Summer Comic Book Movie Run-Down

Our first glimpse of warm weather reminds us that summer is just around the corner. April showers bring more than May flowers; they bring the start of the summer movie season. What comic book movies hit the big screen this summer? We have the run-down on the good and the bad coming to theaters near you.


Release Date: May 6th
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins
Thor angers daddy and is cast out of Asgard. He finds himself on earth and becomes a superhero.

The Good: The visuals look epic, the cast is solid (Thor stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Chris Hemsworth’s arms) and if anyone can pull this off, it’s Kenneth Branagh. Known for his Shakespearean work, Branagh may be able to bring the needed gravitas to ground the fantastical concept. Plus, we get more agent Coulson (Clark Gregg)! You gotta love agent Coulson!

The Bad: Thor could go horribly horribly wrong really fast. Mixing superheroes and Norse mythology is a risk. One wrong move and Asgard could come crashing down (A la Siege). Setting the right tone is key. If Thor or Captain American go of the rails I fear for the Avengers movie.


Release Date: May 13th
Starring: Paul Bettany, Maggie Q, Karl Urban
A warrior priest breaks his vows and hunts down the vampires that have kidnapped his niece. Priest is another film in the ever-growing Paul Bettany Wants to Be a Religious Action Star sub-genre (Seriously, why is this a thing?).

The Good: I’m a sucker for any movie with religious undertones, no matter how cheesy. I watched Season of the Witch for Christ’s sake (pun intended). Bettany can play brooding quite well, and Karl Urban rarely does wrong.

The Bad: With relatively unknown source material, does Bettany have the star power to fill theatre seats? Director Scott Stewart’s last effort, Legion (also starring Bettany) didn’t do so hot and this looks like more of the same. In an adaptation filled summer season, this may be the one that gets left behind.

X-Men: First Class

Release Date: June 3rd
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon
Back before Xavier and Magneto were old men playing chess they were young men who liked women, booze, and fighting about the next step in human evolution. The 60s set x-men prequel tells of the formation of the X-men and the two men behind it.

The Good: The cast. First class is filled with up-and-coming star power. Leads McAvoy and Fassbender seem to understand their characters and director Matthew Vaughn hasn’t made a bad film yet. The 60s setting separates it a bit from previous x-men outings and allows it to stand on its own.

The Bad: Continuity. It’s not a secret that most prequels…well…suck. After 2 questionable films, fans are hesitant to embrace the latest x-movie. Surprisingly, this is the only established franchise with a movie out this summer. That could work to the films advantage but strange character choices, changes to the source material, and general nitpicking already have some fans sighing with frustration.

Green Lantern

Release Date: June 17th
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong
Hal Jordan is given an alien ring with nearly infinite power. The catch is that he now must help keep intergalactic peace.

The Good: DC is finally letting the other superheroes up to bat. Sure, Batman and Superman are their star players but everyone else deserves a turn once in awhile. This film embraces the sci-fi elements of the source material which makes it stand out from the rest of the summer CBMs.

The Bad: The CGI. Who thought it was a good idea to CG over Ryan Reynold’s abs?

Captain America: The First Avenger

Release Date: July 22nd
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones
Scrawny Steve Rogers volunteers for a top-secret experiment and becomes the buff, red white and blue clad, Captain America.

The Good: Superheroes fighting Nazis? Yes please. (Strangely enough, this is not the only Superhero vs Nazis movie on the list…) Hugo Weaving dips his toe into another nerd franchise, and who can blame him? Red Skull looks bad-ass.

The Bad: Chris Evans’ pre-Cap Steve Rogers creeps me out. Something about it just makes me shudder. Also, wings or not, I can’t take the costume seriously.

Cowboys and Aliens

Release Date: July 29th
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
Cowboys are fighting Aliens. Enough said.

The Good: It’ freaking James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) fighting aliens! Throw in director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and I they’re guaranteed to get my 8 (9? 10? Movie tickets are expensive) bucks.

The Bad: Is the title too spot on? Some people might flash back to Snakes on a Plane and skip it.

Conan the Barbarian

Release Date: August 19th
Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan
Conan sets out on a quest to avenge his murdered father and the rest of his village.

The Good: This Conan will introduce a new generation to the character. It’s been awhile since the Cimmerian graced the big screen and it’s about time for a change. Plus, Jason Momoa isn’t bad to look at.

The Bad: No Arnold. No matter how good this movie is (and the trailers make it look iffy) some people just won’t accept Conan without the Governator. For good or bad, nostalgia always wins.

What do you think? Is there one summer comic book movie that you’re counting down the day for? How does this summer’s crop stack up to last year? Tell us in the comment!

Jill Nagel
Jill Nagel

Jill Nagel spends her time commuting between Hamilton and Toronto and would like to thank the TCW for all its great work. She also rants about George RR Martin and Game of Thrones on her blog"

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