Excelsior! Marvel on Screen ('Nuff said!)

Marvel Comics is currently the 200 lb canary of the comic book world, but it hasn't always been so. They were often one of the mid-tier companies and were second to DC/National, until the late 60s/early 70s. After starting out with (mostly) fresh characters, they fell into a rut of copying whatever was popular, until Jack Kirby and Stan Lee started a revolution. Their film and television properties have tended to reflect their status and it has been a long, rocky road to success. here is a roadmap of their cinematic efforts.
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Captain America (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Superhero Captain America battles the evil forces of the archvillain called The Scarab, who poisons his enemies and steals a secret device capable of destroying buildings by sound vibrations. (244 mins.)
“ Timely Comics (Marvel's original name) finally got one of their characters to the Saturday matinee; Captain America. However, he didn't arrive intact. This Cap is not Steve Rogers and he isn't a soldier fighting the Nazis. Instead, he is a crusading district attorney fighting an average serial masked villain. His costume didn't completely match the comic (no wings on the mask, no buccaneer boots, stripes ony on the front of the costume). The problem was the script hadn't been developed for him. Republic had done 2 extremely successful films starring characters from the bigger Fawcett Comics (Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher) and it is believed that they were working on a third, Mr. Scarlet, when the deal fell apart. Mr. Scarlet was a crusading district attorney who carried a pistol, just like Cap in this serial. So, Republic sealed a deal with Timely, who were happy for any attention. From an action standpoint, it's a good serial; but, it isn't the Captain America of the comics. That would be decades down the road. ” - grendelkhan
The Marvel Super Heroes (1966 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An anthology series featuring superheroes published by Marvel Comics (22 mins.)
“ After the war, Timely eventually became Atlas Comics and churned out knockoffs of whatever was popular. The years were hard and the company ended up nearly bankrupt, without a distributor and locked into a deal with the owners of DC, who allowed them 8 titles per month, so they wouldn't saturate the newsstands. At the depths of this time, Kirby and Lee created the Fantastic Four and launched a revolution. However, it would take time to bring the FF to the screen. Instead, the first property based on Marvel Comics was this daily cartoon series, made up of segments with Thor, Captain America, Submariner, Hulk, and Iron Man. However, there was very little "animation." The cels were shot directly from the comic pages (well, nearly) and there was only the slightest movement. Instead, it truly was "radio with pictures," more in keeping with the Power Records of the 70s (record with a companion comic book). However, the artwork was from people like Kirby and Bill Everitt, so it looked darn good on the screen. It would be another year before we got some movement. ” - grendelkhan
Fantastic Four (1967 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Four costumed superheroes battle the world's most terrifying villains. (30 mins.)
“ Finally, Marvel's top dog came to the tv screen, from the top tv animation house, Hanna-Barbera. The stories were adapted from the comics and were relatively faithful. The models of the heroes were a bit off; bu,t not horribly so, while the master, Alex Toth, designed many of the villains and secondary characters. The result was pretty entertaining and included the Human torch, who would be missing the next time the FF came to the screen. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man (1967 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Original cartoon series based on the web-slinging Marvel comic book character, Peter Parker, who, after being bit by a radioactive spider, assumes extraordinary powers.
“ Launching around the same time as the FF was Spider-Man, but not from Hanna-Barbera. This cartoon came from low budget outfit Gantray-Lowell (who also produced the Marvel Super Heroes show). The animation was stiff, to be kind, but the stories were exciting enough that it got a pass. Ralph Bakshi worked on the series, before moving on to bigger things. Spidey looked a bit crude, but he proved popular enough to sustain things for a while, in syndication. He also had a heck of a theme song. ” - grendelkhan
The Electric Company (1971 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A comedy variety show that teaches basic phonetic and grammar concepts using live-action sketches, cartoons, songs, and Spider-Man episodes. (28 mins.)
“ This is not, strictly speaking, a Marvel production. However, Sider-Man would appear as a regular feature on the show, by the mid-70s (surplanting Letterman). It's goofy, but entertaining and leads to a crossover comic, Spidey Super Stories, which featured Spider-Man stories for young kids. Easy Reader (played by Morgan Freeman) would appear in the comics. ” - grendelkhan
The Amazing Spider-Man (1977 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
With the powers given by the bite of a radioactive spider, a young man fights crime as a wall-crawling superhero. (60 mins.)
“ It would be ten years before Marvel had another property on screen, but it would be their first live action one, since the Republic Captain America serial. Once again, it was Spider-Man, the top selling book in the company. Nicholas Hammond stopped singing with Julie Andrews in Austria and went to New York, where he became Peter Parker. Unfortunately, he wasn't given much to work with, script-wise, or villain-wise. The show had a decent cast, but the budget didn't allow for much in the way of special effects or stunts. The webs were just nets and rope and he only had one web shooter. It did have spectacular shots of New York, from vertigo inducing angles, to sell the wall crawling. However, it wasn't enough and the show was pulled from the schedule. ” - grendelkhan
The Incredible Hulk (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A fugitive scientist has the curse of becoming a powerful green monster under extreme emotional stress. (60 mins.)
“ Next up was Marvel's green monster, the Hulk. Bill Bixby, who had been relatively recently seen in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, would play David Banner (not Bruce) and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (from Pumping Iron) played the Hulk. The formula was essentially swiped from the Fugitive, with Banner believed to be dead and in hiding from an investigative reporter who is looking for the monster who killed him. Banner is pulled into other people's lives and problems, with the Hulk often solving them through violence, or being unleashed as a side effect. The series was very well done, on a dramatic scale, but lacked the scope of the comics. No one seemed to care, though, and this series became most people's introduction to the character. It would stand for a long time as the high water mark for Marvel. ” - grendelkhan
The Fantastic Four (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The super-elastic Mr. Fantastic, the force field-wielding Invisible Girl, the orange rock-covered Thing and the data-crammed robot Herbie make up a team of superheroes dedicated to thwarting would-be world-dominating villains.
