The Top 10 Comic Book Movie Trailers of All Time

The Top 10 Comic Book Movie Trailers of All Time

Everyone loves trailers, if it does its job, it makes you want to see the film. Here I list the top ten CBM trailers of all time. Trailers that you watched over and over and made you want to just hibernate until the movie was released.

2011 was a banner year for comic book movie trailers, we got to see "The Avengers" trailer that broke Itunes download records and then "The Dark Knight Rises" trailer that then shattered that record. We also got to see tons of other trailers early in the year for movies that came out during the summer, like "Thor" and "Transformers: The Dark of the Moon." The box-office receipts for these movies showed that trailers are still the most effective way to market a movie.

Nowadays, studios announce a release date for a trailer for a hotly anticipated film ahead of time. As a result, fans eagerly wait online for the release of a trailer while others flock to google and youtube looking for a trailer that hasn't even come out yet.

It's the powerful effect and almost hypnotic spell that movie trailers have over us. They give us just enough tidbits to whet our appetite before the release of the film itself, like a hot girl that makes you wait months before going all the way, but teases you in the meantime.

We all know how it was when there was a cool trailer that popped up for the first time in front of a movie, we would whisper to each other, "Damn, that looks good" or "We gotta go see that one when it comes out." The purpose of a trailer is to build anticipation for an upcoming movie.

I remember when I first saw the trailer for Independence Day, how blown away I was, the internet was still in its early stages, so there was no announcement that an alien invasion movie would be coming out and there was certainly no announced release date for that trailer, I was pleasantly surprised and my interest was piqued. In short, the trailer did its job! Now, whether or not the Internet has ruined the magic of being surprised at a movie trailer, it is certainly up for debate.

Below, I have compiled a list of trailers that did a wonderful job of creating hype for the film, some films lived up to that hype, while others fell far short of living up to the awesomeness of their movie trailer.

10. X2 :X-men united (2003)

Wow, from the confrontation with Iceman and his parents to the roll call of mutants, this trailer did a remarkable job of making you want to see it, plus it gave us a glimpse of Wolverine going berserk. More importantly, it shows you that the film is going to be bigger and better than the first one by showing you more mutants and more action! The movie certainly lived up to the trailer and Wolverine vs the cat at the end was pretty funny.

9. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Okay, okay so we all know the movie didn't exactly live up to the hype, but the teaser trailer did a magnificent job of making us want to see it. It promised us a different, yet interesting take for Spider-Man; it was going to be a darker film. Plus, it had been three years since we last saw Spidey in action. From the ominous music to the whispers and wonder, "Parker, what happened to you?" The trailer left audiences curious as to what would happen to Spider-Man this time around.

8. Batman Begins (2005)

This came out of left field for many people. The previous installments of Batman had left a bad taste in the mouth of movie-going audiences. This preview showed us that we were going to start from scratch and it was going to be a new beginning. When I first saw it I said, " Wow! He's back! I hadn't seen him since those Onstar commercials." My friend, on the other hand had said, "What? Another one? Where's Clooney?" Regardless, the trailer had people talking and the film did great financially and rebooted the Batman franchise.

7.Green Lantern (2011)

The Wonder-Con footage and the trailer that accompanied it shortly after, gave everyone hope that this film would kick ass, despite the less than stellar first trailer. Scratch that, the first trailer sucked and everyone was pretty vocal about how disappointed they were with it, but this footage and the second trailer, with an improved score, less Blake Lively and no Ryan Reynolds smarmy humor to be found, swayed anticipation and public opinion around 180 degrees. Shots of Oa were breathtaking and the constructs created by the ring looked impressive as was Sinestro and the rest of the Corps. However, the footage and trailer were deceiving, as only very little time was actually spent on Oa in the movie and the story wasn't up to par. Let’s not forget that it is one of the most hated films of 2011.

6.Hulk (2003)

I know, I know, another movie that failed to live up to the trailer, but this one had everyone talking when it showed up during the first Spider-Man’s previews in 2002. The teaser did a good job of well, teasing us, it was effective, starting out innocently enough with a beautiful house and light-hearted melody before slowly revealing Eric Bana staring at his reflection and then we see that something’s not quite right. He’s shaking, and then the once serenading melody transcends to a chilling music score and BOOM, he transforms into our favorite green monster and the once beautiful house now has a big beautiful hole in it courtesy of a flying sink.

