The most important comic-book movies

After over 50 movies in just 14 years, it's time to list the most important 10 comic-book movies that were important to the genre and changed the game. So, what are the top 10 movies that are the most important comic-book movies in history...

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By dcmarvel86 - 6/16/2014

For the last 14 years, ever since the first X-Men movie, we got more the 50 superhero/comic book movies. There are few movies that are (in my opinion) are very important to the massive growth of comic book movies. Now notice, I’m not saying that these 10 movies that I’m about to list are the best (well few of them are), I’m saying that these 10 movies are the most important comic-book movies, and it’s because of these movies, we now get about 4-5 comic book movies.
So let’s begin...
 
 
10. Batman & Robin



Don’t run away! Yes, Batman & Robin was dreadful, it’s not only one of the worst comic-book movies ever made, it’s also one of the worst movies ever made, period. And yet, Batman & Robin was important. It was an end of an era. An era in which comic book movies were considered to be B or C class movies. The type of movies that no one takes seriously and therefor they can be silly and bad. Now there were few really good comic-book movies before Batman & Robin, but after a while the comic book movies became very campy and stupid. And Batman & Robin almost killed the genre. Hollywood’s approach towered came to bite them in the butt, and this is why a Batman movie made less than 300 million dollars. 

But Batman & Robin wasn’t only a big pile of stink in the genre, it also had to effects on future comic-book movies. On the one hand, the failure of Batman & Robin started an era were WB second guess every movie they make with comic-book movies. How many times WB started working on new movies, only to cancel them?
Batman & Robin also in a way opened the door for Marvel. Before the first Blade movies, most of the comic book movies that we got were from DC comics. And after WB decided to step down from the comic-book genre, Marvel started making movies all over the place.

Batman & Robin is also proof that if you don’t respect the source material, you will have a really bad movie.


 
9. Superman



Before the age where the comic-book movies ruled the box-office, there was the 1979’s Superman.
It was the first real superhero movie. Not only it was a big hit, it also showed the studios that there is money and a big potential in comic-book movies. Superman maybe wasn’t the best movie, but it’s the first one, and it’s still iconic, and it introduced the audience (that only 1% of them know anything about superheroes) to a new genre.
It also had a glimpse of some dark and realistic, with the death of Lois (but then it went little stupid, with all of the spin the world to change time).
Superman is the father of all superheroes, and Superman: The movie, is the father of all comic-book movies.
It also,

 
       
8. Batman



10 years after Superman we got our first real Batman movie.
The first Batman movie isn’t just important because it was a great movie, it’s also introduced the audience to a much darker and serious Batman, the kind that they never saw before, and they loved it.
Batman was a great movie, with great actors like Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and others.
It also had a great script, amazing action, and it brought the money in the box-office.
Batman was yet another proof that, when dealt properly, comic-book movies can be amazing.
 
  
 
7. X-Men



Some say that X-Men was the movie that started the current generation of comic-book movies.
The first X-Men movie got positive reviews and was a financial success, and it started a franchise, that is still ongoing, 14 years later.
I had my problems with the movie, but overall it was a good movie, and it was good enough to make Hollywood trust comic-book movies again, and ever since the first X-Men movie, we started getting comic-book movies every year.
So thank you X-Men, for doing what you did. 
 
 
6. Superman 2



Whether you watched the original cut or the Richard Donner’s cut, we can all agree that Superman II was pretty awesome.
It was the first comic-book movie that was on an epic scale, that years later inspired Christopher Nolan when he was doing Batman Begins.
Superman II was a box office success scoring the highest-grossing opening weekend up to that time and became the third highest grossing film of 1981. And who can forget the iconic performance by Terence Stamp as Zod.
Superman 2 was a movie that proved that comic-book movies are more than just big action movies, they can also be a great character study, and they can also be on an epic scale.
   

5. Iron Man



We live now in the world after the Avengers, everyone knows who Iron Man is, but before the first Iron Man movie release back in 2008, not to many people knew who is Iron Man.
With an amazing performance from Robert Downey, Jr, Iron Man transformed it to one of the most loved and known superheroes.  
The movie itself lunched Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. It was a big gamble, but Marvel studios (with some help from Disney), became the studio that makes billions.  
Iron Man also was the first movie to be a part of a shared universe, and after the great successes from The Avengers, now every studio wants to do the same.

 
   
4. X-Men 2



Many people crown X-Men: Days of Future Past as the best X-Men movie, but for me, X2 is still the best one, and it’s also one of the best comic-book movies ever made.
It wasn’t just a superhero movie, it was a movie about racism and the struggle for survival for those who society dammed as different.
It was an out-side-of-the-box superhero movie, and Bryan Singer to take the heroes from their naturel place as heroes who fight the bad guys to save the world, to a group of outcasts who are just trying to fit in. Many people say that the first X-Men movie started the current generation of comic-book movies, but in my opinion, X2 was the movie that really helped the comic-book movies to exhale.

