20 Comic Book-Inspired Theme Park Thrill Rides

Spidey Super Tales - Spider-Man, Fantastic Four on Roller Coaster

As the cold winter weather starts to fade, making way for the warmer and more pleasant sunshine, people across the globe will shed their heavy coats in exchange for shorts, tank tops and sandals as they head out for some much needed vacation time. At some point, some people might visit one of the hundreds of theme parks around the world in search of an adrenaline-filled good time, complete with plenty of laughter and thrills as they ride one of thousands of thrill-inducing theme park attractions.

For comic book fans who also enjoy a stomach-tossing roller coaster, there are a couple dozen rides, both in America and abroad, they can pick from to combine the best of both worlds. We've put together a list of the best 20 rides we could find that will thrill and excite you this summer, if you choose to swallow your fear and give them a go. We've intentionally left off "kids" rides (those rides meant for families), and instead, have focused on the more exciting roller coasters and attractions.

Here are 20 Comic Book-Inspired Theme Park Thrill Rides.

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Venganza del Enigma - Parque Warner Madrid
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21 Venganza del Enigma (Revenge of Enigma)

Venganza del Enigma - Parque Warner Madrid

Location: Parque Warner Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Height: 378'

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

This DC-inspired tri-tower drop thrill ride, named after Batman's long-time villain E. Nigma, was built by S&S Power in 2002. Venganza del Enigma resides in the Super Heroes World section of the Spanish WB park and is currently the third highest controlled drop tower in the world.

Riders are slowly taken to the top of the almost 400 foot tower - giving them a gorgeous view of the city of Madrid - on cars attached to three huge white towers. After pausing for a moment, they are accelerated downward at close to 50 mph, then begin to "bounce" several times, before being lowered back to Earth. If you enjoy eating lunch twice, this is probably a good way to make it happen.

20 Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast

Mr Freeze Reverse Blast - Six Flags Over Texas

Location: Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX

Length: 1300 feet

Height: 218 feet

Maximum Speed: 70 mph

Centering on another of Batman's deadly foes, the Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast will give riders chills as the LIM (Linear Induction Motors) shoot them out of an abandoned ice cream warehouse at 70 mph. This shuttle-type coaster (riders go to the end facing backwards, then traverse the same track facing forward), is different than most shuttle coasters, as it can operate two trains simultaneously (one loading/unloading while the other launches.)

Originally, the coaster was supposed to open in conjunction with the Batman and Robin movie in 1997, allegedly with Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Clooney making appearances. However, when complications delayed the opening, neither actor was able to attend. A duplicate ride with a different paint scheme, can be found at the Six Flags St. Louis theme park.

19 The Joker's Jinx

The Joker's Jinx - Six Flags America

Location: Six Flags America, Baltimore, MD

Length: 2700 feet

Height: 79 feet

Maximum Speed: 60 mph

Keeping with the villains of Batman theme, The Joker's Jinx is an intense roller coaster located in the Gotham City section of the Six Flags America park near Washington, D.C.. The ride, which opened in 1998, uses LIM to propel riders out of the station at 60 mph in less than three seconds. Unlike similar rides in other parks, The Joker's Jinx doesn't use brake runs mid-course to slow the train. Famed coaster designer Werner Stengel instead chose to incorporate several rings, corkscrews, spirals and a cobra roll to slow the train before finally hitting the brakes just before the end.

Back in 2014, the ride with a green and purple paint scheme lived up to its villainous namesake when a train carrying 24 people stalled at the top of the highest point of the ride. Don't worry, Batman was busy, so firefighters were able to rescue everyone unharmed.

18 The Riddler's Revenge

The Riddler's Revenge - Six Flags Magic Mountain

Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA

Length: 4370 feet

Height: 157 feet

Maximum Speed: 67 mph

Batman's foes have been very busy building rides as we come to yet another coaster inspired by a DC villain with The Riddler's Revenge. The $14 million stand-up roller coaster, which opened in 1998, is situated in The Movie Town section of Six Flags Magic Mountain park and, for two years, held world records in height, drop, speed, length and number of inversions. The chain lift steel coaster is over three-quarters of a mile long and with its massive cars, can push over 1600 riders an hour through six heart-racing inversions - including four various style loops and two mind-spinning corkscrews.

For almost a decade, the ride was ranked in the Top 50 roller coasters in the world, but those numbers have slipped to the Top 100 in recent years.

