The Top Ten Comic Book Superhero Movies

Now that the major Superhero movies of the summer are behind us, and after ranking them on (title pending), (albeit with a glaring omission, LOL) I decided to turn this month’s Top Ten list to the topic of Superhero movies. I’ll slightly differentiate from last week’s (title pending) list by specifying that these have to be based on a comic book character, how’s that? That way I don’t have to work in “The Incredibles” or “Unbreakable”, either. Let’s keep this focused.

Much like the “Western” or the “War movie”, the “Superhero movie” is currently in the midst of its run as king of the Hollywood genre offering, and it’s not likely to go away anytime soon, with all three big Superhero movies this summer pulling in massive dollars.

So let’s take a look back at the best of those that have been released so far – based on a comic book character. Here’s my list of the Top Ten Superhero Movies.

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10) “Superman: The Movie”

The movie that did, in fact, make you believe a man could fly. Superman came to life on-screen in a big way thanks to Christopher Reeve, who perfectly embodied the big blue boy scout. John Williams’ score is the stuff of legend. Marlon Brando lends his weight to the film in the role of Kal-El. Villains Gene Hackman and Ned Beatty may add more humor than menace but still, the film is a progenitor of the genre. It helped establish Superman in the public’s mind for a new generation and was an enormous box office success.

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9) “X-Men”

The big screen debut of the über popular superhero team, The X-Men. Hugh Jackman was born to play the part of Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen shine as Professor X and Magneto, respectively. It brought great action and spectacle to the screen, while telling the story of people who struggle due to being “different”. But most of all, this film (followed by “Spider-Man” two years later) triggered the current heyday of the Superhero film. It’s success paved the way for many of the films on this list, not just its direct sequels.

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8) “Batman Begins”

If Tim Burton moved Batman out of camp territory in the 80s, Christopher Nolan moved him out of comic fantasy altogether in the 00s with “Batman Begins”. “Begins” supposes a world where a billionaire could truly develop the skills, obtain the devices and don the outfit in order to fight crime. Gritty realism became the operative code word. The Batmobile is more tank than corvette. Batman is actually shown learning martial arts. His access to combat technology is explained. The fans bought in enthusiastically, and the Christian Bale / Christopher Nolan trilogy was underway.

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7) “Watchmen”

Bleak, cynical, bereft of the typical happy trappings of superhero movies, “Watchmen” stands out amongst its superhero movie brethren almost as much as Alan Moore’s comics stood out in the early 80s. Are these the people we want our fate entrusted to? This über faithful adaptation of one of the most important comics of all time paints superheroes as damaged people. Super powers do not resolve interpersonal issues or emotional instability, and the people of the world may be the ones to pay the price.

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6) “X2″

With the characters and team dynamic largely already established by the first movie, “X2″ could take the gloves off and throw down. Magneto and the Brotherhood are uneasy allies as a black ops unit of the government attempts to eliminate the X-Men (and all mutants) in response to a mutant attack on the White House. The cast is back and continues to represent these legendary characters well. Singer, again, does an excellent job from the director’s chair. The second chapter of this saga both turns up the action and gets a little clearer in its themes of acceptance. Awesome.

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5) “Batman”

In the late 80s, Tim Burton took a character which had previously been known for campy fun on tv and put him within a darker, more heroic context. Michael Keaton, previously known exclusively as a comedian, helped by authoring a fantastic Batman. And of course, there was Jack. Nicholson took the villainous clown that Cesar Romero had created in the public consciousness and added some menace to him, creating a pop culture sensation. An unforgettable addition to his long list of incredible characters.

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4) “Iron Man”

The first big screen outing for Shellhead was a beauty. Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly – PERFECTLY – cast as Tony Stark, and he brings all of his charisma into play. Much of the movie is origin story, but they also work in a very believable romance (something Superhero flicks always try to shoehorn in, but rarely do well) between Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow. The villain is a little lacklustre, but the movie doesn’t suffer much for it. “Iron Man” is entertaining and exciting, and the perfect introduction to the character for the mainstream movie going public.  

