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

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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 by far for me. The original 70’s Superman film was a classic. No throwing dirt on that what’s so ever, but Man of Steel is my favorite Superman film of all time. I enjoyed the way I got a good look at Krypton; the environments, the little example of animal life, the technology, a look of their politics and culture. It made me really see and understand just how alien good old Superman is(not that a man flying did not make see it that way). Even General Zod impressed me. The film had it’s flaws but an overall great film. Up there with the best ones.

    Wolverine is next for me. It was the best one so far. I actually thought it was solid film. Some thought it lacked in action(in some ways, it did). I did not mind it though. I liked that it had more story than explosions. It kind of makes sense. When Wolverine had his adventures in Japan in the comics way back in the day(80’s and 90’s), those comics always felt more character and story driven oppose to the more flashy action comics when he is with the X-men and other Marvel adventures that Wolverine journeys on. There are many things that bothered me about the film but it was a good film.

    Iron Man was a disappointment for me. Robert Downey is spot on as Tony Stark as always but man, I just did not enjoy it that much. It was fun in a way. I thought the story wasn’t good. Plot, twist, some of the acting. Just did not do it for me. The action and the animations were well done.

    • Someone thought The Wolverine lacks in action? I have never seen a superhero film that impressed me so much with its action. I loved the fight choreography, and how real it felt (as oppose to just CGI explosions and crazy stuff).

      • Agreed…

  2. Ugh … sometimes Im just amazed at people and their opinions all three were good but had their flaws not going to lie not the mandarin I thought was going to be in IM3 but I was ok with it , MoS was kind of a origin story and people crying out that sups dont kill need to get over themselves because he sure as hell killed the EXACT same person in old school Superman and made a joke about it later , The Wolverine was good loved Viper , was meh about silver samurai and went yeah when jean appeared, Im happy with what I got.

  3. I Enjoyed very much Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Iron Man was pretty much… a dissapointment. I loved the first Iron Man Movie, then all became boring… And Wolverine was good. but that’s it.

    1º Man of Steel
    2º Pacific Rim
    3º Wolverine
    4º World War Z
    5º Iron Man 3

  4. For those of you using iron man’s mans dollars to backup your point. All of us here
    could have written iron man 3 and it would have made a billion dollars. With the opening that iron man had and then you throw in that twist that ruined the movie domestically it at the least should have beaten TDKR. This movie had the fortune of feeding off avengers, iam happy that shellhead spanked nolans trilogy, but it does not mean iron man 3 was a quality movie.

    • @ rod22

      Yeah, and just because Nolan was involved in the writing of MOS doesn’t mean it was a masterpiece to everyone like TDK trilogy.

      • It was in no way a masterpiece, but we are only comparing these 3 movies, and by far MOS was better of the three.

  5. man of steel….just beacuse a movie makes a billion doesnt make it a great film….curiousity brings in the bucks……im3 was quanity……and mos is quality

  6. the justice league flashpoint paradox was better than all three

    • Oh, thank you for bringing up Flashpoint!! What a tough and mature story. I think this is the direction DC is heading, especially compared to MOS. Incredible work!

  7. Man Of Steel takes a distant lead in my book.

  8. Very good article & well based off the films. I felt Ironman 3 was little better than the latter two but had it’s own flaws. What was said about MOS is true. Snyder obviously was copying off Nolan’s Batman Begins & the tone of the TDK trilogy. Something the DC expanded universe doesn’t need while what worked for Nolan’s Batman trilogy, does not work for every other DC hero in DC’s universe.

    The Wolverine was great despite some things wrong. While I felt most of his rage was in X-Men Origins:Wolverine at Jackman’s best, he kept that up with great action in a better film with a great teaser that leads to X-Men:DOFP. Still a good movie.

  9. For me:

    1. Iron Man 3
    2. Man of Steel
    3. The Wolverine

    Iron Man 3 – Loved it, an incredibly enjoyable film. By far one of the best of the year for me. RDJ was awesome, the action was awesome, the only disappointing thing for me was that the story was a little bland at times. But still, a great movie.

    Man of Steel – Just an awesome film. The action was epic, but the movie did sort of deteriorate during the middle. It started off really big, then got really small during the middle, then ended really big.

    The Wolverine – A very surprising film, by far one of the best of the X-Men franchise. Hugh Jackman was great, the action was intense to watch and it was certainly an unexpected tone for a superhero movie.

    Don’t get me wrong, all three of the films have placed in my Top 5 for the year, and I loved them all.