“ The Fantastic Four returned, but not from Hanna-Barbera. Instead, H-B defectors Ruby-Spears brought them to tv, along with Jack Kirby creating the designs. This FF was different, though. The Human Torch had been optioned separately for a possible movie, so he was replaced with a robot, HERBIE. Urban legends grew that the Torch was banned because of the fire, but they proved wrong. The series was stiffer than the 60s H-B cartoons, though H-B veterans did the voice work. It wasn't bad, as they again adapted from the comics, but it wasn't that lively, either. ” - grendelkhan
Spider Man (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
To fight against the evil Iron Cross Army, led by the space emperor Professor Monster, a daredevil motorcyclist... (30 mins.)
“ The really odd entry in the Marvel cinematic world. This series was broadcast in Japan, by Toei, the people behind the "sentai" series, that would later spawn the Power Rangers, and the masked motorcycle riding hero Kamen Rider (who became Masked Rider, briefly, in the US). This Spider-Man got a giant robot (!!) which trumped the Spider-Mobile dune buggy that the Human Torch built for Spidey, in the comics of the 70s. Like most Toei productions, it was filled with action, something missing from the US series. Spidey even fought a monster that looked like the Thing! Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the series here, until bootleg videotapes started appearing on these shores. ” - grendelkhan
Dr. Strange (1978 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A psychiatrist becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth in order to battle an evil Sorceress from the past. (93 mins.)
Director: Philip DeGuere
“ This pilot movie was intended to launch Dr. Strange on tv. It introduces physician Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten) and finds him drawn to a brownstone in Greenwich Village, where he meets Sir John Mills, the Ancient One, and Clyde Kusatsu (a Japanese-American) as Wong (who is Chinese or Tibetan). He also finds himself plagued by Morgan Le Faye, played by Jessica Walters (Arrested Development, Archer). The whole thing plays out in a supernatural dimension, consisting of a sound stage and a lot of dry ice fog. Needless to say, a series did not follow. It isn't bad, but it isn't very exciting, either. ” - grendelkhan
Captain America (1979 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
A recipient of an experimental body enhancement chemical retaliates against his would be killers as a star spangled superhero. (97 mins.)
Director: Rod Holcomb
“ This was a pilot movie for a potential Captain America series. Reb Brown was certainly built for the part, though he was hardly a sickly Steve Rogers. In fact, he wasn't the wartime Cap at all; he was his son. After being injured in an accident, he is given the FLAG serum to save his life (shades of Steve Austin). He is given a new costume, different from the comics (again!), and a motorcycle, with a removable windshield, which becomes his shield! Steve continues his investigation into a corrupt business tycoon, who caused his accident. The villain was a bit too ordinary and the stunts were essentially copies of the Six Million Dolar Man. The pacing was also rather slow. At a convention, Marvel editor Mark Gruenwald revealed that Marvel had little say in the production and begged the studio to make the costume closer to the comics. So, at the end of the film, Steve is outfitted in his father's costume, which more closely resembled the comics (with a bonus motorcycle helmet). A series didn't follow, but a second film did. ” - grendelkhan
Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
The star spangled hero must battle a villain's plan to poison America with a chemical that horrifically accelerates the aging process. (83 mins.)
Director: Ivan Nagy
“ Hot on the heels of the first Cap tv movie came a second. This time, things have been retooled to get closer to the comics. Cap has a costume that looks much closer, though her never takes the winged (!!!) motorcycle helmet off. He is up against Christopher Lee, as a terrorist with an aging formula. There's more action, and a pretty spectacular motorcylce stunt, but it didn't produce a series. Poor Cap can't catch a break. Keep that in mind as we progress. This wasn't his low point. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Woman (1979 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The adventures of a female superhero with spider-like abilities. (21 mins.)
“ Next up for Marvel was a Spider Woman cartoon. Our heroine was voiced by Joan Van Ark (Knott's Landing) and Spidey showed up for the first episode. However, it suffered from a lack of comic villains and some bland stories. It didn't set Saturday morning on fire, nor did it do much to help the comics, which limped along before being cancelled with the 50th issue. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man (1981 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The web slinging superhero battles crime in New York City. (30 mins.)
Director: Don Jurwich
“ Spidey got new cartoons, but much of the country missed them. For one reason or another, this is one of the least seen Spider-Man cartoon series. It featured new models and livelier animation (relatively speaking) but seemed to have problems with the schedule. Captain America did make an appearance. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Spider-Man battles crime in New York City with the help of Iceman and Firestar. (22 mins.)
“ Following quickly on the heels of the previous cartoon came this revamped version. Spidey now got some friends: Iceman, of the X-Men, and a new heroine, Firestar. Together, they fight crime, out of Peter Parker's tricked out apartment (thanks to Tony Stark). Other characters from the Marvel universe showed up, including the X-Men, who make their debut (if you don't count a cameo appearance in the Marvel Super Heroes show). For some reason, they gave Wolverine an Australian accent. It was a pretty decent series, which would be repeated a couple of seasons and be circulated long after by tape traders. ” - grendelkhan
The Incredible Hulk (1982 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A research scientist is cursed with the tendency to turn into a giant green brute under stress. (24 mins.)
“ Following on the heels of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was The Incredible Hulk. Hulk was paired up with Spidey in an hour-long block, each getting their own half hour, complete with introductions from Stan The Man himself (always one for attention)! The Hulk gets to play out his story, starting with his origin, and Rick Jones is along for the ride. The stories are fairly good and they even introduced She-Hulk in an episode. With restrictions on violence, it has a harder time than Spidey and is the less remembered of the two cartoons. ” - grendelkhan
The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
It's been two years since the Hulk has surfaced, and Dr David Bruce Banner is on the verge of curing himself of the Hulk... (100 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Corea
“ While we waited for something new from Marvel on screen, we got a reunion, of sorts. Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno were back, and they brought along Thor. The movie was intended as a pilot for a Thor series, but this Thor was more of a frozen viking warrior, not the god. The Hulk doesn't get as much screen time and the story is rather lame. As a result, the network turns the development of a Thor series into a comedy; but, thankfully, it never sees the light of day. Marvel really wasn't doing well, cinematically, at this point, and it would get worse. ” - grendelkhan
Pryde of the X-Men (1989 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Just as teenage mutant Kitty Pryde is welcomed to the X-Men, the team of mutant heroes are called into battle to prevent Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from crashing a comet into the Earth. (22 mins.)
