What’s your favorite comic book superhero film?

In my review of Man of Steel, I talked a bit about the modern phases of comic book superhero movies that began with 1978’s Superman.  I’ve enjoyed some of these phases more than others (I’m not a fan of Nolan’s style), but they’ve all produced good films and bad.  So I thought I’d come up with a list from best to worst of the comic book superhero movies of the modern era.  I kept the list limited to my arbitrarily chosen “major” superheroes, so you won’t see things like Blade or Hellboy on the list (though I love Hellboy).  I’m also not including more indie comic book films, like The Rocketeer or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, both of which I love.  I tried to just use the films people were most likely to have seen.  (Note: Green Lantern is not included because I actually never saw it.)

Lists are great for discussion, so let me know what you think!  (In other words… BRING IT ON!!! I can’t wait to hear people challenging where I have the Batman Begins saga or Man of Steel.)  If there’s anything obvious that I left off, let me know.  And then vote below as to what is your favorite comic book superhero movie (you can fill in your own choices). 

  1. The Avengers (2012)
  2. Batman (1989)
  3. Spider-man 2 (2004)
  4. The Dark Knight (2008)
  5. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  6. Batman Returns (1992)
  7. Iron Man (2008)
  8. X2 (2003)
  9. Spider-man (2002)
  10. Superman (1978)
  11. Thor (2011)
  12. X-Men (2000)
  13. Superman II (1981)
  14. Batman Forever (1995)
  15. The Amazing Spider-man (2012)
  16. X-Men: First Class (2011)
  17. Batman Begins (2005)
  18. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  19. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  20. Superman Returns (2006)
  21. Iron Man 2 (2010)
  22. Man of Steel (2013)
  23. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  24. Hulk (2003)
  25. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  26. Fantastic Four (2005)
  27. Spider-man 3 (2007)
  28. Batman & Robin (1997)
  29. Daredevil (2003)
  30. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  31. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
  32. Superman III (1983)
  33. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)

10 thoughts on “What’s your favorite comic book superhero film?

  1. The Dark Knight Rises is way too far down on this list but The Avengers deserves to be high up. I wonder if Unbreakable, Watchmen and Kick -Ass should be on the list but I suspect since they are not you will have strong feelings in response to this. The one that should definately be there is The Incredibles.

    and what about Condorman?

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    • I was trying to go with just superhero films based on “mainstream” comic books. Movies based on characters that I feel are pretty well known. I could have included Hellboy, but I didn’t. Kick-Ass and Watchmen are too “indie” for what I was going for here (just like Scott Pilgrim would have been), and The Incredibles and Unbreakable were original stories. I’ve never heard of Condorman.
      As for The Dark Knight Rises, I’ve never been a fan of the Nolan Batman reboot, but I really did not enjoy TDKR.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      • You know as soon as I sent that post I realised it was just comicbook adaptations.

        Condorman is a stupid little British film starring Michael Crawford which oddly enough was referenced in Pixar’s last Toy Story short.

        I’ve been reading through your blog and we clearly agree on a great many things (TDKR and Nolan not included). Have you seen Stoker because I think that might be my film of the year so far. If not I strongly suggest you search it out.

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        • Haha, no worries.

          Well, we can’t agree on everything, and I’m in the minority with most people I know when it comes to Nolan. I missed Stoker when it was in the theater, but I’ll have to check it out on your recommendation. I’ve heard good things.

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  3. Good list. 🙂 I did my Top Ten Superhero Movies recently too. Not TOO different. I have a thing for the X-Men films so those are in there. And I do like Nolan’s Batman films but am not obsessed with them like so many other people (The Dark Knight is my number one only thanks to Heath Ledger, really). I still love the 1989 Batman – glad to see that so high on this list. 🙂 And Man Of Steel seems about right here – doesn’t deserve to be very high. But I wasn’t crazy about Iron Man 3.

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    • Why weren’t you crazy about Iron Man 3? I’ll watch the Nolan Batman movies, but in no way would I consider myself a fan. I like The Dark Knight pretty much only because of Heath Ledger; I think the film itself has lots of problems and things I don’t like in it. And Man of Steel, ugh.

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      • Partly, I think it was because Iron Man 3 was a bit of a let down after the great Avengers movie. And Robert Downey Jr seemed a bit bored in it. And the villain was very weak (Guy Pearce was boring). And I’ve always had a thing against Gwyneth Paltrow… Lol. But it was still better than Man Of Steel.

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