All-in-one spandex suits, wearing Y-fronts over tights and a rubber chest piece with nipples, a cowl and a cape; all Classic images of superheroes from my childhood. Hollywood has a habbit of reinventing these iconic costumes, sometimes for the better, and sometimes not so much but we still all have our favourites!
Over the next 5 years the studios responsible for both the DC and Marvel franchises have some BIG surprises in store for us. Until then here are my top 10 films based on comic books for you to check out and feed the inner superhero within you…
10. Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s iconic and dark masterpiece introduced a new generation to the caped crusader and gave birth to some of the most recognisable movie cars ever created. It’s lack of origin story is only made up for by it’s striking visual effects, Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker, oh, and the BATMOBILE.
9. The Punisher (2004)
Although not a superhero, The Punisher was an adaptation from a series of comics published by Marvel. Frank Castle, an undercover FBI agent, becomes a vigilante assassin after seeing his entire family slaughtered in-front of him. He’s the anti-hero, tortured soul that everyone roots for. Blood, guns, explosions and humour. What more could you want?
8. Blade (1998)
It may not be the finest example of comic book adaptations that I’ve ever seen but it’s fun, fast paced and exciting. Visually striking with a sound track to match. A complete attack on the senses. Wesley Snipes was almost born for the role. A must see for any Marvel fan.
7. Constantine (2005)
John Constantine is the exorcist who has literally been to Hell and back. Angels, demons, God, Satan, bottled dragons breath and a Holy shotgun. An adaptation of a DC comic book tackling religion in the only way comic books can. Vanquishing evil with blessed brass knuckles.
6. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
This has to be one of the best origins stories I’ve seen on the big screen to date. Edward Norton plays to his strengths, showing there is some sensitivity to be found deep within the green beast. With an amazing supporting cast and writing team who couldn’t have been more on the ball they struck gold.
5. The Dark Knight (2008)
This is one of those rare occasions where the sequel surpasses the original. Christopher Nolan managed to breath new life into the Batman franchise and went one step further casting the late Heath Ledger in possibly the darkest role of his career which was received with massive critical acclaim. Ben Affleck and Jared Leto have big boots to fill (see upcoming DC films).
4. X-Men (2000-2014)
It’s hard to choose a favourite out of the 7 that have been released. Each one is amazing on it’s own merit, staying as close as the studio can to the comic within the realms of possibility with the technology available, although as the years have progressed the special effects have become more immersive.
3. Green Lantern (2011)
My ONLY criticism is that the film was based on the Hal Jordan character (who was a later Green Lantern) and not the original Alan Scott/Green Lantern. A story of overcoming fear in the face of adversity, even if you are a ballsy test pilot who is supposedly afraid of nothing.
2. Captain America: The First Avenger
Unlike most superhero films that are set in the ‘Present Day’ this one takes place during WWII with a lot of ‘Wolfenstein’ style occult mystique and a slight ‘Indiana Jones’ sense of adventure. No cliché catchphrases, no massive arsenal of weaponry, just a nice ‘rags to riches’ every-man becomes superhero story. It leads almost seamlessly into Avengers Assemble which made it all the more enjoyable.
1. Blade Trinity (2004)
Second entry into the top 10 for a Blade movie and it’s the 3rd of the trilogy that steals the top spot. Blade taking on the original vampire, Dracula, with a little help from Whistler’s daughter, Abigail and her wise-cracking accomplice Hannibal King. Blood, vampires, decapitation and comedy in equal doses. Blade may not be a superhero but he’s still a comic book character.
Over the next 5 years the studios that own the rights to the Marvel characters (20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures) and DC (Warner Bros) have several projects in the works. Just for you, here is a taster of what they have on offer for us…
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Available on DVD September 2015
Ant-Man – July 2015
Fantastic Four – August 2015
Deadpool – 2016
DC Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – 2016
Captain America: Civil War – 2016
Marvel X-Men: Apocalypse – 2016
Suicide Squad – 2016
Gambit – 2016
Doctor Strange – 2016
Sinister Six – 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – 2017
Thor Ragnarok – 2017
Black Panther – 2017
Wonder Woman – 2017
Justice League Part 1 – 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – 2018
Captain Marvel – 2018
Inhumans – 2018
The Flash – 2018
Aquaman – 2018
Shazam – 2018
Justice League Part 2 – 2019
Avengers : Infinity War Part 2 – 2019
Cyborg – 2020
Green Lantern – 2020
* All film dates are approximates*
Visit the IMDB website for more film titles and release dates.
Words by Kieron Sanderson