Director: Ray Lee
“ Marvel was churning out comics, but their tv properties had trickled down to nothing, though they had purchased the Depatie-Freleng studios years before. However, the studio was busy producing other cartoons. They were working on Marvel properties, and eventually produced this pilot for an X-Men series. The story features Kitty Pryde arriving at the school and meeting the gang, including Nightcrawler, who frightens her. They go up against Magneto and Kitty learns not to judge by appearances. Wolverine is still Australian, but the story was decent and it looked like we could get a series, but it didn't work out that way. The pilot was broadcast in syndication, with the other Marvel cartoons and found itself on vhs. We still had to wait for an X-Men series. ” - grendelkhan
The Punisher (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
When Frank Castle's family is murdered by criminals, he wages war on crime as a vigilante assassin known only as the Punisher. (89 mins.)
Director: Mark Goldblatt
“ By the end of the 80s, we had word of two Marvel properties being developed for movies: The Punisher and Captain America. The Punisher became a huge hit in the Reagan 80s, reflecting the vigilante culture prevalent in tv and movies, as well as in the news (Bernard Goetz). Dolph Lundgren, recently of Rocky IV, was tapped to play the "hero." Louis Gossett Jr., who had won an Oscar for Officer and a Gentleman, was to appear in the film. Sounded good. Unfortunately, what was produced was devoid of most of what made the comic character interesting and a plot that was derivative of every vigilante film out there. As such, it skipped theaters and went straight to video, like most action films of this ilk. It's about average for this kind of thing, but with little to set it apart from something like The Exterminator or Death Wish (pick a number). However, it was Citizen Kane compared to what would follow. ” - grendelkhan
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
David 'Belson' drifts into New York City and goes on a subway. And with him is a woman and two guys... (100 mins.)
Director: Bill Bixby
“ The first reunion movie was a pretty mixed bag, but it did well enough for another, which introduced Rex Smith as Daredevil and John Rhys Davies as the Kingpin (but under his real name, Fisk). Smith had already bombed on the series Street Hawk, but he was dressed in black spandex and sent out to fight crime. The plot involves Banner being defended by Matt Murdock, while he has nightmares of hulking out inside the courtroom. We see Stan Lee overact as a jury member in this sequence. It ends up being better than the last film, but not good enough to launch a Daredevil series. ” - grendelkhan
Captain America (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
Frozen in the ice for decades, Captain America is freed to battle against arch-criminal, The Red Skull. (97 mins.)
Director: Albert Pyun
“ Oh, man; where to start? This is truly a piece of junk. The film comes from 21st Century, an offshoot of bottom feeders Golan-Globus, and it wallows in mediocrity. Albert Pyun, the hack behind Cyborg, is the director, and Matt Salinger, son of author JD and bit player in Revenge of the Nerds, is the hero. The film is shot rather murkily, and Cap is kept mostly out of costume, which is a good thing because it is pretty laughable. The suit is made out of molded rubber, but much more cheaply made than Batman. It even has fake ears, which are obvious in still photos and aren't too hard to spot on film. The Red Skull is here, but now he is Italian! To top it off, when he reappears in the present, he has normal skin, just a lot of scars. Despite fine actors like Ronny Cox, Darren McGavin, and Ned Beatty, this thing is a total mess and it fails on every level. It didn't even go direct to video, as it sat on a shelf for years, before an eventual video release, well after the studio had gone bankrupt. Marvel seemed cursed at this point. This was the low point cinematically, though in a few years, Marvel itself would it rock bottom. ” - grendelkhan
The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
The finale of the television series about Dr. David Banner, a scientist who transforms into a mighty... (95 mins.)
Director: Bill Bixby
“ Marvel throws in the towel and Bill Bixby decides he wants to die, so to speak. This one is actually very good. Banner is hiding out as a mentally handicapped janitor at a research facility, where he secretly works on a cure for his condition, while also providing answers to a researcher's genetics project. He is eventually found out by the scientist, who tries to aid him. Meanwhile, a foreign spy infiltrates the facility to steal secrets, interrupting Banner in his work, leading to the Hulk to arrive. The plot plays out well and the cast is good, including Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5, the Fugitive movie) as the boss of the spy. The female spy seems modelled on the Black Widow, though she is never referred to as such. The only bad part is the death, which isn't particularly believeable, given the nature of the Hulk. However, it is by far the best effort revolving around a Marvel character since the original tv series. It was a fine end to the tv Hulk. ” - grendelkhan
Power Pack (1991 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
The Power's kids have been given superhuman abilities, but that doesn't necessarily mean that adjusting to a new home will be any easier... (27 mins.)
Director: Rick Bennett
“ One Marvel property got a pilot, but not what you would expect: Power Pack, a book about young children with superpowers. The comics were cult and critical favorites, but not huge sellers, so this was a bit surprising. Unfortunately, it would remain surprising as I am not sure it ever got broadcast by the networks. I have seen clips, at a convention, and they didn't exactly make you want to see a series. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men (1992 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A team of mutant superheroes fight for justice and human acceptance in the Marvel Comics universe. (23 mins.)
“ The X-Men finally hit the tv screen, though they were rushed out before they were ready. The series launched with a bang on Saturday morning, though in the long shadow of Batman: The Animated Series. Things are a bit rough, as not all of the animation was finished, but the characters are right and the stories are exciting. Wolverine tends to dominate and he is Canadian. The stories and animation would continue to improve, leading up to adaptations of the Dark Phoenix saga and other key storylines. The overly muscled models tended to make the animation less fluid, but it looked mostly like the comics. The voice work could have been improved here and there, especially Gambit's "cajun" accent. It was Marvel's first runaway hit since the Hulk tv series. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man (1994 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young man with spider-like abilities fights crime as a superhero in New York City while trying to have a normal personal life. (23 mins.)
“ With X-Men a hit on Saturday mornings, it's time to try Spider-Man again. This is a serious attempt, hoping to emulate Batman TAS, with noted actors in voice roles. The animation is a bit more fluid than X-Men, but not up to WB standards and some of the voices don't come across naturally. However, the stories are good and capture key moments from the comics. Even Nick Fury makes an appearance. It would have to sustain as a live action movie wallows in legal hassles. ” - grendelkhan
The Fantastic Four (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  
In this Marvel Comic adaption, four astronauts get bombarded with cosmic rays when an accident occurs... (90 mins.)
Director: Oley Sassone
“ While Marvel was owned by New World Entertainment, just about every property thye had was sold as a film or tv option, generally on the cheap (though Marvel hadn't exactly held out for the quality ollar before). There were rumors of various productions, but few results and those were terrible (Captain America and the Punisher). There were publicity photos of Brigitte Nielson a She-Hulk, when she didn't even have the rights to make a film! Around or just after this time, the option on the Fantastic Four was lapsing. So, to keep it alive, the rights holder turned to Roger Corman to make a quick film that was never intended for release. However, they released publicity photos and conducted interviews like it was coming to theaters, probably in the hopes it would be good enough to make back their budget. The film isn't bad, from a story standpoint, and the cast is decent. Doctor Doom is the villain, though his armor looks plastic. The Mole Man is renamed the Jeweler, for some bizarre reason. The Thing costume is actually pretty good, on par with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films. However, the effects are almost non-existant, until the end and it is badly shot. It served it's purpose, keeping things alive long enough to secure a deal at Fox. However, a film would be a long time in coming. ” - grendelkhan
Fantastic Four (1994 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The adventures of Marvel Comic's greatest superhero team. (22 mins.)
“ While we weren't going to get an FF film, we did get a syndicated cartoon. It started out pretty badly, with bad models and mediocre stories; but, it got better. The second season was much stronger and started to draw fans, keeping it from being a total failure. ” - grendelkhan
Iron Man (1994 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Industrialist Tony Stark leads his private team of superheros as Iron Man against the forces of evil. (30 mins.)
“ This companion cartoon to the FF shared many of the same problems: lackluster animation and bland stories. Robert Hayes as the hero didn't help, as one kept waiting for the punchline, like in Airplane. However, like the FF, it got better when it was retooled for a second season. ” - grendelkhan
Generation X (1996 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
A group of young mutants--humans with a genetic variation that gives them superpowers and makes them... (87 mins.)
Director: Jack Sholder
“ In 1991, I attended a comic convention, where Marvel announced that Spider-Man was in development for a movie, with James Cameron to direct, and an X-Men film with Richard Donner. Neither of those things happened. Spider-Man was caught up in lawsuits, stemming from the bankruptcy of Golan-Globus and X-Men was stalled. Meanwhile, Marvel had reached an agreement with Fox to produce films and tv, based on their properties. The first result was this pilot movie, intended to launch a Generation X tv series. It features Banshee and Emma Frost leading a class of teenage mutants. Unfortunately, the adult actors are far better than the teens, who are the focus. As such, it is a disjointed production, but it has moments. A series did not follow, continuing Marvel's live action streak. ” - grendelkhan
The Incredible Hulk (1996 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A nuclear scientist is afflicted with the tendency to change into a powerful green monster under stress. (20 mins.)
“ The Hulk got another cartoon series, with more of his montsrous enemies. It didn't set the world on fire but it was entertaining. Marvel still seemed to be having problems drawing an audience, compared to DC, who were ruling the animation roost with Batman and Superman. ” - grendelkhan
Men in Black (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth. (98 mins.)
“ Despite what the credits say, this is not connected to Marvel in any way, except thanks to a business deal. Men in Black was a minor comic from a small company, Malibu Comics. Malibu made some noise in the 90s, first launching the birth of Image Comics (by co-publishing the first issues of Spawn and Youngblood), then using that money to debut their own line of superheroes. The attention brought Hollywood around and MIB was optioned. While the film was in devlopment, Marvel Comics bought out Malibu, mainly to get their hands on their advanced computer coloring system, a move which proved easier than buying and developing their own. Marvel pretty much axed all of Malibu's properties, at least until the trademarks are up for renewal. However, this film eventually came to theaters, complete with "based on the Marvel comic" in the credits. Marvel wouldn't publish an MIB comic until after the release of the film. Apart from that, it's a darn good film! ” - grendelkhan
Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  
Marvel's hard-boiled hero is brought to TV. He is brought back to fight the menace of Hydra after exiling... (120 mins.)
Director: Rod Hardy
“ The Fox deal brought us a Nick Fury movie, complete with David Hasselhoff as the cigar chompin' hero. The Hoff is way over the top, but not as bad as the Viper. There are some decent effects, especially the Helicarrier, but the casting is off in too many roles. It ends up being fairly entertaining, in a cheesy kind of way. A series did not follow and the next time we see Nick Fury, he looks rather different. ” - grendelkhan
Blade (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires. (120 mins.)
“ While Marvel keeps looking for a hit from one of their big guns, a supporting character proves to be a suprise hit. Wesley Snipes brings the vampire slayer alive, lifiting him from the pages of Tomb of Dracula. It's a decent mix of action and horror, with Snipes especially handling the action well. The story is a bit muddled, but mostly works. ” - grendelkhan
Silver Surfer (1998 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The adventures of the cosmic wanderer as he seeks his lost home after rebelling from his master. (30 mins.)
“ Way back in the 70s, the Silver Surfer had been optioned for a potential movie. However, nothing ever happened with the property. Flash forward 20 years and we get a cartoon. Like the Hulk, it just kind of slipped out there and left, despite very cosmic stories, involving Thanos. Marvel's bankruptcy didn't help sell the thing, as it looked like they were on the ropes and might disappear all together. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man Unlimited (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Spider-Man travels to Counter-Earth to rescue an Terran shuttle crew trapped there and discovers a tyrannical & warped version of his world. (22 mins.)
“ Spidey got a new cartoon series on MTV, but it had a pretty bumpy road to get there. Marvel was a mess and MTV didn't exactly make this a priority. The series itself got good notices, while essentially adapting the Spider-Man 2099 series. Meanwhile, a film was still just a dream. ” - grendelkhan
Avengers: United They Stand (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The adventures of the Marvel Comics Universe's greatest general membership superhero team. (30 mins.)
“ There had been talk of a Captain America cartoon series, which would start out in WW II. Then, someone realized that they were goingto have trouble selling that level of violence, so they went to the Avengers instead. Except, they left out the most popular characters. the series featured mostly the B-team, in stories set in the near future. Then, for reasons that only toy manufacturers understand, they were given pointless powersuits. The series bombed with fans and ratings didn't set things ablaze either. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two mutants come to a private academy for their kind whose resident superhero team must oppose a terrorist organization with similar powers. (104 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Despite those rumors of Richard Donner, back in 1991, no film followed. The reality was that Donner's wife was shopping around the property. Eventually, she attracted the interest of director Bryan Singer, hot off The Usual Suspects and Apt Pupil. Singer succeeded in bringing the X-Men to life and bringing some daylight to a very broken down Marvel Comics. The film succeeded with great casting, an excellent script, and visuals that served the story. It launched Marvel, finally, into theaters and they have stayed ever since. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men: Evolution (2000 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
This rendition of X-Men features Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Spike as teenagers as they fight for a world that fears and hates them. (23 mins.)
