As a kid, I always dreamed of seeing Spider-Man on the big screen. Kids today don’t know how
good they have it with three or four comic book and/or Superhero movies coming down the Hollywood pipeline every year.
Back in my day we had to make do with Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher (which I still like), lame Superman sequels and one
terrible Captain America flick. But times have changed, and for the most part, my dreams of seeing some of my favorite
characters (and brand new ones) onscreen have come true. Here’s a rundown of my 10 favorite Superhero movies.
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- The original TMNT movie will always have a
special place in my heart because of its respect for the source material. Though it was marketed squarely at kids, the
film faithfully translates many of the elements of Eastman and Laird’s original mini-series, sometimes scene for scene.
9. Unbreakable- Before M. Knight Shyamalan became a fanboy punch line,
his career trajectory had him seemingly destined for greatness. His follow-up to The Sixth Sense was a meditation on
not only the origins of Superheroes but on the cultural importance of comics themselves.
8. X2- X Men United- Bryan Singer’s follow up to X-Men was superior in scope and execution
in almost every way. While X-Men spent the lion’s share of its running time introducing the major characters of
the series, X2 fully explored the war of ideologies between Charles and Magneto as they faced off against the prejudice of
non-mutants. And Wolverine going into a berserker rage to protect the kids at the mansion was pretty damn cool.
7. Blade II- This is the film that got the Hellboy movies made. Guillermo
Del Toro injected his dark sensibilities into this sequel to the mediocre Blade and gave us a great action/vampire flick.
Because of its success, he was able to bring his real pet project to the screen, and the two Hellboy movies were born.
We’re thankful for all three of them.
6. Darkman- Sam Raimi,
pissed off that he didn’t get to direct Batman, went off and made his own scarred hero movie with Liam Neeson as Dr.
Peyton Westlake/Darkman. Loose and over-the-top, this movie showed that even with a limited budget, Raimi had the chops
for the genre.
5. Iron Man- I’ll admit that I had no faith in
this movie before seeing it, but once it got going I loved every minute of it. The movie excels in wit and character
development, and even though the final battle seemed a bit flat, the overall flick is still amazing.
4. Spider-Man 2- Another sequel that is superior to its predecessor, Spider-Man 2 almost perfectly captures
Peter Parker’s struggles as the amazing wall crawler and has a strong villain (a great looking and menacing Doc Ock
played by Alfred Molina), something that many Superhero films lack. The train sequence is pure gold.
3. The Dark Knight- It took some time for me to fall in love with Nolan’s Batman Begins,
but by the time I saw The Dark Knight I had fully bought into his vision of Gotham City. TDK is an extremely violent
and complex story with characters that vacillate between moral poles and make choices that fall squarely in the gray area
between right and wrong. It really shows what comic fans have known for a long time- in the right hands Superhero stories
can have the same impact as those of more ‘legitimate’ genres.
Crow- My sentimental favorite, Alex Proyas’ adaptation of James O’Barr’s tale of love and
revenge hit me like a ton of bricks when I was a teenager. It’s got angst, violence, romance, a pounding soundtrack,
and it revels in its own b-movie sensibilities. The fact that it was Brandon Lee’s last movie always added a hint
of sadness, but even without his death I think the film would have resonated with audiences (and made Lee a star).
1. Watchmen- From its opening sequence, Zack Snyder’s (mostly)
faithful and ambitious adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ masterpiece takes viewers on a dark journey through
a world on the brink of extermination. Beautiful yet flawed, the film split comic fans right down the middle and was
ignored by pretty much everyone else. It’s a shame, because it really is an honest and successful attempt at a
story deemed unfilmable for years. It is imperfect, but for me, when it works, it represents the pinnacle of cinematic
Be sure to check out Wendell's top 10 zombie movies here!
Love/hate my list?
Have others that you think deserved mention? Drop me a line at email@example.com.