With the release of Avengers: Infinity War and a packed year of comic book films to come, mainly adapted from Marvel, including Deadpool 2 and Venom, it’s important to note it’s not just the big two [including DC Comics] that release comic book film adaptions. Films based on independent comics have been out from at least the 1960s with The Smurfs, but it’s safe to say they’ve been marginalised in recent years, which is a shame as there’s some cracking ones.
So without further ado, here are my top 5 Non-Marvel or DC Comic Book Film Adaptations; not including imprints of the big two, like Vertigo (Watchmen) and Icon (Kingsman).
5. Men in Black (1997)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.
Adapted from the 1990 comic book series The Men in Black, created by Lowell Cunningham.
Great acting, award winning special effects; different to any other film of the time. Funny, with amazing quotes like “You know the difference between you and me? I make this look good.” Even the theme song provided by Will Smith is good.
4. The Mask (1994)
Directed by Chuck Russell.
Based on characters created by Dark Horse Comics.
Another weird comedy comic book film from the ’90s with great acting and memorable phrases. It’s very close between this and Men in Black on which I prefer, but I’ve seen this more recently and still found it entertaining.
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Directed by Guillermo del Toro.
Based on characters created by Mike Mignola.
Brilliant acting, visuals and plot. It’s got more emotion than the above two films but is also just as funny, if not funnier. I’ll never forget the scene of Hellboy singing Barry Manilow’s ‘Can’t Smile Without You’.
2. The Crow (1994)
Directed by Alex Proyas.
Adapted from the 1989 comic book The Crow, created by James O’Barr.
The ultimate gothic and grungy film. A memorable leading performance from Brandon Lee; skilled in both his emotional scenes and in the action scenes. Visually can’t be faulted, there’s been multiple sequels/remakes, and more are still being attempted, but I don’t know how they’ll improve on the 1994 film. It’s even better than the comic.
1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Directed by Edgar Wright.
Based on characters created by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
I would go as far to say this is Edgar Wright’s best film. Even better than Hot Fuzz. It’s so random, so funny, has amazing visuals, and memorable characters. It’s different to any film ever with its video game references (how is fighting like that normal in their world?), and I can’t pick a favourite scene or fight. It’s just brilliant on all levels.