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3) “Spider-Man 2″

“Spider-Man 2″ is the high water mark of the Raimi trilogy. With the “origin story” established, the second chapter here is free to focus on deeper issues, namely the personal price that Peter Parker has to pay in order to be Spider-Man. It also features one of the strongest villains in the history of Superhero movies in Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. The action sequences are much improved over the initial installment… the CGI is much better, and they’re much better as set pieces. Overall, it’s simply the best Spider-Man movie to date, with Peter, Mary Jane, J Jonah, Aunt May and Doc Ock all bringing the world of the webhead to life for us wonderfully.  

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2) “The Avengers”

The first of its kind, really. “The Avengers” is the very first Superhero team up movie. While other movies may have explored the Superhero group dynamic previously, “The Avengers” has its roots in five different lead-in movies. This in turn makes the characters on the team extremely well established, and all that’s left is to let them play. And boy do they ever. The interaction amongst the team is phenomenal. Watching them bond and work out their pecking order is enormously entertaining. And then once the team is established, they’re given ample fodder to demonstrate their abilities on, and we get to watch “The Avengers”… SMASH. :D

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1) “The Dark Knight”

“The Dark Knight” has everything you could want in a Superhero movie. There are fantastic action sequences. We’re talking legendary stuff here. Themes not only of heroism, but of order vs anarchy, and what price we should be willing to pay for security. The hero is given a worthy adversary to prove his mettle against, while one of his peers is broken by the same circumstances, illustrating the incredible fortitude required to carry on the fight. The movie showcases the incredible performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, a role for which he was posthumously given an Academy Award. It’s an epic story, but remains riveting its entire runtime. Not only one of the greatest Superhero movies, but one of the greatest movies ever.

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There you have it folks, my list of the Top Ten Superhero Movies that we’ve gotten to date.

What do you think? Am I way off base on any of these? One or two that you would rank higher or lower? Do I have an omission you’d like to point out, or is there one that made the cut that you’d like to see excluded? Let me hear it… drop off a comment and tell us what you think!

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137 thoughts on “The Top Ten Comic Book Superhero Movies

  1. 10) V for Vendetta (only by the narrowest of margins does this one beat out others such as Kick-Ass, X-Men, X-Men 2, Thor, Batman Begins, Superman 2 [The Donner Cut], & The Tick [T.V. show rather then movie so I wouldn’t have added it anyway, just wanted so badly to mention it just because].)

    09) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (I don’t know how many might not count this as a “superhero” movie, but I say Scott does lots of super-heroic things, and it is technically based on a comic, so in my mind, it totally counts)

    08) X-Men: First Class (Barring the “cultural phenomenon” aspect of X-Men & X2, I felt this was just a better overall movie. Sure the team is way different then the 1st Class book, but so what. Entertaining & engaging, just, in my opinion, slightly more so than the previous X-films)

    07) Watchmen (Totally what you said, Fogs)

    06) Superman: The Movie (I agree whole heartedly with what you wrote on this one. I would just add that Reeves portrayal of Clark Kent is also worthy of note, especially when you consider that he played them as two different characters)

    05) Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (My opinion is that Hellboy is an oft forgotten superhero, especially for lists like these)

    04) The Dark Knight (A solid movie, but it could have been better. Maggie Gyllenhaal seriously knocked it down a few pegs. Sorry)

    03) Iron Man (Again, you hit all the points dead on, Fogs)

    02) Captain America: The First Avenger (Cap has always been my #1 favorite superhero. Not really so much because of some patriotism thing. It has more to do with the character of Steve Rogers. He took the persona of a flag-clad hero and transcended the symbolism beyond the sum of its parts. Captain America became more than just an American icon because of that. This was the element that was both make-or-break in my opinion, & tends to be the most difficult to get right in movies. Both Chris Evans & Stanly Tucci in particular, not only brought that element out, but placed it front-and-center)

    01) The Avengers (Adding to what you said, Fogs, I would like to point out that it would have been an easy out to just have all these characters from previous films in a free-for-all throw-down. What made this movie great for me was that there was also a significant amount of development for each of the 7 heroes [IM, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Widow, & Fury], but also a bit for Loki, too. Well, that and we finally [!] got a Hulk that was worthy of cheering for)

    • [Warburton voice] Oh, don’t you worry, chum, I’ve seen the Tick! (double squint) I recognize the burning need to acknowledge its astonishing greatness, you can trust in that! [/Warburton Voice]

      Ok. On to the list. (Now that Justice has been served LOL)

      V, ok. It didnt crack my top ten, but… I could cop out under the Super Hero clause and point out the list isnt just comic book adaptations…

      Which Im definitely going to do with Scott Pilgrim. Which I love. But wouldnt consider here…

      I’d disagree that First Class is a better movie. I think both the Singer flicks are excellent. Plus, as you note, the cultural impact thing.

