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What's Your Favorite Marvel Movie?

A new summer of Marvel movies invites reflection upon those that've come before.

Once upon a time, Marvel-based movies were mighty hard to come by; they were something dreamed about on message boards and wished for in fan magazines. Now, they're a fact of yearly movie-going existence and, considering how we're looking forward to no less than three of them this summer (a once-inconceivable number!) I figured it was a good time to reflect on my three favorites so far...

All said, the Pump Panel remix of New Order's "Confusion" is one hell of a pump up song, too. 


The bone I often have to pick with most action-adventure movies these days is the credibility of the hero and the villain. I can easily suspend my disbelief over any amount of fantasy, but I simply can’t buy a lead who doesn’t have the build or the steely intensity to make me believe, with no uncertainty, that he wouldn’t hesitate to kick my ass. Following that, the heavy needs to be genuinely threatening or, at least, evil enough for me to absolutely relish the scene where he finally gets his comeuppance. BLADE’s the movie that started this renaissance and for good reason. It stands strong today as one of the most bad ass action movies ever because Snipes is just on the whole time. When he takes down the vampire goons, it’s brutal, nasty and efficient. On the other end, Stephen Dorff’s re-envisioned vampire yuppie Deacon Frost lays on the scummy-ness so wonderfully thick that you can’t help but pump your fist when Blade lectures him about ice-skating at the end before finishing him off.

I also dig that this unapologetically embraces how hollow Blade would actually be in the circumstances. Trained from his wretched misbegotten birth to hate vampires almost pathologically (and to hate himself by extension,) there’s literally nothing except cold, persistent vengeance in his life. Some people look at the romantic sub-plot in this as being underdeveloped, but I think it’s an unusually honest treatment of that traditional “falling for the tall dark stranger” trope. Outside of the sexually-charged blood drinking scene at the climax, there’s not much affection between Blade and Dr. Karen Wright because there's really no capacity for that stuff in him. == TEASER ==

 Yeah, this shot's pretty emblematic of the whole movie.


Doc Ock's a little silly and the digital stunt doubles looked weird even in '04, but this flick’s the best case of a Marvel movie that's more like a drama incidentally about superheroes. Secret identities have been interpreted through countless metaphors, but few have hit home as applicably as this has for me. You can’t help but feel for a kid whose struggling to reconcile the disparate spheres of his life; whose sense of personal responsibility spreads him so thin that’s he’s denying himself basic human needs. I remember how frustrated viewers were about the first movie's ending where Peter resists every natural urge in himself and walks away from MJ for fear of putting her in danger again. This flick picks up that arc up and offers a fitting answer to an age-old superhoic dilemma in superheroes as Pete and MJ realize that repressing their feelings is just as terrible a fate as getting dropped off a bridge.  

Obviously, this is on the exact opposite spectrum of BLADE. The most powerful scene doesn’t involve Spidey swinging over New York or brawling with Doc Ock: it’s the emotionally-honest dinner table conversation where he confesses his responsibility in Uncle Ben’s death to Aunt May. Watch Tobey Maguire’s eyes there and you can just see the years of unsaid guilt that’ve been eating him up inside. Superheroes are so often understood to be role models, but few of the stories about them can extoll messages that relate as directly to your real life as this does. Being honest about your feelings or about something wrong you've done can take just as much courage as knocking out some super-villain’s solar doom machine can - - that's a fabler theme that a rare number of movies, superhero or otherwise, have pulled off as touchingly.

 Needless to say, Jackman's out-of-left-field turn in this makes the whole movie.


I dig the first three movies (yes, even THE LAST STAND. Lighten up.) but this still impresses me for how tight it is. The pacing's lean, there aren’t any loose plot threads left dangling at the conclusion and no unnecessary appendages have been kept on for misguided purist reasons. Considering how notoriously-convoluted the X-Mythos can get, it's damn near amazing how Singer's crew was able to make this accessible while still capturing 40 odds years of history and revisions. By centering a very Western style plot on Wolverine and Rogue's begrudging kinship as nomads, new viewers got handy guides into this world that didn't make everybody want to roll their eyes the way that most "entry-level characters" do and veteran fans got to see familiar territory with a fresh set of eyes. Indeed, I consider this to be the true ULTIMATE X-MEN and it's still a really liberating novelty to see Wolverine act as rude as always made out to be in the comics, but never really allowed to be.

