Updating My Ranked List of Favorite Films for the American Superhero Genre

This project of getting caught up on the superhero genre films has really been great fun. It provides a pleasurable diversion for the rare downtime that I get as a full time student in addition to my full time job. It started with conversations with friends at work about the subject who are diehard comic book/superhero film genre fans which led us to compare favorites in a ranked list. We decided that the list would simply be of the films that we, for our own personal reasons and tastes, simply enjoyed the most. This versus the concept of which film is “objectively better” than another.

In my own history as a child and young adolescent I certainly had a great love of comics, and loved drawing them. And I love cinema, and enjoy thinking (then writing) about it. So there we are.

In looking again at the Wikipedia list I realized there are some films I have watched but overlooked in my ranked list of favorites: Sin City, The Shadow, Howard the Duck, Unbreakable, and Hancock.

I should add that for some reason Sin City and Frank Miller’s Sin City: a Dame to Kill For  are missing from the Wikipedia list and they certainly belong to the comic book genre. I haven’t seen the latter Sin City picture yet. As a big fan of Sin City  I’m adding Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For  to the to-watch list despite its mostly poor reviews. But anyway, I updated my list below to add these films.

I seem to be wrapping it up. Kick-ass I watched last night and Kick-ass 2 I’m watching this evening, and I’ll post about them tomorrow. But I’m taking enough pleasure in this pastime to keep it going a bit longer by adding a few more offbeat films, most of which prior to examining the Wikipedia list I hadn’t heard of. These flicks all got good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes:

The Rocketeer
Wanted
Defendor
Chronicle

And in sifting through the Wikipedia list I do find several films to potentially add to the to-watch list, even though they received generally lousy reviews. If I’m in the right mood to watch them, I might add at least some of these eventually:

Spawn
Jonah Hex
Jumper
Super
The Green Hornet  (2011)
Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Push
Punisher: War Zone
Barb Wire

Some films are missing for a reason. I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t care much at all for Blade. And I got bored enough when trying to watch the second flick of the series that I actually stopped watching. Also, given that neither the Teenage Mutant Turtles or Power Rangers were part of my childhood I’m not particularly keen to watch either series. (I have no childhood affinity, and I can’t relate based on what I have glimpsed when channel surfing.) I don’t feel drawn in at all by the concepts of Toxic Avenger or Swamp Thing, so I think I’ll probably pass on those as well–although perhaps I may in fact give them a try one day…

The list of strongest new “maybes” for me to watch (after The Rocketeer, Wanted, Defendor, and Chronicle) is: The Green Hornet  (2011), Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and Punisher: War Zone.

Oh, and maybe the Zorro reboot series will make it to the to-watch list as well. I’m not much of a fan of the character or the old TV series, but I might give that series a go.

Anyway, here is my updated list:

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. The Avengers
  4. Captain America: The First Avenger
  5. Iron Man
  6. X-Men: First Class
  7. Hellboy
  8. The Wolverine
  9. Thor
  10. X2: X-Men United
  11. Sin City
  12. Daredevil
  13. Spider-Man
  14. Iron Man 2
  15. Thor: The Dark World
  16. Man of Steel
  17. X-Men
  18. Superman (1978)
  19. The Dark Knight Rises (Yes, ranked here, above The Dark Knight and Batman Begins)
  20. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  21. Batman Begins
  22. The Dark Knight
  23. Superman Returns
  24. The Amazing Spider-Man
  25. Batman (1989)
  26. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  27. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  28. X-Men: The Last Stand
  29. Iron Man 3
  30. The Fantastic Four (2005)
  31. Spider-Man 2
  32. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  33. Spider-Man 3
  34. Green Lantern
  35. The Incredible Hulk
  36. Constantine
  37. The Phantom
  38. The Crow
  39. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  40. Mystery Men
  41. The Punisher
  42. Hulk
  43. Judge Dredd
  44. Elektra
  45. Batman Forever
  46. Batman and Robin
  47. Batman Returns
  48. Superman II
  49. Superman III
  50. Catwoman
  51. Blade
  52. Hancock
  53. Unbreakable
  54. Darkman
  55. The Shadow
  56. Superman and the Mole Men
  57. Batman (1966)
  58. Howard the Duck
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Updating My Ranked List of Favorite Films for the American Superhero Genre

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