 
Before we get to the final 3, here are some honorable mentions:


Blade
– It was the first comic-book movie after Batman & Robin, and the first Marvel movie on the big screen.
Spider-Man 2 – It was a great character study movie, that Spider-Man is an interesting position,
Man of Steel – it was a great comic book movie (that had problems, but still fun), and it might be the start of WB’s cinematic universe.  
 

         
3. The Avengers



Do I really need to explain? I mean, this is a movie that made 1.5 billion dollars, and it’s probably the best superhero movie ever.
It’s a movie that made WB swat in their pant, and rush to make their own cinematic universe.
It’s a movie that is loved by everyone, and everyone can enjoy it.
What else could be said, expect the fact that these movie is the ultimate proof that there is infinite money in comic-book movies, and every studio should make more superhero movies as soon as possible. And it’s very possible that because of The Avengers, we will finally get the Justice League movie we all been waiting for. But The Avengers is also a proof that WB needs something like Marvel studios and someone like Kevin Feige. In the end of the day, Avengers changed the game.


    
2. Batman Begins



About 7 years before the Avengers changed the game, there was Batman Begins, who changed the comic-book genre forever.
Batman Begins not only saved the Batman name, after Batman & Robin, it changed the game for comic-book movies, and it also established Nolan was one of the most promising directors no days.
 Batman Begins went deeper then X-Men 2 to the dark and realistic, and after Batman Begins, almost every comic-book movie tried to use the same formula. Iron Man was inspired by what Nolan did in Batman Begins, and it was a movie that proved that not only we should take comic-book seriously, the movies can be serious, but in the same time fun and full of action.
Batman Begins was also a movie that used A-list actors, and took the superhero genre to a whole new level.


   
1. The Dark Knight



Was there any dout? Every movie on this list changed the game in a certain way, but I believe that The Dark Knight is the most important comic-book movie ever made.
For me it’s the best comic-book movie ever made, it’s also one of the best movies period. At the time, it was the most grossing comic-book in history, and also was broke records, and was the first comic-book movie to get some Oscars, and many still believe that the movie was snubbed in the Oscars.
And who can forget Heath Ledger as The Joker, who gave one of the best acting preferences ever.
The movie had amazing practical action scenes, out-of-this-world acting, nerve racking scenes with Joker, and they even went all Game of Thrones on us, and killed a main character (Rachel) just like that in the middle of the film (yes, Avengers did it too, but Coulson is alive). The Dark Knight not only changed the game for superhero movies, but it also inspired many other movies. There is no duet (well, for me) that The Dark Knight is the most important comic-book movie of all time.


 

Well, there are my top 10 movies. Hope you enjoyed, like if you like it, and tell me down in the comments if you agree, and what is your top 10 list. For more top 10, please like and tell me.
         
 
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60 Comments
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Scorpion8125 - 6/16/2014, 12:57 AM
I love them all.

And like you, I believe that The Dark Knight is the king of them all.

I loved Spider-Man 1 & 2 also.

great list. I did hate Batman & Robin so bad, that I give it no relevance. Though you are right. It was a franchise killer.

Scorpion8125 - 6/16/2014, 12:58 AM
Oh yeah

1st and 2nd!!!!!!!

Sumitsjc - 6/16/2014, 1:04 AM
hmmm good. !
tonytony - 6/16/2014, 1:25 AM
great article. you get a thumbs up
Ruhail - 6/16/2014, 2:00 AM
*Launched
Ruhail - 6/16/2014, 2:21 AM
I'd say that Avengers would be at number two with iron man and batman begins sharing spot 5 and spider-man 2 being at spot 3 for me.
CherryBomb - 6/16/2014, 3:15 AM
I love this list! I agree with all of them.

Many people would credit Blade for the resurgence of comic films BUT not many people probably know that it's from a comic (unless you're a comic fan) it doesn't have a superhero-feel but it's still an awesome movie.

Vortigar - 6/16/2014, 4:21 AM
"Batman & Robin is also proof that if you don’t respect the source material, you will have a really bad movie."

Hold on there, the exact-ness of the adaptation is not the problem. You can make great movies by only adhering to the idea or spirit or even the look of superheroes and ignoring the rest. Its called making a good film.

Pet peeve:
Batman Forever and Batman & Robin are actually really fun movies if you don't blind yourself with 'how things are supposed to look'. Arnold's Freeze is downright hilarious (and he actually makes the tragic moments work while he's at it). But yeah, they harken back to Batman 66 and the Silver Age comics that lots of people seem to want to forget about for some reason.

I would've fit Spider-Man in there somewhere. X-Men was the serve to get the super hero ball rolling, Spider-Man nailed the point home and made it a thing. Spider-Man 2 was a better movie but did not have the same impact.

