Ranking The Modern Age Comic Book / Super Hero Movies

The Modern Age of Comic Book / Super Hero Movies began ten years ago in 2000 with the release of X-Men, from director Bryan Singer. Suddenly, Hollywood saw the value (i.e. $$$) in well produced and serious takes on characters that had very often been camped up for the silver screen (grrrr Joel Schumacher).

Since 2000 there have been over 40 major comic book movies and below you will find them ordered from worst to best. I haven’t seen all of the movies and if you see a movie missing from the list that’s why. Also, some of the movies don’t feature super heroes but I put them on the list anyway because 40 is an awesomely round number. Also, some movies I wanted to put on the list but couldn’t find a way to do so for a number of reasons (i.e. The A-Team — which would have been in the top ten, sucka!). I’ve eliminated the pure dramas and kept mostly in the action genre. It’s my list. Your list may vary.

Movies are ranked in order and also graded thusly:

A – Excellent, B – Above Average, C – Average, D – Below Average, F – Failure.



40) ELEKTRA (2005)

I never actually finished watching this one so I have no choice but to give it an incomplete grade and stick it at the bottom of the list.

Grade: Incomplete

Punisher War Zone


Still the worst movie I’ve ever seen in a theater. On the plus side, it allowed for one of the most fun recording sessions we’ve ever had here at iFanboy.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Punisher: War Zone.)

Grade: F

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen


The movie that ended Sean Connery’s career. Also noteworthy for me personally because after going to see it I had to spend the rest of the night explaining to my then girlfriend that comics, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in particular, aren’t all that awful.

Grade: F


37) CATWOMAN (2004)

I prefer to pretend this never happened. I suggest you do the same. Let’s move on.

Grade: F

X-Men: The Last Stand

36) X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2006)

Ham-fistedly directed with none of the subtlety and heart of the first two films. Not only was it a bad movie, but it kicked the pioneering franchise series in the balls.

(Listen to the Special Edition on X-Men: The Last Stand.)

Grade: D-


35) WANTED (2008)

The Loom of Fate was but one of the extremely ridiculous and stupid things that happen in this movie. There were some fun action set pieces, though.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Wanted.)

Grade: D

Jonah Hex

34) JONAH HEX (2010)

It’s best to stop watching after the opening scene.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Jonah Hex.)

Grade: D

Ghost Rider

33) GHOST RIDER (2007)

Three years later and I barely remember anything about this movie other than laughing a lot when I wasn’t supposed to. And I remember Sam Elliot. Because he’s awesome. He should have been the star.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Ghost Rider.)

Grade: D

Spider-Man 3

32) SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007)

I can’t help but feel the heavy hand of studio influence on this disaster. Director Sam Raimi wanted to stick to the classic villains (like Sandman), the studio insisted on adding Venom. The result was a mess on just about every level.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Spider-Man 3.)

Grade: D+

30 Days of Night

31) 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007)

It was at least visually interesting.

(Listen to the Special Edition on 30 Days of Night.)

Grade: D+


30) DAREDEVIL (2003)

I enjoyed it when I first saw it in the theater. And then I watched it again on DVD. I now have no explanation for the first sentence.

Grade: D+

X-Men Origins: Wolverine


I didn’t think it was so bad when I first saw it but it got progressively worse the more I thought about it. Recently catching parts of it on HBO have not helped my view.

(Listen to the Special Edition on X-Men Origins: Wolverine.)

Grade: D+

Fantastic Four


Pedestrian, uninspired directing. Pedestrian, uninspired writing. A mixed bag of casting. This movie is almost the text book definition of average.

Grade: C

The Punisher

27) THE PUNISHER (2004)

Aside from the setting (Tampa, not New York) and the villain (John Travolta in a rare over the top performance), I actually liked everything else about this one.

Grade: C

From Hell

26) FROM HELL (2001)

Turning Alan Moore’s epic, phone book sized tome into an action-y thriller starring Johnny Depp? This one was in trouble from the start. The strongest part of this was the art direction and the attention to the (grisly) details.

Grade: C


25) WHITEOUT (2009)

Sometimes you need to be less faithful to the source material when you move to a new medium.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Whiteout.)

Grade: C

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


See everything I said about the first one but bump this sequel up a bit for a pretty cool portrayal of Silver Surfer.

(Listen to the Special Edition for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.)

Grade: C+


23) SPIDER-MAN (2002)

I really enjoyed this film for the first 30-45 minutes. Up until Peter actually becomes Spider-Man. After that, not so much. There is some real groan-inducing dialogue in here.

