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Picture Perfect: The Finest Comic Book Movies

After much debate among the team, here's our list of the 20 greatest comic book movie adaptations.

  • Text: Ben Lyons

If we tried to create a list like this 10 years ago, we'd probably really struggle to make it past 15 entries. However, since the pop culture boom we've experienced over the past decade, the sheer number of comic book adaptations has risen through the roof. In fact, there's so many now, that it was much more difficult to choose just 20. Still, we took some time and prepared a list of the what we believe to be the best comic book movie adaptations. And so, without further ado and in no particular order, here it is...

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

To start this list off, we thought we'd appeal to the present. Into the Spider-Verse may well be the best Spider-Man film created to date, not only that it even landed an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, breaking Disney's 12-year spree. What makes this film so unique is that it focuses on Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. Sure it does still have Peter in the film as well as a host of other spider characters, but Miles is the main protagonist here. Then it blends the hardship of being Miles with a stellar soundtrack that reflects the city of New York whilst also portraying the story in an astonishing new trippy, part-realistic art style. It truly is one of a kind.

Thor: Ragnarok

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For a while the Thor films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been somewhat underwhelming, that stopped with Ragnarok. Director Taika Waititi decided that a traditional superhero story was not the way forward, so instead, he created a film that was so whacky and chock-full of '80s references that it was brilliant. Every part of this instalment in the MCU is astounding, from the storyline, through to the art design and, of course, acting. It's definitely a top three MCU film, plus Korg is the greatest MCU character ever created and that is a fact.

The Dark Knight

This may be the greatest comic book movie ever made, and it's definitely the best Batman movie ever created. Standing as the middle chapter in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, the film starring Christian Bale as the world's greatest detective and the late Heath Ledger as the clown prince of crime pushed the boundaries of what a comic book movie should be. It brought the real challenges of being the Batman juxtaposed with the insatiable insanity of his arch-nemesis the Joker, creating a storyline that was both tragic and highly entertaining, as a Batman film should be. The real reason as to why this film is so different from the heaps of other Batman films out there is because it doesn't stray from reality. The Joker isn't some chemically afflicted villain but instead a standard thug who wears war paint and whose boundaries aren't limited to monetary gain. That's why this portrayal of him and this film in its entirety is so great, it's relatable and that's terrifying.

Men in Black

For a film that is almost 22-years-old, the sheer stupidity yet brilliance never fails to show when it comes to Men in Black. Following the story of two agents that work for a secret organisation that polices and monitors alien interaction within the confines of Earth, MIB takes all the best parts of the Bond franchise and couples them with a world where ET is but a civilian. This produces a truly unique, timeless piece of entertainment that will undoubtedly resonate with generations to come. Especially if they keep rebooting it the way they are. Wait, did we mention it has a talking pug called Frank...

Logan

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For 17-years Hugh Jackman has portrayed The Wolverine on the big screen and as much as we'd love to see him carry the role on for another 17 years, that can't be the case anymore. Logan is a beautiful curtain call for an era of old-school superheroes. It pushes Wolverine to the max and challenges him to be stronger than he ever has been which is fitting for a finale such as this. Not only is Logan the final chapter in the Jackman-Wolverine story but it is also the last time we will get to see Stewart reprise his role as Professor X. So, is it tough to see all these chapters close? Damn right it is, but it is beautiful.

Black Panther

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Black Panther is one of the best superhero origin stories ever created. Put together an incredible storyline, fantastic acting and jaw-dropping visual effects, and you end up with a three-time Oscar-winning masterpiece that will most likely be the gold standard for superhero movies to come. That's what Black Panther is. The first superhero movie to land an Oscar best picture nomination as well as win three awards in other categories. If that doesn't speak for the quality of this film, we're not sure what will.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

The film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs The World is every gamer's dream movie. It combines the harsh reality of growing up with the arcade, retro, pixelated effects that the Scott Pilgrim universe so casually resides in. The fight scenes are somewhat cringy yet they're magnificently sculpted at the same time resulting in a film that would make any viewer want to instantly load up Street Fighter and just hash it out after watching. We've thrown around the term 'unique' quite a lot through this article, but we can't stress enough how immensely unique this film truly is, there really is nothing quite like it, that's why we had to put it on this list.

HellBoy 2: The Golden Army

Nothing screams badass quite as much as Ron Perlman playing a demon whilst shooting gold metal knights with a revolver the size of a regular person's torso. Sure, it's a little bit strange but isn't every comic book movie adaptation? What separates HellBoy from the rest is that it just rides on the wave of insanity. Instead of wondering whether something seemed normal, the creators just thought "to hell with it, why not have elves, demons and metal knights all in the same universe, what could go wrong?"

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The rebooted X-Men franchise has largely been pretty good. Sure, Apocalypse wasn't the greatest, but its predecessors were a breath of fresh air. We thought that Days of Future Past was the best of the three because it retained a lot of the brilliance and true X-Men qualities that made First Class fantastic, but then built on it by being ambitious and challenging its audience to really try to grasp the multiple time periods the film was set over. Perhaps the best part of this entry, however, is the fact that it managed to bring both generations of the X-Men together (i.e. Stewart's Professor X and McAvoy's Professor X) through the sole link of Jackman's Logan. This itself brought a lot of the glory back to the original cast that set X-Men on its path to success. In a way, it feels like a miniature version of Infinity War.