‘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. It’s amusing to watch people try to defend Iron Man 3

    • It’s amusing to watch people trying to defend MOS.

      • It’s amusing to see you try to tear it down :)

      • It’s amusing to see you try to tear it down

        • It’s not very amusing at amusement parks.

    • You raise valid points, however I hate when people say the Hulk Buster suit was in the movie. IT WASN’T THE HULK BUSTER SUIT. It was the ‘Igor’ suit, used for heavy lifting, which is what it does (that’s where it’s running to, a collapsing tower with Tony in it).

    • Sorry bout this guiese but Man Of Steel wasn’t very good at all. Very repetative and boring! The other two weren’t by any means better. They were all pretty sub par.

  2. I loved Iron Man 3 but i’m giving it to Man of Steel.

    I love the intelligent story telling that Nolan’s and Goyer bring.

  3. Man of Steel did for me, but I enjoyed Iron Man 3.

  4. I found the 2013 summer crop of superhero movies to be at best OK – Wolverine & Iron Man 3 to mediocre – Man of Steel.

    They all look good but give them any serious scrutiny and they all fall apart especially Man of Steel which has a plot that makes no sense.

    I’m already ready for a Superman reboot.

  5. Wow, interesting results…

    Lets just freeze the bad guys and send them off somewhere safe, while we all sit here and wait for the planet to blow up!!

    Oh Superman, you are the last remaining Kryptonian, and you also happen to be carrying a bunch on ‘unborn Kryptonian cells’. My job is to protect Krypton, but since you ruined my plans, I MUST KILL YOU!

    Hey, this atmosphere gives us godlike powers! Nah, lets change it to Krypton!

    So half the world has been destroyed and Metropolis is now a smouldering crater… Oh well, let’s all just go to work then next day and pretend nothing happened!

    Son, maybe you shouldnt go around saving people…

    • Zod did not want god like powers. Anything that wasn’t Kryptonian did not interest him. They made that very clear in the movie.

      Once Superman destroyed the chamber inside the ship there was no way Zod would have been able to use the codex. He did not have any purpose left, so he wanted to take revenge. Very simple.

      The ending scene wasn’t the next day. It was very obvious that it was at least a few months after the fight. The filmmakers probably thought they wouldn’t have to explain it, but seems like they did. I’m surprised that people think it was the very next day. That doesn’t make any sense. Even the job hiring process takes longer than a week(minimum).

      • I was going to make a rebuttal on my views, but it’ll probably just escalate this into an argument, so I’ll pass.

        Thats cool man, you liked the movie, I didnt.

          • Come on man, Im not running away. I just dont want to argue with a complete stranger over why or why not I should like a movie. In case you havent noticed, no one ever wins these ‘debates’, so whats the point?

            BTW, you would think that after barely surviving a devastating catastrophic alien attack, the world would dedicate all its resources and manpower to rebuilding and protecting itself from any further preemptive alien invasion… Nah! Lets all just go to work “the next day” and pretend nothing happened! (LOL sorry couldnt help it!)

    • and i bet u didn’t saw MOS…YES it wasn’t perfect but far superior to IM 3

    • Oh but I don’t hate IM, i hate IM2 and IM3 because they ruined it. As far as Marvel goes i like X-men the most but i am not going to defend X3 or Wolverines neither i will tolerate MoS sequel if it will be crap.
      At this very point(old Batman, Miller as consultant) i am more hyped for the next X-men movie than MoS sequel.

  6. Wow, that is a lot of comments.

    Well I have only seen Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 of the three films, and I choose:


  7. Okay, since you asked:

    Iron Man 3- Uneven, tough to enjoy, a serious toe stub of a movie. This is fine as a stand alone movie. Problem is:IT ISN’T A STAND ALONE MOVIE. kinda touches on “The Avengers”, kinda doesn’t. Just when it feels like it. Yes, The Mandarin swerve was stupid and they knew it at the time. The could have made up a name of a terroist and no one would have cared. It was too much slapstick: How many times can we do the “call the armor to me, but it causes problems” gag. Throw a small kid in for no reason. Quick, have some henchmen throw in some one liners. There were GREAT performences, and the chemistry between RDJ and Ms. Paltrow was great. Guy Pearce stole every scene. But, we needed more cohesivness.

    Man Of Steel: Am I the only one who didn’t like Henry Cavill? Thought the dude was a piece of wood in the role. Other then that, I was fine with it. Better then I expected and a good flick.

    Did I mention I do not think Cavill can act much?

    The Wolverine: Just from the sheer enjoyment of Hugh Jackmen pouring himself into this part, I liked the movie. But it was a decent, not great, flick. I agree with all that point to the action scenes as unimaginative. Where was the part where Wolverine just opens a can up on those silly little pesky ninjas?

    Down year for comic book movies, hopefully to be saved by Thor 2. Best for last, and all…..

  8. I know it’s not a summer movie, but I would have waited for Thor: The Dark World to come out to really debate which superhero movie was the best.