Grade: C+


22) SURROGATES (2009)

This one coasts on Bruce Willis’ considerable charm and the inventiveness of the premise.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Surrogates.)

Grade: B-

V For Vendetta

21) V FOR VENDETTA (2006)

In so many ways it’s completely different from the wonderful Alan Moore comic and yet it still manages to do a great job capturing its tone and themes. Bonus points for a wonderful (mostly) voice performance from Hugo Weaving. And kudos to the studio for allowing the main character’s face to remain hidden behind a mask (they hate that).

Grade: B


20) HELLBOY (2004)

If 95% of directing is casting then director Guillermo del Toro was 95% perfect on this one.

Grade: B

The Spirit

19) THE SPIRIT (2008)

Frank Miller perfectly captured the tone and feel of his comics on the big screen. Too bad he found out that most folks, other than me and like three other people, prefer it on the page.

(Listen to the Special Edition on The Spirit.)

Grade: B


18) CONSTANTINE (2005)

Despite the idiotic and typically Hollywood decision to make John Constantine an American, this film nailed the tone of Hellblazer and Keanu Reeves did a great job of capturing John’s world weary attitude.

Grade: B

Hellboy II: The Golden Army


More of a B.P.R.D. movie than a Hellboy movie, this one veers away from the comic much more than the first but still manages to capture the unique and fun Hellboy tone.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Hellboy II: The Golden Army.)

Grade: B

Sin City

16) SIN CITY (2005)

Possibly the most ambitious film on the list, at least visually. Director Robert Rodriquez (and I suppose co-director Frank Miller) brought the stark and visually arresting world of Sin City to wonderful life on screen. And Mickey Rourke as Marv is one of the all-time great comic book movie performances.

Grade: B

Iron Man 2

15) IRON MAN 2 (2010)

Bloated where the original was tight and focused, and overly stuffed with characters in the way that big time sequels often are, Iron Man 2 still managed to be pretty entertaining despite there being very little for Iron Man to actually do.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Iron Man 2.)

Grade: B

The Losers

14) THE LOSERS (2010)

About as much fun as you can have with a group of non-mohawked ex soldiers looking to clear their names. A charming cast leads this one all the way.

(Listen to the Specil Edition on The Losers.)

Grade: B


13) 300 (2007)

Between this and Sin City, Frank Miller has the rare honor of having not one but two faithful big screen adaptations of his work. Take that, Alan Moore!

(Listen to the Special Edition on 300.)

Grade: B


12) HULK (2003)

My favorite Hulk stories examine the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde aspects of the character…

Grade: B

Incredible Hulk


… on the other hand, sometimes you just want to see Hulk smash stuff good.

(Listen to the Special Edition on The Incredible Hulk.)

Grade: B


10) X-MEN (2000)

The film that started it all almost seems quaint when you watch it again. Fox, unsure how this serious take on Marvel’s mutants would play at the box office, hamstrung director Bryan Singer with a low budget and it shows. Still, all of the elements are there, including a star is born turn by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

Grade: B

Superman Returns


Hampered a bit by some shaky casting, director Bryan Singer’s haunting love letter to Richard Donner is the first time we truly see Superman in real life, and we get all the awe and wonder that goes along with that.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Superman Returns.)

Grade: B

Josei and the Pussycats


I don’t care what anyone says, I love this movie! If it’s on TV I drop everything to watch it. I’ve had the soundtrack on my iPod/Phone for years. This movie captures that strange mix of humor, romance, and absurdity that makes Archie comics so much fun. Plus this film was responsible for an intense and years long crush on Rachael Leigh Cook.

Grade: B+


7) WATCHMEN (2009)

The film no one wanted performed a near miracle. It managed to condense Alan Moore’s 12 issue epic into one film while remaining almost entirely faithful to the comic. It really is one of the more underrated page-to-screen transitions of the modern age.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Watchmen.)

Grade: B+


6) KICK-ASS (2010)

It’s a rare thing indeed when a film adaptation is better than the book. Well, this movie was better than the book. Fun, funny, and comically violent, this film had it all, including a star turn from Chloe Moretz and the best performance from Nicolas Cage in years.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Kick-Ass.)

Grade: A

Batman Begins


Christopher Nolan’s serious, real world take on Batman was like a tall glass of cold water after years of crawling though the Schumacher desert.

Grade: A

Spider-Man 2

4) SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)

Having to endure a lackluster first chapter and a horrid final chapter, Spider-Man is rewarded with a kick-ass middle chapter. This was Spider-Man at his most exhilarating and his battles with Doctor Octopus still haven’t been surpassed.