    • @ Mitch

      I agree & that’s how id describe the 3 films aswell.

    • ouldnt have said it better. :)

  10. Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, Man of Steel. Sure, everyone’s moaning about the Mandarin switch in Iron Man, but it was a stronger film than Man of Steel in every way. The Wolverine had it’s flaws – a forced in love story, mutant elements that the movie could have gone without, way too many villains – but it was still a more solid movie than Man of Steel. And MoS just kinda jumped all of the place for the first hour, then for the last 90 minutes degenerated into a catastrophic brawl that took out at least half of Metropolis. The action was the most exciting out of the three, but it got old really fast.

    • @ Darth

      That’s how id describe MOS. All the best action happened in the 3rd act & got old as you say really fast as fast all the action was.

  11. Biggest Bank: IM3
    Biggest Action: MOS
    Biggest Set: MOS
    Best Small Action/Hand to Hand: Wolverine
    Best Tricky Tech Action: IM3
    Best One Liners: IM3
    Least Offensive to Majority of Comic Book Geeks: Wolverine
    Best Sidekick: Split Decision
    IM3 shared between Pepper, Rhodey, & kid

    • Wolverine’s sword wielding protector

      Most Confusing Time of Year: IM3 (Christmas?)
      Best Film to Film Continuity: Split Decision IM3/Wolverine
      Best Popcorn Movie: MOS
      Most Amount of Inconsequential Side Characters: MOS
      Worst Parental Advice: MOS

      • Best Bada$$ Main Squeeze: IM3_Pepper
        Best Credits Cameo: Wolverine (Got more applause than whole movie)

        PS: I am a fan of all Comic companies that make a good movie. I am particularly happy with how Marvel has cross-stitched their various characters into each other’s movies and look forward to others studios doing the same.

        • Trailer Least Like Actual Movie: IM3

          • Here’s a suggestion for the Studios…
            Go over the items I said were good from each movie above and include them in future movies. Avoid the ones I said were negative.

            • NOTE: Biggest does not necessarily equal Best.

              Come to think of it Avengers did a lot of this and I guess that is why it is box office champ.
              The question is whether Whedon can repeat himself?
              I find it quite disconcerting that in watching the commentary on the DVD that Whedon says a lot of it was happy, unintentional coincidences.

      • “Most Amount of Inconsequential Side Characters: MOS”
        How? Any examples of any character to be inconsistent?

        Cliche things villains and heroes done: IM3

    • “Best Small Action/Hand to Hand: Wolverine”
      I think Faora vs Clark small HTH fight at the restraunt was better. But Wolverine had more. And i only liked the ones on swords.

      “Best Sidekick: Split Decision”
      Really? And here i thought Faora was by far the best sidekick, Zod’s though.

      “Least Offensive to Majority of Comic Book Geeks: Wolverine”
      How it was least offensive then MoS that showed us real Superman, Zod, Lois and Faora? Superman always kills Zod in the comics, i see nothing that offence me as a comic rader. I see kryptonite in the atmosphere of their panet that makes Clark weak, i see a problem that can’t be solved with human force and thats why Superman was needed.

      “Best Tricky Tech Action”
      What do you mean, tricky tech? Action in IM3 was the same we saw in IM2, nothing more, no tricks.

  12. as much as I loved all these films when they completely change important characters like Silver Samurai and Mandarin it really hurt the films in my opinion. There are things you can tweek with characters but to completely Obliterate them is a Huge NO NO. I know none of these films are Realistic because of what they are, Man of Steel ha a grounded story as much as they could and, had that realistic tone, LOVED IT.

  13. Jon lol worst parental advice: MOS. no way Wolverine was cussing like crazy, and had a nude scene.

    • I would be ok with him being my parent:-)

    • I think Jon means the part where Pa Kent tells Clark to let people die rather than saving them using his super powers.

  14. I must say the liberties being taken with the characters is of great concern. This goes for directors, big dollar actors, and studios alike.
    These comic book characters have a huge following of comic book geeks. They are the ones that will be pissed off when you screw with a well established character.

    The non-geek that attends the film will be happy either way (true to character or not) if the film is good.

    With that in mind why not keep the character true to the books?
    Aren’t they supposed to be taking the best of the books and making them into movies? It appears these directors, etc… now think they can write better than the best books.

    I know what you are saying “but there is a reason for doing it this way… it will be corrected in a future movie”.

    All I can say to that is “why put in garbage now when you could put in gold?” “Why waste precious future movie screentime correcting mistakes of prior movies?”

