Wed 30 Jul 2008
With Iron Man holding the banner for Marvel and Dark Knight (or Joker, really) leading the way for DC, the question has to be asked, who makes the best comic-related movies?
It’s hard to compare since Marvel has 30 movies while DC only has 19 and more than half of DC’s movies are about either Superman or Batman. Still, the question has to be asked and hopefully answered. Please note, for the purpose of this comparison, we’re only taking into account live-action movies (ie: no animations).
So how do we go about this? Do we only count the good movies for each side and see who has the most? Do we count all of the movies and take a percentage of good vs bad? Or do we look at the best single comic-book movie and crown the champion that way? Let’s do all three!
Round 1 – Most Heavy-Hitters:
So what do I mean by heavy-hitter? It’s not the movies that grossed the most or the movies that stayed truest to the comics. It’s not even the movies with the best reception by know-it-all critics. To say the truth, it’s a little bit of all of those. A good movie that drew crowds and didn’t deviate too far from its roots. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it usually is.
Marvel: Let’s forget all of the crappy “made for TV” movies that Marvel made in the past. Anything before Blade in 1999 was laughable at best. Blade itself was actually pretty good and it’s sequels were not that bad either. The first X-Men movie was very good and the second was great! The opening sequence with Nightcrawler was simply sensational! Half of The Hulk was good and the other was so bad I wanted to tear my hair out!I don’t care what anyone says, the Spider-Man movies were bad in my opinion. Spider-Man 3 was the worst but the first two are barely watchable. Still, the first two were generally well received and so I concede the point. I don’t even want to mention Daredevil, Ghostrider, Electra, or The Punisher and I do so only to prove I haven’t forgotten them (although I wish I could). Marvel’s two newest movies, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, were very good and renew hope in any future Marvel movies! Since I choose to only count the first Blade as a heavy-hitter, that brings the grand total to 5 (Blade, X-Men 1&2, Spider-Man 1&2, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk). The rest are average to awful.
DC: In the same light as with the early “made for TV” Marvel movies, we’ll also ignore the equally bad “made for TV” DC movies (even though there were really only 2). We’ll start with the Superman movies. The first Superman movie was very flawed and yet a masterpiece! The second more flawed but still good. The third and fourth? They decided to go with only flaws for those two, they’re horrible movies any way you look at them. What about Superman Returns? It continued the series quite nicely by being about as bad as the 3rd and 4th, give or take a mountain of Kyrptonite. DC isn’t only about Superman though, the first Batman movie by Tim Burton is legendary! Before watching the Dark Knight, it was my favorite in the series! Sure, I loved Batman Begins but Jack Nicholson’s brilliant portrayal of the Joker is hard to forget while all the other Batman movies are better left forgotten. Batman Returns wasn’t all bad, just mostly bad. And the Riddler was the only good part of Batman Forever. Batman & Robin had no good parts sadly. V for Vendetta was also a brilliant DC movie. Most people don’t even know it was based on a comic book! Now let’s not forget the first Swamp Thing! I loved it as a kid but it’s too bad its sequel stunk! And I know no one will argue with me about how bad the Catwoman movie was. It’s too bad that it wasn’t bad enough to end Halle Berry’s career. So that leaves us with 7 great DC movies (Batman, Swamp Thing, Superman 1&2, V for Vendetta, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight).
Round 1 Results: Marvel’s 7 movies tie DC’s 7.
Round 2 – Percentage of a Whole:
This round won’t take as long as the last one to figure out. We already know how many good movies each company has come up with so we simply have to divide that by the total amount of movies and voila! Yes, I am going to count the crappy “made for TV” movies. Hey, don’t look at me, I’m not the one who decided to desecrate your favorite heroes after all.
Marvel: 7/30 or 23%.
DC: 7/19 or 37%.
Round 2 Results: DC wins with a little more than a third of their movies being great or better while Marvel has just under a quarter.
Round 3 – Best in Show:
Sometimes, what it really boils down to is whose team had the biggest star. Individual Olympic events aren’t judged by how well the average athlete from a given country performs. The best takes the gold and that’s that. How do comic-based movies measure up to that?
Marvel: Marvel’s best in show is Iron-Man. There are no two ways about it. Iron-Man had action, story, comedy, great acting, it stayed true to the comics and didn’t offer much for one to criticize.
DC: The Dark Knight. Do I really need to elaborate? I won’t waste any more time with this one as it’s truly a no-brainer.
Round 3 Results: Although Iron Man was a great comic-book inspired movie that Iron Man fans will remember for years to come, The Dark Knight is a great movie that movie-goers will remember forever. Hands down and no real need to explain this. If you’ve watched The Dark Knight then you’ll either agree with me or you need to have your head examined.
And the winner is: Being a huge Marvel fan, it pains me to write this but the truth must be told. The only DC franchise I truly love is Batman while I love many of the Marvel characters. I love Spider-Man and Hulk and the X-men and I just wish their movies lived up to their respective potentials. Still, Marvel has a lot to learn from DC when it comes to making movies. The winner and still champion in the comic-based movie challenge is DC by a bat wing!
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- Five Great Quotes about Superman
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