‘Iron Man 3′, ‘Man of Steel’, ‘The Wolverine’ – Which Superhero Movie Was the Best?

Published 2 years ago by

Iron Man 3 vs Man of Steel vs Wolverine discussion reviews 2013 Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine   Which Superhero Movie Was the Best?

We here at Screen Rant enjoy a good summer of big superhero movies, and though we walk away with our own opinions (which you can read in our movie review section), we’re also interested to hear from YOU. While RED 2R.I.P.D., Kick-Ass 2 and 2 Guns are all technically “comic book movies” releasing in summer 2013, we’re keeping our eye on the big three in question:  Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel and Fox’s The Wolverine

Read on for a quick breakdown of each film, and then vote in our poll at the bottom of the post to help rank your favorite superhero flick as the top-dog of the summer!


Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 Spoilers Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine   Which Superhero Movie Was the Best?


Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $1.2 Billion

Strengths: Iron Man 3 was of course buoyed by the massive success of The Avengers – but having star Robert Downey Jr. (the most bankable face in the Marvel Studios brand) front and center certainly didn’t hurt prospects. Iron Man 3 was definitely a big, thick, slice of summer fun, with Marvel Studios getting a little bit more generous with the budget and more bold with their filmmaking, allowing a great deal of creative control to rest in the hands of director Shane Black. The result was a Marvel movie that was a departure from the formulaic films of “Phase One,” an experiment that resulted in a huge pile of  box office earnings.

WeaknessesIron Man 3 was a bit “out there” for a lot of viewers; Shane Black’s approach to the material – and the BIG liberties he took with the mythos and characters – didn’t fit within the range of a lot of people’s expectations for a “superhero movie.” Some view that as the film’s greatest asset; but just as many others feel like Marvel Phase Two started off on a bad foot, as did the entire 2013 summer superhero movie season.


Man of Steel

Man of Steel Suit Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine   Which Superhero Movie Was the Best?


Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $644 million

StrengthsMan of Steel was tasked with re-introducing Superman on film to a whole new (and very different) generation than those raised on the Richard Donner classic. All debate about the movie’s quality aside, director Zack Snyder and star Henry Cavill at least managed to accomplish that lofty goal, and for better or worse, there is a new Superman in town. In addition, Man of Steel featured some of the best super-powered action ever put to screen, and  with a Batman vs. Superman sequel on the way, this property has never been hotter.

WeaknessesMan of Steel was a pretty divisive film amongst fans and critics alike, and didn’t reach the billion-dollar stratosphere of Iron Man 3. Some tag the new Superman and his world as clunky and joyless – and Supes did admittedly cause a TON of collateral damage to populated areas before snapping General Zod’s neck. MoS was a grittier, more somber and rougher vision of the classic character – and for a lot of fans, that was a deal-breaker.


The Wolverine

the wolverine Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine   Which Superhero Movie Was the Best?


Worldwide Box Office Earnings: $156 million* (film has just released in theaters)

Strengths: The talent of director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) really showed in the neo-Noir style of Wolverine’s adventure in Japan. Star Hugh Jackman was better (and buffer) than ever in his sixth outing as the character, and the film was probably the best exploration of Logan’s character that we’ve seen yet. And with The Wolverine kicking-off an expanded X-Men movie universe, there’s plenty of incentive for fans to see this flick.

WeaknessesThe Wolverine is a great character film; unfortunately, pretty much every “superhero” element wedged introduced into the movie (Yukio and Viper’s mutant powers, the mecha Silver Samurai, healing factor theft) is as silly and half-cooked as they come (seriously Viper, stop spitting on everybody!). In short: The Wolverine is a good piece of cinema, but only an average-level superhero actioner.


Which superhero movie of summer 2013 was YOUR favorite? Vote in our poll below!

[poll id="653"]


Iron Man 3Man of Steel and The Wolverine are all now in theaters.

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. Man of Steel for me.

    IM3 was just like like the previous movies, with the original Iron Man being the best of the trilogy imo.

    Man of Steel was very different from the superhero movies that we’ve seen, in terms of tone and in terms of the new interpretation of Superman. The first half of the film was simply phenomenal and that level of character development, I will say, is right on par with the Batman trilogy. While the second half was full blown action, it was the most amazing action sequences I’ve ever seen in a superhero movie.

    My only concern is that they keep the same tone for the upcoming ‘Superman vs. Batman’ and not turn it into something like the Avengers. That light-hearted popcorn flicks market is already covered by Marvel. Let Warners do their own thing.

    • That is the one thing I like about what DC and Warners are doing. They know how to market their movies and the characters, and not trying to make it a simple popcorn flick. Man of Steel marketed itself as a Sci-Fi movie containing Superman characters. The Nolan Batman trilogy marketed itself as a crime thriller with Batman characters. In my opinion, this is the way for DC to be successful.

    • I couldn’t have put it better myself. Too many pundits have made the lazy distinction to only see the two universes as a polarized struggle between the film studios.

      I really liked the philosophical and political endeavors that both films from DC/Warner Bros. have tackled in part, e.g. terrorism, vigilantism, and surveillance in the Dark Knight and eugenics, mankind’s place in the universe, and utilitarism in Man of Steel.