Other than that, good list and well argumented.

@Cherry:
Blade's in a weird place, they were succesful but not really smash hits. Hellboy also runs in that circle, good films but not the ones making the real impact.
Marty - 6/16/2014, 5:23 AM
I don't get the hype about DK. Nolan is a humorless bore who takes himself way too serious. The only interesting thing was Heath Ledger.
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:38 AM
@Marty
UGH hilarious when someone mentions Nolans Batman being humorless. Like this scene

CLEARLY! not meant to be funny.....OH MAN, THIS SCENE TOO!?!?

Oh more!?

Oh my god there is more good jokes!




Right, what a humorless movie. *sarcasm*, take your dumbass criticism somewhere bub.
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:40 AM


Oh man is that MORE HUMOR!?!? STOP THE PRESSES!
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:42 AM

God I thought this was Dark Knight, not Avengers! Jesus christ on a cracker!
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:44 AM

Oh man did I see a bit of American Psycho in this line??? Patrick Bateman???? A dark comedy movie????? COMEDY???
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:46 AM


DAMN YOU! More Avengers styled humor! This is supposed to be serious! Boring! ADULT! What is this!?!?
MrSotoMan - 6/16/2014, 5:48 AM

HUMORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
MrReese - 6/16/2014, 5:56 AM
Awesome list bud. TDK definitely takes the crown.
Ace101 - 6/16/2014, 6:27 AM
TDK = great movie but a stink batman movie, by that i mean hes not a super smart detective, the characteristics of batman that make him great in the comics, the animated series and some of the animated movies are not shown at all in nolans series, all im seeing is a rich guy in a batsuit beating the crap out of people while lucious does all the 'hard' work. Thats why it would be my no.2 to Avengers no.1. everything else i agree with sort of. i dont like the xmen movies and batman and robin but they were key in establishing the CBM genre, and laying the ground work of what we have today.


BaronZemo - 6/16/2014, 6:37 AM
X-Men 2 and no Spiderman?
Lhornbk - 6/16/2014, 7:23 AM
In my opinion Avengers is the most important, simply because it is causing all the other studios to change the way they do things, going to interconnected universes.

But, the idea that Batman and Robin was bad because they didn't respect the source material is utter fanboy nonsense. As far as I could tell, the only way it deviated from the source material was by having Batgirl be Alfred's niece instead of Gordon's daughter. And that is definitely NOT what made it bad. (Oh, and I guess Bane wasn't faithful either, but there was a lot more wrong with that film than him.) The campiness is, unfortunately, right in line with the Batman of the 60s and 70s. And TDK and Batman Begins weren't exactly all that faithful to the comics either, as many on here have pointed out over the years. In fact, those two films prove that as long as you keep the basic characteristics of the character, you can make a great cbm without following the comics all that closely.
ManCalledSting - 6/16/2014, 7:32 AM
If we're going by importance to the future quality and sustainability of the genre, then my number 1 is Xmen1 and Blade1. They helped launch the genre some take for granted.
0megaDaGod - 6/16/2014, 7:36 AM
I actually disagree with this list heavily, depending on your meaning of the word 'important'

As far as changing the game, for now you have to put Batman Begins at the top of the list. It spawned TASM, Man Of Steel and was definitely a part of what made X Men First Class so good. Also, it had a small influence on Iron Man, which spawned the Avengers.


I would put The Dark Knight much lower on the list. It is a VERY important CBM, and probably has the strongest legacy of any film the genre will ever see, but aside from people trying to recapture the magic of Ledger's Joker the movie has not had a huge influence on the genre. Not even a little bit really

Avengers will probably get the top spot in a couple years as it is directly influencing nearly EVERY CBM that we've gotten this year as well as the next two. It just hasn't done quite enough yet to get that spot

Also, I would take off one of the X Men movies and put Blade in it's place. It is beyond disrespectful to not include Blade
shabat - 6/16/2014, 7:42 AM
@Ace101 - Did he not get the fingerprint on a bullet from a brick? Did he not build a device that will track Joker's position by using everybody's cell phone without Lucious? Also, he didn't beat the crap out of every criminal he faced, but you make is sound like you have a problem with "a rich guy in a batsuit beating the crap out of people". I'm not gonna argue your point about Avengers over DK, that's your opinion, but these other things don't make sense when they clearly happened.

