At The Movies with iFanboy!

With the upcoming summer movies, we got to talking about comic book movies as we are often likely to do. This lead to a discussion and a flurry of emails, finally culminating in this slightly more prepared than usual post. We’re going to take a look at the best moments in the history of comic book movies. We’ve got topics, pictures, comments, and a lot of live action superheroes to talk about.

Won’t you join us?

First up is Best Introduction. What was the best screen entrance or first glimpse of a character in the real world? Bryan Singer dominates this category.

Conor, Ron:

Conor, Josh :
X2: X-Men United

Young Magneto

Conor: This entire movie hinged on Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. As soon as we saw him in that ring, we knew we were in good hands.

Josh: This was no contest. We were all waiting to see how Logan would finally show up, and when he did, I’m guessing many a fanboy stifled a gasp of joy.



Josh: Bamf! It was just such a cool scene!

Conor: With a sequel, there’s always the fear that you will get Major League 2 and not The Empire Strikes Back. Would Singer be able to sustain the across-the-board level of quality of the original film? This opening scene showed that Singer wasn’t just going to maintain, he was going to up the ante — considerably.



Ron: One of the things I was curious about was how this movie would begin, and by telling Magneto’s origin while establishing mutant powers was a stroke of genius that tugged at your heart at the same time.


Next, we asked, what was the Best Page to Screen Translation of a character? Honestly, there were so many good ones to choose from on this one that we had a hard time narrowing it down.

Josh, Ron:
Jim Gordon
Batman Begins

Spider-Man’s NYC web slinging
Spider-Man 2

J. Jonah Jameson

Josh: The first thing I did when I got home from this movie was pull out my old copy of Batman: Year One, and look at Miller’s rendition of Jim Gordon. It’s pretty clear that Gary Oldman used this as his main inspiration. Whereas, I’m pretty sure Pat Hingle very likely didn’t.



Ron: The key for me for the Spider-Man movies was the web-slinging. I wanted to feel like I was flying through Manhattan on webs and that’s exactly what happened



Josh: If this wasn’t perfect, I don’t know what was. Simmons did Jameson so perfectly that I’m still floored when I see it.


Superman: The Movie

Frank Miller’s Sin City

Johnny Storm
Fantastic Four

Conor: Brandon Routh is doomed.


Conor: Can you think of a character less translatable than Marv? That cut-from-granite face would seem impossible to realize, but they did it. By god, they did it. And it would have all been for naught if Mickey Rourke hadn’t reached deep down into his own personal pain to deliver a comic book movie performance for the ages.



Josh: Listen, I’m not a Fantastic Four fan, and I didn’t even like the movie that much. But, from the moment I saw the trailer and they guy they cast as Johnny Storm, I knew they got at least one thing completely right. This was Johnny Storm. The did the attitude, the look, the powers, everything to a tee, and I just can’t imagine any long time FF reader complaining about The Human Torch in this movie.


Next up? What’s the best quote? What words stick in your mind and go on t-shirts? What lines will you be quoting for the rest of your life? There were so many good ones in here, we were a little lenient with the cuts.

Batman (1989)


Superman: The Movie

Batman: “I’m Batman”

Conor: This line said it all. No more big technicolor sound effects and no more goofy puns (at least not for another two movies), this was Batman as he should be: dark, gritty and tortured.



Wolverine: “It’s me.”
Cyclops: “Prove it.”
Wolverine: “You’re a dick.”
Cyclops: “Okay.”

Josh: This was one of the great lines from this movie, and is known as one of the only two Joss Whedon lines that made the final cut. It really gets right to the grudging partnership formed between Wolverine and Cyclops.



Lois Lane: “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?!”

Conor: The most famous line of dialogue in any comic book film. Period.


Batman (1989)

Superman: The Movie

Joker: “Bob, gun!”

Ron: This just always makes me laugh, it’s so random and is so very Joker-esque. Just insane.



Lex Luthor: “Costa del Lex Luthorville. Marina del Lex. Otisburg… Otisburg?”
Otis: “Miss Tessmacher, she’s got her own place.”
Lex Luthor: “Otisburg?”
Otis: “It’s a little bitty place.”
Lex Luthor: “OTISBURG!?!”
Otis: “Okay. I’ll just wipe it off, that’s all. Just a little town.”

Ron: I loved the underlying humor of Hackman’s Lex Luthor as well as they interplay between Lex and Otis, and this bit sums it up to a tee.