      • I do sort of agree with you here, but the big problem is that Marvel has outdone DC in both terms of quantity and profits. This means that DC is more and more likely to try and outdo Marvel at their own game. And theyre going to suck at it. In the 2000s, DC has released the following superhero movies: Catwoman, the Nolan Batman movies, Superman Returns, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, and Man of Steel. Jonah Hex, Catwoman, and Green Lantern were all attempts to emulate the Marvel popcorn flick formula, and objectively, they sucked. Catwoman is consistently rated one of the worst films of all time. Perhaps more problematic though, is the fact that some of the deeper DC films were seen as pretentious (not saying that they were, just that people saw it that way), namely Watchmen and Superman Returns (the latter with the religious imagery thing going). Man of Steel has had mixed reviews as well, and The Dark Knight Rises was seen as thematically inconsistent. Only Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were truly succesful examples of DC making deeper superhero films. So it’s pretty obvious that DC is, at best, inconsistent. And a superhero flop is an expensive flop, making inconsistency an unforgivable problem. .

        • Yeah, inconsistency is an understatement, but I don’t think until recently it ever dawned on DC/Warner to take a universe approach to their movies. Not sure if that’s the way to go anyway. The occasional crossover, yes, but I think it’d be foolhardy to try to ape Marvel at its own game. Moreover, comics (as well as any work of fiction) live and breath from originality and a universe with too much continuity might hem in future writers.

    • I couldn’t stand IM3 (it was irrational, depicted an unhealthy romantic relationship, and had a grand total of 3 named female characters), but MoS was even worse. Superman is, of course, still a total Mary Sue despite his weird, tropey Cursed With Awesome mangst. And it once again featured a throwaway romance between (gasp) two cisgender, heterosexual white people. He barely knew Lois Lane, which didn’t stop them from snogging in random scenes throughout the movie. And the worldbuilding was a total flop. I haven’t been that confused since I watched Avengers without seeing more than IM & IM2, and this one’s supposed to be a reboot.

  2. Man of Steel for me too.
    Awesome movie, the people cry a lot about the collateral damage and the “Zod’s twist”, but the movie is a new level in epic insane action. This is a real superhero against a real worldwide menace! In the comics we see a lot of destruction and is ok, is part of the genre, super powers and consequences is new for the people, but just read Allan Moore’s Miracleman to understand what happen when gods collide. Superman save the world, not a city, but all the planet! Look like a savior to me.

  3. Completely agree. Man of Steel was may personal favorite, But The other 2 were great in my mind, its just I have enjoyed all of the Wolverine/IronMan films played by Jackman/Downey, just seeing something different and new is what really set MOS apart from the other 2 films. And OMG, I thought 2guns was a book. That Movie was hot stuff…2 really great actors in Denzel and Mark. Possible it brings in more then all 3 by when its all said and done…

  4. Man of Steel by far! Beautiful film!

  5. Pretty sure Iron Man 3 won the poll with 1.2 billion votes. Besides, Iron Man 3 was just awesome! RDJ is awesome! Deal with it! Wolverine was awesome too! I’m sure Superman Begins is very good too.

  6. Iron Man 3!

  7. Man of Steel was an ordeal, shifting from one scene to the next with no real cohesion, characters moving in and out of the story without giving us any reason to care about any of them, and completely missing the point of the Superman character himself. Somewhere along the way, people stopped seeing him as the ultimate immigrant trying to fit into his adopted world, and instead focused on the Messiah aspect… which only dehumanizes the character.

    Iron Man 3 had wit, charm, and an actual character arc. You can be disappointed in the treatment of the Mandarin, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was by far the best superhero movie of the year.

    • I agree with you completely. I personally hated MOS. Iron Man 3 wins in every regard. I liked The Wolverine. I thought it was a very well-made character piece until that standard “bad-guy” fight at the end.

      I felt that MOS was just lots of exposition with pretty visuals in between. I guess I don’t see what others do in it.

  8. Out of these three you picture on the top of the page? None. They all completely suck! Fox’s X-Men/X-Men movies are completely irrelevant. They have been since X2. And X1 & X2 weren’t close enough to what they should have been to begin with.

    Man Of Steel – sucks. They followed the Nolan template. Look at the top of the posters for one small example of that. Six or seven names across them…an attempt to try and make the movie seem a bigger (read as “unmissable”) deal to you. Russell Crowe amongst them. Ultimately, this film was about making money. And not caring about weeing on the source material in the most rancid fashion.

    Which brings me to Wolverine. Sorry, THE (read as !) WOLVERINE. X-Men movies need a total reboot…but please not from Marvel Studios…at least until the day they’ve learnt their lesson about how badly they’re screwing up “PHASE TWO”. Phase two…what the hell is this? Star Trek The Original Series Reboot-land?! Movies are a different format to film – YES…BUT, for the love of all that is holy I wish film makers would know how to do them RIGHT.

    Darkman knows how…and that wasn’t even a comic book beforehand. The Crow knows how. And no, I don’t think things need to be “dark” or “gritty” or “real”. They do however, need to take the material seriously, make a serious movie with *MOMENTS of levity*, and be thence be GOOD lol. Otherwise, they ain’t worth my ticket money. And they shouldn’t be worth yours aether. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a dig at Thor 2: Naked Old Man Bottom).