Here’s our Superman comic recommendations from Comic Zombie #23!
Chris’s Pick: ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Erik’s Pick: SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu
These days there are hardly any human beings on the planet who don’t know about Marvel and their characters thanks to the insane success of the MCU. Characters that hardly anyone knew when I was growing up- Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Shang Chi, Black Widow, etc are practically household names across the globe. But what about Marvel’s ‘competition’, DC? They’ve been at this since before Marvel, and for decades had bragging rights over Marvel on both the small and big screens. What the hell happened?
It’s not like DC has been churning out crap for years and years (…actually…), and they have three of the biggest names in all of fiction, forget comic books, in Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. And that’s the real head scratcher here; I was going to make this a top 25 list but to be honest I could BARELY make it to 15. I know Warner Bros is a garbage studio in a lot of areas, but damn…
Maybe it’s because forever they only thought to make Superman or Batman movies, but you would think that a studio like WB that has been making movies of these characters to some degree or another since the late 1970’s would have a large, glorious back catalog of films to select from, but I would say Marvel has far, FAR more good-to-great films in their library and they’ve only been at this since 2008!! (Obviously I’m discounting third party studios leasing out the IP of Marvel characters, although between Blade, the X-Men films and the Spider-Man films there are some great ones).
The good news is that there seem to be a lot of films coming up for DC that cover a lot more of their universe besides just three characters. We’ve got Black Adam, Aquaman 2, Shazam 2, Batgirl, Blue Beetle, and… hmm. Is that it? Well, crawl before you walk, I suppose. Each of these has the potential to supplant one of the entries on today’s list; hopefully in a few years I’ll laugh at this list the way I do this one!
With several new DC movies coming out this year, including: Matt Reeves’s “The Batman”, “The Flash” (starring Ezra Miller, with Michael Keaton returning as Batman), “Black Adam” (starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”, and “Batgirl” (plus James Gunn’s “Peacemaker” on HBO Max and an upcoming “Green Lantern Corps” series), as well as next year’s “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”, I thought I’d take a look back and *try* to rank my favorite DC movies so far…Continue reading
With the recent (long-awaited) release of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2021) now on HBO Max and 4K Blu Ray, we now have the fully realized vision that first started in 2013’s “Man of Steel”, and continued with 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”! Considering this is essentially the third chapter of a trilogy, it only feels right to revisit the first two acts of this epic superhero saga before diving into this new (and very different) version of 2017’s “Justice League”…Continue reading
The first, and greatest, super hero, Superman has had a rather mixed bag when it comes to adaptations of his comic book adventures. There have been numerous television shows, radio serials, animated series, animated movies, video games, and live action movies, more of which were either just ok or straight up bad than good.
What is it about the big, blue boy scout that leads to so much crap?
You would think the elements that have been in place for 75 years now would be easy to adapt to the big screen, or the small screen. It’s not like there aren’t literally hundreds of pre-made stories in his publication history that are begging to be filmed and thrown on the screen, yet time and time again people think they can ‘improve’ upon the man of steel and his epically large library of awesomeness, and time and time again they fail miserably.
That’s not to say there haven’t been some success stories… “Superman: The Movie” was a high point, as were the Bruce Timm animated series and his representation in that same universe’s “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited”, as well as a handful of direct to DVD animated movies that did well. Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” may have divided some fans on its quality, but both Erik and I will go to our graves defending it.
But for each of those, there are Superman 3, Superman Returns, Lois and Clark, most seasons of Smallville and the dreaded Superman 64! It’s curious. And as bad as those are, you wouldn’t believe some of the utter shit that almost got made. (6 Terrible Superman movies, you won’t believe almost happened!)
For now, just to keep things relatively simple Erik and I are skipping 1951’s “Superman vs the Mole Men” and are only going to discuss the live action feature films, starting with…
In a world where a Comic-Book-based-Super-Hero-franchises are guaranteed blockbusters, with films like “The Dark Knight”, or “The Avengers” raking in over a billion effin’ dollars in real-life (non-Monopoly) money, it’s a little disconcerting that Superman (the original super hero – circa 1938) only recently got a decent film (with the exception of the 1978 classic) – with last year’s “Man of Steel” – a total reboot (starring Henry Cavill) from the dude who brought us that CGI-fest loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae (Zack Snyder).
Suffice it to say Superman movies until know have gotten a bad rep. With the exception of most of the animated movies, Superman movies have had a tendency to suck like a Hoover vacuum cleaner in a black hole. And why is that you ask? Well, although it is challenging to do a Superman movie justice (pun-intended), the reason they keep failing has nothing to do with the character (s) / story / mythology seeing as so many other super-powered champions have followed in his boot-prints since over the last 75 years of comic history, and most of them have ripped off of Superman in one or several ways with unique twists (i.e. Batman, Spider-man, Iron Man, etc).
Some say it’s a curse, others say it’s his cheesy old-fashioned sense of morality, while angry Internet trolls pollute message boards arguing about his trademark red super-speedos, but I say it’s the result of lazy writing, greedy producers who don’t understand the character, and directors who are unwilling to delve into the actual source material. The result: 30 + years of Gene Hackman’s “Lex Luthor” as an evil real estate agent.
Out of all the terrible Superman movies we’ve had to endure over the last couple decades, here are 5 that we should be thankful never made it to the silver screen, because they somehow managed to be even worse than what actually did make it to a theater near you. It’s unbelievable how bad these scripts were and unfathomable that they made it so far into production…
(Barf bags at the ready?)