As always, this whole article is but an invitation for all you maniacs to post your own favorites.
173 Comments Refresh
Posted by Billy Batson

Haven't got one.

Posted by jakeeboi17

X-MEN <3

Posted by ComicMan24

I liked the X-Men movies and the first two Blade movies.

Posted by CRAIG

 The music was brilliant in Blade, but I really enjoyed The Punisher (2004) version .  

Posted by Grimoire

The Incredible Hulk of course. Watched it numerous times already. lol

Posted by mxer105

the punisher
Posted by Donovan Montgomery

Nice, I agree with those choices, and reasonings. 
As for my top picks, if you want the reasons why, you're gonna have to wait, lol. 
DD, just cause he's my fav.  Yes there were downers in the movie. 
Iron Man, verry surprising movie, wasn't expecting something that good for Iron Man. 
More later.

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Both X-men and Spider-Man are one of my favorite Marvel Movies of all time. 
Before their thrid movies ruined it for me......then I got over it by watching it over and over.
Posted by Outside_85

Blade stomps the others. (But number 3 should never have been made, along with both FF flicks, Daredevil, Electra...) 

Posted by Lvenger

1. Spider-Man 2
2. X-Men
3. Iron Man 2
Those are my personal top 3 Marvel movies although when the Avengers comes out that will top all other Marvel films (in theory)

Posted by DeadpoolvIronFist

1. X-Men 2 
2. Spiderman 2
3. Spiderman
Posted by TheCrowbar

Thor, the three minutes I saw was better than all the other movies combined(Except the Norton Hulk movie which I don't count because he got screwed out of the Avenger's movie)

Posted by Mr. Dead Pool

Spider-Man 1, The Punisher, Iron Man

Posted by OliverGuido

Spider-Man 2, hands down.  
Blade was ... ok.  
Next is Spider-Man (1), and maaaaaybe X-men. The plot was horrible. And storm had the lamest lines ever (something about a toad in a thunderstorm? )

Posted by sora_thekey

Spider-Man and Iron Man were great origin movies!

Posted by Manchine

1) Spiderman 2
2) Iron Man
3) Fantastic Four

Posted by TDK_1997

Spider-Man 2

Posted by NXH

X-Men 2

Posted by CrimsonAvenger

My favorites are:

  1. Iron man 2
  2. Incredible Hulk
  3. Iron man
  4. X2
  5. The Fantastic four
  6. Blade
  7. Blade II

My least favorites are:
  1. Spider-Man series
  2. Fantastic Four series
  3. Punisher (with Thomas Jane)
Posted by The Jeff

Spider-Man 2
Iron Man
Punisher (2004)
The Incredible Hulk

Posted by Croi

The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man
Iron Man 2.

Posted by DeadpoolvIronFist
@OliverGuido said:
"Spider-Man 2, hands down.  Blade was ... ok.  Next is Spider-Man (1), and maaaaaybe X-men. The plot was horrible. And storm had the lamest lines ever (something about a toad in a thunderstorm? ) "

Do you know what happens to a toad when it's struck by lightning?  
The same thing that happens to everything else!                               
Posted by Ninjistic
  1. Blade 2
  2. Blade 1
  3. Iron Man
Posted by DKing_CiCADA

I really don't like any to be honest, Blade I can watch cause I don't read the comics and get pissed off about it. I guess just iron man and hulk besides that I like what they have been doing except ironman 2 so much they had to squeeze into there maybe too much. Not crazy about x-men because I dont really feel like they are a team which is what the xmen are all about. In the movies everyone goes off and does there own fight. And dont even get me started about spider-man I can rant and right a whole paper why they are terrible, the only good thing was the actor who played JJ. And I wasn't crazy about FF- sorry thats just how I feel