5. Iron Man (2008)

If there ever were a badass superhero trailer award, this would win it, hands down. Before we even saw the movie, we got to see just how truly magnetic Robert Downey Jr.’s personality was and the AC/DC music was a nice touch. The “Good God, you’re a woman” line in the trailer told you that we’re not dealing with your ordinary superhero. Great trailer, great music, great actor and of course, a great movie!

4. Superman Returns (2006)

As the brilliant John Williams score reached a fever pitch in this trailer over Marlon Brando’s voice, I got chills. The movie may have polarized audiences, but this trailer did an amazing job of playing on everyone’s nostalgia and showing audiences everywhere that Superman is back.

3. X-Men First Class (2011)

Fans were tapping their shoes on the floor waiting for something, anything out of the X-Men First Class marketing department. When the promotion started, boy it started big, the trailer’s tone signaled that this was a more serious shift from the previous X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With the Cuban Missile Crisis serving as the backdrop and sending the stakes up higher with Nuclear Armageddon, you just knew this movie was going to be something and it was. It lived up to the trailer, as many critics and fans agree that this was the CBM of 2011. The opening shots of Professor X’s wheelchair and Magneto’s helmet let you know that this was their story and that we would go back to the beginning, I got chills when I heard JFK’s speech playing over the television. One thing I have to complain about is the lack of Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw in the trailer; he’s barely there, despite being the main villain. Also, Magneto’s final “Peace was never an option” line was just grand!

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

The word epic gets thrown around a lot these days, but this film and its trailer really own that word. From the time Joker appears onscreen in the prison cell, you know you’re in for something good. Fans that doubted Heath Ledger’s casting had a change of heart after watching him deliver the infamous, “Evening Commissioner” line. The trailer was such a favorite among fans that two fan-made versions of it were made using the 1989 Batman film and the 1966 Batman film as inspirations.

1.Watchmen (2009)

This preview had me still thinking about it far after the credits rolled for “The Dark Knight,” the film in which it was attached to. This first trailer built up so much hype, that sales of the graphic novel actually skyrocketed during 2008 and 2009, over 23 years after its initial publication date and it continues to sell well today! The odd, yet fitting choice of the Smashing Pumpkins, “The beginning is the end is the beginning” and the amazing visuals served to make this trailer a memorable one. People who came to see “The Dark Knight” were left wondering what the hell they just saw in the previews. The trailer still continues to draw viewers sitting at well over ten million views. From the opening with Dr. Manhattan’s transformation to Rorschach’s infamous “The world will look up and shout save us, and I’ll whisper, no” quote, this trailer is why people continue to love movie trailers and can’t get enough of them.

I’m sure there are many awesome trailers that I left out. Some honorable mentions go to the Transformers series, F4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Batman Forever. I do remember the “Spider-Man” Twin Towers trailer was interesting, but it didn’t get to reach that much of an audience for obvious reasons. If you have any more trailers, feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading.

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MoonDoggyX - 1/2/2012, 11:12 PM
Awesome read! I agree completely... until #1... thw watchmen trailer definitely renewed fanboy interest in the books, but didn't convince the general public to see the movie. Watchmen should be replaced by a 3-way tie between the trailers for the 3 Transformers movies. Say what you will about the movies, but no one can argue that everyone and their mother had to go see these movies after the trailers dropped...

Transformers: the trailer was so good that it convinced the general audience to come out in mass to see a movie centered around an 80s toy line about alien robots that turn into vehicles, with no "big name" stars in the movie. The trailer sold the movie as a must-see blockbuster...

Transformers RotF: The trailer for this movie was so effective at hyping the movie that this movie outsold the the first movie in spite of all the negative reviews.

Transformers DotM: the single most impressive 3d trailer I have ever seen! The almost all action preview sold this movie inspite of the poor quality of its prior installment and the series losing one of its main attractions(megan fox). The trailer was so confinving that it pushe ticket sales past $1.3 Billion...

