Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2012

Best Superhero Films not based on a comic book

Superheroes are everywhere. Avengers, Spider-Man, Batman are coming to theaters this summer with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Superman and several on tap over the next couple of years.

Comic books and graphic novels have inspired tons of films, but there are also superheroes on the big screen which were not directly derived from the pulp of a comic book.

Incredibles-team photo runningThe Incredibles

The most obvious choice is from Pixar’s Brad Bird. The “Incredibles” has plenty of Fantastic Four influences and references, but also ties to the themes of the ‘aging hero’ from the ‘Dark Knight Returns’ and ‘Watchmen’ stories.

The film is possibly one of the most re-watchable of any superhero flick because of the humor, fast pace and engaging characters. Superman, Flash, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Girl are all mimicked in the core team, but Edna Mode, the cast of fallen heroes and even the ‘monologuing’ make this film a classic.


A great concept derails into a distant second because of the profanity. Will Smith’s alcoholic Superman knockoff would have been better served with a dose of sarcasm in place of the profane.

The film drifts away from Hancock too much and the audience is more interested in Jason Bateman’s character than the protagonist. Rumors continue to swirl that “ Hancock 2” is in development as Smith says ‘He’s game,’ but it’s not coming anytime soon.

unbreakable Samuel L Jackson Bruce WillisUnbreakable

Back when M. Night Shyamalan made great movies, Bruce Willis took on Samuel L. Jackson is this realistic drama involving a naïve super-powered Willis and Lex Luthor-esque knockoff to challenge the heart of the emerging hero.

The film is admittedly more thought provoking that overtly entertaining – Jackson’s hairdo notwithstanding.

I wanted to keep the list short to allow for some input.

Two notable exceptions:

“Super” starring James Gunn’s Crimson Bolt story leaving a long-lasting impression, but was easier overshadowed by the more entertaining version, “Kick Ass.”

“Chronicle” would make the list, but one could argue that the film is not a superhero movie. If we include this film, then it’s real simple to argue “The Matrix” onto the list.

An FYI for any of you primed to argue about “Mystery Men” – there is a comic book by Dark Horse.

Michael B Jordan center Chronicle photo

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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