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

So far its 
Iron Man 1  

Spider-Man 1 or 2

 X-Men 2  

maybe Incredible Hulk.
Iron Man 1 because it set up his character, and showed a real development in his character to the point where he is the character in the comics.  He is determined, nothing else matters but being Iron man, and anyone who disagrees with him is wrong.  Spider-Man 1 was really good too, established the character and the types of stories Spider-man would be in (even if Tobey was a bad Peter Parker).  And I loved the twist they gave for why Peter let the robber go, because he was sort of justified.  But then it turns around on Peter.  Spider-Man 2 was great too though, even though some of the things weren't exactly in line with the comic, like Doc Ock's motivations and character, still was really good and if you look at the 1st appearance of Dock Ock in the comics the movie follows that sort of.  He is a scientist, lab accident, becomes Doc Ock, (blames others for his mistakes, everyone out to get him) holds several people hostage while he completes his experiments, defeats Spider-Man (who actually quits), and etc.  X-Men 2:  X-Men United (I guess its called) was good too.  It didn't have the necessary exposition that the first X-men had to have, and it wasn't the mistake X-men 3 was.  It also had a really good perspective on humans and mutants, Stryker wanting his son cured of being a mutant, experimentation on mutants, lots of good story there.
Incredible Hulk by Ed Notron was really great too, it had the whole Moby Dick thing with Ross and Hulk, except Ross made the Hulk.  I also loved that it showed that the Hulk wasn't some mindless thing, even as the Hulk he had some thinking and was protective of innocent people.  It had a BIG monster brawl.  It not only drew from the TV series, but the comic too.  It had lots and lots of good stuff in it in my opinion (including Stan Lee's best cameo), and I would have loved to see that version expanded on.  Would have loved to see the Leader brought in, She-Hulk, Doc Samson, it could have gone on and on. 
So those are my very favorites.  Although from the looks of Thor, I might want to add that later.  Maybe Captain America too, but we will have to see.
Punisher, with Jane, was almost good to me.  But there was a few things that needed changing before I would count it, like removing Travolta from the movie, making it less about him setting traps and more about him shooting people, and showed him targeting more criminals than just one crime family.  Also I wasn't too happy with the whole family vacation death thing, the reason the crime family attacks him, or the reason he wears a skull shirt.
Blade 1 almost counted too.  It was really really good, but I just wasn't that big of a fan of it.
Posted by xerox_kitty

(not really... X2 is probably my favourite, but I do love this for being so cheesy & bad ;)
Posted by MooseyMcMan

Iron Man! Both of them, actually. Iron Men? 

Posted by Nia Wolf
Best: 1) X-Men;  2) Blade;  3) Spider-man;  4) Iron Man
B-movies: 1) Fantastic Four;  2) Daredevil  3) Punisher 4) The Incredible Hulk  
Craps: 1) Ghost Rider; 2) Man-Thing 3) Elektra
Posted by Bestostero

I like X-Men the Last Stand and X2.  I don't like any of the other Marvel movies at all... hopefully that'll change with the release of the upcoming Marvel titles

Posted by Rhi

1 Blade 
2 Iron Man 
3 X-Men 

I so badly wanted to like the Wolverine movie because of Gambit, Deadpool and Silverfox but it sucked. 
Posted by KZR

Iron Man 2 
I don't mind those ones.

Edited by thecheckeredman

I've never been a fan of the IRON MAN character, so IM1 completely caught me off guard.  If I had to pick a single Marvel movie it'd have to be that one. 

Blade: A surprisingly fun action flick…I never saw that comin’ 3/5

X-Men: A solid adaptation of a convoluted property for the wider audience 3/5

Blade II: A decent sequel on par with the original 3/5

Spider-Man: A very good first Spidey film save the silly-looking Goblin 3/5

Daredevil: Bad casting, direction, and story that could have better played out across 2-3 movies 1/5

X2: A sequel that bests its original with more mutants for the masses and a message 4/5

Hulk: Hulk vs. a giant mutant poodle and his dad is the Absorbing Man, epic fail 1/5

