We are currently blessed by an era of superhero movies, although they were not a new phenomenon. With Marvel’s long-term strategy of movie-releases, beginning with Iron Man in 2008 and the birth of ‘Phase 1’ of the Avengers storyline. However, there have also been a variety of other superhero outlets, such as DC’s Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman and Fox’s Marvel comic adaptations of Deadpool and X-Men. However, when you consider the film as a standalone feature, as opposed to automatically good because of the franchise it belongs to, it demands an alternative perspective. So, which superhero movies are the best of all time?
It’s got to start with Iron Man
Iron Man is iconic, and it contributed to the superhero hype we see today. There had been some excellent superhero films beforehand, but this one got the attention of people around the world and practically began the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it today. Aside from its status in the MCU, as a standalone movie, it holds its ground, opening the eyes of Tony Stark to the destruction his weapons have caused, making him face harsh realities. Aside from that, he also had no problem revealing his identity as Iron man to the world, making him a phenomenon. It had a strong soundtrack and appealed to so many people around the world. While Captain America may be the first avenger, Iron Man stole everyone’s hearts first.
So, while this relies on a few previous movies for context, the film in itself is brilliant. They really nail the humor in this one, without losing Thor’s simplistic warrior attitude. The 80’s feel has become quite popular within movies, as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor: Ragnarok makes use of this. There is also a shocking cross-over, featuring the Incredible Hulk as a minor adversary before Thor is able to bring him to his senses. We’re also introduced to the last Valkyrie, a band of fierce warrior Asgardian women, who we may see in Avengers: Endgame.
Batman: The Dark Knight
The entire trilogy was phenomenal, even if it was a little long. However, of all three, ‘The Dark Knight’ claims top spot. It grossed over 1 billion dollars and featured amazing actors such as Heath Ledger. People were blown away by Ledger’s performance and his characterization of the Joker, bringing a totally different perspective that no one had ever seen before. This movie, in particular, changed the way people viewed Batman, and was dark and thrilling, just as everyone had hoped.
Guardians of the Galaxy
While this is not one of the highest grossing Marvel movies, it gave the world something it never knew it needed. The whole film is refreshing and comical, thanks to the portrayal of Star-Lord by Chris Pratt. Many people were skeptical about this group of vigilantes-come-warriors, but they soon proved themselves and have saved the galaxy on more than one occasion. It might not be as mind-blowing and action-packed, but it was a wholesome reprieve from the seriousness of what was to come.
Everyone will have a personal preference, and numbers aren’t everything, only an indication of who paid for a cinema ticket. As it stands, ‘Avatar’ remains the highest grossing film of all time; let’s see where Avengers: Endgame ends up.