Superhero movies have been dominating the box office for over the last decade, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Last year alone, two of the highest grossing movies of all time came out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’re talking, of course, about Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War — which both earned well over a billion dollars apiece. And this year alone, we’re already promised three new MCU movies with the upcoming releases of Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
As far as DC fans are concerned, Aquaman is currently dominating the worldwide box office — having earned over $945 million to date — while Shazam! is set to hit theaters in less than three months (Wikipedia).
While men are more often the stars of these comic book movies, there is still been a fair share of popular female heroes, including Black Widow, Gamora, and Wonder Woman. Not to mention that the massive success of 2017’s Wonder Woman will no doubt pave the way for an increase of female-led superhero movies in the coming years.
So it's time to test our comic book movie know-how and see which one of these female superheroes would make for the perfect wife!
Before this 2008 film was released, Iron Man was far from a mainstream character. But the movie not only managed to make the character a favorite of many, but it ended up kicking off the biggest film franchise of all time. Of course, we’re talking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has now run for over 10 years and turned out 20 movies to date. This year promises three more, with Robert Downey Jr. set to reprise his role of Tony Stark/ Iron Man in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame (Wikipedia).
The first live-action film to feature the fully assembled Justice League came out in November of 2017. Unfortunately, the film did not perform as well as many would have hoped. It ended up grossing around $657 million worldwide against a $300 million budget. And with the cost of marketing factored in, many film analysts have speculated that Justice League might have actually lost money. That being said, many comic book fans were still pumped to see this iconic DC team up on the big screen for the first time (Wikipedia).
Many comic book fans, Spider-man fans in particular, spent a lot of time waiting for the perfect Venom movie to come out. While the alien character was portrayed by Topher Grace in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, the symbiote from outer space finally got his own feature with Tom Hardy in the titular role. The movie was marketed as being dark and gritty, not unlike the recent Zack Snyder films like Man of Steel, but it did have a light-hearted, almost buddy cop feel to it in the end. Being newer though, it's understandable if not everybody has seen it yet.
With the surge of superhero team-up movies in the last handful of years, it’s easy to forget how much of a big deal the first Avengers film really was. But up until this point, we had never seen the likes of a shared cinematic universe quite like the MCU. After enjoying their own solo movies, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America found themselves teaming up to take on Loki and his army of enemies when they launch an assault on Earth (Wikipedia).
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:
Miles Morales may be the main character of this Spider-Man movie. But there are no shortage of other web-slingers in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Despite its very specific premise, this film has gone on to earn massive critical acclaim, earning it a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a Golden Globe for the Best Animated Feature Film of the Year (Wikipedia). So have you gotten a chance to check out this movie in theaters? Or are you waiting for an at-home release?
Man of Steel:
After Superman Returns ultimately didn't take flight back in 2006, it would be a number of years until the iconic DC hero would make it back to the big screen in 2013’s Man of Steel. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, who offered audiences a much darker, more realistic take on Superman. The film also served as the tentpole movie for DC’s Extended Universe, which has found Henry Cavill reprising his role as the Man of Steel in a number of films since (Wikipedia).
Most would agree that the original live-action Batman film series started to seriously dip in quality thanks to the releases of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin — both of which were released in the 1990s. Therefore, writer and director Christopher Nolan seemed to have the deck stacked against him when he wanted to bring Batman back to the big screen with this 2005 reboot. But this much more realistic take on the Caped Crusader proved to be a massive hit with critics and audiences alike.
After staying largely grounded in reality for their first three outings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe dipped into fantasy territory for this 2011 release, which centered around the popular Marvel character and Norse god, Thor. The film followed the God of Thunder as he is stripped of his powers and sent to Earth, where he must protect the planet from the invasion of the Frost Giants. Thor also succeeded in setting up the villain for the forthcoming Avengers film with its introduction of Loki, Thor’s adopted and mischievous brother (Wikipedia).
After playing the character on the big screen for the better part of two decades, Hugh Jackman parted ways with Wolverine in this 2017 send-off. The film largely stood alone from the remainder of the X-Men franchise, which finds Logan living in a semi-post-apocalyptic wasteland. The film felt equally inspired by both the superhero and western movies, as Wolverine travels north in an attempt to deliver his daughter to safety. Logan ended up being a massive critical and commercial success (Wikipedia).
