I NEVER saw that coming.
At any rate, Tom Holland’s line “I don’t feel so good” as he turned into dust from what pop culture has dubbed “The Snap” became a staple of pop culture for 2018. All over social media, people started using the disintegration special effect to recreate The Snap and dusting. It was our way of coping with the genuinely traumatic sight of watching characters we never thought we’d see bite it die. My only regret is that I couldn’t find one of Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones turning into dust.
Seriously, I WANT to see her die in 2019.
End of Adventure Time
One of the greatest cartoons of all time, Adventure Time brought on a renaissance for Cartoon Network. Several awards, critical acclaim, and a fan base that spanned across all generations and nationalities, Adventure Time was a cartoon that only comes around once in a lifetime. But all good things need to come to an end. Or else they up like The Simpsons (that’s right, I went there).
On Labor Day, 2018, Adventure Time came to an end with the hour-long finale, “Come Along With Me”. But even though it ended its run on TV, it’s legacy has inspired other cartoons and helped to launch a new generation of creators, one that I think we have only begun to tap. Besides, it’s not like the show is gone for good: it’s still be continued in comic book sequels.
Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4
Never in my life have I have ever needed something so badly and never knew it until I got it. This was probably my favorite game of 2018, even if it didn’t win Game of the Year.
We Were Right About Global Warming
You know how all those people kept saying that global warming wasn’t real, in spite of the evidence. Guess what? WE WERE RIGHT! Global warming is real, it’s already here, and it’s dangerously close to the point of no return on it. And people are starting to wake up to the danger of it, despite the fact that Donal Trump insists that it is not real.
As more and more of the world begins to go green in order to reduce the effects of global warming, estimates are coming in. It’s believed that the demand for fossil fuels will peak in about 11-12 years, and then decline as green energy sources become widespread. That’s promising, but it still might not be enough to stop our planet from being irreparably screwed over. It’s never too late to try, though.
RIP Stan Lee and Steve Dikto
This one doesn’t really need any more explaining. I already covered my feelings about it plenty in my post about it.
In case people forgot, though, I would like to point out that Steve Dikto, who co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee, died earlier this year. So I think it’s only right to mention him. Hopefully, those two are with Jack Kirby in that great comic book studio in the sky
RIP Stephen Hillenberg
From the moment I saw the lackluster reaction to it at E3 2018, I knew that this game was going to have problems. Still, I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt and pre-ordered it for myself. So far, it feels like it was a waste of my money.
This game has been plagued with issues from the very start, and they have only gotten worse. Bethesda has repeatedly broken its promises and abused the trust of its customers with poorly made merchandise related to the game. I wish that this game would improve, but so far it doesn’t look likely.
ANIME IS NOW MAINSTREAM
Gentleman, let us mark 2018 as the year when anime was officially mainstream. For evidence, I provide this video: Goku’s balloon at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
I watched that parade from start to finish just for this parade, and I think plenty of other people did as well. It was an amazing experience showing that we were no longer a niche group of fans but a full part of pop culture. I did groan in frustration when the host pronounced “Saiyan” wrong.
BTW, Pikachu doesn’t count. He was a video game character before he got his own anime.
So, what were your favorite moments of 2018? Let me know in the comments below! Happy New Year, and check out my other blog on what I look forward to in 2018