17 Batman: La Fuga

Batman La Fuga - Parque Warner Madrid

Location: Parque Warner Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Length: 2700 feet

Height: 85 feet

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

Finally, a superhero-themed ride to rival all these treacherous villain-inspired coasters. Daring riders can find Batman: La Fuga (Batman: The Escape) in the DC Superheroes World of the Warner Bros. park in Madrid, Spain. At a mere 2700 feet long, it certainly isn't the longest ride on our list, but for 75 glorious seconds, riders can swoop over loops and five other inversions to travel with Batman as he chases one of the dangerous villains housed at Arkham Asylum - The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Bane, Two-Face - who have escaped.

The steel chain-lift coaster was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, opened in 2002 and pulls a staggering 4 Gs (that's four times the force of gravity, not cellphone signal.)

16 Green Lantern: First Flight

Green Lantern First Flight - Six Flags Magic Mountain

Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA

Length: 825 feet

Height: 107 feet

Maximum Speed: 37 mph

Not every ride has to be inspired by a Batman or one of his long-time villains, as Green Lantern: First Flight proves. This isn't the highest-rated ride on our list (it could easily be much lower) but the fourth dimension ride earns its place by being the first of its kind in the United States to include a side-mounted car that spins on its center axis as the train traverses the track.

The "Zacspin" steel coaster was designed by Intamin in 2011 and can be found in the DC Universe section of Six Flags Magic Mountain park. Riders are tossed back and forth for the duration of the short, compact ride, leaving most with their heads spinning. The ride was shut down for a short time in 2014 when a teenager died on a sister ride, Inferno, at a non-related park.

15 Bizarro

Bizarro - Six Flags Great Adventure

Location: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ

Length: 3985 feet

Height: 142 feet

Maximum Speed: 61 mph

This wasn't always a thrill ride named after Superman's evil clone. Originally named Medusa, then Superman: Ride of Steel (the world's first roller coaster with a floorless train), Six Flags decided to rebrand the existing coaster and debut it for their 35th anniversary in 2000 - and thus Bizarro was born.

In addition to the seven inversions riders will experience during the harrowing three minutes - including a 360-degree spin, zero-G loop, and a heartline roll - designers Bolliger & Mabillard included new special effects along the course, such as fire and on-board audio. The ride will undergo more changes during the 2016 season when the it's renamed again to Superman the Ride, and a Virtual Reality aspect is added.

14 Superman: Ride of Steel

Superman Ride of Steel - Six Flags America

Location: Six Flags America, Baltimore, MD

Length: 5350 feet

Height: 208 feet

Maximum Speed: 73 mph

Finally, the Man of Steel, the Protector of Earth, Jor-El's offspring, the Son of Krypton makes his first of many appearances on our list with Superman: Ride of Steel. This steel hypercoaster (rides that have a drop between 200-300 feet) was manufactured by Intamin for Darien Lake theme park in 1999 as Ride of Steel, but an identical sister ride was built for Six Flags America in 2000 and branded with DC's number one hero, Superman.

Riders are blasted through several inversions along the one-mile long course at over 70 mph, including two unique 500-degree helix loops. The ride will soon receive an upgrade that let's riders wear Virtual Reality goggles to experience Superman saving Metropolis from Lex Luthor's Lex Bots.

13 Batman: The Ride

Batman The Ride - Six Flags Great America

Location: Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL

Length: 2700 feet

Height: 105 feet

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

Batman: The Ride is such a popular roller coaster that nearly a dozen copies of it can be found around the world. However, the original coaster, designed by Swiss ride-maker Bolliger & Mabillard, opened at Six Flags Great America in 1992. The inverted coaster (riders are suspended below the track) was the first of its kind anywhere and was partly-conceived by then park General Manager Jim Wintrode.

Riders board the train inside the famous Batcave, then a chain-lift slowly pulls them a hundred feet into the air before they begin their 50 mph journey swinging through the city of Gotham. Unfortunately, a clone of the ride at Six Flags Over Georgia has experienced two deaths - a park worker struck by a rider's foot in 2002 and a teen boy in 2008 who was decapitated after climbing into a restricted area. Still, the ride has been rated in the Top 100 since 1999.

12 Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom

Lex Luthor Drop of Doom - Six Flags Magic Mountain

Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA

Height: 400 feet 

Maximum Speed: 85 mph

Not all thrill rides need to include multiple twists and turns in order to make our list. Much like the Venganza del Enigma in Spain, the Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is a simple straight up and straight down kind of thrill ride - except the straight down portion is accelerated to 85 mph and riders start from a dizzying 400 feet in the air. Those daring enough to tempt fate can find this ride in the DC Universe portion of the Six Flags Magic Mountain park.