The Punisher: How come people keep getting this character so wrong? 2/5

Spider-Man 2: A sequel that improves upon the original and at least gives us a better bad guy 4/5

Blade: Trinity:-shudder- 0/5

Elektra:See Blade: Trinity 0/5

Man-Thing: At least this flick knew it was horrible, still 0/5

Fantastic Four: Done far better by Pixar when it was called The Incredibles…2/5

X-Men: The Last Stand: Sad end to a promising trilogy 2/5

Ghost Rider: Should have been a double feature with Man-Thing 0/5

Spider-Man 3:See X-Men: The Last Stand 2/5

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: Improves upon the original but that’s not saying much 3/5

Iron Man: Little to no expectations by this time, surprising win! 4/5

The Incredible Hulk: Like the homage to the tv show, but the bad CGI...egad 1/3

Punisher: War Zone: Didn’t even bother…shut it down!

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Shouldn't have even bothered… 1/5

Iron Man 2: Doesn't improve on the original, suffered sequel excess fever 3/5 


Posted by Yumulu

Blade is just superior to any other marvel movie.

Edited by Squaredcircle

4way tie: Xmen #1 
                Iron Man #1 
                Blade #1               
                Spider Man#1 
Excellent article by the way. Fair and honest and insightful and supremely well written.
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

My top is: 
1. Spider-man series 
2. Fantastic Four series 
3.Iron Man Series

Posted by Atari_Graphics

My favs in the appropriate order goes like this. 
1) Iron Man 
2) Incredible Hulk 
3) Iron Man 2 
4) Spider Man 2 
5) X Men 
6) Blade 2
7) Spider Man 
8) Blade 
9) X Men 2 
10) Spider Man 3

Posted by Chris207

WOW what a question... 
I am a huge Marvel fan, and as such have seen every film made except Howard the Duck, and the made for TV Man-Thing. I even sat through Hasselhoff as Nick Fury! Some were great, some were just there, and some sucked @$$, but you're asking for a favorite, which means "The Best", and if I had to pick one it would be... 
Here's why... 
1) RDJ - He OWNS that role.  

2) Jon Fav - He did a great job directing. Yeah he's out of the third one, but he made this film from a place of respect and love and it shows. 
3) The Story - We see how IM could exist in the real world. 
4) MARVEL STUDIOS. 'Nuff said. 
5) The Future - Because of this movie, there's a whole Marvel Movie Universe with butloads of potential stories, and it grew very much the same way Stan developed the Marvel Universe. 
I've waited over twenty years for my childhood heroes to make it to the screen at all, and I'll probably see the new Spider-Man, X-Men and Ghost Rider films, but I'm willing to wait twenty more for Sony, Fox, and whoever else ownes movie rights to these characters to do what's right and sell them back to Marvel Studios so they can be done right. 
 - Excelsior
Posted by Loki9876

1. iron man series
2 incridible hulk
3 spider-man 2

Posted by comicbikerscott

x-men, hulk, ff, ghost rider, sipder-man i love all the marvel movies
Posted by Sergotron

X-Men 2 

Posted by yankeemanf

i choose eitha iron man or x-men

Posted by The Sadhu

Incredible Hulk 
Iron Man 
Punisher & Punisher: War Zone 
Spider Man 
Dare Devil wasn't half bad either...
Posted by pikahyper
@xerox-kitty said:
(not really... X2 is probably my favourite, but I do love this for being so cheesy & bad ;) "
I loved Generation X :P
My fav's would Be Blade, Howard the Duck, Red Sonja, the original Punisher and Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. It was only a tv pilot but I would also include Power Pack.
Moderator Online
Posted by EdwardWindsor

I have a list that shows my opinion on this preety well.  thou only 3 of top 10 are marvel.

Posted by Raven0207

Iron Man  
The Punisher
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

Iron Man 
Spider-Man 2 
X-Men 1 and 2 

Posted by goldenkey

Spider-man, Hulk, Ironman
Posted by Loki9876
@thecheckeredman: i think you're opinion is pretty good exept for the incredible hulk 1/3 i would give it 4/5 i think iron man 2 is atleast a 3,5/5 or 4/5