Comic Book films have slowly started to become an essential aspect of the movie industry, as they can range from a fun action packed adventure with a few films incorporating meaningful themes, behold! our Top 10 Comic Book Films.
While certainly containing more than a few pacing issues, it is the raw dedication of visually capturing the stylistic allure of Watchmen that Zack Snyder so successfully achieves. Coupled with a fantastic foray of casting choices, potent performances from every major lead, and enough violence to make one question if they’re really watching a superhero film; Snyder adapts this film so accurately (save a few changes here and there) that it split the entire fanbase in two. It may not be perfect, but god damn, it is beautiful.
“A hero is only as good as his villain.”. This quote rings true and if you were to pick the best villain out of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, it would undoubtedly be Willem Dafoe’s portrayal as The Green Goblin. While Venom may be Spider-Man’s arch enemy, in the Raimi-verse it is the Green Goblin who most effectively pushes Peter to his breaking point, perhaps being the first superhero film on the big screen to show us the stakes of being a hero. From the father-figure juxtaposition of Uncle Ben and Norman Osborn, to the theme of “great power holding great responsibility” – Spider-Man is a film worthy of recognition; as it helped plant a seed in growing the superhero genre to what it is today.
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
“Just because someone stumbles and loses their way… doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.” Underappreciated and mostly forgotten, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ stands alone in an uneven franchise (If you don’t include Logan). Combining the casts for two different era’s in a franchise results in a thrilling and fast paced time-travelling adventure film. Blending together emotional drama, intense ‘down to the wire’ action and a surprising dose of humour creates a complete and satisfying experience. Let’s also not forget that incredible Quicksilver sequence that other films seem to be trying to replicate.
The MCU’s first film to introduce politics into its universe pays off as it delivers one of the best films in its franchise to date. Steve Rogers’ past comes back to haunt him as he is faced with a formidable villain that not only matches him in intelligence but also strength. The fight choreography is one of the main highlights in The Winter Soldier where we witness two of the best hand-to-hand fight sequences in comic book movie history.
6. Spider-Man 2
Perhaps one of the most emotionally advanced and complex Comic-Book films of all-time – ‘Spider-Man 2’ builds upon everything that came before. A criminally underrated villain in Doc-Ock serves to be thematically linked to Spider-Man’s growth as a person and as a hero. Peter experiences huge internal conflict between wanting to pursue a normal life but ultimately learns that pursuing that would be a selfish act. An extremely memorable score from Danny Elfman strikes again and let’s not forget that train action sequence which is arguably a Top 5 Action Sequence in Comic-Book Films.
It is very rare where a franchise is able to end their story arc in a satisfying way, and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is one of those films that nails it. Perfectly balancing its many characters across three hours of storytelling and with superb editing, it is still easy to watch a year after its release. The big moments of this film still hits you emotionally as did in its first release and it’s easy to see why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has become the highest grossing film of all time.
While Endgame concluded the Infinity Saga in extraordinary form, it was Infinity War that built the foundation of this Saga’s conclusion. Introducing and humanising a comic book villain (Thanos) that never before had such a level of complexity – as well as setting the monumental stakes for a blockbuster franchise that could’ve easily taken a more predictable route. Infinity War edges out not just because of how it handles characters and stakes, but because how digestible and cleanly structured it is in its final form.
20th Century Fox breaks the shackles and allows Wolverine to be in the film he deserved to be in from the start. Hugh Jackman, completely aware that his final minutes as Logan are upon him, gives everything in this film – resulting in an Oscar worthy performance. While this may be a comic-book film at face value, it is a real human story at the heart of it. Elevating beyond the superhero abilities Logan possesses and examining a worn and torn soul that exists behind the claws which results in a heart-aching and incredibly powerful climax.
A common criticism in film is ‘style over substance’. Well, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a demonstration in style meeting substance as it matches ambitious storytelling with dazzling animation capturing the feeling of being immersed in a comic-book. This film is everything you want in a comic-book film from vibrant visuals, thematic undertones and a central message that anyone can be a hero. As far as comic-book films go – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is a stunning piece of art that truly captures the essence of Spider-Man, it doesn’t get much better than this!
The Dark Knight sets the bar so high for comic book movies that it may possibly never be topped. While Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker may be the most memorable part of this movie, let’s not forget the other aspects which makes The Dark Knight iconic. There is Batman himself, Christian Bale who takes his portrayal of the Caped Crusader to the next level. The supporting cast are also fantastic. Next up is the perfectly written story which handles the turn of Harvey Dent from the beloved District Attorney into the pain driven villain that is Two-Face. All these aspects paired with the outstanding cinematography and the spine tingling score by Hans Zimmer helps make The Dark Knight the pinnacle of comic book movies.