The ride is, unsurprisingly, directly attached to the Superman: The Escape ride and when both attractions are running simultaneously, the entire structure can sway as much as 2 feet in either direction. When it opened in 2012, Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom was the tallest drop ride in the world - a title it relinquished to sister ride Zumanjaro two years later.

11 Superman: Escape from Krypton

Superman Escape from Krypton - Six Flags Magic Mountain

Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA

Length: 1235 feet

Height: 415 feet

Maximum Speed: 100 mph

Since the two rides are joined together in real life, we would be remiss not to place Superman: Escape from Krypton right next Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom on our list. Originally called Superman: The Escape, this extreme shuttle coaster opened in 1997 and is not for the faint of heart (or pregnant women) as it was the second roller coaster in the world to break the 100 mph barrier (a feat is shares with Tower of Terror II at Dreamworld in Queensland, Australia).

Riders are shot out of the station (designed to look like the Fortress of Solitude) by the LSM (Linear Synchronous Motors) going from 0 to 100 miles per hour in under 7 seconds. They experience a mind-numbing 6.5 seconds of weightlessness as the train rockets up the 400 foot tall structure. They then enjoy the same feeling again when the train travels back to the station.

10 Superman: La Atracción de Acero

Superman La Atracción de Acero - Parque Warner Madrid

Location: Parque Warner Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Length: 3608 feet

Height: 164 feet

Maximum Speed: 62 mph

Superman may have started out as an American superhero, but he's always been a defender of the planet and, as the Superman: La Atracción de Acero (Superman: The Attraction of Steel) in Spain proves, people all over the world adore him. This steel floorless coaster (the only one of its kind in Europe) has been operating in the Super Heroes World section at the Warner Bros. theme park in Madrid since 2002 and is a favorite of park goers across the globe.

The ride features seven intense loops including zero-G and cobra rolls, a standard vertical loop, several corkscrews and an Immelmann Turn (an acrobatic aircraft maneuver made famous by the German flying ace Max Immelmann - see it performed HERE.)

9 Batwing

Batwing - Six Flags America

Location: Six Flags America, Baltimore, MD

Length: 3340 feet

Height: 115 feet

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

Batman has plenty of cool and unique gadgets at his disposal, none of which are more iconic than his sleek Batwing (with the possible exception of the Batmobile) - so it's not surprising to see a thrill ride designed around it. The Batwing is a Flying Dutchman-style ride (that is, riders are suspended under the track with their backs parallel to it) built in 2001 and can be found in the Gotham City section of the Six Flags America park.

What makes this ride thrilling and unique is how the riders start out: before leaving the station, they are lowered into a prone position facing up but before they drop over the first hill, the track rotates them 180 degrees so they are now facing the ground. In this position, riders don't know what turn, loop or corkscrew is coming next, which further adds to the thrills of the coaster.

8 Superman Escape

Superman Escape - Warner Bros. Movie World

Location: Warner Bros. Movie World, Queensland, Australia

Length: 2493 feet

Height: 131 feet

Maximum Speed: 62 mph

North America and Europe aren't the only places to enjoy a thrilling comic book-themed roller coaster. If you're ever "down under," be sure to check out Superman Escape in Queensland, Australia. Located in the DC Super Heroes Hub section of the Warner Bros. park, the hypercoaster shoots riders from the station at a staggering 100 mph in just under two seconds.

The ride, which opened in 2005, needs that kind of speed in order to get riders over the top of the first "Camel Hump," which sits at over 130 feet tall. At under two minutes in duration, it's a rather short roller coaster experience, but still nonetheless exciting as riders feel what it would be like to escape Metropolis, "Superman-fast," as an earthquake hits.

7 Superman: El Ultimo Escape

Superman El Ultimo Escape - Six Flags Mexico

Location: Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Length: 5577 feet

Height: 220 feet

Maximum Speed: 75 mph

If you're looking for comic book roller coaster action south of the Border, then you'll want to head to Mexico City to experience Superman: El Ultimo Escape (Superman: The Ultimate Escape). The ride was originally slated to open in 2002 but a construction dispute between Six Flags and the Mexican government delayed it until 2005.

The hypercoaster, designed by Chance Morgan, takes riders on a 3-minute journey filled with several bunny hills, twists, two 360-degree helix loops and a 205-foot drop that is sure to give your stomach that tingling feeling as it reaches speeds of 75 miles per hour. There are other milder coasters to ride at the park, but this is the one worth travelling all that way to experience.