Grade: A

X2: X-Men United

3) X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003)

Bryan Singer unleashed on the X-Men with a proper budget was a sight to behold. I can still vividly remember the audience gasping and then cheering during the opening “Nightcrawler invades the White House” sequence.

Grade: A+

Iron Man

2) IRON MAN (2008)

By embracing the funny and bringing the charm, Robert Downey Jr. not only turns himself into one of the biggest stars in Hollywood but also makes Tony Stark and Iron Man into household names. No one saw that coming when they first announced this film.

(Listen to the Special Edition on Iron Man.)

Grade: A+

The Dark Knight


The hallmark of the modern age of comic book films is not choosing to prop up the film solely on the basis of the inclusion of super heroes, rather to focus just as much energy and effort on story and character as anything else. As the comic book  / super hero film with the most Academy Award nominations (8) and the first to earn an Academy Award for a performance, The Dark Knight is the apex of this new age.

(Listen to the Special Edition on The Dark Knight.)

Grade: A+



  1. I’ve only seen 28 of these.  I agree completely with your top 3.  I love each of those films.

    I didn’t know the Josie and the Pussycats movie existed. 

  2. Great list. But Spider-Man 2 and Batman Begins are way too high for my tastes.

  3. @Prax – What would you put at 4 and 5?  I’m not fond of Spider-Man 2, either, but I’m not sure what I would replace it with.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a zillion times. No one’s ever looked better than Rachael Leigh Cook in Josie and the Pussycats. 

  5. I quite enjoyed 30 Days of Nights.

    And, obviously, most people don’t share my view on the Dark Knight, but are there at least some who think that Batman Begins is the better movie?

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I think Ghost World would fit somewhere in my top 5. Not sure where. 

  7. It’s difficult for me to take any list seriously that ranks Surrogates over Spiderman 1 (and not because of how good SM1 was either), but geez, the rest of it is pretty good/challenging rankings. I will never understand all the fan-love for X2 though.

    What a fun list. 

  8. JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    I could watch Punisher War Zone over and over again, and find something new to laugh about every time.

  9. My rankings would be different from these but not radically different.  It’s interesting how many of these movies hover in the "B" range. 

  10. @OttoBott – The last few minutes of X2 (featuring the Phoenix shadow on the water) is enough to put it in my top 5 and I’m not even an X-fan. 

  11. JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    I think I’d put Road to Perdition around Incredible Hulk/X-Men range.  Maybe a little higher.  I loved that movie.

  12. @stuclach  I think you’ve touched on why these movies are hard to rate.  Do you look at how well it hangs together as a film, or which one has the most cool bits?  Because I’d rank X2 and Iron Man 2 (for example) really high for cool bits, quite a bit less taken for all in all.  I find that most movies I rate by looking at them overall, whereas comic book adaptations usually involve weighing things I loved against things I hated (w/in the same film).  This might go back to the "fan-picking" idea that Jimski brought up in his Iron Man 2 review. 

  13. Um, where are the blade movices? surely Blade 2 should have made the list

  14. I think you were a bit generous to Constantine and The Spirit, but hey, matter of taste.

  15. @ohcaroline – I would love to be able to claim I was always able to look past the "cool bits" to evaluate the story, but I’d be lying if I said I could.  I try not to let the "cool bits" overshadow the story, but some are overwhelming.  That Phoenix moment had me out of my seat.  I spent the entire car ride home explaining the Phoenix Saga to my (bored/confused) wife.

  16. American Splendor – A+.

  17. @RoiVampire

    Good one. I think 1 and 2 have been okay, 3 was bad. Really bad. Punisher War Zone bad. 

  18. Good list.


    If David Hassellhof’s "Nick Fury: Agent of Shield" had been made in 2000 and not in 1998, I assume that would have been the #1 movie. 


    #1 Comic Book movie of all time!!!

  19. Frank Miller "perfectly captured the tone and feel of his comics on the big screen"? Well then, it’s a pity he wasn’t making a movie of one of his comics. He was adapting The Spirit, and he kind of bastardized that.

    Anyway, I could complain about some of the other positioning, but it’s a pretty interesting and credible list overall.

  20. I don’t think he’s being too generous to The Spirit at all. It was a great and terribly fun movie. I can watch it endlessly.

  21. The only real disagreement I have with the list is I thought The Losers was awful. I’d give it a D, at best. Kick-Ass would also be in my bottom half, but I can understand why other people like it. Not The Losers, though.

