Top 5 Comic Book Movies of All Time

This has been the summer of some very huge blockbusters, many of which were films with comic book origins. Who would have imagined that in 2008 we would see an Iron Man, Hulk and Batman movie all in the same summer.

Here, I break down for you what I think are the top 5 greatest comic book movie adaptations. I’m sure that some of you might argue that the Superman (1978) should have been on the list or that X2 should have made the cut. This is just one man’s opinions.

1) The Dark Knight (2008)

If you didn’t like this movie then you have to either be blind, deaf or both blind and deaf. The Dark Knight is now the movie that all other comic book movies will be compared to. Christopher Nolan was a brilliant choice for director, and the best choice to progress from the previously campier incarnations in the Batman franchise. But let’s not kid ourselves here, Heath Ledger stole the show and churned out the best performance. He was the Joker that we have been waiting for. Forget Jack Nicholson, Jack’s Joker has got nothing on Heath’s Joker.


2) Iron Man (2008)

If not for The Dark Knight, Iron Man would have gone down as the best summer 2008 movie. It was everything a comic book movie should be, action packed and filled with smart humor. Robert Downey Jr. portrayed billionaire arms dealer and playboy, Tony Stark, to the tee. Having fought his own demons in real life, Downey was a sure bet for the role. He brought a level of authenticity to the character that I don’t think audiences have seen before in a comic book film.

3) Sin City (2005)

Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City not only broke tradition by having duel directors but by being the first comic book movie (or simply movie for that matter) in recent memory to be shown [mostly] in black and white. Casting was another strong point for Sin City, Bruce Willis as Hartigan made complete sense and having Mickey Rourke as Marv was equivalent to the comic character stepping right out of the pages of the comic book. Much like 300, Sin City stuck to its comic book origins and looked and felt like the graphic novel it was based on.

4) 300 (2006)

More so than any other comic book film, 300 has to be considered the one that stayed most true to its comic origins. I’d say using the actual graphic novel as the storyboards worked out just fine. By filming entirely in green screen, the filmmakers were able to create sceneries that were epic and grandeouos in scale. Extra kudos to the cast for killing themselves in order to achieve the 300 look and feel.

5) Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 is in my opinion the best out of the three films in the Spider-Man franchise. Sam Raimi mixed in the right amount of humor to compliment the web-slinging action. The scene where Peter sings-a-long to Singing In The Rain was such a scene stealer. Doc Ock made for a fantastic villain, and one that the audience could actually sort of feel for. I did not really care for Willem Dafoe but Alfred Molina made for the perfect Otto Octavious. 

How does your top 5 looks?


  1. says

    I was on Yahoo and found your blog. Read a few of your other posts. Good work. I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Tom Stanley

  2. Mark DeBlois says

    Hmm… I agree with the movies in your list though I place them in a different order.

    No. 1 Of course is Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s Joker put this movie over the top for me and is by far the best superhero movie villain yet. This Joker was everything anyone could ever ask for and more. He was funny without being corny. You can’t help but laugh at his morbid antics. He was also crazy, which is exactly what you would expect someone to be who walks around wearing clown make-up for kicks. Finally, this Joker was a real criminal genius (watch out Riddler) making him more than qualified to be Batman’s primary nemesis! I have to admit though that prior to this movie, I never understood how the Joker could even stand up to Batman. Now I’m a believer. Dark Knight is the best superhero movie to date.

    No. 2 is Spiderman 2. You really feel for Doc Ock in this movie. Plus the comedy bits and action were better balanced.

    No. 3 is Ironman. The Tony Stark character was well developed but I wish the villain was developed just a little more. Overall, the movie was still fantastic.

    No. 4 and 5 are 300 and Sin City respectively. I’ve never read any of Miller’s comics but as a movie, the films were awesome. The cinematography for both movies were superb and the overall both story lines were exponentially more complex than other superhero movies like Fantastic Four and Elektra.

  3. says

    Well I can’t disagree with your Top 5, I would have thought you would have gone with one of the X-Men movies (forgetting X-Men 3 of course).