    • PS: sorry for that last rant which was off topic.

  15. Words on a screen…

  16. Man of Steel was the best by a long way, IM3 was lame as was the wolverine, MOS was epic IMO, visually stunning and probably the best action fight scenes I’ve ever seen, Zack Snyder nailed it, cant wait for the sequel!

  17. Trolls are something we like in Comic movies. Trolls are not something we like posting ads where rebuttal to a topic should reside.

  18. Man of Steel all the way!

  19. 1) Man of Steel
    2) The Wolverine
    3) Iron Man 3

    Man of Steel surprised me I thought it was a very well done movie it has its flaws but name one comic book movie that doesn’t. The cast was very good I loved Cavill as Supes and excited too see what DC pulls out of the sequel

    Wolverine surprised me I love Jackman as Logan and the mid credit scene has me excited for next year

    Ironman 3 was a disappointment because I had high hopes for the film I cannot speak for everyone only myself but the movie was wack. Marvel started their phase 2 off on a bad foot I agree with the writer on that one but people will say it made the money which it did but damn it sucked. I think Disney owning Marvel will affect their films in the long run because Disney is about catering too the kids and IM3 was a sign.

    MOS wasn’t perfect but it was sure better than Wolvie and IM3

  20. Nether Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel were worth the price of admission on the big screen. Haven’t seen Wolverine yet, will probably just wait for DVD and spend the money on Pacific Rim again before it leaves the theaters.

  21. Henry Cavill❤

  22. Man of Steel is one of the WORST movies I have seen in a LOOOOONG time. It was just awful. Doesnt deserve a sequel or ANYTHING else even linked to it.

  23. Iron Man 3 was over-the-top and riddled with super powered exploits that were just silly. The extremis powered bad guys slicing through the IM armors like butter was just way out of bounds. However, I LOVED THIS MOVIE. It was super fun, Rebecca Hall is sooo hot, RDJ was amazing like always and the action (despite the ridiculousness) was really fun. I haven’t seen MoS yet, but I’ll see it on DVD. Wolverine: I’ll wait until FX plays it on TV in a couple years.

  24. Iron Man 3 for me was a huge disappointment, RDJ was great as Tony Stark but his character spent way to much time out of his suit, not to mention that there was no one else from the Marvel universe in that movie at all? (with the exception of the post credits scene which was terrible!) Was really thrown off by the way they portrayed the Mandarin. All in all the movie just had a completely different vibe from all the others almost as if it took place in a totally different universe and that was not a good thing. Wolverine for me had some of the same problems it was isolated but at the same time that was kind of the premise for that film so I was ok with it. However I was disappointed with the lack of other mutants, but I did feel like this movie had more of a realism to it. Seeing Logan lose his healing powers actually had me worrying about him and kind of on the edge of my seat for some parts which was great. The Silver Samuri was kind of lame and the final act was the biggest let down of the movie. There was no climactic battle at the end, and the old man becoming the bad guy refusing to except his end was just sad and kind of pathetic. As for Man of Steel which was my favorite, it also had its flaws obviously. For me it was a let down not seeing Jonathan Kent instill within Clark the fundamental values and morals that he would take with him the rest of his life, making him the force for good we all know him to be. For the generation who hasn’t seen a superman movie I thought that was kind of a crucial part that was left out. I have to say though Man of Steel had the best cast by far and they all delivered! The action scenes were all very intense and entertaing and the final battle between Zod and Supes was awesome! I missed not having a Clark in this movie hiding behind those glasses but it was kind of cool seeing him go through that learning stage where he figures out how to fly lol, I loved that! Man Of Steel was by far the best Super hero movie of the year!!

  25. I haven’t even seen MOS et, but given the other two as my only options I had to pick it based on just how the other two raped the villains

  26. So I just watched Iron Man 3 again… And yup… Still garbage.

  27. d-man you are spot on.

  28. I watch 3 movie in thailand I like iron man is number 1 , man of steel is number 2 and The Wolverine number 3 but 3 movie still in my heart

  29. man of steel was the *its. really great superman movie. wolverine couldve been soooo good if they didn’t through away the pathos that built 2/3’s of the movie instead of ending it with that ridiculous ending. iron-man 3 was such an embarrassment. i don’t even care that the mandarin wasn’t the mandarin. it was just the incredibles. i’m so tired of everyone saying marvel always nails it. they made 2 really good movies. everything else was mediocre, but i’ll give them props for having the balls to make obscure comics like guardians and ant man into movies. wb should take that to heart.