If you have a comic book movie, you must have fight scenes, right? Here are our picks for the best of the bunch.

Spider-Man vs. Dr. Octopus
Spider-Man 2

Logan vs. the Army in the mansion
X2: X-Men United

The Hulk vs. Army tanks
The Hulk

Josh: This was quite succinctly, the best I’ve ever seen as far as a realization of what a comic book page with a superhero might actually look like. The action was fast and thrilling, and there was a real element of danger and speed to things that was extremely tactile, and made this a lot of fun to watch, every time I’ve seen it.



Ron: Let’s be honest, Wolverine got his ass kicked in almost every fight in the first movie, so X2 *had* to have a scene of him cutting loose and kicking ass, and it delivered.



Conor: I think that one of the great appeals of The Hulk as a character is the visceral, anger-fueled smashing. Physics be damned, this was truly The Hulk on screen. Tank smashin’. Using one of the turrets as a club was the cherry on top.


Frequently, the most memorable moments in comic book films are the funny bits, so here are ours. This probably should have been combined with “best quotes.” Oh well.

Conor, Ron:
Batman: The Movie (1966)


Batman (1989)

Batman: “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

Ron: Say what you will about the 1960’s Batman, but I love it and this scene is just hands down hysterical.





Bruce Wayne trying to tell Vicki Vale that he’s Batman.

Josh: This is one of my favorite awkward relationship moments in any movie, because it’s just so *awkward*. The whole idea of Batman, who knows exactly what he’s doing at all times being unable to say what he means, is fantastic. It might just be Michael Keaton. Either way. I love this scene.


Finally, we come to the end. So, the appropriate topic is, which movie had the best ending? Which one left you with the best feeling, ready to, as we say around here, throw your fist in the air? Or at least go home and pre-order the DVD?

Spider-Man 2

Ron, Josh:
X2: X-Men United

Conor, Ron, Josh:
Batman Begins

Mary Jane has a think.

Conor: Peter and Mary Jane finally get together and as he swings through the buildings of Manhattan, whooping for joy, off to save the day again, Mary Jane’s loving gaze slowly changes to one of concern and fear. And that’s the final image of the film! Brilliant! And totally Spider-Man.



Shades of Phoenix.

Ron: I honestly can’t come up with the words to describe the feeling I got at the end of X2 and realized the shape of a bird under the water as the camera panned over the lake. It touched my inner X-fanboy nerve

Josh: This is probably the greatest unfulfilled promise in the history of comic book movies, only to possibly outdone by the lack of a new Batman movie with The Joker. But when they started hinting to us that the Phoenix was lurking inside Jean Grey, there was nary a fanboy who didn’t get excited.



Batman’s rooftop chat with Gordon and the promise of The Joker.

Josh: I may have left this film with the biggest grin ever imparted by the end of a comic book movie. I just kept looking at my wife and asking her if she understood how awesome what we just saw was. There’s no movie that ever left me wanting to see the unmade sequel so much.

Ron: I giggled like a schoolgirl at the thought of the next movie.

Conor: I probably don’t even need to articulate what this final scene did for me. Have I had a happier moment in a movie theater? Doubtful. Doubtful.


So there you have it. As with everything on iFanboy, this is just grist for the mill of your discussions. Let us know what you think, and I’m sure there are some we missed, or whatever you want to talk about.


  1. The thing about Mary Jane having a think at the end of Spider-Man 2, for me it was only effective because she had called him “Tiger.”

  2. Ooooh and my favorite fight scene is the one in Spider-Man 2 where he fights Doc Ock while she has Aunt May in his clutches! MAN I loved that. Made me totally teary-eyed.

  3. batman running with that bomb is classic.

  4. What about when Superman fought the super computer designed by Richard Pryor–that was great movie making…

    OK, maybe not. That movie made me embarassed that I had liked the first 2 movies so much. I remember actually feeling stupid for being in the theater as a kid.

  5. What’s even weirder is that I like Superman III more than I like Superman II. I know it’s wrong – and I can’t explain it – but there you have it.

  6. it’s that scene in the bar with the beer nuts, isn’t it?

  7. man there are so many good moments in Batman Begins that totally set the bar for all comic movies henceforth. the joker card made me stand up in the theater. really. My wife thinks i’m a tremendous nerd already and that certainly didn’t help much.

  8. Apparently that final scene in Batman Begins caused a lot of confusion/concern in a lot of wives and girlfriends. It’s the most common story people tell me about seeing that movie.

