Who’d win in a fight between Superman and Spawn? How the f*ck old is Cable? And what in the holy hell is a Megatron? When the tough questions arise, Panels on Pages will gather the facts, but it’s up to the PoP!ulation to draw its own conclusions. So come on… Riddle Me This!
There is no question we are living in the golden age of superhero movies, but the embarrassment of riches we have been presented with brings with it an interesting question: which year was the best year for superhero movies?
There have been a number of notable years since the success of 2000′s X-Men convinced movie studios everywhere to triple their spandex budget. While 2002 and 2003 brought us the first real follow-ups to X-Men with Spider-Man, X-Men 2, Daredevil, Hulk, and, shudder, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the studios really flooded the market in 2004, releasing Hellboy, The Punisher, Spider-Man 2, Catwoman, and Blade: Trinity to the tune of $1.4 billion in worldwide gross. While we all agree Blade: Trinity and Catwoman are best left unmentioned, is the trio of Hellboy, The Punisher, and Spider-Man 2 enough to make 2004 a contender for best year?
In the years that followed quantity quickly outpaced quality as the market was flooded with everything from Batman to Sharkboy and Lavagirl, a trend that would continue until a fateful summer day in 2008 when Iron Man hit theaters. Robert Downey Jr‘s Tony Stark captivated audiences, and Jon Favreau offered a clinic in how to successfully adapt source material to the big screen. Were there flaws? Sure, but at the time of it’s release Iron Man was far and away the greatest superhero offering. Considering the rest of 2008 brought us The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and the reigning greatest superhero film of all time, The Dark Knight. Clearly 2008 is the runaway favorite for best year, right?
Not so fast.
Just four short years later brings us to 2012, home to the quirky offering Chronicle, Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Dredd, and the dollar champion, The Avengers. Each of those films brings with it a collection of die hard fans that would rather erase your Facebook page from existence than hear you talk about how you thought the movie was “just okay.” Surely they will rise up and claim the title for this year.
What say you, PoP!ulation? Does 2004 have enough staying power to even be in the top three? Is 2008 the runaway winner? Or do 2012′s box office successes take the crown? Will this year’s offerings propel 2013 to the top of the ladder? Is there another year we’ve neglected? Sound off in the comments below!