      Hellboy is great, especially 2. Just didnt make the cut. Wish 2 had. I like that one a lot.

      I’m not feelin’ Cap though Dak. I just dont think it’s got the muscle to crack this listing!

      • I didn’t think SPvTW would fly, but I had to give it a go, ya know?

        As for X/X2vX1C, I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the first 2, but overall found X1C to be more enjoyable overall.

        I’m just glad that Hellboy got mention before I chimed in with my double pennies. I fully understand your reasoning for him not cracking your top 10 (even though you’re wrong ;P ).

        As for Cap, I given my (albeit abbreviated) reasons for liking the character, and since those traits were brought to the film in the way they were, I stand by my choice. I also understand fully that my already established fanship for the character is partly why it’s so high. But I submit that that is all the more it had to overcome for me to accept it, and it did. I might be alone in this, but I’ve come to terms with that. No worries.

  2. Solid list … can’t say I agree with it at all tho lol
    I’d never have Watchman in it
    I think the Dark Knight is a good movie but overrated and I’d prefer the severly flawed and hole riddled Rises over it
    I liked Spiderman over Spidey 2

    My Top 5 would’ve been

    5. X2
    4. Thor
    3. Cap
    2. Iron man
    1. Avengers

    I think what you have is excellent for jumpin off a debate
    …after my 5 I would’ve went with favorites which woudl’ve included the Daredevil directors Cut, Batman with Adam West, and others tho lol

    e.

  3. Oh, man, Fogs, as a huge comic fan (and someone who does a comic blog) this one is right up my alley. I think my list is going to be much different based on yours, though, mainly because of my own personal experiences as someone coming from an era where comics were incredibly scarce to where there are five or six superhero movies a year. Many of these are going to be tainted by my own personal experiences.

    1.) Iron Man – Man, I remember when this came out, and people were laughing that a wash-up like Robert Downey Jr. was in a superhero movie. Everyone felt for sure that this was the end of the superhero boom. Little known character, a non-marquee actor in the starring role, a villain no one knows about, and what it’s also a parallel to terrorism? Lame. And yet … all of those aspects were used to its advantage. RDJ IS Tony Stark. The villain was hardly obvious. And we had a hero who was something of a louse at a beginning but is trying so very hard to be a good guy now … though he never loses his sarcastic edge. Seriously, Iron Man stands out when ever other superhero comes off as a saint. It was the biggest surprise for me, and my overall favorite. Finally, do you remember where you were when Samuel L Jackson made that cameo in the post-credits? Because I do.

    2.) The Dark Knight Rises – OK, this surprised me too. You know what the deciding factor was? After seeing this movie, I dug out my old copy of “The Dark Knight Returns” just to re-read that scene where the two cops are about to witness Batman’s return. After that, I read me some “Son of the Demon” (the comic that prominently features Talia). Then I downloaded and consumed “Batman & Robin” (also featuring lots of Talia). And then … well, I pretty much splurged on comics afterwards. There are so many callbacks to some prominent Batman series — from Knightfall to No Man’s Land to the O’Neill/Adams stuff of the 70’s — that I couldn’t help but become a giggly nerd afterwards.

    3.) The Avengers – Seriously, what hasn’t already been said? There was a danger that superheroes were going to be rooted in reality forever. Which is fine … but sometimes we just want to see guys and girls in colorful suits punch out aliens! And man, Avengers tapped into that sense of fun. Whedon’s dialogue was funny and charming, no one hero dominated their scene, and, well … it was fun. I love moveis that are fun.

    4.) Thor – The superhero movie that brought in the ladies. Seriously, what gal (or nontraditional guy) doesn’t swoon over a shirtless Chris Hemsworth? This is a big deal, since comic book movies are always in danger of being a boy’s only adventure story. Beyond that, I remember coming out of the theater and going, “My God. That was EXACTLY like watching a movie made by Jack Kirby!” The design, with the basic shapes and the primary colors and the Kirby dots everywhere, was pretty much like digging up my old reprint book of “Bring on the Bad Guys!” It was fantastic. it was so Silver Age.

