When I was in elementary school, I was allowed 30 minutes of TV a day. Most of my friends watched “Spongebob” or Zoey 101.” I tended to watch “Kim Possible,” “Gargoyles” or even “Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go.”
These may not have necessarily been “superheroes,” but they definitively fell under the category of heroes. At some point, the 30 minutes allowance of TV time morphed into an hour, and then eventually as much as I wanted. Without that limited time frame, I was allowed to explore more TV shows, and that’s when I found my first real superhero: Spider-Man.
I remember watching the complete animated series from 1994. I don’t remember if someone bought me the disc, but my love for heroes started with him. For my middle school and early high school career, my notebooks and school notes were filled with doodles of the characters from the (little) screen.
Now, I’ve seen every Spider-Man TV series, even the most recent, and just about any other superhero TV show to show before 2012. Now, I’m almost always at the opening weekend of any superhero film.
My box full of comics and shelf full of movies probably compares little to others and I by no means know everything about superheroes, but I’m probably the closest thing to an “expert” in my friend group.
Here are my nominees for the best superhero movies out there. Check one out during the Christmas break.
6. “Logan,” 2017
This movie is dark. Seriously. I’m not a huge fan of the “X-Men” (never really have been), but this movie was awesome. This film follows an exhausted Logan caring for an unwell Professor X who wants nothing more than to stay hidden from the world. However, a young mutant claws her way into his life and shreds this plan to pieces. This movie isn’t the typical superhero film, and definitely pulls on the emotions as the spandex, chaos, and poise are stripped away to really see who the man beneath the hero, Logan, is.
5. “Thor: Ragnarok,” 2017
I’ve never been a big fan of Thor. Something about his stand-alone movies are hard for me to connect with. Maybe it’s the unrelatable character, maybe it’s how slow the films get to starting…I’m not sure. However, this film was somehow awesome and even made it onto my “must-buy” list. In this film, the self-proclaimed “strongest adventure” and God of Thunder loses his beloved locks and trusty hammer Mjölnir right before his long-lost sister (Hela) kicks him, literally, kicks him into a pile of trash. Thor: Ragnarok brings on much needed character development for Thor, Loki, and even Bruce Banner (The Hulk) on a fun, witty, and rather hilarious adventure.
4.”The Lego Batman Movie,” 2017
Legos. Some say they’re for kids, other’s say they’re menaces of the feet, technically neither are wrong. Lego Batman, however, is a fun-for-all film that teaches kids a lesson, but also pays homage to the Batmen of past with good-natured jabs at the highs and lows of the Batman franchise. It’s a good watch, with it’s good humor, cool music, and even real character development for Batgirl, so maybe follow the cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne as he accidentally adopts an orphan, causes fights, and, of course, fights a ton of villains.
3. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 2014
This film takes the extent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into space as we find Peter Quill, a wise-cracking and arrogant adventurer, right at the center of a bounty hunt. He ends up stumbling into some other misfits (through crime, desperation, and strange circumstance) that make an unstable pact to stick together as they go up against the big-bad of the film: Ronan. This film has a great story, awesome soundtrack, fleshed out characters, tension…the list goes on. The film is overall just fun and a key piece to the Marvel storyline. Rather you’re into the ever-spreading Marvel story or not, you should probably just watch it.
2. “The Incredibles,” 2004
Occasionally forgotten about in this second age of heroes and the “fight” between DC and Marvel fans, The Incredibles is a staple that makes a lot of call backs to that golden age of comic books. There’s a lot of deeper themes, conformity, mediocrity, exceptionalism– but the movie deals with them in visual jokes and snappy lines that relate to family and superhero cliches. Though it’s doubtful you’ve missed this ragtag family of five and their struggle against government laws and an impending doom on their city, you probably should before the sequel (planned over a decade later) that’s set in June of 2018.
1. “Deadpool,” 2016
Listen, I can’t help it. My No. 1 shall always be my No. 1. I don’t know if you know the history of this film, but this movie came about after some 2014 footage was “accidentally” leaked with no plans of a feature film. However, after a large amount of positive feedback (and even a couple petitions), the film was greenlit. Now, here we are, with a strongly R-rated film that follows the “Merc with a Mouth” on a quest for revenge. Through a series of flashbacks, fourth-wall breaking, and a morbid sense of humor, viewers get to see how Wade Wilson turns into the infamous Deadpool in a film that finally gives him justice that “X-Men: Origins” didn’t.
This story first appeared in the November 30, 2017 issue of The Vantage. It was written by guest writer Madison McCollum.