    I’d have GI Joe — The Rise of Cobra on here somewhere too.

  22. Hmmm, The Spirit is way to high on that list for my liking, but still a solid line-up. 

  23. Road to Perdition – A/A-

    Stardust – B-

  24. I like most of this list; think Ang Lee’s Hulk is too high, and I’d probably have X2 number one.  Great article though.

  25. Conor, I have to agree with most of your picks. Your words on Watchmen are spot-on. However, what’s with the love for Superman Returns? Except for the amazing Kevin Spacey, that movie wasn’t remarkable at all…

  26. @stuclach  I didn’t mean to suggest there’s a right or wrong way to do it, just that different criteria can give you different rankings (I still think the middle act of X2 is painfully boring).

  27. Only major things I would change is moving Spider-man a bit higher and Hulk quite a bit lower…….completely agree with the top 5.

  28. The worst comic book movie is "The Man-Thing"



    It made me want to cancel the SciFi channel and I like some of the campy films that they have on there. 

  29. Thank you Conor for giving Constantine the appreciation it deserves to be on this list b/c it really did capture the feel, tone & attitude of Hellblazer and John Constantine. It’s also pretty much my most favorite Keanu Reeves movie ever (well this & the Matrix of course, lol). I agree with the above comments with the exclusion of any of the Blade movies b/c I thought the first were really something.

  30. Does A History of Violence deviate too radically from it’s source material to be compared to this? Also, I really loved Road to Perdition. That rates in my top 10 or 5-ish.

    @stulach – See, I only know about the Phoenix saga through osmosis, the proximity to interacting fans and sites like this. I have a tenuous understanding (at best) of most X-Men mythology, especially of the Phoenix Saga, and really don’t care for X-Men as a franchise because the cast and continuity piles so high it tends to buckle my suspension of belief (Scarlet Witch and I both were saying "No More Mutants" near the end of it all). I liked X1 because it was taunt, compact and not overburdened with 100 different characters with crazy flim-flam abilities, all running around in matching uniforms. X-Men 2 typified what I dislike about comics in general. But y’know, to each his own. I think ultimately caroline/jimski’s notion of "fan picking" carries a lot of weight to a certain point and with certain brands.

  31. Whoa whoa whoa whoa BIG differing opinions here.


    First of all, the Blade movies, Ghost World, and A History Of Violence were not present here. I consider the latter two top notch, probably in my top 10.


    Spider-man is painfully low. The Spirit and Hulk(2003) are way to high. 

  32. I had to remind myself that this was about Superhero movies because I was wondering where Ghost World and A History of Violence was…..although White Out made the list. Wasn’t Road to Perdition a graphic novel at first?

  33. The BLADE movies aren’t on the list because I never watched them (please read the second paragraph of the intro).

    I didn’t include movies like A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, ROAD TO PERDITION, AMERICAN SPLENDOR and GHOST WORLD because they are on, to me, a different plane than the movies on the list (again, please read the sceond paragraph).

  34. while i disagree with some of the rankings, i’m with you almost 100% on the top 7.  great read, conor!

  35. Man, I love lists.  And going to a ‘top 40’ list, nice. 

    @Conor-If you do not have a opposition to the Blade movies on principal, you should at least check out the first one.  It’s pretty fun, and as a bonus you can find out where that omni-present techno beat came from.  (I still love the ‘Bloodrave’ scene)

  36. Nice list.

  37. @MisterJ: The reason I never watched the second and third films (the ones made after 2000) was because i couldn’t even finish the first one.

  38. JFernandes (@jdfernandes) says:

    @MisterJ – That techno beat is a remix of a New Order song that came out a few years before the movie.  Aweseome scene.

  39. @conor – While I see where you’re coming from in the 2nd paragraph, I have to disagree with the statement that X-Men is what started the modern age of comic book movies.  While you may have not saw it, Blade really did start it all.  It may not have been a box-office smash, but it got Hollywood to see the potential in future comic book movies overall.  Still a great list though – definitely agree with the top 7.

  40. I can belive thare are 40 films

  41. I haven’t seen a couple of these movies but I agree with almost all of your list.  I would only make a couple of changes. First I’d put Ang Lee’s Hulk movie at the bottom of the list. Like you I never could make it to the end (it was that bad). Also I’m torn for #1 becasue I like both Ironman and The Dark Knight but I got a little more enjoyment out of Ironman.

  42. @ohcaroline – I understand.  I haven’t seen X2 in a very long time.  I don’t remember much of the plot.

