As the Spiderman franchise reboots and comes wall-crawling back into our lives, it seems like a good time to look back at some of the highlights and lowlights of comic over the last 35 years. I'm specifically focusing on the super hero movies based on comic books, or else this would just be 500 words on Unbreakable...the greatest of all super hero movies.
Best: Hot Topic Division - The Crow (1994)
The Crow isn't quite as breathtaking as it was on its initial release in 1994 because of some dated special effects and heavy-handed dialogue, but the late Brandon Lee's excellent central performance keeps it a classic. Avenging a one true love, larger than life villains, a kickass soundtrack featuring The Cure, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Rage Against the Machine, plus visionary direction by Alex Proyas make The Crow a film that’s stood the test of time.
Worst: Illiterate Bastards Division- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
A movie combining the works of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe and many more should have been amazing. Based on the comic series by one of the finest writers to ever scribe in the medium, Alan Moore, Extraordinary Gentleman not only bastardized his comics by changing just about every interesting thing about them, but Stephen Norrington directed it so poorly, it looked like a SYFY channel original movie. The fact that this was Sean Connery's last film before retiring is a damn shame.
Best: Did...That just Happen Division- Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Absolute bat shit insanity from the master of the strange and bizarre, Guillermo del Toro. This slot almost went to Blade II, but nothing in that film matches the image of the giant, elemental forest god bleeding and the beautiful vegetation growing from wherever the blood lands. Hellboy II is better than the original in every way and has a scale not many comic book films have the guts to try. Plus, it has ninja elves!
Worst: Make it Stop Division- X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Any film that can turn one of the biggest badasses in comic book history into a boring and mopey action star deserves to be taken out behind the barn and put down. This isn't the last time we're going to see Wolverine, so his future adventures may well make him relevant again. A travesty on every level.
Just because lists are neat and inspire conversation...
Top 10 Greatest Comic Book Films Of All Time
10) Batman Returns
9) The Crow
8) Iron Man
7) Hellboy II
6) Superman II
5) The Dark Knight
4) V for Vendetta
2) The Avengers
1) Spider-Man 2
Top 10 Worst Comic Book Films Of All Time
9) Fantastic Four
7) Blade: Trinity
5) League of Extraordinary Gentleman
4) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
2) The Spirit
1) Batman & Robin