“ Following quickly on the heels of the film success came a new X-Men cartoon. The models are more streamlined, taking their cues from Japanese anime. It proves popular enough though not as much as the previous cartoon series. However, its success on Disney cable broadcasts would lead to an interesting development. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family. (121 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ In the mid-90s, Marvel was mismanaged into bankruptcy. A proposed Spider-Man film was stuck in court, with multiple lawsuits, preventing James Cameron from directing. Marvel eventually emerged from bankruptcy, with most of their revenue going to pay their creditors. Then, their most popular hero came to the rescue. The lawsuits were eventually settled and Sony ended up the clear rights holder to the property. They enlisted Sam Raimi to direct, and he was the perfect choice. Raimi was a fan and he lovingly recreated the world of the comics, complete wit his signature humor, which meshed beautifully with the character. Toby Maguire proves to be a perfect Peter Parker and Rosemary Harris was a wonderful Aunt May. Willem Dafoe makes an interesting villain, though he is hamperred by a solid face mask, which covers his expressive face. The film still works and proved a massive hit. Marvel's share of the revenues, combined with those from X-Men, allow them to finally erase their bad debt and get back on sure-footed financial ground. It also allows them to consider a step for securing the integrity of their properties for future films. ” - grendelkhan
Blade II (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires. (117 mins.)
“ Blade gets a sequel, and secures Guillermo Del Toro, who raises it to a new level. Del Toro is in his element and this film really benefits, where it proves to be a huge success. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men 2 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President's life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces. (134 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Bryan Singer followed up his hit with an even better sequel, one which focused on the history of Wolverine and upped the ante for both the heroes and the villains, as they are forced to unite against a common threat. We get new characters, with Allan Cumming bringing Nightcrawler to life. The film is the apex of the X-Men franchise. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young man with spider like abilities fights crime as a superhero in New York City while trying to have a normal personal life. (21 mins.)
“ Spidey gets a new animated series, which I confess I haven't seen. I haven't heard any buzz about it, so it sounds like standard fare.. ” - grendelkhan
Daredevil (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero. (103 mins.)
“ With Spidey and the X-Men riding high, the next Marvel hero comes to the screen. Daredevil had always been a second stringer, until Frank Miller made him the hottest book of the ealry 80s. This success attracted Hollywood, who quickly added Daredevil to development, leading to the Hulk reunion movie. A series didn't follow, so we had to wait another decade. Enter fan Ben Affleck, who brings Matt Murdock to life. The film is directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the writer of Grumpy Old Men. As such, it starts to have problems. Affleck is fine and Jon Faverau is even better as Foggy Nelson. Jennifer Garner is fine as Elektra and Michael Clark Duncan is an interesting, but effective choice as the Kingpin. Even Colin Farrell's over-the-top Bullseye works. Where the problem comes is that the film tries to cover way too much plot in too short a running time and the film itself is filled with badly staged and edited scenes. It ends up to be an epileptic mess in many action scenes and much of the character drama is condensed until it loses impact. It really should have been split into a trilogy, which may have been the original intent. Instead, it feels like everything got squeezed together. ” - grendelkhan
Hulk (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Bruce Banner, a genetics researcher with a tragic past, suffers an accident that causes him to transform into a raging green monster when he gets angry. (138 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
“ Ang Lee puts his spin on the Hulk, with Eric Bana, Jennifer Connolly, and Nick Nolte. I confess I have never been able to get past the first 20 minutes without getting bored. Roger Ebert liked it, though. Lee makes some odd choices, like framing scenes in comic panel borders. It didn't exactly please fans. ” - grendelkhan
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Peter Parker is beset with troubles in his failing personal life as he battles a brilliant scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius. (127 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ Spidey returns, complete with Doc Ock and it proves to be another hit. Raimi hits all the right emotional and visual notes, crafting a film that is reviewed as better than the first. If there is a weak link, it is still Kirsten Dunst's rather bland performance as Mary Jane. ” - grendelkhan
The Punisher (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion. (124 mins.)
“ A new Punisher movie arrives, sans Dolph Lundgren. This one os closer to the comics, though it's a fairly routine shoot 'em up, with explosions and violence substituting for story and character. Rather like the comics, if you ask me, but it has its fans. If you are one, you'll probably enjoy it. Thomas jane got good marks for his portrayal, by fans. ” - grendelkhan
Blade: Trinity (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Blade, now a wanted man by the FBI, must join forces with the Nightstalkers to face his most challenging enemy yet: Dracula. (113 mins.)
Director: David S. Goyer
“ Third time was not the charm and this effectively killed blade as a movie property. A short-lived tv series would appear. ” - grendelkhan
Elektra (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins. (97 mins.)
Director: Rob Bowman
“ This was rushed out soon after Daredevil and it shows. It's just plain bad and pretty much put a sai in a Daredevil or Elektra franchise. For now. ” - grendelkhan
Fantastic Four (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom. (106 mins.)
Director: Tim Story
“ The wait was finally over and Fox produced a Fantastic Four movie. Unfortunately, it ends up a mixed bag. The story is even weaker than the Corman quickie, though the effects are better and the casting is mostly good. Michael Chikliss and Chris Evans are well cast as Ben grimm and Johnny Storm. Ioann Griffudd is ok as Reed Richards, but he lacks a spark that the other two have. Jessica Alba mainly serves as eye candy and adds little to the character. Doctor Doom is added to the FF origin, in a move that reduces him to a stock villain, which devalues the clash between him and the FF. In the end, the film ends up as reasonably entertaining, if not epic. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto. (104 mins.)
