Superhero Movie Superlatives

Best Original Superheroes
Best Original Superheroes
The Incredibles. The Incredibles have it all: a wide variety of awesome powers, an instant team dynamic, a wise-cracking, super smooth sidekick, a villain with genuinely terrifying motives and the most intense, hilarious and quotable voice of reason ever created: Edna Mode. Forget Batman and Spider-Man, all anyone really wants to be when they grow up is Edna.
Buena Vista Pictures
Most Widespread Destruction
Most Widespread Destruction
Man of Steel. Superman fans took a lot of issues with Zack Snyder’s 2013 reboot, but the one thing that kept cropping up over and over was the way he managed to completely level Metropolis. We get that there’s always collateral damage when it comes to saving the planet, but who, exactly, does Superman think is going to clean this mess up? Do you know how much of downtown will need to be rebuilt? All of it.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Most Likely to Become the Standard of Comparison
Most Likely to Become the Standard of Comparison
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight. When it comes to great performances in a superhero film, there is one that is so incredible, so memorable and so completely terrifying that it actually did the impossible and won an Oscar: Heath Ledger as The Joker. It’s a tour de force unlike anything major franchise blockbusters had ever seen before, and the reason that aspiring villains everywhere now just aim to be second best.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Best Example of Why You Should Be Nice to Nerds
Best Example of Why You Should Be Nice to Nerds
Aldrich Killian, Iron Man 3. If you were ever picked on, someone probably told you that everything would be better when you got older and could rub your success in your bullies’ faces – and nobody took that to heart quite like Alrdich Killian, who decided to become an international terrorist and super villain simply because Tony Stark was rude to him at a party once. Runner Up: Loki, who decided that the best way to get over finding out that he was adopted and years of playing second fiddle to his brother was to attempt to enslave another planet.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Most Entertaining Fan Freakout
Most Entertaining Fan Freakout
The Fantastic Four Reboot. It doesn’t matter if the Fantastic Four reboot is any good; we’re getting more than our money’s worth watching the inevitable uproar that ensues any time a cast member is added, the cast and crew reveal plot details, or someone dares to look forward to the new film. Runner Up: Ben Affleck as Batman, which broke meltdown records everywhere with a truly beautiful display of vitriol.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Most Likely to Star a Caricature of Nicolas Cage
Most Likely to Star a Caricature of Nicolas Cage
Ghost Rider. Look, we know that the real Nicolas Cage is nothing like the character that Andy Samberg plays on “Get In the Cage,” and yet if you asked the latter to construct a superhero movie that Cage would probably star in, he would most likely come up with a stunt rider who sells his soul to the devil, gets the ability to spontaneously combust, and becomes a vigilante to fight ol' Satan Jr. It’s almost too good to be true.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Most Elaborate Attempt at Retconning Bad Decisions
Most Elaborate Attempt at Retconning Bad Decisions
X-Men: Days of Future Past. If you’re a fan of the X-Men, chances are you were disappointed with 2006’s The Last Stand. Luckily for you, Bryan Singer apparently felt the same way, and basically created an entire movie simply to erase the former from existence. “Shhh…” the film says, “that never happened. Look, Quicksilver’s running now! Isn’t that better?”
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Most Anti-Climactic Death Scene
Most Anti-Climactic Death Scene
Talia Al Ghul, The Dark Knight Rises. The most shocking thing about the way Talia Al Ghul died wasn’t that she had just revealed her true identity moments before or that she was the mastermind behind the whole film. No, it was that Marion Cotillard’s performance in what was supposed to be one of the film’s most climactic moments was so… well, terrible. Did all of Nolan’s gloomy shadows put her to sleep? Because that was the least convincing death we’ve seen outside of an elementary school play.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Quickest Franchise Death
Quickest Franchise Death
: The "Stayin' Alive" Scene, Spider-Man 3. When Sony announced in 2011 that they were planning to reboot the Spider Man franchise, fans everywhere were confused. They liked the old Spider Man movies, and anyway, they hadn’t even been around for a full decade yet. And then, slowly, a funky bass line started echoing in their brains, and everyone remembered the minute where everything fell apart. Runner Up: George Clooney’s Batman Sure, now Batman seems unsinkable, but that’s because we finally have the hindsight to understand that sticking nipples on the Batsuit is the easiest way to undo years of geek cred.
Sony Pictures via Everett Collection

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