The superhero movie has become a genre of its own, and it has become even more apparent with the recent release of Thor: The Dark World. The world of comics is vast, and with each year we find new versions of old icons being released. This is my top 10 list of new renditions of classic comic book stories, chracters, and franchises in all media, not just movies.
10) X-Men: First Class
The perfect homage to the X-Men beginning. With actors Michael Fassbender as a young Magneto (ohhh lawwdyy) and James McAvoy as a baby Professor X (your hair is so lush what happened) not only does it make the list for overall best renditions, but is one of the best X-Men renditions too. Sorry Logan.
9) Teen Titans
Ahhh, the show of my childhood, and arguably the thing that got me interested in comics in the first place. The perfect balance between serious drama and humor, it never failed to entertain with likable characters and interesting plots. It was able to stand alone as a cartoon, and give a considerable nod to the comics at the same time. (I feel like I should mention BBRae too, but that’s for another time….)
8) Mark Hamill as the voice of the Joker
I don’t know what to say about this wondrous man besides the fact that his voice is perfect and haunted my childhood for quite a long time. Hamill’s portrayal of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, and multiple other series (including the Arkham Asylum games) is bordering on perfection. I honestly cannot think of a voice more suited for the mad clown now, because he’s the first I think of. John DiMaggio did a pretty good job in Under the Red Hood, but it’s just not the same. Funny that acting wasn’t his forte, yet he blew voice acting out of the water.
*I’d like to include Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight, but he’s just included in No. 1
7) Holy Musical B@man!
First of all, if you have never heard of Team StarKid, you need to go look that shit up. Like, right now. Responsible for masterpieces like A Very Potter Musical, and Starship, they specialize in parodies of large pop culture icons. And that’s exactly what this is: a parody. But it hits all the cliches and tropes of the Batman mythos right on the head, and with pinpoint accuracy. With corny jokes and rousing singles like “Robin Sucks” and “Dark, Sad, Lonely, Knight” this makes it one of the best.
6) RDJ as Tony Stark
I don’t think that this really needs much explanation. I mean, it’s Robert Downey Jr. Not only does he personify the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist extremely well, but it’s to the point that he could be mistaken for Tony Stark. Yeah, it’s gotten to the point that RDJ is Tony Stark. I don’t know if anyone can change it at this point.
As one of my favorite graphic novels by one of my favorite graphic novelist Alan Moore (The Killing Joke and Swamp Thing) I had to include Watchmen. It definently doesn’t compare to the book, but the aestetics used just make it pretty pleasing to look at, even if it got pretty gory and awkward sometimes. Honestly, I like it just because it’s Watchmen. And Rorschach. I must mention Rorschach, just because.
The cast is perfect, it’s directed by Joss Whedon (have I said that I love Firefly?) and it’s the first superhero-team movie (excluding X-Men) that has heroes from their own designated franchises. The way the plot is executed is well-done and satisfying, and character development just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy
(they’re a team now! they trust each other and are one big super family!) Oh, and it’s directed by Joss Whedon. And had Tom Hiddleston. Good job Marvel.
3) Arkham Asylum video game series
The only video game I included, and for good reason. The characters are complex and fun, the atmosphere is perfect for the situation, the easter eggs available in the game provide a little (or big) treat for comic book fans, and it immerses you in the story. While that’s the goal of all video games, the Arkham series does extremely well. Maybe it’s just because you get to be Batman, and who doesn’t want to be Batman?
2) Tom Hiddleston as Loki
If I get burned for including this, I don’t care. The way Tom Hiddleston plays the God of Mischief is revolutionary (okay, maybe not that far) and defies that laws of science. He embodies the role of an emotionally unstable, clever, and deliciously evil villain to a T and in a way that’s almost scary. Loki is a character to love to hate and hate to love, and Hiddleston’s demeanor both on and off the screen just make it all the better. The way he dresses in leather and gold certainly doesn’t help much, either.
1) Christopher Nolan’s Batman films
As possibly the most well-recieved rendition on the list, Christpher Nolan’s Batman movies are argueably the start of the superhero movie pandemic. And boy, have they some a long way. Even after the slight skip after Heath Ledger’s unfortunent passing, the final movie held strong in the box office and opinion. The stories they chose to tell were dramatic and entertaining, and the casting was superb. You’d just have to look at the villains to realize that. And just like Arkham Asylum, they had little nods to the comics with mentions of other chracters. This series is one of those that you could watch over and over without getting bored, and really captures the iconic symbol of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight.