At Sons of Gotham, we don’t just sell superhero shirts — we are true superhero fans. Putting a list of favorite superhero movies is like choosing your favorite children— it shouldn’t be done. With plenty of originals and remakes that span several decades, it’s hard to pick just five movies, but we’ll do the best we can. We’re going to simplify this for ourselves and choose movies from recent history — within the past 10-15 years. If you haven’t seen the movies listed below, proceed with caution! There could be spoilers.
Released in 2008, the original Iron Man movie was the catalyst for a slew of blockbuster hits, and Tony Stark is probably our favorite bad boy who is oaded with cash, as sarcastic as they come, and a pure genius. The inaugural Iron Man movie takes us on an incredible journey into the life and mind of this Avengers team member. Superhero movies are sometimes dark and foreboding, which works well given the crime-fighting-possibly-life-ending-missions, but Iron Man is funny, entertaining, and packed with action.
Through a series of unfortunate events, Stark is critically injured by one of his own company’s products, escapes the hands of terrorists, and builds a super suit worthy of superhero status, all while saving the world with an attitude. What’s not to love? Iron Man introduces us to the S.H.E.I.D. crew, including Nick Fury, and let’s be honest, the post-credits scene with the illusion to the “other superheroes” definitely had us primed for the next film in the series.
The DC Universe is known for its share of ominous superhero films. The Batman series is grim and dark most of the way through (but we love it that way), and the Superman movies are as serious as they come. The much-awaited Wonder Woman was just as serious— and with WWII as the backdrop, who would expect anything else? But Diana Prince’s determination, strength, and unending belief in what’s right is everything we want from an Amazonian princess.
This movie did a great job of weaving in backstory without getting boring. Take, for instance, the backstory of the Amazons and their importance to the entirety of mankind. Without these details, Prince’s role might have been a little more superficial, but with the backstory, her character has more depth and importance.
We also love how the movie brings in Bruce Wayne to tie the Wonder Woman, Batman, and Justice League movies together. There’s nothing like leaving us wanting a little more.
One word: hilarious. Somehow, through the death of nearly all of the Asgardians and the loss of many others, Thor: Ragnarok was side-splitting funny. The movie is as a superhero film should be— filled with action and chaos, but its sheer hilarity and this comical side of Thor makes the film one of our favorites. We’re definitely not the only ones that feel this way about the Marvel movie. Critics and moviegoers agree that Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best Marvel movies thus far.
Actor Chris Hemsworth is at his best in this one, completely comfortable in his role as the Asgardian warrior, and as funny as they come. Most of the Marvel movies, including the Avengers saga, are funny in their own right, but the punchlines and the sheer oddity of Ragnarok put this one at the top of the pile. The Hulk does a stellar job of making Thor: Ragnarok funny as well. This one sticks out from the rest because it shows us the lighter side of some of the Avengers characters, and we love that.
This one is a story within a story, which leaves us wanting more though. Thor’s evil sister, Hela, is a character we’ve never met before in the Marvel movies, and the film weaves in her story as well as continuing on with the known Avengers story. This one sticks out from the rest because it shows us the lighter side of some of the Avengers characters while keeping the epic battles and emotional ties intact.
A list of the best superhero movies is incomplete without including Black Panther. Wakanda’s king, T’Challa, calculated, calm, and collected, is flanked by a cast of equally strong characters. Wakanda’s young, teenage princess, Shuri, is bold, funny, and wicked smart. She’s one of the strongest female characters we’ve seen in superhero movies. Okoye’s unwavering loyalty and overall badassery, along with Nakia’s strength and independence, are characteristics we can definitely get behind.
The movie’s villain, Erik Killmonger, is not easily forgotten. His heart-wrenching backstory and connection to Wakanda make it hard not to root for him even though he’s out to destroy a good thing (and let’s not forget about him throwing T’Challa off that cliff).
Black Panther is rich in story, strong female characters, and an epic battle. Also worth noting is the incredible technology that is the result of Wakanda’s main element, Vibranium. The movie broke all kinds of records and will likely go down as one of the best superhero movies of all time. We like to think so, at least.
It was difficult to choose between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but it was the late Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker that was the deciding factor for us. Ledger was eerily believable, putting on a stellar performance that was probably one of the truest portrayals to the comic book character that we’ve seen. The Shakespearean-style tragic love story of Bruce Wayne and Rachel is one that sticks with us. The Joker is an incredible foe, and the fact that he’s able to get under Batman’s skin enough to make the superhero question himself keeps us on the edge of our seats.
It’s this movie that introduces us to some of Batman’s high-tech equipment in a way that we’ve never seen before. The last time we saw the Batwing in all its glory was the Michael Keaton rendition, and the Batcycle hasn’t been seen since 1997’s Batman and Robin.
The movie is characteristically sinister of the DC Universe films, as it should be. In this one, the good guy doesn’t win, and we get pulled into Wayne’s pain.
So let us know: is your favorite movie on this list or are you like “been there, heard that, got the superhero shirt?” In any case, if you’re in the market for superhero garb, check out our website. We offer superhero shirts, including classic tees, long-sleeve tees, hoodies, and so much more!
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