  9. For me, the most memorable ‘funny bit’ takes place just before the assault on the Mansion in X-Men 2 (which gets my vote as favorite fight scene).

    Logan: Got any beer?
    Bobby: This is a school.
    Logan: So that’s a no?
    Bobby: Yeah, that’s a no.
    Logan: Well, do you have anything other than chocolate milk?

    Watching Logan get Bobby to chill his bottle of Dr. Pepper (and who keeps Dr. Pepper in the cupboard instead of the fridge? Is it a mutant thing?) always makes me smile.

  10. My wife and I were still engaged when Batman Begins came out, and she was so resistant to seeing it with me that I actually had to launch into a “this marriage isn’t going to work if we can’t compromise for one another” speech to get her to go. Then she ended up really liking it, of course. And I remember walking back to the car, trying to explain why that last scene was so perfect and what it meant. So yet another Batman Begins/wife tale for the pantheon.

    Otherwise, you guys really nailed your choices, especially Oldham as Gordon, and Simmons as Jameson–that laugh when PP asks to get paid in advance in SM2 is pitch perfect.

    I will only add that the one quote from Batman Begins that continues always resonates is: “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can pick ourselves up.”

  11. Considering the last podcast was all nitpick, I figure what the heck, Michael Gough was Alfred in the first four batman films, not Gordon. And it’s all about “I’m Batman” in the quotes.

  12. “this marriage isn’t going to work if we can’t compromise for one another” You’re a GENIUS.

  13. Fixed the Pat Hingle/Michael Gough goof.

  14. I just got a new reason to love my wife from the list here: when Batman Begins came out I was on a business trip and went to see it with some co-workers. My wife went ape-shit when she found out I went without her. She forbid me ot see Spidey 2 without her when she was out of town when it premiered, and we went to see DD on Valentine’s Day.

    The other night we stumbled upon the 7 minute X-men promo on Fox, and she walked out of the room becuase she “wanted to see it and didn’t want some long trailer to ruin it for her.”

    She is getting flowers today.

  15. Has anyone seen the Director’s Cut of Daredevil? It is really much better than the original version. I got it at Christmas last year and I have only recently gotten around to watching it. There is a side story that stars Coolio and adds some humor. Foggy is brought into the film a lot more than he originally appeared (I am not sure if he is even named in the original). The relationship between Daredevil is cut back some to make Matt seem more tortured.

  16. I agree: the director’s cut of Daredevil is much better than the theatrical version. I think I actually enjoyed the court case side story more than the main story.

  17. Don’t make me buy this DVD, people! I will get angry!

  18. HINGLE!!!!!!!

    (my fault, sorry about that. Good spot.)

  19. The court case story in Daredevil DC actually contributes a lot to how the main plot gets resolved. In the original I was totally confused as to why the Kingpin was getting arrested, we knew he was a criminal but how did the cops figure it out?

  20. It seems at a certain age, men tend to go to these movies, not with their comic book friends, but rather a cajoled spouse/mate.

    This is either because A) we have no friends to begin with B) We got spread to the 4 winds, and have no geek friends (thus tend to congregate on websites about comics, because if you can’t talk about this stuff, what fun is it?)

    I had a crowd to go see comic movies with, but we all moved far enough away that we just stopped doing it. So then, it was either the wife or my damn self. Now, of course, she’s more excited about X3 than I am.

    But still, it’s not the same. I can say that, cuz she doesn’t read this site (she’ll read that), but if I were to go to Batman Begins with Conor and the joker card pops up, we’re going to share a knowing glance that is the foundation of all fanboy friendships.

  21. DD Director’s Cut is a lot, lot better than the original. Go buy it.

  22. There’s apparently a three hour version of Batman Forever out there, which is the original Director’s Cut of that film. It was talked about being put on with the whole set earlyer last year, but didn’t work out obviously. Not sure if it’s a better movie, but three hours of batman? Even if it’s mediocre batman? I’m up for it. At least one viewing

  23. I ordered the Director’s Cut version of Daredevil.

    You bastards.

  24. Hooray for comic book movies!

    Cameron, three hours of Batman Forever? I don’t know…I barely made it through King Kong, and that was about 2 hours or so? I don’t even know if I could have the stamina for that…

    I pretty much have to agree with you on all those aspects, although when it comes to a movie quote (there’s alot of good ones) off the top of my head comes the Batman Quote: “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” and then he SMASHES the Joker.