    5.) Spider-Man – It was tough deciding between which of the Spider-Man movies I liked the best, but for me it boiled down to, “Which one featured a scene where Spider-Man wrestles Macho Man Randy Savage in a match refereed by Bruce Campbell?” Also, great memories. I remember the theater was so packed for this one that my young cousin had to sit on my lap the entire movie because there were no seats. Also, mad props for JK Simmons as J Jonah Jameson. There were fist-pumps everywhere the moment he showed his face on screen.

    6.) The Dark Knight – Alright, this is low because I thought the movie took itself a little too seriously. However, my favorite scene, though, is where Batman is in Hong Kong. Man, that just transported me back to the 70’s Batman comics. Other then that, Ledger is eminently frightening (though, to me, not much like comic book Joker), and Aaron Eckhart was great as Two Face. Also, no one will be able to to Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon.

    7.) X-Men – Still a mystery: how does Hugh Jackman’s hair look exactly like the one from the comic books and not look totally ridiculous? That was this film’s biggest miracle.

    8.) Spider-Man 2 – Doc Ock remains the most intriguing villain in any of the Spider-Man films. That scene where he finally comes to and destroys himself and his invention to save the city brought a tear to my eye. A little cheesy, especially Spidey saving that subway, but sometimes I like cheesy.

    9.) Batman (1966) – Love the set design of this. Also the only artifact of the old Batman series currently on DVD. Bah. Anyway, the story is dumb, but that’s part of the charm. Sometimes I love to see great actors like Ceasar Romero, Burgess Meredith, and Frank Gorshin camp it up on screen. And as great as Anne Hathaway was, she’s always second to the 60’s Catwomen (and in this film’s case, Lee Merriweather).

    10.) Superman 3 – hey, I mentioned elsewhere why I love this movie. :) Let’s jsut say it came out when I was the right age.

    • Ok. First thing HAS to be Superman 3. I mean, I know I admitted already its been awhile, but there’s no period of time long enough to slip this into a top ten :D

      I know if it was your first movie or something, you can get attached, but… :D

      LOL @ your rationale for picking between Spidey and Spidey 2! :D Thats funny stuff. Dock Ock easily still is the best Spidey big screen villain though. No comparison at this point.

      Ixnay on the Rises for me, thank you, but glad you brought up the 66 version. :D

      Iron Man does have the added benefit of catapualting Downey Jr into the Superstar stratosphere. No doubt. There is an extra bonus there, definitely.

  4. I like the fact that you include CReeves(diff from GReeves on TV ;-) ) in Superman. Jackman is Wolverine ; too true. Watchmen, which I knew nothing about prior to film, is very engaging in characters and story. Batman is warranted by both Burton,Nolan as you mentioned. Spiderman2 is always tops for me as it’s great enterTRAINment. Solid list.

    “Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names.” -May Parker, Spiderman2

    • Yes, George Reeves is no relation to Christopher Reeve (no “s” on the end). Also, yes, Reeves and Reeve is an easy mix up, as I was guilty of it in my initial comment.

      • Apologies all around.
        Christopher Reeve (thx Dak) was a huge inspiration to my childhood and still the first actor I think of when superhero is mentioned not to mention that he was a super man in championing medical science in the course of his life.

        “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
        – Christopher Reeve

      • No worries, S. Like I said, I messed it up, too.

        I also agree that Christopher Reeve still holds the iconic initial mental picture of superhero in many peoples minds, mine totally included. Wonderful quote, too, by the way.

    • Yeah, Chris Reeve is singular, George Reeves is plural. I make that mistake all the time too.

      Glad to hear someone can love the Watchmen flick WITHOUT being attached to the comic. I always wondered about that. Cause I’m biased BIGTIME. :D

      Thank you for the backing, S. Gracias, gracias. :D

  5. All right, I guess I have to try and put together a list here, since I’ve chimed in on other peoples’ comments. :D Just remember this is off the cuff. Incidentally, I mostly like your list; it’s at least well thought-out, and I agree with a lot of it.

    10. X-Men — I still think this was the strongest film in the trilogy.
    9. Captain America: the First Avenger — You know, it says something that I’m putting a movie I rated 5 stars at #9. Wouldn’t have expected that in 2000. Genre’s come a long way.

