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ComicMix Six: The Best Movies Adapted From Comic Books

Luana Haygen

Luana is an animated movie and superhero enthusiast with an eye for detail. She has been drawing and creating fashions since she was a child. She has been routinely helping here at ComicMix since 2009.

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24 Responses

  1. Brian Alvey says:

    I haven't seen 300 yet, but I'd like to think that Iron Man could knock at least one movie out of the first six.

  2. Martha Thomases says:

    Ghost World! And I liked Road to Perdition, although I'll grant you that History of Violence is the better of the Paradox films.

  3. Van Jensen says:

    I'm really on the fence about 300. It was exceptionally well made and acted, but the story didn't do it for me, I guess largely because I'm a history nerd and I find the true story of the 300 much more interesting. That Leonidas-as-instigator-of-Democracy stuff is just ridiculous.

  4. Andy Holman says:

    I'm always surprised when I see "300" on a "best of" list in which the criteria include anything other than very faithfully looking like a Frank Miller comic. It was entertaining, and an interesting exercise in cinematic excess, to be sure, but to say that it stood on its own as a better movie than, say, "X-Men?"Obviously, though, to each his own. Cheers! -Andy Holman

  5. John Ostrander says:

    "Road To Perdition" is better than some of the films on your list. The original Superman movie was mixed at best — the Lex Luthor stuff went way over the top, IMO. It became "comic booky". I think "Sin City" is a triumph of visual over content. Miller does "faux noir". IRON MAN does belong on the list; it's perhaps the best made superhero film I've ever seen and i include the Spider-Man films.

  6. Rick Marshall says:

    WHAT?! "Man-Thing" gets snubbed once again?? This is getting ridiculous, Chris…And no, I *still* haven't seen "Iron Man"…

    • Mike Gold says:

      Rick, you really should see Iron Man. It's part of your job (the, ahhhh, "no we won't pay for your ticket" part). We'd give you time off to see it, but we'd have to invent an eighth day of the week.

  7. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    I have to agree with John about the SUPERMAN movie. Great moments and awful moments in the same film. On the other hand – I don't think there has ever been a better SUPERMAN on film than the Fleischer Superman cartoons.

  8. Keith R.A. DeCandido says:

    Putting Spider-Man 2 ahead of Spider-Man is ridiculous, IMO. And calling Dr. Octopus such a great movie villain when a) he was a rehash of the Goblin from the previous film and b) bore no resemblance to the original comic book villain (who is far more interesting) is equally ridiculous to me. And X-Men didn't make the list when it had the perfect casting storm of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, and Hugh Jackman?Also, regarding Batman Begins — I liked it better the first time when it was done better in 1994 as Mask of the Phantasm….

    • Van Jensen says:

      I'm with you on Mask of the Phantasm, Keith. Not only is it quite possibly my favorite comic book movie, it's among my favorite films (a list with no other comic book movies, I should note).

    • Rick Marshall says:

      I'm going to disagree on Spider-Man, Keith. To say I'm a big Spider-Man fan is likely the understatement of the week, but I thought the sequel was better than the first film for exactly the same reason Chris indicated. No more of the necessary origin-telling, much more of the great, swinging-through-the-city fun. To be honest, the only flaw I saw in the sequel was that whole "crowd of people on the subway see him without his mask and nobody whips out a camera phone" scene. I enjoyed Alfred Molina immensely as Doc Ock, too.Oh, and on another note, I didn't like the first X-Men film at all. I thought X-Men 2 was a far better film. The casting of Stewart and McKellan were sort of no-brainers, as they were pretty much "psychic, disabled Jean Luc Picard" and "evil, magnetic Gandalf." Don't get me wrong, they were still excellent in their roles, but I thought Alfred Molina really made Doc Ock *his* character in Spider-Man 2, and Tobey really got his stride and made Peter Parker his own in Spidey 2. Sorta like Hugh Jackman did in X-Men 2, actually.

  9. Rick Marshall says:

    My (serious) thoughts on the list:I think I would've substituted "Hellboy" for "300," and if we want to take a step onto that slippery slope of counting manga and/or animated films in the pool of contenders, I'd include the "Ghost in the Shell" film instead of "Superman: The Movie."