Director: Brett Ratner
“ Bryan Singer is gone and Matthew Vaughn takes a pass, leaving us with Brett Ratner. Oy vey! The end result is a mess of too many characters and a story cobbled together from Dark Phoenix and Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. It fails and puts an end to this iteration of the franchise. ” - grendelkhan
Ultimate Avengers (2006 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
To confront an alien menace, General Fury assembles a team of superheroes lead by a recently resuscitated Captain America. (72 mins.)
“ This direct to video feature adapts the Ultimates series, from Marvel's Ultimate line of comics. The series featured an alternate universe, based more on the movie properties and catering to a younger audience. Ultimates featured an Avengers run by the US government, and a African-American Nick Fury. The dvd follows the basic plotline from the first volume of Ultimates. The animation is decent, though the voicework is so-so. It would spawn a sequel. ” - grendelkhan
Ultimate Avengers II (2006 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When the Chitauri invaders are sighted in the African kingdom of Wakanda, the Avengers covertly enter the advanced nation to investigate. (73 mins.)
“ This second Ultimate Avengers direct-to-dvd feature showcases the Black Panther, as he is brought into the Avengers fold. It was fine, though not up to the standards of DC and Warner Bros. productions. ” - grendelkhan
Blade: The Series (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The adventures of the half human/vampire hunter. (60 mins.)
“ Tv version of the vampire slayer. It didn't end up as successful as Buffy. ” - grendelkhan
Ghost Rider (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hellblazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself. (114 mins.)
“ Nicholas Cage missed out on a chance to play Superman, so he settles for Johnny Blaze. Somehow, I doubt he would have faired better as the Man of Steel. The film is a mess of a story and features some pretty hokey acting, but it did well enough for an even worse sequel. ” - grendelkhan
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
The Fantastic Four learn that they aren't the only super-powered beings in the universe when they square off against the powerful Silver Surfer and the planet-eating Galactus. (92 mins.)
Director: Tim Story
“ The FF comes completely off the rails in this disappointing sequel. The Silver Surfer is here, but Galactus is more threat than character, and the story is a mess. This effectively killed the franchise, though a reboot is in the works to keep the option going. ” - grendelkhan
Doctor Strange (2007 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A crippled and embittered doctor travels to a hidden community in Tibet where he learns of his true destiny as the Sorcerer Supreme of his world. (76 mins.)
“ After a failed tv pilot in the 70s came a direct to video release, 30 years later (god I feel old). I haven't seen it; but, it had so-so reviews from comic media. Supernatural heroes are a tough nut to crack. ” - grendelkhan
The Invincible Iron Man (2007 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
When a cocky industrialist's efforts to raise an ancient Chinese temple leads him to be seriously wounded and captured by enemy forces, he must use his ideas for a revolutionary power armor in order to fight back as a superhero. (83 mins.)
“ Direct to video version of Iron Man, done in anticipation of the movie. ” - grendelkhan
The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
An animated television show that focuses on a 16-year-old Peter Parker and the origins of Spider-Man. (23 mins.)
“ Another Spider-Man animated series, aimed at a younger audience. Haven't seen it. ” - grendelkhan
Iron Man (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil. (126 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ Using the money from the Spider-Man and X-Men films, Marvel was able to emerge from the shadows of bankruptcy. They decided that they wanted greater control of the film properties, as the studio results were a mixed bag, even when successful. They secured financing for their own productions and started with Iron Man. It was a risky move. Iron Man had been in development for another Hulk movie or stand alone pilot, but it never made it to filming. Marvel made risky choices, with actor-turned director Jon Faverau, and a (relatively) newly sober Robert Downey Jr. What emerged was an excellent film that captured the comic origin, in a new setting, while also making for spectacular visuals. Downey wasn't exactly what you thought of for the techno whiz playboy, but he made the character his own. Gwyneth Paltrow makes a passable Pepper Potts, though she is greatly aided by decent chemistry with Downey, something she lacked in Sky Captain. The film was a triumph and set the stage for bigger things, as teased in the epilogue. It also made a cult hero out of the minor character, SHIELD Agent Coulson, played wonderfully deadpan by Clark Gregg. ” - grendelkhan
Punisher: War Zone (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
After hunting down and killing hundreds of violent criminals, Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, faces his most deadly foe yet: Jigsaw. (103 mins.)
Director: Lexi Alexander
“ Sequel to the Thomas Jane Punisher, this time produced by Marvel. Not quite my cup of tea. ” - grendelkhan
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he emerges whenever he loses his temper. (112 mins.)
Director: Louis Leterrier
“ Marvel followed the success of Iron Man with a revamped Hulk, featuring Edward Norton. Norton was a fan of the tv series and the film takes its cues from it. Things are set up well and progress nicely, with William Hurt as the obsessive Gen. Thunderbolt Ross and Tim Roth as special oeprator Emil Blonsky. There is a nice shout out to Captain America, as Blonsky takes a derivative of the super soldier formula, but ends up mutated into a monster. The final climax leaves much to be desired as the plot comes to a standstill for pointless violence. The ending makes up for things, emotionally, and the epilogue advances Marvel's ambitions. ” - grendelkhan
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The children of the Avengers hone their powers and go head to head with the very enemy responsible for their parents' demise. (78 mins.)
“ This was a direct to video production, featuring characters derived from Young Avengers. Haven't seen this one, either. ” - grendelkhan
Wolverine and the X-Men (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After an explosion at the school, the X-Men went their seperate ways. But they must unite once again under the leadership of Wolverine to prevent an inevitable war while also dealing with present problems. (23 mins.)
“ Another X-Men cartoon, again heavily focusing on Wolverine. At least they spell it out in the title. It's success, along with Evolution, on the Disney networks leads Disney to make a deal that Marvel couldn't refuse. ” - grendelkhan
Black Panther (2010 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Black Panther is the ruler and protector of the African nation of Wakanda. Using technology, wits, and extraordinary fighting ability he must protect his nation from an invasion led by Ulysses Klaw, the man who killed his father.
“ This was an interesting development for Marvel. There had long been a Black panther movie in development, with Wesley Snipes eager to play the hero. John Singleton was involved at one point, but passed. Snipes would go on to play Blade, while the Panther lay dormant. then came this animated series from BET. Djimon Hounsu voices T'Challa, the masked hero and king of the African nation of Wakanda. The animated is an oddity, featuring computer manipulation of the artwork. It doesn't launch a regular series, but it does succeed on a dramatic level, keeping hope alive for a movie. ” - grendelkhan
The Super Hero Squad Show (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Marvel's greatest heroes and evilest of villains battle it out in action packed yet somewhat satirical alternate universe-style adventures.
