Pick Five: Worst Comic Book Movies

Last updated on October 28th, 2011 at 09:37 am

Kids today have it so easy. They have the internet; they don’t need to get up off the couch to change the channel and in the last 10 years we have seen some great movies based on comic books. However, for every yin there is a yang and we have also seen a lot of crummy comic book movies over the years. Here are my choices for the 5 worst comic book movies ever made.

5. Electra (2005)

Wow. This movie was awful. The only plus for it is that it was actually better than Daredevil. And only because expectations were so low. The plot is mostly nonsensical and the supporting characters: Stick, Stone, Tattoo, and Typhoid Mary basically resemble their comic book counterparts in name alone. Obviously made by Hollywood execs who heard that comic books were cool, this flick is only for Jennifer Garner fans or anyone who wants to see a blind General Zod fight a bunch of ninjas.

4. Batman and Robin (1997)

Brutal. And such a slap to the face to anyone who said “Batman Forever wasn’t very good, but I know the next movie will be great”. Ostensibly a modern “homage” to the campy 60’s television show, only someone who had never read a Batman comic book could truly enjoy this. Clooney is somehow miscast as a rich playboy (?) and the over-abundance of villains just adds to the gong show feel. Watchable only for Schwartzenegger because everything he does is completely awesome.

3. Captain America (1990)

Some will say this is an unfair choice, it is the only B-Movie on my list and it was direct-to-video instead of getting a widespread theatrical release but I stand by my selection. The plot is a convoluted mess of detritus and fascism and every divergence from the comic book will leave the viewer scratching their heads (the Red Skull is Italian for example). Watchable only as a laughable drinking game, if Chris Evans just showed up on screen and said “Hey ladies, I’m Captain Effing America!” this summer’s movie would be a vast improvement.

2. Daredevil (2003)

Despite the press that it received, I actually didn’t mind Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin. It is everyone else who doesn’t seem to understand the characters they are playing. I have put it so high up my list because Daredevil is a major Marvel character and this movie should have been way, way better. Boring and an utter disappointment. On a side note Affleck commented that he owns every Daredevil comic book. If only he had actually read them.

1. League of Extraordinary Gentleman

Definitely the worst comic book movie ever made. Not even Sean freaking Connery can save this one! Completely diverging from the source material and adding in extra characters like Tom Sawyer (it was thought that American audiences couldn’t relate to the all British characters), this is movie-making at its worst. You will laugh at loud at the implausible (even for a movie) Nautilus chase scene through Venice and scream in rage at the incomprehensible plot. Even the special effects are sub-par; I am certain that a child with an iMac could do better. Connery was quoted as “not really understanding the script”. No kidding.

Anthony Falcone Written by:

Anthony Falcone is a freelance writer living in Toronto and he is the Ayatollah of Rocknrolla. You should definitely follow him on Twitter.

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14 Comments

  1. Ed
    February 28, 2011

    When I first saw Daredevil I hated it.  I bought it on DVD the day it came out and hated it (ok… if I hate it why buy it.. cause it’s a comic book movie).  I found a used copy of the Director’s Cut and I really like it.  There are more scenes with Foggy Nelson and the sub plot involving Wesley that helps bring the Kingpin down. 

  2. February 28, 2011

    I only saw one of these movies. Big B was set up in the lobby of our local theatre handing out free comics at Daredevil’s opening night (back in 2003). The cinema manager came up to us as we were packing up and asked if we wanted to slip in to see the late show. Sure, why not! Anyway I really liked the movie. This makes me wonder if I’d like the other movies on this list.

  3. February 28, 2011

    Perhaps your unfamiliarity with both comic books and movies helped you enjoy Daredevil?

  4. February 28, 2011

    I’d go with 1. Man-Thing (direct to video and utter crap), 2. Catwoman (a tribute to ego), 3. Batman and Robin (toyetic!), 4. Elektra (boring), and 5. X-Men: The Last Stand (dumb).
    There’s a laughable moment in LOEG where Jeckyl and Hyde bond and save everyone that summed up just how little interest the production team had in honouring the source book…

  5. February 28, 2011

    If this list had a number 6, Catwoman would be it.

  6. February 28, 2011

    I’ll concede the theatrical version’s horribleness where Daredevil is concerned. It’s just…really, really bad. The Director’s Cut though is a much better adaptation.

    The rest of the list I’m okay with, however I think Catwoman should have a home on the list, plus it’s infinitely worse than most of the list. Elektra included.

  7. Chris
    March 1, 2011

    Wait a minute here, let’s not forget the 1978 version of Dr. Strange, with Peter Hooten (who kinda looked like Alex Trebek complete with moustache). AND although the original Swamp Thing with Adrianne Barbeau was bad, it wasn’t as bad as the Heather Locklear version years later. I don’t even want to talk about the “bootleg only” Roger Corman Fantastic Four. Yeesh…

  8. March 2, 2011

    Personally I love how they added Tom Sawyer to LXg for American audiences but also added Dorian Gray how even some of my literate friends had no clue who he was.

  9. Ed
    March 2, 2011

    I obtained a copy of Captain America (1990) and watched it last night.  It is pretty bad, but at least I enjoyed it more that Dolph Lundgren’s Punisher… that was unwatchable.  I was impressed with the cast for Captain America.  Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon.  Looks like the casting director really liked Deliverance and A Christmas Story.

  10. March 2, 2011

    My favorite part of the Captain America movie is how the Red Skull cuts off his own hand to escape Cap’s vice-like grip. Most of us would have tried to cut off Captain America’s hand….

  11. Laura
    March 2, 2011

    Um, what about the Fantastic Four movies? I mean the ones you have are awful, but so are these 2 stinkers. This list needs to be “worst 25 comic book movies” or something to really appreciate the stinkers out there!
    Along with Catwoman, 80’s Punisher, the 3rd X-Men flick, and many, many more

  12. Flu-Bird
    March 9, 2011

    The trouble with THE FANTASTIC FOUR is they didn’t follow the original comic book version of heir origin because VICTOR VON,DOOM was with them in the comic book version it was just the four of them REID RICHARDS,SUE STORM,JOHNNY STORM and BEN GRIMM and DR DOOM was involved in a experiment and explosion that left his face horribly disfigured.

  13. Ed
    March 19, 2011

    Thinking about it bad Super Hero movies, there are some on the list here that are better than:
    Nick Fury: Agent of Shield
    Supergirl
    Superman III
    Steel
    The Punisher (Dolph Lundgren)

Make It Good.