Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X-Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

Published 4 years ago by , Updated April 4th, 2011 at 2:17 pm,

Thor vs X Men First Class vs Green Lantern vs Captain America Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

Four of our top ten Most Anticipated Movies of 2011Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, and the first place-ranking Captain America: The First Avenger – are comic book movies that all arrive in theaters this summer. We’ve gotten to see footage from all four films, and debates are already raging over the actors/actresses cast, character portrayals, costumes, visual F/X, action sequences – you name the detail, it’s already been analyzed to death.

So here comes the big one question: Which one of these films looks the best? Which one appears to feature the best acting, direction, story, characters, and stands out above the rest as the best superhero movie of Summer 2011?

We could spend all day talking about which of these films appears to be the most loyal to the source material, but the convoluted nature of these superheroes’ mythologies makes that discussion tricky, to put it mildly. So I will be focusing specifically on how these films look based off the previously-released footage, previews, and trailers.

To refresh your memory, check out all the trailers, previews, and clips released for these films at their respective links below:

I will be focusing on three aspects of each film, as they are presented (briefly) in the previews – namely, the main/supporting characters, the action/effects, and the story as a whole.


The Characters

All four of these movies boast an impressive collection of leading men, ladies, sidekicks, and villains, and a couple minutes of footage can’t do justice to all (if any) of them. Based off what has been shown to us, which of these motion pictures looks to have the best cast of characters so far?

International trailer for Thor Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

The Thor footage has done a nice job of illustrating the complex and multi-layered nature of the Asgardians (Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki), but the regular Earthlings seem all the less interesting and one-dimensional in comparison. To be fair, though, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, and Stellan Skarsgård haven’t gotten to do much of anything so far – save fleeing in terror, looking confused by Thor’s behavior, and (in Denning’s case) providing comic relief.

All the same, this is (of course) foremost the God of Thunder’s story, and Hemsworth is the one who really needs to sell Thor’s transformation from an arrogant warrior to a more humble hero in order for this film to work – and so far, it looks like he’s done a pretty good job of just that.


x men first class professor x and magneto Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

X-Men: First Class previews have so far focused on the relationship at the heart of the film: the bond between the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender). There have been brief hints about the personal conflicts and issues that supporting players like Beast (Nicholas Hoult) or Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) will have to deal with, but nothing substantial enough to really pass judgement on just yet.

Much like the success of Thor rests in part on Hemsworth’s shoulders, McAvoy and Fassbender really have to pull off the difficult friendship between young Professor X and Magneto for X-Men: First Class to be engaging – and early signs indicate they’ve done just that.


Ryan Reynolds Hal Jordan Blake Lively Carol Ferris 570x380 Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

Green Lantern‘s WonderCon trailer has really turned the tide of negative buzz this pic’s been riding on since the first trailer premiered. Now we’ve gotten a solid glimpse of Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, and concerns that the character will come off as Reynolds doing his goofy but charming schtick have abated.

While we haven’t seen much of players like Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) or Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) yet, Green Lantern Corps members like Tomar-Re (voice of Geoffrey Rush), Sinestro (Mark Strong), and Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) all appear readily distinguishable and interesting, with respect to their personalities. That’s definitely a good thing in my book.


Captain America steve rogers peggy carter 570x379 Superhero Movie Showdown: Thor, X Men, Green Lantern & Captain America

If Reynolds deserves credit for not doing his customary bit as Hal Jordan, then Chris Evans really ought to get props for ditching his usual comical bend as Steve Rogers in Captain America. The character seems quite genuine so far, like someone who earnestly wants and deserves the chance to help the world – and while that sort of do-good attitude won’t be to everyone’s tastes, Evans looks to have nailed it.

A shout out should go to Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as well, since she seems a very active figure who’s more than just a love interest for the hero (I’m still skeptical about Portman’s Thor character in that regard). Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Phillips seems rock-steady as always, but we haven’t really gotten to see Hugo Weaving as Red Skull yet; still, it’s hard to imagine him not making a fantastic villain.


Verdict: This one is a close call, but for now I’m going to give X-Men: First Class the lead – with both Captain America and Thor being close behind.

Continue to Action & Visual Effects…

« 1 2 3 4»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I went to Google Insight to see what movie people search for most (because that shows the interest people have in each movie), and the results were pretty obvious except for X-Men… I was pretty surprised to see the results.

    Here is the direct link to Google Insight to see the results:

  2. My guess is that GL will probably top the box office simply because the lead is Ryan Reynolds and his name will draw a big crowd. As far as the LEAD actors in the films, Reynolds is easily the biggest name. I think XFC is going to be a critical disaster, but will probably do pretty well at the box office simply because it’s X-men.

    As for what I personally think will be the best films:
    1. Green Lantern
    2. Cap/Thor
    4. X-Men (Fox inspires NO faith from me)

  3. I find it very interesting that the two films that have been getting the most critism could very well be the best, Green Lantern was always the one I was looking forward to the most and the recent trailer has proved my faith was not misplaced.
    And X-Men, yeah they should never have called it First Class, but it is in many ways the first class of the film versions of these characters, plus the actors in it are excellent.