    8. Thor — Great fun, really got a kick out of it.
    7. Batman: the Movie — As if you didn’t know I’d have it on here. :D
    6. Superman — Because we did believe a man could fly. And incidentally, the whole “fly around the Earth backwards” thing was actually a pretty good depiction of time-travel through moving faster-than-light. It just didn’t translate well because people didn’t get it. (He was not making the Earth spin backwards, it’s just how he would have seen it.)

    5. Iron Man — Only time I’ve called the casting years in advance
    4. Batman Begins — A very solid relaunch of a franchise
    3. The Avengers — pure unadulterated fun
    2. Spider-Man 2 — I think that, as a movie, it’s just a hair stronger than #3
    1. The Dark Knight — Not just a great superhero movie, a great movie.

    • LOL @ your 5 stars at #9 comment, I just gave “Amazing Spider-Man” an A a couple weeks back and it wasn’t even close here. :D

      I DID know you’d have Batman: The Movie. You’re the biggest advocate of that movie on the net! :D Its awesome! Gave you a little pimpage above….

      I’m gonna have to revisit Superman, because I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not 100% sure. Hang on… cmon… YOUTUBE!!

      Ok, Phew. Negative, buddy. Negative. I was with you through almost all of it. Almost… He definitely circles the Earth, and it starts spinning backwards, but that could easily just be perception, right? I was ok with that. But then at the end he flies FORWARD in order to get the earth spinning in the right direction again.

      Had it really just been him flying faster than light in order to travel back in time, and using the Earth as a centrifugal center so he doesn’t fly a billion miles into space, there would have been no need for him to “restart” the rotation. Boom, minute he’s not traveling/seeing things backwards, its going forwards anyways.
      :D

    • You know, I loved it too. I loved the second one even better… but in regards to lists like this, I dont feel like I can JUST go by what I like. I have to try to combine it with a little objectivity.

      Thus, Supes represents, but I couldnt give him any higher than 10, really. :(

  6. I won’t chime in with my list, I’m saving that for the end of the year to post on my own blog. There’s only two movies on your list I haven’t seen recently, and that’s Burton’s Batman and Watchmen. I would almost consider leaving Watchmen off the list even though it’s so different from the rest of the movies on the list. I think Blade and/or Hellboy deserves a mention.

    I think the toughest thing when making these lists is how you weigh the impact the movie had with the actual quality of the movie. I think Superman holds up fairly well, but doesn’t hold a candle when you put it side by side with the best superhero movies released in the past five years. And to a lesser extent, that goes for X-Men as well. I also agree with excluding Dark Knight Rises, though I think time will raise its status. Right now it’s stuck in the being picked apart stage. Nice list for sure.

    • “I think the toughest thing when making these lists is how you weigh the impact the movie had with the actual quality of the movie.”

      Oh, DEFINITELY. I mean, you have to recognize the greats – the trendsetters and groundbreakers. But if they cant hold a candle to current flicks, man does that make ‘em tough!

      Glad to have you weigh in on the side of the TDKR-Free list :D BubbaWHEAT, folks. Right there! LOL

      Hey man, I like Blade and Hellboy, too. I do. I think it was Jay who pointed out earlier that the field is really getting crowded nowadays. You could easily make a top 20 list and have it be solid. There’s easily 20 strong flicks out there now.

      • Just wanted to see if I could do it…

        20. The Incredible Hulk
        19. The Rocketeer
        18. Iron Man II
        17. Batman (1966)
        16. The Dark Knight Rises
        15. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
        14. Superman II
        13. Captain America
        12. X-Men: First Class
        11. Spider-Man
        10. The X-Men
        9. X2: Mutants United
        8. Hellboy
        7. Spider-Man 2
        6. Thor
        5. Iron Man
        4. The Dark Knight
        3. Superman: The Movie
        2. Batman Begins
        1. The Avengers

        Yeah, you’re right. I would count all of these movies as “good”, and worth multiple viewings. I know I couldn’t have claimed that for a top 20 list just five years ago. And I’m just counting comic book superhero movies, so no Matrix (not comic book) or V for Vendetta (not superhero).

