THE Top Ten Marvel Movies

As Christmas 2011 approaches, you may be wondering which Marvel movies might be worth putting on your wishlist for the 25th. Do not fret! Comics Vanguard have got this all sorted out for you. Here are some classic comic films for you to find in your festive stocking.

10: X-Men First Class

Don’t let our review from earlier this year cloud your judgement: the X-Men are our favourites, and we’re always going to be extra-critical of anything they appear in. X-Men First Class may have suffered from a few problems – especially in the way it handled the central idea of what the X-Men stand for – but was great fun to watch. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender put together a superb double-act in their roles as Xavier and Magneto, which anchored the rest of the film. Their powers require them to, respectively, put a finger to their forehead and frown; and move their hands while grimacing. And they made it work!

9: Thor

Another recent film, which saw the relatively unknown Chris Hemsworth take on the iconic role in a movie which threw in a surprisingly large amount of Walt Simonson’s mythology and ideas into the mix. Crafting a brilliantly-structured movie around the idea that Anthony Hopkins is a warrior-king whose sons wear silly helmets and yell a lot, Thor was also notable for being yet another film stolen by Stellan Skarsgard, as a grumpy father-figure to Natalie Portman’s… science woman. What job was she meant to have, again?

8: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD

7: Spiderman

The first of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films proved to be a fine showcase for the director’s off-kilter filming style, disorientating viewers and delivering a great plot which underlined everything which makes Spider-Man so beloved as a comic-book character. Tobey Maguire may not have been the greatest Peter Parker, but he was given a terrific supporting cast to do the heavy lifting for him – including a full-on crazy Willem Defoe as Green Goblin.

6: Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr was the draw, playing essentially himself from four years ago, only with added robot suits. His take on Tony Stark was note-perfect, helped by a clever script and light directing from Jon Favreau. The sequel was filled with too much dead-weight, but this first look into the world of Iron Man was great fun.

5: X-Men 2

The best X-Men film, despite what some people say, Brian Singer’s movie added more weight to the mythos at the same time as introducing beloved characters like Nightcrawler and dumping uninteresting characters like Sabretooth. Brian Cox made for an interesting villain, but the main fun was seeing Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart trying to out-act each other.

4: Howard the Duck

George Lucas crafts an epic which stands alongside Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Howard the Duck is a subtly-drawn masterpiece, underpinned by sterling work from actress Lea Thompson as his love interest, Beverley.

3: Blade II

The first Blade film was stylish and entertaining, but the sequel cranks everything up by at least four notches. Wesley Snipes remains a fairly blank-faced protagonist, but that works well when he’s surrounded by all manner of day-glo vampires, gruff mentors, and Luke Goss as a villain whose mouth expands in size whenever he wants to eat someone’s face.

2: Spiderman 2

A better role for Bruce Campbell, Alfred Molina as Dr Octopus, even snazzier camerawork and spellbinding special effects are coupled with a scene in which Peter Parker gets repeatedly hit round the head while “Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head” plays in the background. A step up in every respect, Spider-Man 2 was the film which cemented the idea that comics were the next new direction for Hollywood to pursue.

1: Punisher Warzone

Absolutely the most underrated film of the last twenty years, Punisher Warzone delivers everything that a Punisher film should – cannibalism, facial mutilation, gangsters, fight scenes where the combatants are handcuffed to each other, dolls getting shot, freerunners getting blown up, and some of the more memorable scenes to ever be brought to screen. Lukewarm at the box-office, the film has gone on to develop a cult following over the past few months. And it doesn’t have John Travolta in it ANYWHERE.


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