  10. Lauren says:

    what about Persepolis? Also, I liked Road to Perdition as well. I did not enjoy 300 at all.

  11. Sean D. Martin says:

    "…and full of great performances from Michael Cain as Alfred"Michael Caine

  12. Chris Ullrich says:

    Jeez, one little typo. . . Also, given the opportunity for a longer list, I might have included "Ghost World" (which I liked very much), "Road to Perdition" (which I also enjoyed but found rather flat, somewhat pretentious with a weak third act) and maybe "X-Men 2" (which is the best of the three films). However, six is the magic number so here we are.

  13. Allyn Gibson says:

    No love for The Rocketeer? I'd kick 300 to the curb for The Rocketeer.

    • Neil Ottenstein says:

      I didn't go see The 300 because I really disliked the story of the original comic. The Rocketeer was such great fun it really belongs there. Of course, it did terrible box office numbers so maybe that's why it was forgotten.

  14. Mike Gold says:

    Yeah, it's really nice to see we can't fit all that are noteworthy into a list of six. I still think the first Flash Gordon serial deserves consideration — as well as the Captain Marvel serial. But Road To Perdition would not only be on my top 6, it would be number 1.

  15. Michael H. Price says:

    Quite a few serials might belong on a best-of list. The first two "Dick Tracy" entries, "Spy Smasher," "Cap'n Marvel," the 1938 "Jungle Jim" … whoa. Of course, the serials are a breed apart from the feature-lengthers.Perhaps a Sequence of Sixes would be in order — best heroic-adventure adaptations, best crime-and/or-horror comics adaptations (together or separately), best how-it-feels-to-be-alive comics takeoffs ("American Splendor," "Ghost World"), and so forth. Maybe a distinction between animated-cartoon adaptations and live-action/spec-FX renditions. Nothing like overcomplicating the Mix.Granted that Comics Is Comics as far as a whole lot of us are concerned, it's still kind of difficult to regard a "Road to Perdition" in the same light as a "Superman," and even more so to regard a Fleischer "Superman" in the same light as a Donner "Superman."

  16. Rick Taylor says:

    Honestly, every week or so we get a new list of 'best comic book movies'.I still like the Rocketeer the best.

  17. russ carreiro says:

    I cant place the original Superman up there. The ending of that movie is an all time boneheaded stinker of an ending. Superman makes the world spin backwards and reverses time? Sorry but an ending can and did ruin that movie. Besides that, everyone knows the 2nd movie was at least a kazillion times better.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      Russ, you read my mind! The ending of "Superman" was one of the all time stupidest. But "Superman: The Movie" lost me with the "Can You Read My Mind" drivel. Superman and Lois Lane flit about like Peter Pan and Wendy. (Superman can't make someone magically fly just by touching their fingertips! Argh!) And Margot Kidder offers up one of the most hackneyed, embarrassing and out of context spoken word songs of all time. This makes William Shatner's "Rocketman" sound like Shakespeare. (Actually, I LOVE William Shatner. "Has Been" is a GREAT album!)For those who want to see how that scene should have felt, I offer up "A Whole New World" from Disney's Aladdin, which successfully served the same thematic and plot purposes. "Superman: The Movie" wasn't a total waste but, "Can You Read My Mind" is just 3 minutes of my life that I can never get back."The Rocketeer," "Ghostworld," "American Splendor" and "The Road to Perdition" would all make my top six list before "Superman: The Turdburger."

  18. Michael H. Price says:

    A greater point overall of such exercises might be the discovery, or rediscovery, of a good many examples of the deep kinship between comics and movies. All the way back to Winsor McCay and George McManus' earliest attempts to reconcile cartooning with cinema — both in animation and live-action shooting. And all the way back to the influence that the comics have had on movies without the niceties of official adaptations."Dick Tracy" first reached the screen in 1937 — or was it earlier, just by strength of influence? I'd suggest that a breakthrough procedural called "Let 'Em Have It" (from 1935) owes plenty to Chester Gould's "Tracy" strip, right down to its surgically disfigured bad guy.The more keenly interested we all become in the current crop of pictures, the greater the rewards in looking back at the comics-to-movies connection over the long haul.Mighty fond of "The Rocketeer," here, too.