To me the the best quality of all of these trailers was their "truth in advertising"... Especially DotM. All the trailers let you know that you were in for eye candy, awesome sfx and crazy amounts of action. The movie was more like a ride meant to get your heart rate up. If u expected more than that, its your own damn fault...
dracula - 1/2/2012, 11:20 PM
i dont know what your talking about green lantern being disapounting i loved green lantern i liked the story i liked the acting and tone
incrediblesuperbatspider - 1/2/2012, 11:39 PM
thanks guys, @MoonDoggy-I really thought about putting Transformers:DOTM or even the other two, they were truly amazing trailers, they were action-packed and left you with your jaw on the floor. However, these trailers that I selected are there for a reason, they resonated with you long after you left the movie theaters. They were memorable and to me, I thought the transformers trailers were great, but they didn't really hold up over time. They were wham, bam and thank you ma'am and left you saying wow what an awesome trailer, but you'd forget about it shortly afterward, at least with me, that was the case.
joeker - 1/3/2012, 12:53 AM
really good.Agreed with spider man 3 it made it look so cool but was let down when it came to watching it, also i dont mind Hulk it took it back to the basics of the comic book, he was a little fat tho but the film was so downloaded that stopped people going to watch it, its an ok film which you wan t better from a CBM but its not as bad as people say IMO
Joker11 - 1/3/2012, 1:17 AM
Ver nice read bro.
Anybody else catch that TDK and TDKR trailers are both 2:08?
marvel72 - 1/3/2012, 5:42 AM
i agree number 1 trailer should be watchmen,sheer class.spider-man 3,green lantern & superman returns trailers all made the films look better than they actually were abit like this one.awesome teaser awful film.

i also think the teaser trailer for spider-man 2 was pretty amazing.

RunDTC - 1/3/2012, 7:23 AM
I always like the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Zordan - 1/3/2012, 8:06 AM
hahaha lame
GreendaleHumanBeing - 1/3/2012, 8:15 AM

and for fun:

siddhant1138 - 1/3/2012, 8:19 AM
The wondercon footage for Green Lantern is so brilliant that it makes me sad. That movie could have, and SHOULD HAVE been so much better.....
TDK08 - 1/3/2012, 8:21 AM
i am in agreements with this list for he most part. good job
BackwardGalaxy - 1/3/2012, 8:23 AM
Disagree with Watchmen trailer. It doesn't tell a story at all. You have no idea what that movie is about if you come to it not knowing what Watchmen is about. It doesn't build to a crescendo like The Dark Knight trailer and doesn't give insight into characters like the Iron Man trailer.
HelaGood - 1/3/2012, 8:46 AM
the list is spot on... apart from Green Lantern... Ghost Rider peeing fire is more exciting than the GL trailer...
webheaded - 1/3/2012, 8:52 AM
Spider-Man 3 deserved the top 5 atleast. This list all together is a bit unusual.
gloomypatrick - 1/3/2012, 8:56 AM
i agree with u BakcWardGalaxy the watchman doesn't tell story and for that the movie was a so!! shit it was everywhere
Rodimus9 - 1/3/2012, 9:04 AM
1. Watchmen...the "coolest" I've ever seen and got me to watch the movie.
2. Captain America....watched it 30 times
3. Iron Man 1....Ozzy and RDJ
4. Spiderman 3....Venom.
5. Transformers 1 (made me reminiss of my childhood)
6. Hulk...I watched every episode when I was younger, so this jacked me up BIG TIME.
7. Superman Returns...although I Fn hate Routh forever!
8. Spiderman.....watchin him swing for the first time in HD....siiiick!
9. Kick ass....what's the name of the little girl who f*cks shit up in that trailer? Hit girl?
10. TDK....because of the Joker.
CPBuff22 - 1/3/2012, 9:11 AM
The Captain America & Avengers trailers excited me way more than Superman, Dark Knight, or First Class did.
Rodimus9 - 1/3/2012, 9:11 AM
MaddMonkk - 1/3/2012, 9:12 AM
2003 HULK trailer was awesome. I forgot about it until now. I remembered how excited I was for the Hulk movie. I still watch it every now and again, don't tell no body.
SuperFrost - 1/3/2012, 9:16 AM
Great list.
superman78 - 1/3/2012, 9:20 AM
The Superman Returns trailer is so dang good. It put a lump in my throat the first time I saw it. I hope that Man of Steel can play on my emotions the same way... and then the movie follows up on that! We'll see.
Rodimus9 - 1/3/2012, 9:22 AM
hush - 1/3/2012, 9:40 AM
@ Pendaghast - don't worry buddy, I loved both Fantastic Four movies *bows head in shame*
sarahsatire - 1/3/2012, 9:50 AM
I agree about Watchmen being #1. After seeing that trailer, I was so hyped up about the movie it was ridiculous. You see, in my mind, the trailer abolished my fears of Watchmen being abused on the silver screen. The stunning visuals, the dark tones, an amazing interpretation of Rorschach... Seeing the movie, it was still very good and enjoyable, but I absolutely cannot get over the ending. So unfortunate.

