The rapid and successful development of the research on graphene and graphene-based nanostructures has been substantially enlarged to include many other two-dimensional hexagonal semiconductors (THS): phosphorene, silicene, germanene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, WSe2 as well as the van der Waals heterostructures of various THSs (including graphene). The present article is a review of recent works on THSs beyond graphene and van der Waals heterostructures composed of different pairs of all THSs. One among the priorities of new THSs compared to graphene is the presence of a non-vanishing energy bandgap which opened up the ability to fabricate a large number of electronic, optoelectronic and photonic devices on the basis of these new materials and their van der Waals heterostructures. Moreover, a significant progress in the research on TMDCs was the discovery of valley degree of freedom. The results of research on valley degree of freedom and the development of a new technology based on valley degree of freedom-valleytronics are also presented. Thus the scientific contents of the basic research and practical applications os THSs are very rich and extremely promising.