    @OttoBot – I may be guilty of falling into the "fan picking" trap on X2. 

  43. @OttoBot  Yeah, I saw all the X-Men movies before I read hardly any of the comics.  So though I do consider myself an X-Men fan, I still consider the first one to be (for me) a better movie because it brought me in as an outsider.  I really liked X2 on first viewing, too, though, it’s just weakened on subsequent viewings (and not, overall, for fan-picking reasons); but the awesome parts of it are as awesome as anything in any superhero movie, and that includes the ending for me.  I had NO IDEA what the Phoenix was when I saw that, but I still thought it was amazing.

  44. Sounds like I need to watch the first X-men movie again.

  45. great list Conor. I really liked the Spirit even though i went into it with all the bad hype on my mind.I was surprised it got hated on so much. Jossie and the Pussycats also is a really underrated little indie movie that was a good time. 

    You should check out the Blade movies. They’re all pretty fun action movies.  

  46. @stuclach  There are places where it feels slight and, as Conor says, the action and effects don’t always hold up, but I think the first X-Men movie has the complete, satisfying arc that a lot of franchise intros lack.

  47. @Conor-Fair enough

  48. Man, what a good list. Love the Constantine love and the not-complete panning of the FF movies (which I actually like quite a bit). Ang’s Hulk is a point on disagreement, as are Iron Man 2 and Hellboy 2, but can anyone argue that Catwoman is the greatest piece of American cinema in our lifetime? It is a perfect storm of aweful that, like Asteroids, travels all the way past bad to come out on the genius side. One cannot truly believe that such a masterpiece was born by accident. 

    So bad it’s art.

  49. I love lists!  Thanks Conor!

  50. I wanted to like the spirit and just can’t, it was Sin City light and just wrong, made me re-evaluate my positive feelings about Sin City the movie and the comic books.  

    Dark Knight has great characters, great acting, great character development, but the pacing and plot are stagnate. It could almost be broken down into 4 separate Joker stories. The tone was even throughout the movie and didn’t build up to any climax. I felt unsatisfied after watching it. It’d still be in my top 15 but not my number 1. 

    I really wanna see The Losers now, I kinda wanted to see it when it came out, then A-Team came out and I heard they were similar and I didn’t want that much of that same thing.  

    I had no idea Josie and the Pussycats was even a comic book. I can’t sit through that movie though, I think I’ve tried but I honestly can’t say I remember, it looks about as appealing as the Spice Girls movie though (I almost just barfed a lil)  

    American Splendor and Ghost World are sorely missing from this list, you have Electra and CatWoman but not these???  Or History of Violence, which I haven’t seen but heard is good. 

    Pretty good list though. 

  51. Completely agree with the top 5, only I would have ranked Spider-man 1 and Hellboy 2 a bit higher, and put both of the Hulk movies lower on the list.

  52. I agree with most of those except I would give the Fantastic Four movies an F, and I would lower Hulk(03) on the list, didn’t enjoy it.

  53. Great list but my number 1 would be Hulk, I just love the directing style and all the casting choices, I wish their was a sequel to that Hulk.

  54. The Spirit … a B . . . really?  Did you see a different movie then me?

  55. I’ll never understand the high regard for X2. It wasn’t bad by any means. By every time I’ve seen it since the theatres I’ve just been plain broed with it.

  56. I watched Josie while recovering from a hangover on a cruise last year, and was surprised at how good it was.  No, it wasn’t a gay cruise.  Whatever happened to Rachel Leigh Cook??

  57. I LOVE Blade #1. #2 was OK, and #3 was pretty damn great.

    I have no idea why. I’m not willing to say they’re "good" movies, actually, but that first one is fun as hell.

  58. I’m glad Superman Returns wasn’t shit on the way most fans do. The hatred that movie gets always perplexes me, and even more so when they claim to be fans of the first two movies. These 3 films go pretty much hand in hand, as Singer and everyone else involved crafted the movie to have the feel of the Donner movies and be their spiritual successor. Pretty much all the criticisms I hear about Superman Returns can be placed onto the first Donner movie. That’s not to say they were bad, as I enjoyed both movies. I just find it weird that fans were screaming for a Donner-like Superman movie, and then bitch when it comes out and fulfills all the requirements.

  59. Watchmen and 300 were almost shot-for-shot remakes of their source material. Zack Snyder brought no originality to those movies. On the flip side, I enjoyed Wanted movie way more than the book. That story would have been a mess had they tried to bring it to the big screen.