Though the character may not have been a spitting image of his comic book counterpart, many fans were still excited over the prospect of actually getting a Constantine movie. The film follows an occult detective, played by Keanu Reeves, who takes it upon himself to try and send as many demonic forces back to the underworld as he can. The film was a modest box office success, grossing around $230 million against a $100 million production budget, though a sequel to the film was never made (Wikipedia).
Though it may feel a bit dated today, 2002’s Spider-Man really helped pave the way for the superhero genre. The film was directed by Sam Raimi, who was largely known for making horror films before this blockbuster was released. Yet he would go on to direct the other two films in the trilogy, all of which found Tobey Maguire suiting up to play the iconic web-slinger. The first film in the series found Spider-Man facing off against one of his more infamous foes, the Green Goblin (Wikipedia).
Guardians of the Galaxy:
When Guardians of the Galaxy was released back in 2014, it really managed to shake up the MCU. Now, superheroes no longer needed name recognition in order to make for a successful installment in the franchise. Not to mention that Guardians of the Galaxy was chock full of off-beat humor — which has popped up in a number of MCU movies since. The film found Chris Pratt — then of Parks and Rec fame — suiting up to play the space criminal Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord (Wikipedia).
The latest installment of the DC Extended Universe, Aquaman was released on December 21st of last year. The film finds Jason Momoa reprising his role of Arthur Curry from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League — this time for his first solo outing. The story revolves around Aquaman trying to reclaim the throne of Atlantis from his half-brother, Orm. The film currently holds a 65% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed over $940 million to date (Wikipedia).
Based on the Judge Dredd comic books, Dredd was released back in 2012 to largely positive reviews. However, the film failed to find its audience upon initial release, resulting in a gross of only $41.5 million worldwide. However, the film has enjoyed a second life thanks to at-home releases, where Dredd is now considered a bit of a cult classic. The film stars Karl Urban as the title character. Urban is probably best known for his role of Bones in the Star Trek film series, as well as Eomer in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Wikipedia).
X-Men: Days of Future Past:
After X-Men: First Class managed to explore the earlier days of the mutants, Days of Future Past sought to bridge the gap between the original series and the prequels. The result was a newly reset X-Men timeline, which found Wolverine helping to reverse the events of the past under the hopes that it will result in a better future. The film became the highest-grossing in the series at that time, only to be beaten out by Deadpool two years later (Wikipedia).
Based on the comic series by Frank Miller, Sin City was co-directed by Miller along with the help of Robert Rodriguez. To better capture the neo-noir look of the comic books, the directors heavily employed the use of CGI — resulting in the majority of the film being shot in front of green screens. Sin City featured a large ensemble cast, made up of Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, and Clive Own, among others. A long-awaited sequel was released nearly a decade later (Wikipedia).
Iron Man 2:
The third film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 2 once again found Robert Downey Jr. suiting up for the title role — this time to deal with the blowback of him going public as a superhero. The film was released in 2010 and was once again directed by John Favreau. While Iron Man 2 was once again received positively, it didn’t garner quite as much praise as its predecessor — with some pointing out that the film’s antagonists were not as well developed (Wikipedia).
Avengers: Infinity War:
Released last year, Avengers: Infinity War was the first MCU movie to find the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. But despite our heroes’ best efforts, they weren't able to stop the Mad Titan Thanos from acquiring all six Infinity Stones. For the first time, one of the franchise's films ended with the villain emerging victorious. This is bound to be addressed in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, which will find the surviving heroes grappling with the fallout of Thanos’ snap (Wikipedia).
The Dark Knight:
Often considered one of the greatest comic book movies of all time, The Dark Knight is the second installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. Christian Bale once again returned to play the Caped Crusader, this time to face off against Batman’s most iconic villain: the Joker. Though we’ve seen many incarnations of the villain before and since, many agreed that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime was unparalleled. So surely you too have seen this comic book movie?
