Comic book movies are all the rage at the box office nowadays, with comic book movies regularly breaking records. This doesn't seem like it's going to change as the first four months of 2016 will see the launches of Deadpool, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Captain America: Civil War.
Still, they've been around much longer than the current big budget Marvel and DC movies and have many broader topics than just superheroes fighting yet another threat to the planet. If you spend any amount of time on Netflix, you know that, while the selection isn't the best, there are more than a couple comic book movies on the service.
With that in mind, here are the 10 Best Comic Book Movies on Netflix
10 Men in Black II
The sequel to 1997’s Men in Black, which was, in turn, based on the Marvel/Malibu comics of the same name, Men in Black II saw J (Will Smith) pulling K (Tommy Lee Jones) back into action as yet another alien threatened to destroy the planet. Not quite capturing the same sort of fun that the first film was, the film received mixed reviews.
Even so, it was a financial success and provided another fun sci-fi action adventure that sported some great looking alien characters and special effects, for the time. Despite the mixed reviews, it would spawn another sequel.
Based on Jean-Claude Forest’s comics of the same name, Barbarella starred Jane Fonda in a sci-fi adventure set in the 41st century that was full of adventure, action, and Fonda’s sex appeal. Though the movie didn’t fare well either critically or commercially upon its initial release in 1968, it has spawned something of a cult following over time and more people have come around to it.
Despite its uneven pacing and flaws in the script, it’s the humor, interesting visuals, and the sex appeal of Fonda that have made people finally come around to Barbarella in the decades after its release.
8 Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United
An animated adventure featuring the two titular Avengers, this movie is geared more towards a younger audience. Still, it has a decent enough plot and features probably the two most popular Avengers as they first playfully compete against each other, then work together to foil a plot by Red Skull and Taskmaster to unleash Hydra Brutes on the world.
Marvel isn’t as well known for their animated movies as DC is, and there’s reason for that, but this movie is still a decent enough way to spend an hour or two and get a story featuring some of the biggest characters in comics
7 13 Sins
Based on a story in the Thai comic My Mania and adapted from a Thai movie with the same source material, 13 Sins features Elliot, a recently fired salesman, who is pulled into a twisted game. Elliot is promised increasing monetary rewards for increasingly disturbing acts, all while trying to evade the police attention that his actions are gaining him. Combining dark humor with some genuinely disturbing instances, 13 Sins manages to keep things tense and dark.
Even if it wasn’t quite as acclaimed as the Thai version, it’s still a solid movie well worth a watch for fans of the horror genre or those that like movies such as Saw.
One of the more successful non-Marvel or DC comic movie franchises, Hellboy is based on Mike Mignola’s long running Dark Horse comic about a demon brought to Earth during World War II. Hellboy is quickly enlisted in the fight against the supernatural, even as he tries to go against the prophecy that says he'll bring about the end of the world.
The first movie was successful enough to spawn a sequel, though a third entry in the series seems to be little more than big ideas and wishful thinking at this point judging from how few concrete details, like a release date, Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman have given about the movie. Still, this first movie has enough imagination and intrigue to warrant a viewing.
Starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, and directed by Tim Burton, the 1989 Batman was possibly the weirdest of all the various Batman movies, though it generally worked for the film. Burton’s direction and sense of design and Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker may have overshadowed Michael Keaton’s Batman in many ways, but the movie would still be seen by many as the origin of the modern comic movie and would also lead to the creation of the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series.
Despite the detractors who saw Keaton as not fit for a serious role like Batman, the film was both a commercial and critical success and he would go on to star in the sequel, Batman Returns.
4 The Crow
Based on James O’Barr’s comic of the same name, The Crow followed a rock musician who was murdered along with his girlfriend, only to be resurrected in order to seek revenge on the thugs responsible for their deaths. The movie would be the last role for Brandon Lee, who was accidentally killed by a faulty blank on set. Despite the unfortunate death of Lee, the film would be completed and would received both commercial and critical success, being praised for its visuals and emotional depth.
Though it would go on to have three sequels and a short-lived television show, none would live up to the original. There’s still hope for the property, though, as talks of a reboot are circulating.
3 Batman: Under the Red Hood
An adaptation of the Batman storyline of the same name, Under the Red Hood would feature a new sometime-villain/sometime-hero who would take over the Gotham underworld. Under his rule, drug sales were up, but overall crime was down. When Batman begins to notice that the Red Hood seems a little too familiar, things start to come together as it’s revealed he’s a very important person in the past of the Bat family.
DC has remained consistently good with their animated shows and movies, and Under the Red Hood is one of the better ones in the bunch. Definitely a must watch for any Bat-fan.
2 The Punisher (2004)
One of the last Marvel movies before the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper began to form, The Punisher featured performances from Thomas Jane and John Travolta in a movie about the Marvel anti-hero Frank Castle as he seeks revenge on the criminal who ordered the death of his family. The story was primarily based on the Punisher stories The Punisher: Year One and Welcome Back, Frank, with scenes from various other Punisher comics sprinkled in.
Though it wasn’t reviewed favorably, with many saying it was too grim and cheerless, those who did like it compared it to old school pulp revenge flicks, which is exactly what The Punisher should be. Fans of the film and character can look forward to Frank Castle making an appearance in the next season of Daredevil.
Based on the French comic Le Transperceneige, though with considerable differences, Snowpiercer seems more like an inspired take on the end of the world than what we generally think of as a comic book movie. Featuring a future where, after a global ice age, the entire human race lives on a giant train that constantly circles the Earth, the film stars Chris Evans as the leader of a revolt in the tail section, the area of the train that houses the poor, as they fight their way to the front of the train and the enigmatic inventor of Snowpiercer.
Initially released in South Korea, the film would quickly gain commercial and critical success worldwide, prompting many critics to put it on their top ten lists for the year.
What do you think? Were there any that we missed?