  60. I personally would have Spiderman 2 as Number 1 I think.  It’s pretty much perfect and I’d say it rates up there with the best of superhero stuff in any medium (including comics).

    @AmirCat I had no idea that Hasselhoff did Nick Fury.  I just looked up a clip on YouTube and I think this may just change the lives of me and my friends.  Am screening Kick Ass for the boys next Friday and I think I now know what will be the second feature…

  61. @ Bendrix

    I agree that batman begins is a better movie. just. but they’re both freakin’ awesome. pretty much the only comic book movies that matter. Watchmen was pointless but could have been worse. It was kinda superficial – which is one thing the comic ain’t.

     i have a soft spot for the spiderman trilogy but that may be because of bruce campbell and sam raimi.

    what about ghost world? that was cool. 

    The spirit? really? 

  62. I agree with practically 99% of the choices here. The only thing I disagree with is how ridiculously high The Spirit is. That should be up there with Catwoman and Wanted as one of the worst comic films ever made. Also, didnt you guys say Wanted was better then Jonah Hex? Granted that’s like saying dying by gunshot is better then being on fire….still…. 

  63. The views of Conor Kilpatrick on the Spirit do not necessarily represent the views of the iFanboy staff, its parent companies, and subsidiaries.

    I squirmed though the whole movie. Luckily, I had lots of room, since no one was there.

  64. @josh: That’s a good way of putting it.

    You should say that everytime you guys disagree on something. 

  65. Also, sorry I forgot to say this too, Hellboy 2 better then the first?

    Unless it was just Abe acting like a drunk for a couple of scenes then no…..the first film was much better. 

  66. The first Hellboy film was so irritating. Not because it was bad, per se, but because it was constantly on the brink of being good, but always fell short in every respect. Hellboy 2, on the other hand, clicked in all departments.

  67. The Dark Knight is so overrated. People please get off the D.K. band wagon. I know I’m going to be called every name in the book for saying this but the Dark Knight is not the Citizen Kane of comic movies.

  68. disagree i hated x men united. i think increadible hulk was was light years better from hulk. better then iron man.

  69. I agree with the rankings.  It’s difficult to imagine a film knocking The Dark Knight out of the top spot.  Dark Knight was nearly perfect in every respect (even if the Bat mumbles do occasionally get on my nerves).

  70. @Conor: I can see ALOT of your choices being something i disagree with. Primarily Punisher 1 being any good and dissing the new (and personally more improved) Punisher 2. While the ending of |Punisher 1 was good the rest fell apart, this is especially true of him moping around. It was the film equivalent of the Sentry crying. That’s how I took it at least. Another is X-men, which personally, to me, they all sucked, but to be honest I did enjoy that intro of #2, back when I had Bush Resentment Syndrome.

    @Stuclach: you’re not alone buddy, I had no clue Josie and the Pussy Cats had been in theatres. Was this after that Bad Tuesday? If it’s before, i probably didn’t hear about it because I was a video game addict back then. LoZ: Majora’s Mask came out and I had locked myself away every chance I got…

  71. @Josh Yes I wholeheartedly agree with you that Blade 1 was definitely the best. I just really don’t understand why people would prefer Blade 2 over Blade 1. To me the first one perfectly explained Blade’s origin, struggles, and his skills as well as the underground vampire society so perfectly, & also I thought that Deacon Frost was a much better villain than that "Vampire-Beyond" species thing.

  72. I enjoyed all three Blade movies.  I don’t know that I’d put them in the top 10, but they are fun films.

  73. Wow, I was on board with this until the really low rating for V for Vendetta and the oddly high rankings of Spirit, Hulk (both of them, really), Watchmen and Superman Returns, among a few others. Admittedly I haven’t seen Spirit in saying that, though.

    I’ve actually only seen a bit over half the list, that surprises me. 

  74. Never seen Josie and the Pussycats, but now that both Reed Richards (possibly in the Paul Cornell mini last year) and Conor have raved about it, I guess I will have to check it out!

    And I don’t know why I am one of the only people who loves the hell out of Wolverine Origins.  Hugh Jackman and Liev Schrieber both could not be better, and the whole crew I went with cheered out loud multiple times during the film.  I guess I breezed out a little when his girlfriend was telling the story about the moon, but if the only negative comment I have about a movie is that one speech was pretty dull?  That’s a great movie.

  75. Josie and the Pussycats is great.


    I personally enjoyed Punisher War Zone, but I went into it after hearing the podcast so I was prepared to laugh and not take it seriously. I also thought the Spirit was very fun, even though I knew nothing about that character before seeing it.

