12 Good Comic Book Movies
While some of these 12 good comic book movies contain superheroes, others feature tales of horror, angry Spartans, and sci-fi action with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. If you’re a fan of comic books, chances are that you’ve read at least one of the original series, but many of the cinematic adaptations are also worth your time. Netflix carries all of the good comic book movies listed below, and you can click on this link to try a free Netflix membership. We do get a small commission for directing you there, but it doesn’t affect your price in the least.
30 Days of Night (2007) – Based on the mini-series by Steve Niles, this film tells the tale of Barrow, Alaska, a town about to undergo 30 days without sunlight. That’s when the vampires show up, and the blood begins to fly. Starring Josh Hartnett, Danny Huston and Melissa George.
300 (2007) – Gerard Butler gained fame in this stylistic, chest-thumping actioner from director Zach Snyder. As the massive Persian army seeks to invade their lands, a zealous group of 300 Spartans holds them off and demonstrates bloodletting on an epic scale. Based on the works of Frank Miller.
Wanted (2008) – Based on the comic by Mark Millar, Wanted is quite a bit different from the source material. In the original, supervillains had taken over the planet, while this film deals with a secret order of assassins serving the forces of fate. James McAvoy stars as the son of the world’s greatest assassin, and Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman co-star.
Men in Black (1997) – Yep, this Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones blockbuster was based on a comic book. Written by Lowell Cunningham, the biggest difference between the series and the movie was the way in which the Men in Black operated. In the original, they actually directed events on Earth and weren’t opposed to killing witnesses in order to keep things covered up. Yeah, that would’ve made for a much different film.
American Splendor (2003) – Based on the autobiographical comics by misanthrope Harvey Pekar, American Splendor stars Paul Giamatti as a file clerk who expresses himself through tales of mundane life. And it all takes place on the mean streets of Cleveland.
The Crow (1994) – The late Brandon Lee stars as a murdered musician who comes back from the grave for revenge. The original series was created by James O’Barr, and both works feature meditations on death, grief, and regret. This makes sense when you consider that O’Barr originally created the series as a way to cope with the death of his girlfriend.
Lady Death: The Movie (2004) – The busty, pale-skinned babe who wages war against the forces of Heaven and Hell came from the mind of Brian Pulido and originally appeared in the pages of Chaos! Comics. In this version, she’s far more heroic, as the comic saw her trying to wipe out all life on Earth.
Yo-Yo Girl Cop (2006) – Remaining faithful to the manga series from Shinji Wada, Yo-Yo Girl Cop follows the adventures of a delinquent girl who goes to work for the government and fights crime with her specially-crafted yo-yo. She does so by infiltrating high schools throughout Japan, and fans of sexy Asian girls in schoolgirl outfits will be beside themselves with joy.
Lady Snowblood (1973) – Kazuo Koike created the manga and Toshiya Fujita directed the big-screen adaptation. In both versions, a female assassin (born in prison) seeks to track down the bandits who murdered her father and brother and then raped her mother. The endings, however, are different.
Tales from the Crypt (1972) – This British anthology film is based on stories from the legendary horror comics series, and it features five people crossing paths with the Crypt Keeper and hearing tales of their possible fates. From a homicidal Santa Claus to a bunch of pissed-off, sadistic blind people, Tales from the Crypt is littered with sheer terror and just the right amount of black comedy.
Vault of Horror (1973) – The sequel to Tales from the Crypt, this film features five strangers passing the time by sharing their recurring nightmares. There’s a twist at the end, of course, but until then we’re treated to thirsty vampires, a voodoo-fueled artist, and a couple of doctors looking to practice on the recently deceased.
Watchmen (2009) – Zach Snyder adopts another comic book mini-series, this time taking on the iconic and grim “superhero” tale from Alan Moore. When the masked crimefighter known as The Comedian is murdered, one of his former teammates begins to sniff out a conspiracy. A fascinating examination of the nature of heroes, Watchmen will hopefully find greater respect on the DVD and Blu-ray market. It certainly deserves it.
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