      • Oh, yeah. You can do it (I’m not gonna, LOL) There’s been a lot of them now. And you’re right, that list isn’t even weak at all. It’s not like you had to say, put in Ghost Rider: SoV in order to fill out the field of 20. LOL.

        This is a bona fide genre, now man! :D

  7. WHAT?? No Jonah Hex in this list? Fogs’…I’m disappointed in you! haha I thought for sure the “Wild Wild West” of the superhero movie genre would be on your list! :D

    A fine list this is indeed man. Glad to see Marvel with 5 of the spots! I’d actually place all 3 Nolan Batman films in this list and prob replace Watchmen. Though I liked Watchmen, I really enjoy the other films on this list far more. I was a little surprised to see X2 beat Watchmen after stating how faithful of an adaptation Watchmen is and then seeing how “unfaithful” a lot of X-Men movies were with some of the characters. (don’t get me wrong, I like the movies, but just sayin).

    I love this post and you always choose such great subjects that have people talking! Look at all these comments man. I don’t know how you do it…wait, yeah I do…your the Fogs’!

    Kudos to you on Spider-Man 2. Although, with the rave review you gave The Amazing Spider-Man, I’m a little concerned that it’s not on this list at all.

    • Being me has something to do with all of this I suppose, yeah. LOL :D Only goes to reason I suppose…

      Meanwhile, I did really like Amazing Spider Man, but I screwed the pooch on the grade a little I should have given it an A-, because I already wonder if it can make my 2012 top ten. Such are the joys of reviewing. But no, at least right now I couldnt see it cracking the top ten here… I dont know that I could take off any of these for that.

      As for X2 vs Watchmen, thats an interesting point I suppose. The X-Men movies definitely played fast and loose with their characters, while Watchmen didnt. I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that Watchmen was one story, one arc, twelve issues. It was more like a traditional novel adaptation than most comic-book movies are. X-Men had 30 years worth of comics by the time they hit the big screen. Volumes upon volumes. So I think they just created the best characters they could.

      Is one way better than the next? I dont think so, as long as what makes it onto the screen is solid, and it was in both cases…

      • IMO, X-2 beats a lot of the others simply by it’s opening sequence of Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House. It’s so good its hard not to elevate the whole movie above itself… but then you have Ian McKellen’s Magneto delivering the line “You are a god among insects, never let them tell you any different” and you’ve certainly got yourself a top five film, and the best of the X-franchise.

        That being said, Watchmen is also in my top 5 as well.

      • BAMF!!

        :D Yeah, that’s a great sequence. And a great line from Magneto, too. I think Cox makes a great villain as well. I mean, that’s some creepy stuff at times. Throw in Wolverine exploring his own backstory and you have a winner in my book.

        Watchmen is great too. I just didnt know what to put it ahead of. In all honesty, it and X2 were pretty close to flipflopping.

    • Wellllll… lol. There’s been some dissentin, you know how it is. :D I think the most common protest has been the exclusion of “The Dark Knight Rises”, but, oh well. LOL

      Anyways, thank you sir, thank you. Appreciate the compliment.

  8. Not a bad list, Fogsy.

    A guilty pleasure superhero movie of mine has always been the original “Blade.” I’d probably take your list, knock off the first X-Men and replace that with “Blade.” Then I’d replace Spider-Man 2 with the first one. Lastly, I’d throw The Dark Knight Rises at number 1. Then you’d more or less have my list. :)

  9. Hurm, solid list. I’m not gonna comment too in depth since I plan on doing a similar post eventually, but some general thoughts:

    -Batman Begins is too low.

    -I’m a bit iffy on Watchmen. I love the graphic novel, but the movie has a lot of problems.

    -Iron Man and Spider-Man 2 are way too high.

    Still, this is a very good list.

  10. I’m not sure if it’s expressly my favourite, Warren Beatty weird, fun, bizarre, vivid, hopeful take on DICK TRACY is somewhere near the top. It doesn’t seem to get remembered much, but it’s a fine film.

    • You know, taht is a fun flick to revisit, I’ll give it that.