    DD Directors Cut is an alright movie…not alot of it that I liked, bad casting, and the whole “ORGAN PIANO FIGHT” I thought was pretty lame…

  25. Except King Kong was a good movie. Batman Forever was awful. Fucking awful.

    I’ve actually never seen all of the 3rd and 4th Batman movies. I walked out of Forever, and didn’t bother with Batman and Robin.

    God bless you poor souls and the director’s cut of that DD movie.

  26. King Kong was an ok movie I’ve come to think – mainly because after seeing it once, I have no desire to see it again or to buy it.

    I’ve held the Director’s Cut of DD in my hand a few times, ready to almost buy it – have yet to succumb. That and Hellboy as well…

  27. I’ve held the Director’s Cut of DD in my hand a few times, ready to almost buy it – have yet to succumb.

    It was only 8 bucks! So I got that and Spider-Man 2 because for some reason I don’t own that.

  28. Josh, I said it before, but we should go see X3. A nerdly outing with spouses/sig-ots. We can go to the comic store afterwards…

    I’m now using ifanboy as a “social network” site.

  29. We used to have personal pages, YEARS before myspace.

    Where’s our money RUPERT?!?

    Also, I’m down with that plan. I’ll contact you.

  30. another awesome wife story: my wife’s favorite movie? X-Men.

    She’s never read the comics, but she can watch that movie over and over. she’s more excited about the new one than I am!

  31. Was I the only girlfriend who got the joker thing?

    Then again, irony of ironies, I am much more about comics than my boyfriend, who beyond the occasional spider-man trade couldn’t care less. I will literally have to drag him to see Superman Returns. He can’t stand DC and that’s most of what I read.

    It’s love. *sigh*

  32. Where’s the Judge Dredd love? 🙂 Man that was an awful film.

  33. Funny you should mention that Cameron, while we did this, inevitably the “BAD” moments of comics movies came up, we thought we could do a follow up in the same vein but celebrating the bad…

    what do you all think? Is that something you’d like to see/discuss?

  34. I would think Batman Forever would run rampant over the worst of the worst. Although the “C List” Marvel movies add up to, in my opinion, being “almost” as bad as Batman: F.

  35. well if we’re talking C list, then Swap Thing is on that list. Not even remotely close to the greatness that is the Moore book, but not nearly as bad as they could have made it. Plus it had Leland Plamer as the pre Swamp Thing Doctor, and I love me my Twin Peaks stars

  36. Talking about Batman movies…

    The Bruce Timm/Paul Dini Batman animated films are great. “Mask of the Phantasm” had a theatical release so I think it deserves being mentioned.

    How can it get any more emotional than Bruce Wayne begging his parents at their grave to let him not become Batman?

    I think Batman’s mission is too often seen as one of vengeance, when I have always thought it was about justice. The differences between the two being very slight. Batman doesn’t punish criminals he is about ending the corruption that has twisted Gotham and Mask of the Phantasm establishes that well.

    On the flip side, Batman does go for vengeance in Batman Beyond Return of the Joker. It was direct to video, if that means anything. When the Joker learns Batman’s secrets…Bruce gets pissed.

  37. I personally don’t particularly care about Batman, though I really enjoyed the movie a ton. Not as much as the Spiderman movies, but I liked it.

    Just a comment… I thought that fanboys would be mad about the end of the first movie. I mean, it kind of pigeon-holed the next movie’s writer in terms of story-line. I mean, it seems logical that they’d go with Joker (and I’m sure they’ll do the Two-face origin as well) next.

    But you guys like the direction of the movie?

    Just a small note, the only thing I didn’t really like about Batman Begins was Christian Bale’s Batman voice. Little hokey.

    But loved the flick.

  38. Just a comment… I thought that fanboys would be mad about the end of the first movie. I mean, it kind of pigeon-holed the next movie’s writer in terms of story-line. I mean, it seems logical that they’d go with Joker (and I’m sure they’ll do the Two-face origin as well) next.

    But you guys like the direction of the movie?

    I’m not sure why we’d be upset about them teasing The Joker, but… a lot of the Fanboy glee came from the fact that that final scene is very similar to the final scene in Batman: Year One.

    Plus, it’s the promise of The Joker!

  39. I would totally love a “worst of” comic book movies feature.

    Funny Story: We (my roommates and I) own the four disc batman DVD collection… and the only movies that have been opened are Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. I know they’re horrible, but it’s just such a trip to watch how bad they butchered the characters and then realize that at the time I kinda ate it up.

    Anyone seen the Man-Thing movie?