  4. Perricone says

    Well after seeing the Dark Knight last night I must admit I think it needed to have closure with The Joker….him staying alive left the door open for his charcter to be replaced and that would ruin it for me! Obviously Chistopher Nolan would never do that, but you never know who might be in the director’s chair the next go around. This has definitely been the best comic movie to date for sure! Iron Man is also my number two and can’t wait for the sequal. However the next 3 round out a different list. My third would have to be Spiderman 3 just cause I am a Venom-a-holic. My 4th would actually have to be Superman Returns only cause you have to love the iconic charcter and what 20 something guy wasn’t brought up with Christopher Reeve in there life. My fifth believe it or not is the entire X-Men trilogy (yeah 3 films) but I just can’t choose one. Following closely behind would have to be Hell Boy (Ron Perlman kicks ass) and Blade 1. Not to mention i’m probably the only one around who seriously loved the Fantastic Four movie as well as the Punisher.

    Although 300 / Sin City’s cinematography was gorgeous I never really considered a true comic movie….not sure why, but I wasn’t a huge Frank Miller fan however 300 was friggin’ awesome!

    That being said did anyone see the trailer for The Watchman…..sorry that is just not my cup of tea. lol

  5. says

    Perricone, The Watchmen will be epic. It’s been often said that THAT is the comic that could never be made into a movie. How in the world would they do Dr. Manhattan?! I Actually thought the trailer looks pretty awesome and I can’t wait for it.

    I thought Spider-Man 3 lacked character development and they just threw Venom in there just for the hell of it. I wanted more Venom. More Venom, I tell you!

    I’ll give you Blade 1 (I actually enjoyed Blade 1 and 2 but not so much Blade 3).

    Although I love Superman, and he is my favorite superhero, I didn’t think that the flick did the franchise justice. They should have dropped the bastard child story line. The cinematography was beautiful, though and many scenes looked like Alex Ross artwork.

  6. joelsabugo says

    Since I’m absolutely doing jack at work, I might as well comment on this blog as well.

    1) The Dark Knight and 2) Iron Man. No person in their right mind would think these movies were horrible. If you did, then stop watching comic book movies and stick to, um I dunno, documentaries or something.

    Just like Perricone, Sin City and 300 were also stellar movies because of the cinematography but I never really got the “comic booky” feel to it. Probably cause I didn’t grow up reading Frank Miller comics or the fact that there wasn’t really a “superhero” in these movies. It didnt follow the typical comic book movie plot, which should have pushed the two up onto my list for originality but I guess it wasn’t enough for me.

    3) X-Men 2. I was never really excited to see a comic book movie until X-Men 2 was announced. I grew up watching the X-Men cartoons. How can you not love Dr. Xavier and Jean Grey! All the actors/actress all reminded me of the original comic…well maybe except Halle Berry ; ) but I still felt that Storm and her “psychotic” thunder clouds were awesome. The new characters Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu) and nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) fit perfectly into the story as well. One more point to add…during the triliogy, I was always watching out to see the subtle Jubilee cameos. BTW, where are the Asian superheroes!

    4) Superman Returns. The plane scene was intense and according to you, better than the whole X-Men 3 movie. I also found the scene where Lex Luthor was destroying Metropolis exciting. I felt Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, and Kate Bosworth fit their characters and did the franchise justice. I did have my doubts on Kate but she played it very well. Oh and yeah the bastard child story line was a bit much but that was a very small part of the movie. Only probably the last 15 minutes. I think its hard to fathom how Superman can copulate with a human. Considering he probably does have super sperm. But yeah Superheroes have sex too.

    5) Surprisingly, I have to say Fantastic 4. I was always curious to see how they got their powers. Sue Storm was my favorite out of the bunch, not to mention, Jessica Alba playing her. I didn’t think her acting was bad at all…But yeah Sue Storm must be the most succesful female movie superhero of all time. Catwoman and Elektra could be creeping up on her though haha ;).

    This comment was way too long for me…

  7. says

    I can totally see you point up to number 4 and then you lose all credibility when you say Fantastic 4! Kidding…

    Interesting how you don’t consider Sin City and 300 “comics”…Did you know From Hell and Road to Perdition has comic book origins?