“ Marvel's characters reappear in a series aimed at younger children; and it's actually pretty entertaining. The stories are simplified, but they are still good, showcasing many favorites from the comics. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A look at Wolverine's early life, in particular his time with the government squad Team X and the impact it will have on his later years. (107 mins.)
Director: Gavin Hood
“ Wolverine gets his own film, but it is as muddled as his history in the comics. It starts out by adapting the current origin (it has been through many changes and false stories) that he was the son of a wealthy man, who must hide when his mutant abilities and bone claws are revealed. He eventually becomes a goverment agent, which is where the adamantium comes in. The film starts out well, and has a nice montage of Wolverine and Sabretooth across the ages, eventually working as part of a goverment black ops team. Wolverine is betrayed along the way and repeatedly comes into confrontation with Sabretooth. Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber are good, but there is too much going on to give a coherent story. ” - grendelkhan
Hulk Vs. (2009 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two stories featuring Marvel's anti-hero The Incredible Hulk and his encounters with the X-Man Wolverine and the god known as Thor. (82 mins.)
Director: Sam Liu, Frank Paur
“ Another Hulk direct to video production, featuring his battles with various opponents. ” - grendelkhan
Iron Man (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
When Tony Stark branches his company into Japan, he is opposed by the nefarious Zodiac organization. It's up to Stark's Iron Man to defeat the Zodiac, and defend Japan.
“ More recent animated series, taking its cues from the movies. ” - grendelkhan
Iron Man 2 (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father's legacy. (124 mins.)
Director: Jon Favreau
“ Iron Man returns, but the bloom is starting to come off the rose. We start out well, with the introduction of the rival Justin Hammer and Russian criminal/inventor genius Ivan Vanko (essentially, the comic villain Whiplash). The pair launch an assault on Stark, leading to a battle between Iron Man, the newly christened War Machine (played by Don Cheadle) and robot drones controlled by Vanko. The climax is where things start to fall apart. We also get the debut of Black Widow, a SHIELD agent who is masquerading as a Stark employee and Agent Coulson is also back for the fun. Things end up seeming rushed, as Marvel crashes headlong towards their ultimate goal. We do get a peek at one of the prototypes for Cap's SHIELD. ” - grendelkhan
Planet Hulk (2010 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The Incredible Hulk, ejected from Earth in a spaceship, crash-lands on a planet ruled by a tyrant, who forces him to fight in a coliseum against other powerful creatures. The Hulk reluctantly befriends the combatants on his team. (81 mins.)
Director: Sam Liu
“ Direct to video feature, adapting the Planet Hulk storyline, where a secret cabal of heroes sends the Hulk off into space, where he eventually lands on a planet, becomes a gladiator, and then leads an army back to Earth. Haven't seen it, but have trouble believing it can distill that convoulted a story. ” - grendelkhan
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
After 74 villains break out of prison, Marvel's most powerful superheroes team up to capture all of them, and also to defend the Earth from widespread threats. (30 mins.)
“ Marvel and Disney brought the Avengers to animation, before doing so in theaters. The result is darn good, effectively capturing the flavor of the comics and introducing many characters to the tv screen. It also sets up an unfortunate precedent, a WW 2 without the Nazis (HYDRA is substituted), which carries over to Captain America. The animation is good and the stories are great. If I have one quibble it's that Tony Stark sounds like Kevin Smith, which is more than a bit distracting. ” - grendelkhan
Thor (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. (115 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
“ Marvel's next property is the Asgardian god Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth. Kenenth Barnnagh is here to try to bring some Shakesperean epic quality to the film, which made the comics great. He generally succeeds, as the arrogant god incurs his father's wrath, with a bit of help from Loki, and ends up exiled on Earth. There he encounters a research team and a love interest. He also runs into SHIELD, with Agent Coulson in charge of the scene, surrounding Mjoulnir. Hemsworth plays the character well, but is upstaged by Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The cast is nicely filled, including the supporting characters of the Warriors Three (plus one) and a cameo by Jeremy Rener's Hawkeye. However, the climax, like Iron Man 2, seems to be sacrificed to advance the overall project at the heart of these films. ” - grendelkhan
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a "Super-Soldier serum". But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. (124 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
“ The first Marvel/Timely Comics hero to reach the screen becomes the latest and finally gets his due. Chris Evans portrays the hero, making him a heroic figure, even as a sickly young man. He captures the heroic naure and the qualities of leadership that are central to the hero. Hugo Weaving is the Red Skull, who finally makes an appearance. The film introduces several concepts, including the rogue organization HYDRA and the Howling Commandos, in an altered form. It also departs heavily from actual WW II history, mostly leaving the Nazis out of it (but not entirely) to better sell it overseas. Once again, the climax feels truncated, as we gloss through Howler missions and Bucky's fate, just so we can get to the next film. It ends up marring what was a great film, up to that point. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men: First Class (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III. (132 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
“ This was a reboot of the X-Men franchise, set in the past, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mutant Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club are at odds with young Charles Xavier and Magneto, and their group of young heroes (including Xavier's adopted sister, Mystique). Michael Fassbender is the standout figure, though James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence hold their own. Kevin Bacon makes for a darn good villain, though January Jones is a complete mistake. There are too many characters and it isn't hard to spot the cannon fodder. The time period also causes a problem with some of the costumes, which don't look much like 60s fashions (certainly not the fabrics) and the actresses emaciated bodies don't exactly fit in with the average female figure of that period, especially in the Hellfire Club scenes (with very modern lingerie on display). On the other hand, Magneto's hunt for Nazi war criminals is up there with James Bond. ” - grendelkhan
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form. (96 mins.)
Director: Neveldine, Taylor
“ The other studios weren't done yet and we get another Ghost Rider films that is even more pointless than the previous one. Supernatural heroes are hard to pull off in comics (the series rarely last long) and film proved no exception. ” - grendelkhan
Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The young Norse god Thor embarks on a quest with his brother Loki to find and recover a legendary sword. (77 mins.)
Director: Sam Liu
“ Direct to video feature designed to fill the Thor demand, alongside the movie. Haven't seen this one, either. ” - grendelkhan
The Avengers (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity. (143 mins.)