6 Batman: The Dark Knight

Batman The Dark Knight - Six Flags New England

Location: Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA

Length: 2600 feet

Height: 117 feet

Maximum Speed: 55 mph

The coaster known as Batman: The Dark Knight, then Batman: The Ride, then back to Batman: The Dark Knight, is a floorless steel roller coaster which opened in 2002. The ride's name can often be a source of befuddlement, as Six Flags changed it in 2008 to avoid confusion with a Dark Knight Coaster they had planned. However, once that project was scrapped, the name reverted back.

The light blue and purple track houses a straightforward, no-frills type of thrill ride, with creators Bolliger & Mabillard choosing to forego any sort of special effects, audio enhancements or VR additions. Instead, riders are treated to two and a half minutes of multiple vertical loops, corkscrews and sharp banks - making it the most classic steel roller coaster on our list.

5 Superman: Ultimate Flight

Superman Ultimate Flight - Six Flags Over Georgia

Location: Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, GA

Length: 2800 feet

Height: 106 feet

Maximum Speed: 51 mph

For those interested in experiencing what it would be like to truly fly like Superman need to look no further than Superman: Ultimate Flight. The Flying Dutchman-style roller coaster has several clones at other Six Flags parks, but the first one was built at Six Flags Over Georgia in 2003. Residing in the Cotton States section of the park, the coaster takes riders on a nearly 3-minute flying adventure, where they will experience drops, turns and twists typically associated with thrill rides of this nature.

However, this ride was the first to include a 78-foot tall "pretzel loop" element - the first of its kind in the world at the time - that has riders zoom down a one half loop, then back up another half loop, crossing back over where they just came from at the peak. The only thing missing from this experience is a cape.

4 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - Universal's Islands of Adventure

Location: Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL

This thrill ride is unlike other coasters on our list because it's housed entirely indoors and features a combination of motion-simulation and 4D effects. Since its opening in 1999, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man remains one of the most popular rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park - for good reason.

Riders join forces with Spider-Man as he battles many of his deadliest foes including: Green Goblin, Electro, Hydro-Man, and of course, Doctor Octopus. The motion-equipped car moves along a track, taking riders from room-to-room where they watch the action unfold wearing special 3D goggles. Other elements, such as water, heat and audio, enhance the experience along way. In typical Marvel fashion, several Easter Eggs are present throughout the ride, and even a cameo by the famous Stan Lee (look for him driving the garbage truck near the end.)

3 Superman: Krypton Coaster

Superman Krypton Coaster - Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Location: Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, TX

Length: 4025 feet

Height: 168 feet

Maximum Speed: 70 mph

From its 168-foot drop, to its top speed of 70 miles per hour, to its incredible 145-foot tall vertical loop (the tallest in the world until 2013), there's nothing about Superman: Krypton Coaster that isn't awesome.

This $20 million floorless coaster was built in 2000 and can be located in the Spassburg section of the Six Flags Fiesta Texas park. In addition to the aforementioned vertical loop, riders will also experience all the thrills associated with a zero-G roll, a double corkscrew, a cobra roll and two other inversions. Like a few other rides on this list, Six Flags plans on upgrading the coaster with VR goggles to further enhance the rider's experience in the near future. It's not hard to see why we place this ride near the top of our list.

2 The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk - Universal's Islands of Adventure

Location: Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL

Length: 3700 feet

Height: 110 feet

Maximum Speed: 67 mph

The final roller coaster on our list has been a long-time favorite of riders everywhere since it opened in 1999 - The Incredible Hulk. What makes this coaster truly unique (besides being entirely green, naturally) is its initial propulsion system.

Instead of the chain-lift, LSM or LIM system usually employed by rides of this type, The Incredible Hulk uses a tire-propelled launch (one of the first rides to use this method) that shoots trains out of the "gamma gun" going from 0 to 40 miles per hour up the 110-foot incline in under two seconds. During its inversion loops, cobra roll, zero-G roll and multiple corkscrews, riders will reach speeds of nearly-70 mph. This coaster isn't the fastest, tallest, longest, and it doesn't have the greatest drop on our list but it is, in our opinion, the most consistent when it comes to sheer excitement and thrills.

1 Conclusion

The Joker - Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

There are dozens of comic book inspired thrill rides from all over the world we just didn't have room to mention in this list - Green Lantern and Batman & Robin: The Chiller at Six Flags Great Adventure, Catwoman's Whip and Gotham City Gauntlet at Six Flags New England, and Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy at Warner Bros. Movie World - that are all well worth your time to go and experience in person. There are a couple of rides not mentioned on our list opening in the next couple of years that should you should keep an eye on: The Joker at Six Flags Great Adventure (pictured above), and Justice League: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Great America.

What are your favorite theme park thrill rides based on comic book characters? Put your hands up and tell us in the comment section.

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