I think we’ve now reached a point where “comic book movie” has become a genre of its own. It’s no longer just that the occasional movie is based on a comic book — it feels like a third to half of all tentpole releases are comic book movies. But there’s something even more curious that I’ve been kicking around — the comic book movie genre is becoming less and less about the source material, and more and more about the look and feel and philosophy of the movie. Comic book movies just feel a certain way. Characters are portrayed with a kind of deliberate cheese that somehow, when done right, feels less goofy and more appropriately earnest.
This is coupled with the fact that we’re in something of a golden age of superhero movies. And what’s most interesting about that is that we’re starting to see brand new heroes on the screen — original ones that were created for movies, and have no written source material. Personally, I’d like to see more of this. Instead of constantly rebooting comic book movies (with certain exceptions, of course), let’s have Hollywood start making their own heroes. We’ve got the formula for heroes down pretty well at this point, so why not? An imperfect example is Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch — a terrible movie, sure, but with some serious comic book sensibilities. And it was pretty successful, too, so the demand is there. And, as you’ll see, we’ve got a bit of history with the idea.
So, here you are. The Best Comic Book Movies Not Based On Comic Books:
The Toxic Avenger
The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension
The Iron Giant
Big Trouble In Little China