Given the panorama, one would think that superhero cinema started with the MCU, with ‘Avengers’ (and that little preamble that is ‘Iron Man’) going wild at the box office and laying the groundwork for how to make a super people movie. And that prior to that, another successful trio, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, conditioned the tone and aesthetic of all DC Universe-based cinema, until the grateful turn of ‘Aquaman’ arrived. and ‘Shazam! ‘. And it seems that of everything that orbits the two galaxies, there are parodies, experiments, and low-intensity superhero movies.
And this is not quite true. In fact, the MCU has imposed a way of visualizing superheroes that do that when a certain type of gem appears in “Spider-Man: A New Universe,” which disrupts any concepts we had about the genre and rebuilds them. in a radically new way, briefly remember, we’ve watched superhero movies our entire lives. Most, outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And many of them, like or more worthy. Maybe less spectacular, definitely less ticketing, maybe with less avalanche of merchandising… but deserves to be remembered as well.
We set to work to demonstrate that Not all onscreen superheroes were invented by the MCU. These are some of the best superhero movies the cinema has given us before Marvel’s avalanche.
It seems incredible that a hero with the dark and dramatic Batman fame has to his credit three of the best comic book superhero-based comedies of all time: the magnificent and always vindicable “Batman and Robin”, the very objective “Batman: The LEGO Movie” and this feature film version of the incarnation camp Bat Man TV Show. Well aware of its ridiculousness and brimming with moments of glory, all the tics of the series are there, along with a few others that have rightly been passed on to Olympus with masked humor, like the shark repellant or the awesome gag to the bomb.
While it’s easy to miss its merits today, “Superman” is full of milestones: it’s the first blockbuster that officially adapts a comic book of its kind, featuring top notch actors and effects and media. overwhelming. It’s become a mass phenomenon that has never been equaled, not even by Marvel.. And he turned the structure of his screenplay into a canon that even modern productions are always afraid to deviate from. With a unique and very appropriate balance between humor camp, tragedy for all audiences and fluid action, “Superman” is still today a veritable festival of color and fantasy.
All movies in the Marvel universe ranked from worst to best
‘The Toxic Avenger’ (1984)
One of the most terrifying and grotesque parodies of the superhero phenomenon has come with this mutant from New Jersey who falls into a barrel of radioactive waste and, dressed in a tutu and armed with a mop, travels badly around the city. What is half the lysergic version of ‘Carrie’ and half the story of a Batman supervillain has become the most iconic film from indescribable producer Troma Films. Oddly enough, the hero ended up staring in something so typical of a Marvel comic – but not so appropriate for a Troma character – as a children’s cartoon series with an eco-friendly message. He had several suites (plus an extra in the wallet) and crosses with other heroes of the house like Sergeant Kabukiman, in true comedic style.
One of the most memorable superhero films of the nascent 1990s, with a sense of wonder absolutely unmatched by any other show in its genre. Incomparable even with the work of Sam Raimi, who would return to superheroes with the most spectacular, successful and cold Spider-Man trilogy. In ‘Darkman’, Raimi combined vindictive urban superheroes with tragic universal monsters, and the result was a feverish superhero opera and with a leading trio (Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand and Larry Drake as villain) anthology.
‘Batman: The Ghost’s Mask’ (1993)
The best Batman movie of all time had to be based, of course, on the unforgettable ’90s animated series, which with its refined aesthetic and assimilating the constants of the Bat Man has become the perfect adaptation of the DC icon. Here we have a villain created for the occasion, but also a Joker who carries more direct moral dilemmas and with less fuss than Heath Ledger. Visually compelling and thematically complex, but also great fun and mindful of the essence of superhero fiction.
‘The Raven’ (1994)
With Batman cinematics at the height of his popularity, this comic book-based pseudo-superhero underground He borrowed elements both from the conventions of the genre (superhuman powers, combat capacity, will to solve everything at once, the raincoat as a cape of chops) and the cinema of revenge, of which he seized the point of departure of its plot. Who knows if the movie would have had the same impact if the promising Brandon Lee hadn’t died under unusual circumstances, but the truth is, the result is very nice, a gothic pop exhibit with a great, very inbred soundtrack, in a fruitful mix of superheroism, post-Burton terror and music video aesthetic for the villains who are not allowed to play on the street until late.