    I thought Man of Steel was great, but didn’t quite reach expectations. Solid characters, script, acting and spectacle. But the dialogue was weak, the final act had just a tad TOO much action, and it wasn’t quite as big of a set up for a Justice League movie like fans were hoping. 4/5 stars.

    The Wolverine was really good, but could have been great with just a few changes (the final two thirds were a bit too cliché). The action was great (with the exception of a few bad “shakey” cam shots). This had by far Hugh Jackman’s best and most complicated performance and take on the character, a few solid side characters, and the after credit scene made me completely forget about the weak final act. 3.5/5 stars.

    Iron Man 3 was OK, but something just didn’t quite work. Although I thought the direction with The Mandarin was well written, that doesn’t justify SO MUCH artistic license with such a popular character. There are some villains like The Joker, Lex Luthor, Magneto, Catwoman, and The Mandarin that are SO iconic that changing them so much really just doesn’t work. And like The Wolverine, the final third of the film was a bit too cliché. Say what you will about a well written twist, but Aldrich Killian (the real mastermind) was an incredibly bland villain that reused the same backstory of Syndrome from The Incredibles. But, the effects were still great and it was nice to see a more grounded and complicated take on Tony Stark (along with another great performance by Robert Downey Jr.). 3.5/5 stars.

    However, I do think this should be reposted after Thor: The Dark World comes out. Who knows, it might end up being the surprise superhero movie of the year.

  9. I not only thought Man of Steel was the best CBM of this summer but IMO,it was one of the best superhero movies of all time,so far.

    • I agree. It is up there with the best superhero films of all time.

  10. I’m very surprised by the results here. I thought Man of Steel was easily the worst of the three, but then I have always found Superman incredibly boring. Personally, I loved Iron Man 3. I liked that they focused on Tony and didn’t mind the Mandarin change. I also liked The Wolverine, but the last half hour or so felt a little off to me.

    I also don’t get what was so great about the fight scenes in Man of Steel. It was mostly Godlike people punching each other through buildings. I understand a lot of people disagree, but I don’t think it was anywhere near as good as the first two Batman movies or the Iron Man movies. Just my opinion.

    • I agree with you that the action could’ve been better in MOS but if anything Iron Man’s action bored me because I felt like with his equipment he couldmdo so much more. The fight was mor interesting in IRON MAN but they’re two different heros with different villains, and powers so some of the battles are incomparable

      • Man of steel was an outstanding movie even it had some flaws and it will be in top CBM’S of any time.

  11. MOS is my favorite. It was absolutely fantastic (one of my top five CB movies of all time). The acting was steller, Zod was a great villain, and we finally got Superman level action. The Wolverine is second. This is Hugh’s best performance as Wolverine, the action is really good (that bullet train scene was stunning), and it had a lot of heart. Once I adjusted, I enjoyed the third act. Yukio and Mariko were awesome. I liked IM 3, it just had more flaws then the other two.

    • Glad we got a real review on Man of Steel.

  12. Didn’t care for iron man 3 or MOS! Hands down wolverine! The film was flawed, but it was the one that actually felt like a movie and not just a comic book movie. Some of the characters could of been left out, Harada and Viper were my least favorite and the 3rd half was lacking a bit, but it was a solid movie! Loved the whole coming to terms with jeans death and the closure. I loved marako and wolverines relationship and how they didn’t go too in depth but they did just enough! And I loved the friendship and chemistry between yuriko and wolverine! It was interesting and kept me wanting to see more in a good way. I loved Hugh jackman, he owned the role and was his best portrayal of wolverine. I can’t wait for the blu ray to see the bloody version and the other ninja battle scene! Out of all the movies I’ve talked to from people wolverine got the best response! People hated iron man and MOS, iron man was just too out there and just all over the place. And MOS was a good introduction but just not enough of a good movie! Hands down my boy logan

    • The Wolverine was good no doubt about that. I felt of the three in did the best job in the pacing of the films and character growth and development. It reflected the stories and adventures he has Japan well, which in the comics are very character and story driven. His adventures in Japan have a slight elegance to it. I just did not care what they did with Silver Samurai and his story. I loved how they pushed the envelope on the PG-13 rating, giving us some blood on the claws, etc. I would like next time for them to push his other abilities better; heightened sense of smell, sight, and hearing.

      Mos has my vote out of the strongest of the three because of the size of the film. I mean to me it really presented Superman how alien he truly is. I never felt that was about Superman before. Of course you know he is Kryptonian but he is so humanized with our culture and ethics he’s always felt like the best human being ever(Superman). This one kind of reminded me of a Star man(old 80′s sci-fi film) or E.T. just much more engaging. I did not feel like it was just a superhero film but a science fiction alien invasion film. I thought the fight scene was cool because I never had an opportunity to see what would happen if Super Man had a true challenge who absolutely did not care about the surrounding environments, structures and life around them. Yes Superman has killed before but I never on film seen him break a neck, kind of violent for him. It has to be a blower to kill the last of your kind(at least that’s what he thinks) especially when the guy you killed just want to re-establish your race into existence again. I feel human being with out the programming would do the same thing as Zod wanted to do(America).