  76. I’ve read many good analyses that they the comic book movie renaissance really began with Blade (the first successful Marvel movie), not with the first X-Men.

    As far as the rankings, overall I agree with the list, but there are just some positionings that seem waaay out of whack to me.

    The Spirit, The Losers, the ’03 Hulk and Superman Returns ALL ahead of Spider-Man 1??? Most critics don’t even think those four movies are good, let alone higher than the first Spidey (which wasn’t great-great, but was pretty damn good). I dunno, I know how personal taste directs a lot of lists like this, but Spider-Man 1 just seems so clearly, technically and emotionally, superior to those four movies.

    I read the comic and thought it was a decent bit of fun, but something like Kick-Ass seems way to purient and flat-out stupid to ever warrant a #6 spot on ANY list. Except maybe for a list of "The Most Superficial, Innanely Vulgar Stories In Recent Memory…that still don’t QUITE suck."

    I never thought X-Men 3 or Spider-Man 3 were NEARLY as bad as most people make them out to be. They were both definitely the worst of their respective series, but I think they get shortchanged unfairly for that very reason. There’s really only a few clear missteps in each movie that everyone seems to point to ("Oh THAT’s how they’re going to do Phoenix?" "Oh look at Peter dancing.") just to dismiss the films whole-hog.

  77. a lot of folks mentioned these already, and I’m not sure where the cut-off for "modern age" is, but: Ghost World, Road To Perdition, American Splendor, and Blade should have an appearance instead of some of those "F"s at the bottom of the list.


    Great list, though! I don’t think that Dark Knight is the best comic-based movie in recent memory (I’d give that honor to Ghost World), but I can see why so many of the masses love it.


    I’m glad to see that someone else likes The Spirit. I think that is a much malgned movie!


    Looks like 2008 was the year of the comic-book movie

  78. @lawnbuddha: I’ve already explained those movies in the comments section. Please reread what I wrote.

  79. have you seen the comments section!?! (sigh)…I’ll get to reading…

  80. I wish there was some way to edit (I just skipped over everyone else and looked for Conor’s mug). I get the explanations for those movies. I wasn’t posting those movies in my initial comment to say that you were wrong (a person’s personal favorite list can’t be wrong), just saying what I would change were I to make my own list (evidenced by the first sentence in the second paragraph of my comment).

  81. Enjoyed the list and the Spirit listing has me curious, may add it to my queue but I feel like Conor may do another post in a few months laughing asking how many people did he convince to see the Spirit after he said it was good.

  82. @lawnbuddhaA: No worries. I understand now.

    I originally had BLADE II and BLADE III in the "incomplete" section but I took them out to keep the total number round.

  83. Random thoughts:

    1. Jeffrey Dean Morgan could play any hero any time….Lex luthor, Superman, Bruce wayne.

    2. Ang Lee’s Hulk shitfest was horrible, which is why Michael Chiklis as the Thing in the Hulk was great.  He wasn’ a CGI effect and played the part through his eyes.

    3. V for Vendetta is underrated…infinitely.

    4.  Alfred Molina makes everything better. Spider-man 2 is Raimi’s magnum opus because of him.  The great thing also is usually the hero’s life is better in the second movie and Peter’s is falling apart.  S2 was brilliant.

    5.  Where is the Phantom??  Billy Zane fans unite!!

    6. Batman Begins is better than Dark Knight just because the character development is much better…save for Katie Holmes.

    7.  Don’t let anyone tell you any Blade movie is worth watching other than 2.  No brainer: Directed by del Toro and has Ron Perlman as an evil vampire….priceless…

    8. Hellboy movies are ranked too low.

    9.  For the time it was made, Daredevil was a good movie.

    10.  First F4 was good except for Alba.  Chris Evans owned Johnny Storm.

    11.  The losers was as you said, a faithful and fun comic adaptation….it’s too bad we won’t see a sequel since every film has to be the Dark Knight now.

    12.  Studio intervention should always be kept to a minimum….unless Nic Cage has script suggestions.

    13.  I hear you bitch about the Spirit all the time…why did you rank it so high??

     14.  Superman Returns blows donkey balls.  I thought I would see one Lex Luthor wig as an homage and that would be the end…..nope, no fewer than 12.  That movie sucks…hard….the most thrilling part for me was the beginning credits and the John Williams score for the first time in 20 years…. 