‘Batman Forever’ (1995)
Any of the first three Batman movies could have been here, but we kept it because “Batman Returns” is more of a Tim Burton movie than a Batman movie, and the first installment, despite its findings and its historical significance, is very rigid as a superhero adventure. “Batman Forever” is a wonderful sum of all that needs to be a colorful and audience-friendly adaptation of the DC hero, with some very intimate villains Portrayed by world-class actors, a Val Kilmer turned out to be Bruce Wayne and a lot of action, chase and gadgets. A little awkward, maybe, but like blockbuster The unpretentious, superheroic fantasy without excessive drama is second to none.
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Dispelling the “Batman and Robin” business fiasco, two years before “X-Men” (and one before another camouflaged superhero movie, “The Matrix”), ‘Blade’ is the real hinge between chaotic ’80s and’ 90s superhero cinema and a new era of increasingly loyal blockbusters and adaptations to comics. She started from source material that could have been a parody, being such a product of her time (decadent Hammadian Dracula + blaxploitation in the sixties), but she managed to take herself very seriously. Wesley Snipes is devastating FreshThe gore and martial arts sequences are extraordinary and the thunderous and boisterous comic book tunes remain at the top of a hilarious film that would generate an interesting sequel to Guillermo del Toro and a buzzing third episode.
«X-Men 2» (2000)
While the best Fox mutant productions (‘X-Men: First Generation’, ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’) were released while the MCU was already underway, there are undisputed points of interest in the installments. previous ones. To begin, they are the ones who paved the way for the superheroic explosion we are experiencing now. In ‘X-Men 2’, after a hesitant start to the franchise, we see an intertwined group with many moments of individual brilliance. There are villains with edges and charisma (that Magneto which continues to be among the best of Bryan Singer’s episodes), moments of brilliance like the extraordinary presentation of Rondador Nocturno, fruitful metaphors and winks. for fans, like the appearance of Colossus. Without ‘X-Men 2’ the MCU would be very different, but the truth is that almost twenty years later, this sequel still maintains the type perfectly.
“The Protected” (2000)
By the time superhero cinema as we understand it today was stretching with a few blockbuster movie Summers, M. Night Shyamalan was already doing one of the best thoughts on the genre that the cinema has given. He expertly adapted the superhero subjects to a calm, realistic style (the uniform, the origin story, the secret identity, the bond between the hero and the villain), with sophistication but without going overboard, so that – unlike ‘Glass’, also great but in a different way – it can be perfectly enjoyed by fans and those who are not. A wonder that explains perfectly, above all, why we love superhero fantasies so much.
«Spider-Man 2» (2004)
As we’ve seen, the second parts of superhero franchises are usually the best (or some of the best). The Spider-Man case is one of the clearest: this sequel it’s the most balanced between daily Peter Parker’s dramas (here with a great romantic part with Mary Jane) and explosive action, in this case against the franchise’s best villain, Doctor Octopus who is played by a disturbing but human Alfred Molina. The fight on the train is the best action scene in the series, and some horror movie footage draws Sam Raimi from “Darkman” himself.
“The Incredibles” (2004)
In a feverish creativity of superheroes, “The Incredibles” revolt a very happy experience that combined the parody of the genre with overwhelming creativity and inventiveness which made this ever witty and vibrant Pixar film (Brad Bird was just from “The Iron Giant”) a very remarkable superhero flick. The inspiration in Marvel philosophy in general and the Fantastic Four in particular was very clear, but on top of that, Bird filled everything with wonderful secondaries (Edna is a find) and a superb exploitation of the possibilities of fleeing powers. Perfect for a double program with a less successful aesthetic, but also very powerful in the “Megamind” concept.
‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
Even if Christopher Nolan’s films with Batman as the protagonist aren’t perfect, his influence has been as compelling as unintentionally bad (Because of him, DC has spent a decade stuck in skinny heroes and rainy alleys – even Superman!). From the trilogy we save the most precious, the second, far from the useless splendor of the first or the involuntary humorous delirium of the third. Thanks to Heath Ledger’s lavish roster as the Joker and a few bold storylines and staging ideas, this Batman adventure travels through the annals of the pre-avalanche Marvel superhero movies.