What you like is subjective. Your experiences are different then mine as are your thoughts and feelings, etc. So when I went to title this particular post, I went with the word “favorite” over “best”. This is a list of my ten all time favorite comic book films. I haven’t put them in any particular order but for me, these are the end all, be all of comic book films… until something better comes along.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
I can recite this film from memory because I’ve seen it so many times. It’s the closest the Turtles have come to their comic book roots and I think that’s what makes the film great. The Turtles have the right set of personalities and the suits are incredibly well done even by today’s standards. It would take a lot for the Bay version to come close to this. Somehow I doubt that it will because my major complaint about every Michael Bay film is that they don’t have any heart to them. These turtles had a soul.
Speaking of films that are a lot like the comic, Sin City IS the comic book on screen. It amazes me at how accurate the film is to the comics it comes from. It pulls off things that I really thought would only work in the print. I love how the stories are interlaced together, I love that it looks like a comicbook and I love Mickey Rourke as Marv.
Superman I & II
Despite the numbers and separate DVD cases, this is really one story. For personal reasons that I’ve stated over and over again, I love this film. Beyond that, Reeves performance as Superman just screams Superman to me. It’s the performance I judge all other Supermen on. He’s just so natural in the role, everything else just fits into place behind him.
Batman: Mask of The Phantasm
The only DC animated film to get a theatrical release and for my money, still one of the best. I think Mask of the Phantasm is possibly my favorite Batman film. I’ve long said that the BTAS version of Batman is my favorite and in terms of The Joker, Mark Hamil is so above and beyond his competitors that anything else pales in comparison. With this film, the creators of BTAS were able to cut loose a little more then they did on tv. The result was just great.
While I like X-Men and there are a few parts of X3 that are alright, X2 is what really sold me on the X-Men as a film series having possibilities. Hugh Jackman really came into his own on this one and owned Wolverine from start to finish. The story was familiar but still played out well on the screen. It really seemed like a great build to something… something that wasn’t X3 but maybe we’ll see this series come back to glory in Days of Future Past.
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance
This is a film that hits all the right notes for me. LW&C has been adapted in different forms but Sword of Vengeance is the first film in the series that feels like Lone Wolf and Cub. From how the fight scenes were handled to casting, it’s almost as if the characters stepped off the page to film their parts.
A film that diverges from the source material a bit but still manages to capture the spirit of the comic in a way that made it the perfect Dredd film. The filmmakers took the concept and grounded it a little in reality and the formula worked in spades. One of my favorite action films of the past few years.
Often forgotten (and while he’s more of a pulp character, I’ve always loved him as a comic character), we saw The Shadow produced in the wake of the Keaton Batman film and I still really love this movie. The Shadow has been done so many ways. He’s been a pulp character, a radio show and in comics. The film pulled from these many threads and wove a decent movie that can appeal to all fans of the character. Out of all the blu ray re-releases scheduled within the next year, this is one I’m the most excited about.
This is the perfect comic strip film to me. In the case of Dick Tracy it’s the visuals that make the film what it is. The bright colors, the practical make up effects, the lighting. This feels like a comic strip on a grand scale.
There are a few more that almost made my list but I’m more curious to find out what you think are the best comic book films. Drop by our comment section below and leave your favorites.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!