Ranking the Comic-book Movies of 2018 (SPOILERS)

Since forever ago, many folks have been predicting the demise of the superhero genre. Well, they were proven wrong yet again. Being the dominant genre in Hollywood, the combined worldwide gross of all the 8 comic-book movies (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Ant man and the wasp, Teen Titans: Go to the movies, Venom, Spiderman: into the spider-verse and Aquaman) is well over 6 billion dollars, with Spiderman and Aquaman just having released in theatres. Now that I have seen them all, I can now rank the 8 comic-book movies from least favorite to my favorite. Spoiler warning.

#8. Venom – a Tom Hardy-led Venom movie with the director of Zombieland at the helm and a solid cast (including Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed), what could go wrong? Well, it seems like pretty much everything went wrong with this anti-hero flick. Venom has a terrible script, weak performances (sans Hardy), cringe dialogue, poor villains (both Drake and Riot) etc. The only reason I didn’t hate this movie is because of Hardy, who goes “all out” and delivers an entertaining-to-watch performance. Eddie and Venom’s relationship and back-and-forth is one of the film’s strengths and it was very enjoyable when the movie just focused on the two. While I personally didn’t like this movie, the general audiences kinda did and the movie had great legs and well over $850 million at the box office. This is by far the weakest comic-book movie of the year but here’s hoping that they make a better Venom sequel.

#7. Teen Titans – this was a movie I had absolutely zero interest in. Never seen a Teen Titans episode and the trailers were pretty bad and looked extremely childish. Gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised. This is an extremely self-referential movie and has a pretty well-developed lead in the Robin. While this is definitely not a movie for everyone because of the juvenile nature of the movie, it has some great moments for the DC fan in me to ultimately have a good experience.

#6. Ant man and the Wasp – Like its predecessor, A&W is a good palette cleanser after the big Avengers movies. I love how our heroes use shrinking/growing and the visuals are really good! This is also a really funny movie with some good performances from Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly etc. Where this movie suffers is with the villains, especially the storyline with Sonny Burch. Also, Black Panther just opened our eyes to the incredible world of Wakanda and Infinity War was a large-scale epic movie, but A&W, unfortunately, is a pretty formulaic MCU movie .

#5. Deadpool 2 – Like most people, I loved the first Deadpool movie and was very excited for the sequel. After watching the movie, my initial reaction was “it’s good but no where as good as the first one” and this reaction mostly stands. I enjoyed this movie but this movie doesn’t have as good of a balance of humor and character work as the first one did. The pacing is off and some characters like Firefist are obnoxious. However, the emotional moments between Wade and Vanessa are powerful and this movie is arguably funnier than the first film, especially the X-force deaths sequence which had me cracking up. Not to forget, Cable and Domino are really interesting characters and I can’t wait to see them in X-force.

#4. Aquaman – Coming off of a string of divisive films (sans Wonder Woman), DC absolutely needed a win in Aquaman and they achieved it! Aquaman is the definition of a fun, popcorn movie. It has a ton of action, one-liners, comedy and decently fleshed-out characters. The effects on the underwater world are visually stunning and this movie does not hesitate to embrace its comicbook-iness.  Not to mention, Aquaman has a good lead in Momoa! Where this movie suffers is in its script, emotional moments and weak villains (notice the trend?). However, a win’s a win and DC is on the right path again!

#3. Black Panther – Before I say anything, I just want to preface this by saying Black Panther is a really good movie. It has some of the best performances and an uber-talented ensemble cast in the MCU, strong female characters (Okoye, Shuri, Nakia) and is a very relevant movie in our society today. Having a predominantly black cast with a black director is remarkable and what Ryan Coogler did with Black Panther is incredible! This is also one of those movies where the beliefs/actions of the villain actually changes our protagonist and by the end of the movie, T’Challa opening up Wakanda to the rest of the world works. However, I don’t love this movie, like most people do, and really don’t believe that this movie deserves to get a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. It is an important movie but that doesn’t make it an Oscar-calibre movie, in my humble opinion. This movie also has questionable CGI at times, messy fight scenes and a sudden villain turn. Killmonger makes some very good points about Wakanda not using its resources to help black people around the world, but he becomes a moustache-twirling villain by the end. Again, I really like this movie and do believe that it deserves technical awards nominations like “Best Costume,” “Best Sound Editing,” and “Best Sound Mixing” but just not more.

#2. Spiderman: into the spider-verse – This animated flick had a very difficult job – convincing us that a Spider-man movie with so many characters and villains can work. After all, neither Sony nor we have forgotten what happened with Spiderman 3 and Amazing Spiderman 2. I am very happy to say that this movie is amazing (no pun intended)! It had a lot of great character moments and the relationships between Miles and his dad, Miles and his uncle and Miles and Peter are heartwarming. There is a scene that takes place between Miles’ dad and Miles in a college dorm, which gives me chills just thinking about. The introduction of the secondary Spidey characters is super fun and infuses a lot of humor to the movie, especially from Spider-Noir (voiced by Nicholas Cage). This movie, at times, feels like a comic-book come to life with comic-book style panels and text on screen. If this movie does end up getting a ‘Best Picture’ nomination at the Oscars, which it very well may, I have no qualms about it as it is definitely deserving of any accolades.

#1. Avengers: Infinity War – Infinity War is the culmination of 10 years of storytelling and to celebrate this momentous occasion, Marvel essentially had “throw everything but the kitchen sink” mentality for this movie. It has basically every main character (sans Hawkeye and Ant Man) in the MCU facing off against the big baddie, Thanos and man, the Russos exceeded my already-high expectations. This is easily one of my favorite movies of the year and one particular reason for that is Thanos, who is now my favorite villain in cinematic history. He is such a complex, 3-dimensional character and even though you (hopefully) don’t agree with him, you totally understand where he is coming from. The action is incredible, the humor totally works and because of its scale, this really felt like the most epic movie of our generation. And of course, who can forget the ending? Our heroes turning to dust and Spiderman’s line “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” Man, that is heartbreaking. Infinity War is easily my favorite superhero film of the year and I am (just a little) excited for Avengers: Endgame!

Now, what say you? Leave your rankings down below!

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