Top 12 Pre-MCU Superhero Movies Ranked - Upsmag - Magazine News

Top 12 Pre-MCU Superhero Movies Ranked

The MCU reigns true as one of the biggest and most popular franchises in the movie industry, fans are waiting eagerly to see what superhero will grace the screens next. However, before Demir Adam and his team of AvengersMarvel were riffing through their comic book archive to offer their fans the adaptations of their favorite comics and its heroes.

Related:Upcoming Marvel TV Shows Streaming on Disney Plus

Some were iconic and stand the test of time, gaining a huge following and a place in all Marvel fan’s hearts.

Daredevil (2003)

before Charlie Cox‘s performance of the blind lawyer turned vigilante, Ben Affleck adored the Daredevil costume. Alongside a star-studded cast, featuring the likes of Colin Farrell and the late Michael Clarke DuncanAffleck fights his way through Hell’s Kitchen against the nefarious crime boss The Kingpin.

A hit with the box office, it failed to impress critics, and yet gained a cult following in the viewers. The character-driven narrative offers audiences a hero to love and a villain to hate, the tried and tested equation to a superhero flick.

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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

The second installment to The Fantastic Four franchise brought the comic book character of the Silver Surfer to the screen. Reed Richards and his team are back to save the world once again.

Related: Greatest Fantastic Four Comics, Ranked

The film wasn’t exactly praised by critics, with a lot of criticism on the performances of the cast and the story, but fans of the film can’t help but re-watch over and over.

Hulk (2003)

This 2003 flick directed by Ang Lee offers audiences an origin story to everyone’s favorite green guy with anger issues. Eric Bana smashes onto our screens accompanied by Jennifer Connelly and an iconic movie score by Danny Elfman.

Although many critics once again disapproved of the adaptation, the fans that the film accumulated over the years stand by their big green friend.

The Punisher (2004)

Jonathan Hensleigh‘s adaptation of Marvel’s comics was the second attempt at bringing the vigilante to life, after the 1989 flop of the same name. The gratuitous violence displeased critics, with little praise on the film.

However, this intricate and harrowing origin story gives the audience the insight into Frank Castle’s family and his tragic reasons of his punishing ways. With the addition of John Travolta what’s not to love?

Ghost Rider (2007)

Nicolas Cage as a stuntman turned demonic supernatural soul hunter – what more could viewers want? Joined by Eva MendesCage attempts to protect the innocent all the while fighting for his soul back from the demon of all demons.

The box office figures contradict the critical response, with many audience members enjoying the quirks of Johnny Blaze. Hard to believe a remake hasn’t come to fruition.

Fantastic Four (2005)

A commercial success, the first Fantastic Four movie brought the Reed Richards and his crew from the page to the screen. With the addition of Chris Evan‘s first appearance in a Marvel production as the Human Torch, audiences fell in love with this fun group of heroes.

The oldest team of superheroes in Marvel’s arsenal, this movie holds a place in every Marvel fan’s hearts.

X-Men (2000)

Kicking off the long-running X-Men franchise, the first installment of the series gave the audience a look into the mutant world.

Related: Wolverine Movies In Order: How To Watch Chronologically

The introduction to the mutant bunch was a huge success in the box office, critics and audiences alike. The combination of the star-studded cast and amazing special effects rebooted the superhero genre to what audiences know today.

Spider-Man II (2004)

The second movie in Tobey Maguire‘s franchise has audiences catch up with their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Without Mary-Jane, Peter Parker is suffering and his alter-ego is suffering with him.

Often considered as one of the best superhero films made, even winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Sam Raimi fuses amazing special effects and hero/villain fights with emotional themes, reminding audiences that Spider-Man is just like us.


Blade II (2002)

Everyone’s favorite vampire/human hybrid is back and this time he’s fighting mutant vampires wanting to eradicate humans.

Related: Blade Movie Reportedly Sets Filming Start for Summer 2022

Blade II is the highest-grossing films of the series, and with good reason. The mysterious vampire hunter is a dream for the original comic book fans, and the series’ second installment didn’t disappoint them.

X-Men 2 (2003)

The second flick in the franchise is often considered to be the best in the series. Wolverine and the mutant crew are back. Fighting both the evil General Stryker and the acceptance from the rest of the world results in some amazing scenes.

Touching on some truly emotional themes of acceptance and engaging in some complex and intriguing narratives, audience find their favorite team of heroes both humanized and idolized.


Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguire’s first movie as the titular character was met with rave reviews. The origin story of the friendly vigilante is given in detail, having viewers fall in love with him and his story.

Navigating high school is hard enough, let alone fighting the nefarious Green Goblin at the same time. Willem Defoe‘s amazing performance as both Norman Osborn and his alter-ego Green Goblin offers audience everything they wanted form the adaptation.

blade (1998)

One of the earliest examples of a Marvel licensed film to have big success, blade sees Wesley Snipes as a human/vampire hybrid hellbent on killing any vampire he finds.

This action flick combines perfect stunts and sword fights with body horror and gore that David Cronenberg would appreciate. The sharp writing keeps the narrative within the decade of the 1990s, who would expect vampires love to rave so much?

Next: MCU: 10 of the Most Memorable End Credit Scenes From the First 15 Years



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