  40. You know what I love? I’ll TELL you what I love. The final scene in X-Men involving Magneto and Prof. X playing chess. Ian McKellen is unfuckwithable.

  41. I love that final X-men scene too, I also loved that neither of the two actors actually knew how to play chess.

  42. Ian McKellen is unfuckwithable.

    Until he spilled his guts in X2…

    I also loved that neither of the two actors actually knew how to play chess

    You’ve ruined my view of both McKellen and Stewart in one fell swoop

  43. I think that, fot me, the moment I knew that X-Men was going to obliterate the bad taste of the previous bad comic book movies was when Xavier and Magneto had that confrontation in the very beginning. I mean, the opening scene at the concentraion camp made my eyes open in a very “this is interesting…” way, but that confrontation scene: the acting, the way it was shot… that’s when I knew.

  44. I do love that, when McKellan taps his temple, and wryly smiles at Xavier.

  45. Funny bits: I was dying in Fantastic Four when Johnny was forbidding Ben from looking in the mirror right at the beginning, that was great. Or when Ben balled up the Porsche and threw it. Great list though!

    Significant other comic movie stories: I think in the first 6 months of dating my girlfriend I got her to go see Daredevil and X-Men 2. That’s how you can tell they’re a keeper. Unless, of course, they spring Must Love Dogs on you.

  46. Josh–YES. that michael keaton fumbling moment is just awesome. thank you so much for calling it out.

    michael keaton is to me one of the most underrated actors in the known universe. someone needs to get him on a juicy hourly FX series or some shit, STAT.

    my wife usually will go with me to the big comic book movies, or just the big movies in general, and she almost always enjoys them. however, I did take her to the midnight show of Attack of the Clones early in our relationship, which she often cites as one of our all-time dating low points.

  47. I think “Clones” was a low point for everyone, dating or no dating.

  48. Agreed. The other guys agree with you too, deep in their heart, but they just won’t admit it.

  49. Nah, we don’t.

  50. Now that you mention it, X-Men 2 was my second date with my wife. On our first date she mentioned that she had missed it during its regular theatrical run, so I hunted down a second-run “dollar show” where we could catch it before it left theaters for good. She was impressed with my moxie and my hustle, and that opening Nightcrawler scene didn’t hurt either.

    If I never have another discussion about the relative merits of the Star Wars prequels, date or no date, I will die a happy man. I skip “bad” and “good” now and go straight to “good enough for me, let’s leave it at that.”

  51. Last night I saw that movie Naked with Professor Lupin from Harry Potter in it. He was absolutely brilliant in it. wowoweewah

  52. Hell the last movie I saw was King Kong, the next one, will be X3. There’s just not enough godo stuff to justify paying twenty dollars.

  53. i actually never get tired of bitching about the star wars prequels. it’s kinda like sports radio to me–if you are obsessed with your local sports team like I have been about Star Wars, then it’s always fun to bitch about the minutiae, even if most people don’t give two shits.

    but since I’m new here, I’ll bite my tongue. or rather, my fingers, to avoid the typing.

    michael keaton should have played obi-wan. on this, i think, we can all agree.

  54. I’d pay for that.

  55. “come on, darth maul! you wanna get NUTS? let’s get nuts.”

  56. Right now I have the Ultimate Avengers movie from netflix and goddamn if it isn’t hard to watch. I’m doubting I’ll finish it at all.

  57. The animation sucks (for the most part) but it’s fun! The fight with The Hulk was good.

  58. Even the guys from Fanboy Radio said it sucked. If they don’t like it, I have no hope.

  59. I care not what those guys think, only that I enjoyed it.

  60. Actually, I finished it up after posting. It turned out to be a lot of fun, with the fight. It’s the kind of thing that I would only recommend to people who REALLY REALLY want to watch the hulk and cap in action.

  61. It’s the kind of thing that I would only recommend to people who REALLY REALLY want to watch the hulk and cap in action.

    That’s me – I love Cap!

  62. I’m resurrecting this thread, because I watched Blade today, and had I watched it before we did this, it would have one every category for “best line”.

    “Some motherfuckers are always trying to iceskate uphill!”


  63. Yeah, Blade was the man, to bad Snipes went nut bags after the 3rd one, it prehaps could have kept going. Though maybe it was good to stop at 3, I mean after you kill dracula, where do you go from there?

  64. Where do you go?

    You do a TV show!

    Starring Sticky Fingaz! (Or Kern Little if you watch the Shield!)