Let’s face it; everyone loves comic book movies am I right? Not all of them have been classics though. In fact for a long time most of them were downright horrible. Anyone remember the original Captain America movie? Yeah, well don’t ever try and watch that movie. Yuck! The same can be said for most of Marvel’s “first attempts”. That’s all changed now thanks the successful debut of Blade. Where we once had Catwoman and Batman & Robin, we now have the likes of Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Lesser-known properties like 300 and Sin City have also been responsible for brining comic books and graphic novels to the masses like never before. It’s safe to say that comic characters have grown exponentially all over the world because of these extremely well made movies.
I thought it would be a great idea to hear what you all think are the best comic book movies ever made. Since I’m a very big comic book and graphic novel fan this was quite a chore. Originally I was going to put the movies in no particular order, but where’s the challenge in that? Instead I tried my hardest to put the following list together. Don’t leave me hanging though. I want to hear your list as well. If you can’t think of ten movies, just give me five. Ok, let’s jump into it.
A brand new comic book movie has made the list??? That’s right baby. I thought Thor was superb. It perfect timing, an excellent mix of Norse mythology wrapped around Iron Man’s universe. At first I thought it wouldn’t fit, but boy was I wrong. Talk about opening your eyes. I really think Thor will become the next Iron Man in terms of raising the character’s overall status from a B-lister to an A-lister. Go see this movie ASAP!
Production Budget: $150 Million
Worldwide Gross: $251,416,374 (After only two weeks!)
You simply have to show some respect for the movie that ushered in the new wave of comic book movies. If it wasn’t for Blade, none of this would be happening. It doesn’t hurt that the movie was bad ass either. A vampire that can walk in the sun gives up his inner urges and hunts his very kind. That’s got awesome written all over it. Marvel took a C-list character and turned many heads by showing comics weren’t just for children anymore.
Production Budget: $45 Million
Worldwide Gross: $131,183,530
This one’s certainly not for everyone. It’s essentially a drama with short action sequences scattered around for good measure. Why I thought it was superb was simply because it followed the graphic novel so closely…well except for the giant squid ending. You can’t have everything now can you? If you’re looking for a good way to cross the gap between movie and graphic novel, this is the one movie that will ease you into either new medium. Excellent no matter if you read the OGN or if you watch the movie.
Production Budget: $130 Million
Worldwide Gross: $185,258,983
Frank Miller’s 300 was one of the best original graphic novels when it hit the comic scenes years ago. When Zack Synder got his hands on the property the world wasn’t ready for just how incredible the end results would be. I have watched this movie a hundred times on Blu-ray and “THIS IS SPARTA!!!” never gets old. Stylish, action-packed and dramatic, 300 remains one of the best examples of a comic property done right.
Production Budget: $65 million
Worldwide Gross: $456,068,181
Some have said Iron Man is overrated, but I can’t agree with that statement. I found the mix between dramatic moments, humor and action was pitch-perfect. The other shocking aspect of this film was that no one expected it to perform well. Director Jon Favreau did a superb job handling all the minor characters and taking what was a B-list superhero and escalating him to A-status. Iron Man is hands-down a showcase Blu-ray movie you should own.
Production Budget: $140 million
Worldwide Gross: $585,174,222
V is one of those adaptations that differs quite significantly from the source material. The biggest surprise is just how excellent the movie and the graphic novel are. Both are incredible in their own right, but in terms of the movie V is about as good as you can get. If you’re trying to convince one of your friends that comic book movies can be shocking, just show them this movie. If it doesn’t get their blood pumping nothing will.
Production Budget: $54 million
Worldwide Gross: $132,511,035
You knew this one would make the list didn’t you? If you’re surprised, you don’t me very well at all. Spider-Man remains one of my favorite comic book characters of all time. He’s so interesting because he’s like 90% of the people reading this site. He’s your everyday normal person. There’s nothing overly special about Peter Parker, and he’s not immortal. One day that changes and he becomes more, but at the end of the day he retains the traits that all of us have. As for the movie, Spider-Man 2 was the best of the Sam Raimi trilogy, by far. It featured the most “life-like” Spider-Man who is both agile and cunning. Doc Oc was awesome and even the story between Peter and MJ was interesting. Bottom line, this is the Spidey movie the new reboot will be measured to, and it has a lot to live up to.
Production Budget: $200 million
Worldwide Gross: $783,766,341
Now we’re getting serious. Batman Begins rewrote the book on how superhero movies were made. It quite literally changed DC’s entire direction moving forward. Before this movie their Batman movies had become a joke, Superman was long over with and they didn’t bother pushing any of their other properties to the big screen. Christopher Nolan respected the source material and combined some of the best Batman stories ever told to create a masterpiece of a movie. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you have no idea what you’re missing.
Production Budget: $150 million
Worldwide Gross: $372,710,015
While watching the movie today you might think I’ve lost my mind. Sure some portion of the film haven’t aged as well as others, but Superman remains one of the best comic book movies ever created. Beginning with the iconic Action Comics #1 and leading into John William’s classic theme, Superman would go on to inspire a generation of fans and even get nominated for three academy awards. Now that’s what I call a comic book movie. To date this movie has influenced virtually every Superman property since 1978. You really will believe a man can fly.
Production Budget: $55 million
Worldwide Gross: $300,218,018
I don’t think this will surprise too many readers. They likely have the same opinion as I do. There are so many excellent moments I don’t know where to begin. How about we talk about the ending, as it remains my favorite ending of any film ever made. When Batman tells Gordon to sick the dogs on him for the murder of Harvey, and Gordon’s son says why he’s running when he didn’t do anything wrong, Gordon’s reply is…
“Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.”
Do I need to write anything else? The Dark Knight is hands-down the best comic book movie ever made. Nuff said.
Production Budget: $55 million
Worldwide Gross: $1,001,921,825 (Yes, over a billion dollars!)