Director: Joss Whedon
“ Finally, we get to Marvel's goal, upon which the climaxes of the last three films have been sacrificed. Joss Whedon delivers a suitably epic finale to Marvel Phase One, complete with Loki and a band of aliens, who have ties to a certain member of an offshoot of the Eternals (and Darkseid ripoff). The film is outstanding, though it does little to flesh out the lesser heroes of Hawkeye and Black Widow. It does make good use of both the Hulk and Bruce banner, now played by Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Evans gets to expand upon Captain America. SHIELD is now fully revealed, complete with Helicarrier. It has been a long road, but Marvel is sitting on top of the film world and its success led to Disney buying the company, ensuring that it will have the financial backing to continue. ” - grendelkhan
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death. (136 mins.)
Director: Marc Webb
“ Reboot of the Sony franchise which overestimates the short attention span of moviegoers. Spidey had barely disappeared before they were launching new films, mainly to keep the option alive. The Lizard is brought out, but he is not quite the tragic figure of the comics and has a rather silly plot, which has become cliche in these films. It did well enough but can't hold a candle to Sam Raimi. ” - grendelkhan
The Marvel Anime Universe: Blade Re-Awakened (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(10 mins.)
“ An anime series, produced with Japanese animators, featuring Blade. It was apparently a shaky adaptation. ” - grendelkhan
“ This video features Iron Man against several villains, produced by Japanese animators. ” - grendelkhan
The Marvel Anime Universe: Wolverine Reborn (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(9 mins.)
“ Wolverine makes the most succesful transition to anime, in a story that adapts Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's Wolverine mini-series (which also inspired the upcoming movie). ” - grendelkhan
X-Men Anime: A Team of Outsiders (2012 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(10 mins.)
“ The X-Men are imagined by a Japanese team. It's big on action but short on story. ” - grendelkhan
Iron Man 3 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. (130 mins.)
Director: Shane Black
“ Picking up after Avengers, we find Tony Stark suffering from anxiety attacks and a bit too much bravado. Enter the minions of a terrorist, the Mandarin, and a dangerous challenge from Stark and we get a massive clash. This film, which hit all the right notes with fan, critics, and general audiences, is mostly an adaptation of the Extremis storyline, one of the more popular later era Iron Man stories. It's not perfect, as there are numerous gaps in logic, but it's compelling enough to get you to ignore them (mostly). ” - grendelkhan
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. (45 mins.)
“ TV series, developed by Joss Whedon, focusing on SHIELD and its work in investigating the weird events of the planet. Clark Gregg is back as Agent Coulson, and is joined by a group of rookies. The series had a decent start, but quickly found itself on shaky ground, as they tried to establish the new characters. Unfortunately, these episodes didn't do much to advance the plot and didn't exactly create compelling characters. Coulson is still the main reason to watch, though Fitz and Simmons are fun to watch. As for the rest of the characters? I kept hoping that something would click but it never seems to happen. The last block of episodes got back to plot elements of the pilot, further establishing an opposite number for SHIELD; but it still hasn't resolved the character problem. The series improved in those episodes, but the jury is out. If the series gets a second season, they really need to do some work to hit the ground running or it won't survive to a third. ” - grendelkhan
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves. (112 mins.)
Director: Alan Taylor
“ Thor is back and he takes his girlfriend to meet the folks. meanwhile, Dark Elves show up and Thor needs Legolas, I mean Loki's help. As with the first film and Avengers, Tom Hiddleston steals the show (Well, villains are the best parts). It's all very grand and further foreshadows the fight with Thanos. ” - grendelkhan
The Wolverine (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons. (126 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
“ Hugh Jackman returns in this sort-of adaptation of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's seminal Wolverine mini-series, as well as X-Men #172-173 (which was a thematic sequel to the mini-series). Unfortunately, the film loses most of the compelling parts of the comic plots and just uses some of the visuals, taking them onto a rather convoluted story. It starts out fairly well, but starts losing its way towards the middle and becomes very disjointed by the end. The biggest problem is that overblown visuals trump story. It's much better than the last Wolverine movie, but still far behind the first two X-Men films. Stay for the tag, which links to X-Men: Days of Future Past. ” - grendelkhan
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. (132 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
“ Bryan Singer is back and now we are going to get a mix of casts from the earlier films and X-Men: First Class. We also get an adaptation (with probable huge changes) of the Days of Future Past storyline. In the original, Kitty Pryde travels back in time to prevent the death of Senator Kelly, which sparks a massive backlash against mutants, leading to dystopian future of death and slavery. This time, it's going to be Wolverine (since Hugh Jackman is the main reason, apart from Ian McKellan, that people watch these things). It will be interesting to see how things are pulled off. ” - grendelkhan
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe. (121 mins.)
Director: James Gunn
“ Well, it's not my Guardians, so I'm not very invested in this one. This is based on a more recent revamp of the team, as a collection of cosmic misfits. Star Lord was the lead in a series of rather boring adventures in Marvel's black & white magazines (very early 80s) and Rocket Raccoon was a cult favorite, with art from Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy). Drax was a figure in Captain Marvel, who was saved from death to destroy Thanos. Only Yondu was part of the original Guardians. Since there are few preconceived notions here, for the general public, this has the possibility of being something very different. It also has the possibility of badly hurting Marvel's batting average. Time will tell. My main hope is they don't give Dave Bautista many lines and Rocket Raccoon turns out to be a fun character. ” - grendelkhan
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier. (136 mins.)
“ Well, that didn't take long. I suppose it was too much to hope for Marvel to let Cap get settled in the modern world, before adapting Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's Winter Soldier storyline; but, it is the age of the short attention span. So, we pull some story elements from Ultimates 2 and throw in Winter Soldier, while adding the Falcon to the screen. Will we see the ultimate Red Head (not Scarlett Johanson)? We will see Robert Redford, who once passed on playing Superman (but was physically right for Cap). Wonder if Paul Newman would have done one of these, had he lived longer? Maybe if they had greenlit William Goldman's Captain Marvel script (the Big Red Cheese, not Mar-Vell). Anyhoo, expect lots of fights and nonsense like Cap not needing a parachute to jump out of a plane (he supposed to be at the peak of physical ability, not superhuman; but, whatever...). ” - grendelkhan