Ant-Man and the Wasp:
The last MCU movie to hit the big screen, Ant-Man and the Wasp may have come out after Avengers: Infinity War, but the majority of the storyline occurred beforehand. The film found Scott Lang trying to serve out the final days of his house arrest, only to get caught up in another mission alongside the original Ant-Man and his daughter, the Wasp. The film was another home run for the MCU, earning Ant-Man and the Wasp an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, along with $622 million at the worldwide box office (Wikipedia).
Often considered the best installment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Spider-Man 2 was released back in 2004. The film once again finds Peter Parker trying to balance his day-to-day life with being a superhero, this time while facing off against Doctor Octopus. The film was praised for its ability to create a sympathetic villain, who is ultimately the one who ends up saving the day by the film’s end. Spider-Man 2 went on to gross over $780 million worldwide (Wikipedia).
Serving as both a reboot and a sequel to the Christopher Reeve series, Superman Returns found Brandon Ruth suiting up to play the Man of Steel in this 2006 film. The film follows Superman as he attempts to reconnect with Lois Lane while finding himself pitted against Lex Luthor once again. The film was a modest critical and commercial success, but it apparently did not perform well enough to merit a sequel, and Superman would stay off the big screen for the better part of a decade (Wikipedia).
The Incredible Hulk:
Since the role was taken over by Mark Ruffalo in 2012’s The Avengers, some may forget that The Incredible Hulk is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all. After all, outside of the actor change, many elements from the movie were never carried over into the remained of the series — the one exception being the character of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross. That being said, The Incredible Hulk was still a hit at the time of its release, with many agreeing that it was a massive step up from 2003’s Hulk (Wikipedia).
Before the release of this 1989 film, Batman was perhaps best-known through the campy Adam West TV series. Many viewers at the time might not have even realized that the character had a much darker origin story in the comics, which is exactly what director Tim Burton sought to explore in this Batman movie. Michael Keaton suited up to play the Caped Crusader, where he surprised many with his dark and brooding performance — as Keaton was largely known as a comedic actor before tackling the role (Wikipedia).
While many fans of the character get excited for the 2019 reboot starring David Harbour, we can always take a look back at the previous Hellboy film series — which began with this 2004 installment. The film was a passion project of Guillermo del Toro, who brought his iconic gothic style to the story of this Marvel antihero. Ron Perlman suited up to play Hellboy, in which many agreed that he was the perfect fit for the part (Wikipedia). So, have you seen the movie?
Today, Daredevil is best-known thanks to the Marvel/ Netflix series, where the show has raked up critical acclaim — earning it a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, the 2003 film didn’t go over quite as well with many fans and critics. It only managed to a kick up a 44% approval rating, with many pointing out that the film simply couldn’t stand up to the likes of the X-Men and Spider-Man series. Daredevil found Ben Affleck playing the title hero (Wikipedia).
Released in 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse finds the iconic group of superheroes facing off against one of the oldest and most powerful mutants in existence: Apocalypse. The film was the latest installment of the X-Men prequel series, which is largely expected to conclude with the release of Dark Phoenix later this year. After the massive success of First Class and Days of Future Past, Apocalypse represented a slight decline in quality according to the critics, as seen in the film's 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Wikipedia).
Captain America: Civil War:
Though it may sport the Captain America title, Civil War is very much an Avengers film, as it featured the most extensive cast of superheroes at that point in the MCU. Among them were both Spider-Man and Black Panther — who make their franchise debuts in the film. Captain America: Civil War found the Avengers breaking up into two factions, one led by Steve Rogers, and the other by Tony Stark. These lines also ended up dividing many fans of the franchise over which faction was in the right (Wikipedia).
Thor: The Dark World:
Often considered one of the weaker films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: The Dark World was far from a poorly received film. Many just agreed that it lacked the pop and memorability of the other installments. The film found the God of Thunder facing off against the Dark Elves, whose leader Malekith is in pursuit of one of the Infinity Stones, known as the Aether. Natalie Portman once again returned to play Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster, who is infected by the Aether against her will (Wikipedia).
Despite being one of the most beloved superhero teams from Marvel comic, the Fantastic Four haven’t had the most successful go of things on the big screen. This seemed no more apparent than in the 2015 film, which tried to offer up a grittier take on the characters, only to underwhelm both critically and commercially. However, many Marvel fans now have hopes that the Fantastic Four will make their way into the MCU, as the Fox/ Disney deal continues to be worked out (Wikipedia).