  84. Even though it was made in 1997 SPAWN is better than 5-6 movies on this list!!!(John Leguizamo as the Clown is the BEST) CGI action scenes are not bad  everything considered.

    by the way Blade was made 1998(part 1 was the best with Stephen Dorf as main villian, and Tracy Lords in the opening battle sequence !!)

  85. Fair enough, Conor. The only difference of opinion I can’t leave unstated is –

    The Spirit does not belong on any list except "What’s New In Hell".

  86. Amazing how opinions differ so drastically.

    I couldn’t watch the spirit, even with the volume muted with music on.

    I can’t believe that James Robinson wrote the screenplay to LOEG.

    I can’t believe that I am one (of about 5) that actually liked Punisher War Zone (and I’m a huge MAX fan).

    Blade 2 is the only one I enjoyed and I think that was largely due to Guilermo Del Toro.

    The best in my opinion were all sequels: Spiderman 2, The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2.

  87. I don’t agree with most of Conor’s "F’s", but I do agree that those were the best podcasts.

  88. I agree with most of the top 10 but Superman Returns. Was great for the first 30 minutes then snooze fest.

  89. i guess i’m the only one that consider’s pixar’s the incredibles to be one of the best comic-movies (it’d make my top five at any rate)…

     just throwing in my $0.02. 

  90. @TNC I prefered the first Hellboy over the second as well.

  91. My top 3 is:

    3. Kick-Ass

    2. Spider-man 2

    1. The Dark Knight

  92. I would argue for the current line of movies starting with 1998’s Blade written by Goyer.

  93. I feel it is my duty to point out every single time I see a bad review of Daredevil that you can’t pass judgement on it without seeing the director’s cut.  It really is a very different and MUCH better movie. 



  94. My top 5 (40 is ridiculous, good on ya, Connor, but geez…):

    5. Punisher War Zone

    4. X-Men 2

    3. Constantine

    2. V for Vendetta

    1. Dark Knight

  95. I’ve seen the Daredevil director’s cut.  It’s not better, it’s just longer.

  96. Arrrggghhh (@Arrrggghhh) says:

    I know people loved Dark Knight. It was a good movie — mostly because of Heath Ledger.
    But everyone tends to overlook Bale’s gravel Batman voice or how bad Two-Face’s character & story were in the film — which to me knocks the film down towards a "B" rating. If it were just a Batman/Joker film without Two-Face — it would have been an "A+"

    Also – add me to the list of people that loved Constantine . . .
    I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed that film.

  97. @FATpanther – If The Incredibles were based on a comic, I would agree. It is certainly the best Superhero movie of all time and any who argue are, quite simply, wrong.

    While we’re talking about non-comic superhero movies, we must not forget the criminally underrated Sky High.

    Finally… Hellboy 2 was really a mess, in my humble. I’ll agree that 1 had it’s problems (pacing, what have you), but 2 just fell all to pieces with too many innane storylines and an uninteresting main conflict with elves or… fairies… or whatever. No amound of drunken Abe or robat ghosts can save that catastrophe.

  98. what about spawn? it was a typical 90s movie but still much better than catwoman, agreed?

  99. @keeef187: Read what I wrote in the beginning of the article. This is movies made after 2000, when X-Men debuted. Spawn was 1997.

  100. @UncleBob…LXG could have been ok.  I actually didn’t think it was that horrible.  I just kept watching and thinking to myself "Some jerk studio head inserted characters like Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer" just because it was for the 18-25 year olds who don’t read. 

    That brings me to another point….there is far too much exposition in these damn movies.  Case in point, "Superman Returns"  Lois Lane:  (Kryptonite) "is deadly to him."  REALLY!!!! Kryptonite hurts Superman!>>?!?!??!?!?!  Is there somewhere in the modern world that someone doesn’t know that.  I’m sure I could go to Vanuatu and find someone who doesn’t know, but come on.  Find a cool way to do exposition.

  101. V for Vendetta is also better than the book. I haven’t seen Kick-Ass yet, but I can believe that the movie’s better, ’cause the book was pretty average.


  102. V for Vendetta is an amazing book.  Sooooo much better than the movie.  What you get to see in the book is how patient and calculating V was.  It was like he was playing a chess game for an entire year, but knew exactly each move they would make.  The characterization far better in the book.  It is my fav Alan Moore work.

  103. Conor should definitely do like a sequel to this ranking list article by watching the other comic book adaptations that he hasn’t seen & rank those from worst to greatest (if he has the time at least). Also anyone else believe that Scott Pilgrim vs. World could very well be an A+ on this rank list if it were re-done? I DO!!!