Anywho, I do like this editorial. I would rearrange some things. Namely, moving up Superman, Batman and Iron Man. I would even put Iron Man higher than Avengers, because, without it, there is no Avengers. I do see your point though that Avengers ushered in something for Marvel that is just unheard of. However, I think that Superman should be way higher on this list. You said it yourself, he is the father of all Superheroes, and the father of all Superhero movies.
Gusto - 6/16/2014, 7:45 AM
Good job!
You just earned a double shot!



dcmarvel86 - 6/16/2014, 7:57 AM
As a comment to my "
Batman & Robin is also proof that if you don’t respect the source material, you will have a really bad movie", I didn't meant that "respect" is to be true to the comics, I was saying that you need to not make fun of the comics.
CaptainSporty - 6/16/2014, 8:07 AM
Id have TDK number 2 and avengers 1. Also Batman and Robin third
KallarkKent - 6/16/2014, 8:42 AM
Spider-Man 2 should have made the list, Superman The movie should have been higher on the list IMO.
Wolf38 - 6/16/2014, 9:08 AM
Mostly agree, but I would put the first Spider-Man film on the list. It really broke ground in terms of portraying something that required significant CGI, and it made huge, huge money back in 2002.

As far as Marvel films, Blade proved that they could be successful as film properties, X-Men proved that CBM's could work as serious content, and Spider-Man proved that anything could be done, and that it could pay off on a massive scale.
RuccusRob - 6/16/2014, 9:13 AM
Blade should be on this list. It was the first successful comic movie after that demonically awful Batman & Robin.
CharlesLord - 6/16/2014, 9:22 AM
Number 1 can really be a toss up between Avengers, TDK, SM2, Xmen, etc. because of how they changed the portrayal of the genre to the GA. Id go with Avengers since everyone else is trying to jumpstart their own connected universes, and thats gonna last for years to come, but I wouldnt really argue with TDK (showed you can have a dark CBM grounded in realism) or SM2 (showed you can have a character study in a CBM).
113 - 6/16/2014, 9:25 AM
Superman should be much higher. It's not even in my Top-15 anymore but there is no question how important it was to the genre as a whole. I've also always prefered Superman II, but the original remains more influential overall. X2 should be lower too.
OpticBlastWins - 6/16/2014, 9:27 AM
By no means by favorites list but maybe
1. TDK
2. Avengers
3. Iron Man
4. X1
5. Spiderman
6. Superman
7. Batman
8. Begins
9. Blade
10. Man of Steel? Just for the potential
lestat104 - 6/16/2014, 9:30 AM
Blade should be on there. Only good rated R comic book movie. Hate that Wolverine movies have no blood. How do you slash people to death and there's never any blood?
Enki - 6/16/2014, 9:30 AM
A lot of people credit X-Men as the film that started the current CBM generation as we know it, but the truth is that it was Blade who set the standard for all the CBMs that followed.

Blade was the movie that started the CBM revolution.
Scorpion8125 - 6/16/2014, 9:33 AM
I loved watchmen and V for vendetta too.

MercwithMouth - 6/16/2014, 9:41 AM
Nice article. Needed some proof reading, but well done.

Now, I believe the top 3 on that list should be XMen, Spider-Man, and Batman Begins or Avengers.

And Blade deserves a spot on the list, not just an honourable mention. Norrington took a dead genre, and managed to carve out a niche audience and a huge profit ($131 million worldwide on a reported $20 million budget). That was a game changer. And it showed that an R-Rated CBM has a place in this world.
MercwithMouth - 6/16/2014, 9:44 AM
Here ya go @Eloisio



@lestat

Wolverine hasn't had an R-Rated movie... But if you wanna see a little blood and gore, check out The Wolverine Unrated Blu-Ray. Lots of blood, and the extended ninja fight scene literally paints things red.
Ronin90 - 6/16/2014, 9:52 AM
At some point in this list importance gets a little mixed with popularity, money-making, and quality of the film.
Batman and Robin - shows one of the low points in this genre and is about as relevant as Supergirl, Superman 3 and 4, or the incredibly bad Steel (also released in 1997.) If anything Blade deserves to be on the list because it help save the genre in 1998 from the previous 5 years of awfulness.
Superman should be higher on the list. It was the first real big budget movie that took superheroes seriously and at the time was considered a good film that amazed most audiences.
I can see the arguments for most of the rest, but to believe that Batman and Robin ended an era of bad superhero movies is to ignore those that came after, like Catwoman or Elektra. I am still not convinced that production companies have learned how to fully respect the source material and offer something that the fans and the general audience fully appreciates. I think Marvel learned from their own failures as much or more than the example of Batman And Robin.
Parkerluckpersonified - 6/16/2014, 9:53 AM
Lol batman begins was the start of A-list actors in comic movies?

Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellin(sp) were in X-men!! it doesn't get bigger than those two!

I think it is really hard to do this as I think there are a lot of different factors to consider. Superman i would have had at number one though. The originals have everything a superhero film should have and continues to inspire superhero films even now (Raimi's Spider-man trilogy follows almost the exact same plot!
UltimateHunt - 6/16/2014, 10:18 AM
Agree on your explanations.
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