In honor of the upcoming Warner Brothers film Jonah Hex (starring instant must-see-maker Megan Fox), we present the best comic book movies we've seen so far.
9. Watchmen- Well, you can't say director Zach Snyder wasn't faithful to the source material. He didn't so much make a movie version of Alan Moore's seminal superhero deconstruction as much as he filmed actual panels and put them on screen.
7. 300- Zach Snyder once again sticks VERY close to the page-by-page comic book breakdown in the service of a classic Frank Miller tale. Did Gladiator have mutant ninjas and 10-foot Persian drag queens? We think not.
10. Hellboy- Director Guillermo Del Toro nailed the tone of Mike Mignola's cult comic about a hellspawn raised by humans who hunts demons with all the verve and enthusiasm of a plumber fixing a toilet. Ron Pearlman (as big red) has never been better cast, either.
6. Sin City- Before Snyder took Frank Miller at face value, Robert Rodriquez was literally taking the severe black and white color palate of Miller's Sin City and painstakingly recreating it for the big screen. An all-star cast (Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood) made it all come together.
5. Spider-Man- Sam Raimi kept it classic, and we finally believed that a teen could fly (with the help of some splooge-webbing). Tobey Maguire was perfectly nebbish as Peter Parker, and the bouncy and sometimes cornball fun of the Spidey comics was fully captured. Reboot? Bah!
4. X2: X-Men United- Bryan Singer convinced the world that the concept of a mutant superteam could sell movie tickets with the first X-Men, then he went and one-upped himself. X2 was better in every way - better action, better story, and better "oh man!" nerdgasm moments. Wolverine babysitting the kids? Colossus vs. tranq darts? THE PHOENIX IN THE WATER?
3. Batman Begins- Christopher Nolan stripped down Batman (who, thanks to Joel Schumacher, had become a Day-Glo Cirque du Soleil monstrosity) and delivered not just an amazing comic book movie, but a good movie period. This was a funnybook taken seriously (and made almost entirely plausible) and it rocked. How could you improve on this?
2. Iron Man- Somewhere between Spider-Man's bright, bouncy action and Batman's brooding reality, stands Iron Man. Jon Favreau showed you don't have to go completely dark to make a comic work, and Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark instantly sidled up alongside Patrick Stewart's Professor X as the most perfect casting ever.
1. The Dark Knight- What more needs to be said? Over a billion at the box office and a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger (who, literally, created a Joker so amazing, it will never, ever be touched. Mark our words), The Dark Knight took everything great about Batman Begins and supercharged it. A classic, plain and simple.
8. Kick Ass- This blackly humorous Mark Millar/John Romita Jr comic not only made for a smooth big screen transition (it helped that the comic's first story arc was being written simultaneously as the movie was being made), it created an instant cult favorite character: Hit Girl, we heart you.