      I rewatched it not too long ago. Earlier this year, actually, it was making the rounds on the pay channels and I checked it out. Definitely enjoyed it, no doubt about it :)

      Of course I can always use the “Superhero” out clause here for not including it ;)

  11. OK, didn’t want to post until after I saw TDKR. Finally saw it Sunday and… well, it doesn’t make the list.

    10. The X-Men
    9. X2: Mutants United
    8. Hellboy
    7. Spider-Man 2
    6. Thor
    5. Iron Man
    4. The Dark Knight
    3. Superman: The Movie
    2. Batman Begins
    1. The Avengers

    • Well, that’s a good sign – that TDKR didnt make your list. Glad to be off the hook there!

      Wow, Batman Begins over the Dark Knight, huh? That’s interesting.

      I just assume you have an abounding love for Superman: The Movie dating back to childhood or some such, yes?

      • Yes, I enjoyed Superman as a kid, but I believe it certainly holds up. In fact, I have more of an appreciation for the film as I’ve gotten older. A lot of that is the wonderfully nuanced performance of Christopher Reeve. Plus, flying backwards around the Earth to reverse time would be one of the less crazy things Superman can do in SIlver Age Superman comics, which I have a healthy respect for.

        I love Superman: The Movie because it’s unapologetic about its hero being heroic, but not without cost. Clark is torn up by his inability to save his adopted father, but he doesn’t whine about it (looking at you, Anakin Skywalker), but gains a greater understanding of his own limits. I buy that this guy loses it when faced with the death of Lois Lane because he’s EARNED that one moment of rage.

        So yes, I love Superman: The Movie, but it’s placement at #3 isn’t just because of nostalgia. It’s just that good.

      • I’ll take your points to heart next time I watch. Last time I saw it was prior to “Returns”, although I’ve seen “II” more recently.

        I couldnt get past some of the comparisons to modern Superhero movies, but you do make nice arguments there, I’ll give you that K2

  12. Spider-Man 2 and the first Superman movie both belong in the number 1 and 2 slots, hands down. The problem I have with The Dark Knight is that for all of its overt comic book elements– a man in a bondage suit fighting an evil clown– Nolan does everything he can to de-emphasize the film’s roots, and while it’s still a comic book movie, it doesn’t really represent the same sort of aesthetic. It’s an experimental meshing of Heat and Batman, filtered through Nolan’s aesthetic senses; in other words, on the list, but I think that far toward the top is off.

    And The Watchmen, for me, is a mess. A glorious mess, but a mess nonetheless. I think TDK is too high, but it belongs; I don’t think this belongs whatsoever just on the grounds of quality.

    I love that you’ve put The Avengers on here. Too soon? No way. It deserves to be on this list, just because it’s the most massive, towering example of why superheroes and comic books matter that we’ve seen since the comic book craze blew up. There are better films in the genre, sure, but none match it in scope.

    Good stuff, Fogs. I don’t really disagree with much of anything here beyond positions and, of course, Snyder’s movie. Wonder how his Superman film will fare in this list when we’ve all seen it?

    • Oh man. I HOPE “Man of Steel” at the LEAST deserves consideration. “Returns” was such a disaster… Supes need help.

      I had Spiderman 2 ranked pretty highly as is I thought. Three is pretty lofty…

      But Superman the Movie… it just hasn’t held up for me. Other Superhero flicks have so much more action now. And some of the stuff they had there was laughable. I mean, what would the impact be on the planet to spinning it backwards like that? Come on… LOL. And would that even work? :)

      Meanwhile, you make some valid points on TDK, and you’re as funny as shit when you say “a man in a bondage suit fighting an evil clown” LOL. But I dont think the realism makes it less a Comic Book movie. Some comics tend to be pretty believable, too. And a cross between Heat and Batman is a good thing! I stand pat on my call to have it #1.

      Watchmen is a bit of a hot mess. I know. But I love it. My emphasis would be on the “glory” in “glorious mess” rather than the “mess”. LOL

      • I don’t think the realism makes it less of a comic book movie, either– I think it’s the way that Nolan really mutes the comic book elements in making his movie “real” that does that. I think you could make a good “realist” comic book movie that still embraces its comic book elements, but trying to divorce from them feels like a misstep to me.

        I have high hopes for Man of Steel, too. Looks very un-Snyderish.

    • Thanks Ashley! :D

      That’s going to make a great debate one day. But Avenegers, I think will need more time to get around on home video, etc, and then I think it could be quite a discussion!

  13. Pingback: Movie Battle: Watchmen vs. Sin City | The Filmster

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