      It’s all subjective. Liked your view though.

  13. Finally saw Wolverine. That was really good. Much better than I expected.

    So I say Wolverine, IM3 (neck and neck with Wolverine almost), MOS (a distant third. Sorry, really didn’t like it).

  14. I fundamentally disagree with the collateral damage argument. First of all, the entire movie was about Superman’s desire to help people (that’s how Lois found him). Second, the damaged to Metropolis is being exaggerated. It was a few city blocks, 98% of the city came out without a scratch. Third, almost all of the damage was done by Zod’s gravity beam while Superman was on the other side of the planet, and it was Zod punching Superman into buildings, not the other way around. Fourth, Superman was a complete novice, who had put on the costume 2 days before and had never been in a fight before in his life, so him making mistakes is perfectly understandable, he’ll learn and grow.

    • 1. If superman wanted to help people in this movie, he mostly didn’t show it at the final scene.

      2. At least half of metrolopolis is destroyed.

      3. Superman did not even try to save anyone (outside the Zod killing scene and Lois)

      4. Superman had these powers for a long time. He had time to know how to control his powers.

      Also, this scene felt more of a generic disaster movie than a superman film.

      • Ummm Superman didn’t try to save anyone? He SAVED THE WORLD by destroying the terraforming thing. And took out Zod. You sir are just coming up with crazy illogical reasons to hate MOS he tried to save everyone

        • I’m going to assume you are a crazy MOS fan. It’s one thing to have a different opinion but don’t say my opinion is wrong. There were people trapped in the rubble and superman did not do anything to save them.

          • They were trapped in rubble but its not like Superman was having coffee with Zod while that was happening. In almost every movie the hero focuses in the villain. No I’m not a die hard MOS fan So ugh.. I don’t know any movie where the hero can just focus on civilians while the earth is being terraformed and there are villainS on the loose. Also he could’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that the whole world rests in his hands at the moment so people died but they die in every movie.

            • After the fight, all he did was kiss Lois and……. THATS IT!!

  15. If Mandarin was in Iron-man 3,it would be the best.

  16. Man of steel easy

  17. Para que preguntar iron man no le llega ni a los talones a man of steel

  18. Man of Steel by far while it didn’t stay true to the ‘Boy Scout’ persona of Superman, it stayed true to most of the characters unlike Iron Man 3 and reinvented the iconic character for the better even though Goyer’s 4 out of 5 star writing gave us a darker film than Batman Begins it’s a good start for the DC Cinematic Universe even though I believe the start was Green Lantern, I enjoyed that, am I the only one?

  19. Iron Man 3 all the way.

    I liked Iron Man 3. It had better acting, better plot, and more character development than MoS or The Wolverine. For “the Mandarin” plot twist, I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I didn’t mind it. I’m not a HUGE Iron Man fan, I’ve never read an Iron Man vs Mandarin comic, so there’s that. I’m not going to tell fanboys to get over it, if I were attached to the character, I probably would get mad too, but it is really annoying to (sometimes) see people who’ve never even read a single comic, get mad about butchering the comic book lore. Will it be in my Top 10 at the end of the year? No, but it still enjoyable.

    As for Man of Steel, I liked that movie too, I didn’t like the action being shoved down your throat, and I didn’t like Lois Lane, Perry White and Zod in the movie. These characters didn’t get any character development whatsoever, but I still did REALLY enjoy the film.

    As for The Wolverine, it was great up until the end sequence. That’s all I’ll say for the sake of those who haven’t watched it yet.

  20. MOS the best of the three by a mile!
    Wolverine, while better than Origins, was just ok. – I agree with those that say that the Wolverine movies need to be rated R to be more realistic and have more tension.
    Iron Man 3 was such a huge disappointment!

  21. People seem afraid to say it, for fear a sea of DC fanboys (which infest this site) will descend upon them, so i will. MoS was the worst movie this summer. david goyer should not be allowed to write scripts without the nolan brothers help. it lacked levity, joy, real character development,had poor pacing, and was not inspirational. it just kinda existed. i was not entertained at all during the movie. they could have done something great, and instead they just delivered a mish mash of other popular movie tropes shoved into a superman movie. thats why they need to stick batman into the sequel, because they need the drawing power of them meeting to draw people in again since they dont have faith another single superman movie probably wont cut it.

    • Magnolia Fan…

      Please, stop trying to seem impressive by stating “what everyone else is afraid to admit”. You simply come across as a silly blowhard. If you didn’t like MOS, that’s perfectly fine. You have the right to your opinion, as do we all…but that is ALL it is–YOUR opinion. Those of us who loved the film (OUR opinion) have provided a great many reasons for why we enjoyed and appreciated MOS…and each of those reasons is just as legitimate as yours.

      …didn’t like it? No problem.
      …provided reasons for that dislike? Great.
      …helping all of us poor schmucks see the truth, thanks to your keen observation and cinematic brilliance? Dumb.