    Thor looks good, the weak link appears to be the comedy elements.

    Captain America is the tough one. It looks very cool and the story of a weakling transformed into a muscled hero is timeless and will likely play well with audiences, Hugo Weaving is a great villain, and if anyone can do great period action fun its Joe Johnston. BUT! There is something about it that doesnt quite gel for me.

    Green Lantern
    X-Men and Thor tied for second place
    Captain America.


  4. scapegoat,

    where did you read the Thor script? I would love to check it out. Was it that good?

  5. Green Lantern is this summer’s Sucker Punch. Mark my words.

    • i absolutely agree.

    • You mean it will be AWESOME?

    • I think your confused. First Class looks to be the Sucker Punch of the group. I like Vaughn, but it is obvious he only did this film for the money. Mark my words….the tired and winded X franchise has run out of steam!

  6. @Sandy

    I really think that Green Lantern’s choice as No1 is down to the fact it’s most fresh & recent in the memory. Yes on the surface it looks an efffects driven blockbuster, but I just fear the overuse of CGI , plus how much of the movie will be spent with the corps and Oa.

    I still have to go with Thor as the one to see. Yes that too will have plenty of special effects but it just comes as the more balanced and interesting. As pointed out in the article, were looking at someone who actually loses worldly power and abilities and becomes more of a hero becauses of it. Thor is more of a god (or alien – take your pick) than a traditional superhero.

    From a box-office view Thor has the advantage of releasing first in May, the comic book movie appeal may have saturated or declined big time in the following months.

    X-Men First Class will fail commercially on the basis of franchise fatigue and the bad taste left-over from The Last Stand & Wolverine. It really does look like another sub standard X-Men movie, nothing exciting or exceptional about it all.

    Still undecided on Captain America. Still convinced with Evans in the lead and even less convinced with the skinny CGI physique. For me it’s an overly drastic and uneccessary way to show the super solider effect. But my opinion may change once a second trailer comes out.

    • I like all of your rationale but think that Captain America will feel refreshing by the time it’s released. The fact that it’s set in a different time period and directed by Johnston with a Silvestri score, will make it more of an Indiana Jones or Back to the Future adventure film rather than “Superhero”. The fact that he carries a gun and can’t fly makes it much more approachable.

      The Thor footage just looks more real than GL.

      • Thor footage looking more “real” than the GL footage? GL has way more stuff that is CGI and effects driven than Thor. Also, what looks “real” and what doesn’t is irrelevant when it comes to sci fi based films. Did the Transformers look real? Did Star Trek starships and their aliens look real? Did the X Men fils effects look real when thhose films first came out? Did the Spider Man franchise effects look real when it first came out? How about the Hulk films?

  7. Just to add I meant unconvinced with Evans in the role.

  8. I don’t think X-men will do that well. I think it’ll probably be more of a toss up between either Thor and Captain America, or Thor and Green Lantern

  9. three marvel movies against one DC movie hmmm i choose DC’s Green Lantern

  10. Green Lantern has caught my attention. It will be an interesting movie and it will be cool to see all the amazing CGI/effects and constructs in live action finally. The HUGE improvement I saw with that recent GL footage sold me. That work was done about 2 months ago. Imagine the improvements that will be made by the time the film comes out.

    The Thor CGI and SVX look terrible compared to the GL CGI/SVX.

    Chris Evans as Cap is just an odd choice and from what I understand they are doing reshoots for Cap as we speak. Not a good sign.

    The Fox X:First Class film looks completely uninteresting and that franchise has nothing new to offer for me. I won’t even bother seeing it. Plus I can’t stand Fox and Rothman.

    • How many times does it have to be said that reshoots are a very normal part of the movie making process.

      The fact is, directors usually can’t gauge all the raw footage they will need. Either something comes up in the editing process that they forgot, a different shooting angle they decide would work better, a better way to shoot a particular scene to flow with the movie, etc. LOADS of reasons why they do reshoots and none of them are cause for concern.

      I can’t tell you the sheer amount of reshoots they did on LotR and look how all 3 of those turned out.

      I also don’t think there will be much else that will be done on GL now. There is a lot of work post editing that HAS to be accomplished before it can be copied 10,000 times and shipped out to the theaters on time.

      I will lastly disagree with you about Thors FX looking “terrible”, especially when you compare them with GL. While GL did make improvements, you can still easily tell its CGI. I think both have their merits and shortcomings but saying Thors FX are terrible along with dissing every other Marvel film coming out, makes me think you are merely a DC fanboi. Least that’s how it sounds to me.

  11. Thor actually looks completely fake, characters that is except for Chris Hemsworths’s body! Damn he’s got a nice one but I am not too interested in seeing that one. X-Men looks like it will be skipped as well. I was never a fan of the series and since this is a prequel I’m less interested in finding out how the characters got their start. Green Lantern looks like a lot of fun (so might see that one just because) and then the one I was really looking forward to was Captain America but after seeing the trailer I was like what? You never know though it might be good but basing it around World War 2 was not a very good idea. At least for me it wasn’t. I want to be entertained not get another lesson on what happened in world war 2! Because of that I’m hesitant about Captain America now even though as I said it was the one I was looking forward of the most.

