100 Essential Superhero Movies

After running this site for a few years where I have been trying to seek out, watch, and review every superhero and comic book movie that I can find, I decided that I wanted to make a definitive list of superhero movies that captured the essence of the range of superhero movies. Going through the decades and choosing the most influential, the biggest disasters, and simply the best superhero movies out there I hope to try and capture what I like to call the 100 Essential Superhero Movies. If you are a fan of superhero movies at all, these are the first ones that you should seek out. Not all of them are great, but when studying history it pays to not just look at the successes, but to also look at the failures. Also, as this list is being made in 2014, only includes movies made through 2013.

Superman Movies # 1 – 8

Marvel Cinematic Universe # 9 – 15

Comedies # 16 – 24

Batman Movies # 25 – 38

Early Marvel # 39 – 46

Animation #47 – 56

Original Heroes #57 – 65

Borrowed Marvel #66 – 72

Indie Comics #73 – 84

100 Essential Superhero Movies by Release Date

100 Essential Superhero Movies

  1. The Superman Animated Shorts 1941-1943
  2. Superman and the Mole Men 1951
  3. Batman: The Movie 1966
  4. The Wild World of Batwoman 1966
  5. Mr. Freedom 1969
  6. Super Infra-Man 1975
  7. Superman: The Movie 1978
  8. Superman II (The Richard Donner Cut) 1980
  9. Flash Gordon 1980
  10. Swamp Thing 1982
  11. Return of Captain Invincible 1983
  12. Superman III 1983
  13. Supergirl 1984
  14. The Toxic Avenger 1984
  15. Howard the Duck 1986
  16. Robocop 1987
  17. The Punisher 1989
  18. Batman 1989
  19. Return of the Swamp Thing 1989
  20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990
  21. Darkman 1990
  22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze 1991
  23. The Rocketeer 1991
  24. Batman Returns 1992
  25. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 1993
  26. The Meteor Man 1993
  27. Fantastic Four 1994
  28. The Shadow 1994
  29. The Mask 1994
  30. The Crow 1994
  31. Tank Girl 1995
  32. Batman Forever 1995
  33. Men in Black 1997
  34. Batman & Robin 1997
  35. Orgazmo 1997
  36. Spawn 1997
  37. Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1998
  38. Blade 1998
  39. The Iron Giant 1999
  40. Mystery Men 1999
  41. X-Men 2000
  42. Unbreakable 2000
  43. Blade 2 2002
  44. Spider-man 2002
  45. X2: X-Men United 2003
  46. Hulk 2003
  47. Daredevil 2003
  48. Catwoman 2004
  49. Hellboy 2004
  50. The Incredibles 2004
  51. Spider-man 2 2004
  52. The Punisher 2004
  53. Constantine 2005
  54. Sky High 2005
  55. Batman Begins 2005
  56. Fantastic Four 2005
  57. Superman Returns 2006
  58. TMNT 2006
  59. Ultimate Avengers 2006
  60. Hellboy: Blood + Iron 2007
  61. Doctor Strange 2007
  62. Ghost Rider 2007
  63. Superman: Doomsday 2007
  64. The Incredible Hulk 2008
  65. The Dark Knight 2008
  66. Iron Man 2008
  67. Hellboy II: The Golden Army 2008
  68. Hancock 2008
  69. Batman: Gotham Knight 2008
  70. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog 2008
  71. Green Lantern: First Flight 2009
  72. Watchmen 2009
  73. Wonder Woman 2009
  74. Defendor 2009
  75. Batman: Under the Red Hood 2010
  76. Megamind 2010
  77. Super 2010
  78. Iron Man 2 2010
  79. Kick-Ass 2010
  80. Planet Hulk 2010
  81. Gantz 2010
  82. Green Lantern 2011
  83. X-Men: First Class 2011
  84. Captain America: The First Avenger 2011
  85. Thor 2011
  86. All Superheroes Must Die 2011
  87. Chronicle 2012
  88. The Avengers 2012
  89. The Amazing Spider-Man 2012
  90. The Dark Knight Rises 2012
  91. Dredd 2012
  92. Justice League: Doom 2012
  93. The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 & Part 2 2013
  94. Thor: The Dark World 2013
  95. Legends of the Knight 2013
  96. Iron Man 3 2013
  97. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox 2013
  98. The Wolverine 2013
  99. Lego Batman: DC Heroes Unite 2013
  100. Man of Steel 2013
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