Released in 2011, Green Lantern found Ryan Reynolds suiting up to play his first superhero with Hal Jordan. The film follows the test pilot as he is recruited into the Green Lantern Corps — an intergalactic police force that uses their Power Rings to try and thwart evil. The film also starred Blake Lively, who would go on to marry Reynolds a year following the film's release. Unfortunately, Green Lantern performed poorly, preventing any possible sequel from being released (Wikipedia).
The Dark Knight Rises:
The third and final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises finds an aging Bruce Wayne struggling to face off against the far more powerful Bane. Bane even succeeded in breaking Batman’s back — just as he does in the comics — which allows the villain to take over Gotham while Bruce goes through a long and painful recovery. The film was once again positively received by critics, though not quite as much as its predecessor, The Dark Knight (Wikipedia).
X-Men: First Class:
After the third X-Men film and X-Men Origins: Wolverine represented a drop in quality from the first two installments, X-Men: First Class managed to breath new life into the series by focusing on the younger days of Professor Xavier and Magneto. The film featured an entirely new cast of characters, with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender serving as the new series leads. As a result, First Class ended up launching an entire new storyline for the X-Men films, which will continue this year with Dark Phoenix (Wikipedia).
The third and final film in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, most agreed that Spider-Man 3 never quite lived up to the success of the first two movies. Many pointed to the overabundance of villains as the story’s main problem, as Peter Parker is not only faced with squaring off against his darker half, but he has to fight Venom, the Sandman, and the New Goblin as well. That being said, the film was still a commercial success, grossing over $890 million worldwide (Wikipedia).
While many point to the success of the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises as a giant leap for the superhero genre, many forget that 1998’s Blade came out before them all. The film featured Wesley Snipes in the role of the Marvel anti-hero — a half-human, half-vampire who seeks to get rid of the evil vampires from the world. The film was a success among fans, resulting in two sequels being released in 2002 and 2004 (Wikipedia). But have you seen the original installment?
V for Vendetta:
Based on the Vertigo limited series, V for Vendetta is a sci-fi thriller which was released back in 2005. The film is set in a dystopian future, where a tyrannical regime looms over the rest of society. That is, until a mysterious figure known as V begins to launch an underground assault against the powers that be. The film stars Hugo Weaving as V, while Natalie Portman plays Evey, a young woman who gets caught up in the freedom fighter’s master plan (Wikipedia).
After the original Deadpool shattered audiences’ expectations in nearly every way imaginable, the probability of Deadpool sequel seemed increasingly inevitable. And fans finally got to revisit the character earlier this year with the release of Deadpool 2. Once again, the dark and off-beat humor took center stage, this time as Wade Wilson tries to stop a young mutant from turning bad forever. Josh Brolin and Zazie Beets joined the Deadpool cast in their roles of Cable and Domino, respectfully (Wikipedia).
With the Thor series largely being considered the weakest link of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the filmmakers seemed like they clearly listened to their fanbase by giving the God of Thunder a massive makeover in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. Thor was back and funnier than ever, this time, as he’s sucked off to the garbage planet of Sakaar and forced to fight for his life gladiator-style against former team member the Hulk. Loki was back in the franchise once again, this time serving as more of a friendly nuisance than an outright foe (Wikipedia).
Before Zack Snyder helped establish the tone of the DC Extended Universe, he had already served as the director of this DC property. Watchmen was release in 2009 and based on the limited series of the same name — which is widely considered one of the greatest comic book stories ever written. While many agreed that the film has its flaws, most still praised Watchmen for its ability to adapt the massively ambitious and complicated story presented in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic series (Wikipedia).
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
The first live-action film to feature the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel on the big screen, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released in 2016. Henry Cavill reprised his role of Superman from Man of Steel, while Ben Affleck made his debut as Bruce Wayne/ Batman — a role the actor had long been interested in playing. Unfortunately, the film did not land with critics as well as many would have hoped, resulting in Batman v Superman achieving only a 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Wikipedia).