P.S. I still have that version of "The Beginning is the End". I love me some Smashing Pumpkins!
hammershipdown - 1/3/2012, 9:54 AM
Trailers you say...?!?! This one was probably the biggest thrill in my lifetime... The trailer, not the film....
Rothwilder - 1/3/2012, 10:14 AM
For personal hype (since they do have comics) I throw Star Wars Episode 1 into the mix.

Sure the movie sucked but the HYPE for that first trailer could hardly be matched.
Christuffer - 1/3/2012, 10:28 AM
Watchmen is still an amazing movie. I love my Ultimate Cut edition
NeoBaggins - 1/3/2012, 11:22 AM
Based on the trailers presented:






GREEN LANTERN: 3.2 STARS (Not a trailer)




CaptainTall - 1/3/2012, 11:42 AM
I still don't understand why Watchmen did so poorly. It was an amazing movie, my favorite CBM ever.
batmanrises - 1/3/2012, 1:57 PM
The Watchmen trailer with that Smashing Pumpkins song was pretty sick, but TDK should be #1. That image of Joker walking down the street firing a machine gun, the trailer flipping over...It was sick. But they were both good trailers. And yes, Watchmen was an underrated movie (the sex scene felt awkward though).
dbzmaster789 - 1/3/2012, 2:00 PM
Super awesome list, agree with all except 9 it should have been Transformers
Bandrews1 - 1/3/2012, 2:49 PM
I really like all these trailers, even though some of them didn't live up to our expectations. I remember seeing The Hulk teaser trailer in theaters and how it gave me chills, and I convinced my sister we she could go see it for her birthday, and when we did we all were pissed when at how bad it was, and she blamed me for ruining her birthday, lol. But I'm really glad Watchmen was number 1 on the list, to me that's gotta be one the most effective trailers I've ever seen, I actually still like watching it to this day.
Darkhaven - 1/3/2012, 4:11 PM
Damn, Spider-Man 3 not in the Top 5? NO Avengers or Transformers trailers? For real? Dark of the Moon may have sucked in the acting department, but holy shit was that trailer was a [frick]ing epic level event.

There were literally alien robots invading Earth that wanted to Kill All Humans. Then humans HALO jump into the heart of the invasion to stage a counter-assault. Say what you will of Michael Bay, but that man channeled the raw awesomeness of 1950's Sci Fi into that trailer, and slathered it with 1980's level action and modern day effects. If you saw that trailer, you wanted to see that [frick]ing movie, pure and simple.
Vapes - 1/3/2012, 4:50 PM
Oh, awesome. I actually created the Batman/TDK mashup mentioned in the article. Nice to see it's being remembered.
dreddhead123 - 1/3/2012, 5:08 PM
Best comic book trailer is easy:

By far the best I've ever seen. Shame the film never lived up to that vibe.
laughterman26 - 1/4/2012, 1:29 AM
you realise once the second avengers trailer comes out its gonna beat batman and the first avengers,but then theres still deadpool saw a fan trailer on youtube was absolutley amazed how baddass it was
incrediblesuperbatspider - 2/7/2012, 10:21 PM
I think the avengers super bowl spot should be here now
incrediblesuperbatspider - 2/7/2012, 10:22 PM
The X-2 teaser shouldve been here too

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