    I guess we can wait until 2012? For Batman, Superman, Avengers? Are there others?

  12. As of now the Green Lantern film seems to me that it will be the most fun and epic out of all of those films. I was a bit worried after the first underwhelming trailer, but the new footage shown last week was just bad ass and epic. Seeing Hal construct a mini gatling gun was enough for me to be convinced that I will get more bang for my buck with that film! Thor will be okay, Cap America has always been boring except with the avengers and the First Class film has nothing new to offer at all to get my money.

  13. Captain America will be one of the best superhero movies ever made, rivaled only by TDK and X2. Green Lantern will be solid, pretty game changing in the F/X dept and pretty enjoyable. Thor will be good but not great. First Class will bomb.

  14. I will see them all but like what I have seen from Captain America the most

  15. Someone said Cap will be one the best superhero movies ever made? Uhhh..nope! Not with Joe Johnston directing and with them doing reshoots this late in the game. Plus we have to deal with a lousy actor like Chris Evans as Cap? The quality of Cap doesn’t look very good either. It will do terrible overseas when it comes to the box office as well. Not expecting too much from Cap or Thor. Green Lantern has more to offer with the scope being more grand and epic. The X Men film franchise is done!

  16. Captain America
    Green Lantern

    It’s going to be nice to see how Cap and Thor lead into The Avengers.

  17. Anyone see the newest Thor trailer? Check it out, cameo of HAWKEYE!!!

  18. sorry i should a “tease” of hawkeye.

    • Where did you see i? Do you have a link? Oh, and by the way, if it’s the clip with Thor, sort of holding onto a weapon aimed a him, which he jabs back at the person holding it, while sitting in the jeep, outside the structure holding his hammer, that’s not Hawkeye, it’s a shield agent, I read the script, but if that’s not what you’re talking about, I’d love a link to the scene in question, if you have it.

      • john,

        ill get you a link. hold on a sec

      • John,

        it’s not that scene you mentioned. and it’s only a tease of hawkeye because you can’t see who it is but why would the guy hold the weapon he’s holding???? watch at the 24 second mark. link to the link to the teaser:!/DynastyFF/status/56193056382255104

        • If you watch it in hd and look really closely you can tell that it’s Jeremy Renner, I’ve been analyzing that clip for like the past hour lol and it looks as if he’s wearing some sort of leather suit with the S.H.I.E.L.D logo on his chest.

      • You can watch it on ‘The Avengers’ facebook page:

  19. copy and paste if the link doesn’t take you directly.!/DynastyFF/status/56193056382255104

  20. you’re right, thanks for the link.

  21. Thor, then G.L., then Cap. I must confess a prejudice against Fox Xmen franchise, and I’m not even considering that one.

  22. As big a fan of Green Lantern as I am, I have to give the nod to Captain America. Maybe this time Hollywood will get it right with the star-spangled Avenger…

  23. Jennifer Garner would’ve made a good Carol Ferris.

  24. Until the GL and X-Men trailers were released I had such low expectations of these projects I would even have considered not seeing them in the cinema. But now, I’m sold for all four films. I’m a Marvel fanboy, so the fact GL has this effect on me is particularly impressive.

    That said at this point I still feel Captain America grabs me more than the other three. It’s interesting seeing people’s reactions to the drip drip of info released, and partisan cheering of their own favourite company’s releases. Personally I just want to see good Super Hero movies. Don’t care which company releases them!

  25. I know I’m gonna check out Green Lantern, and I know I’m gonna wait to see X-Men til it comes out on Blu-Ray (or DVD). But I still haven’t decided if I’m gonna see Thor or Captain America. It’s gonna be one of them, but which one?

    • why not both??

  26. For me, the fun starts in May. I am a fan of live-action cgi superhero movies and, judging from the initial success of Heroes, I am not alone. You can rank them anyway you want — I will see them. The only disappointment is that there aren’t more!


  28. I’m gonna have to say Green Lantern. That is the movie that is probably going to be the most anticipated simply because of the fact that it is Green Lantern. Let me explain. The reason behind my explanation is simple. This is the first superhero movie to come out that has focused on a major DC character that is NOT Superman or Batman (discounting Watchmen because they are not major characters). Don’t get me wrong, the old Superman movies were amazing, classics, but all DC has ever focused on in terms of cinema is either Batman or Superman. I think the movie is going to be a huge draw for many Green Lantern fans and DC fans in general. You can make the same argument for Thor, but it still is not the same, because Marvel has actually done a good job of promoting a multitude of characters in recent years (and X-Men has had several movies and Captain America had one as well) so adding Thor as basically “another Marvel title” doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Also, X-Men: First Class has gotten minimum media attention, so it might not be that big. All of them look good, but in my honest opinion, Green Lantern stands out among the rest.

    • the green lantern movie looked awful and he’s one of my favorite heroes

      • Are you kidding? The WonderCon footage looked amazing and it turned the public opinion about the movie totally around, at least that’s what I thought. What about it looked so bad to you?