You LOVE movies based on DC Comics characters, right? You’ve watched all the Batman and Superman films, as well as all the other DC movies countless times, and they are all your No.1 favourite movies.
No problem – DC movies are a lot of fun! But have you tried out some non-DC comic book movies?
Just because you are a DC fan, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy films featuring other comic book characters. From The Mask and Spider-Man to The Crow and Dredd, there are a wealth of excellent comic book movies out there, ready and waiting for you to dive in and enjoy, if you simply seek them out.
Want some recommendations? Then simply check out this handy list below, for all the non-DC movies you’re sure to love!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
First up, a politically charged action-thriller from Marvel Studios. The movie is the truly excellent, Captain America: The Winter Soldier – a film in which Cap comes face-to-face with an old friend, now turned enemy!
Filled to the brim with great action sequences, a superb turn from Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, and expert direction from the Russo Brothers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is Marvel Studios at its best.
Black Panther (2018)
And speaking of great Marvel Studios movies, this next movie is another fine example of Marvel doing everything right. From the casting and the costumes, to the story and the themes, Black Panther is a brilliant comic book movie from the House of Ideas.
In the movie, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) faces a new threat from his estranged cousin, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). It will take all of his might, as well as the might of his fellow Wakandans to ensure he remains on the throne, leading to an epic adventure which became a cultural touchstone back in 2018.
The Crow (1994)
Brandon Lee takes the lead role in this dark, gothic, supernatural fantasy, about a young musician who returns from the grave to avenge his murder, as well as the rape and murder of his girlfriend.
The Crow stars Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd, Michael Massee and Michael Wincott. Alex Proyas directs.
Based on the comic book of the same name, Kick-Ass is an action-comedy about a teenager who becomes a superhero. The film is loaded with strong language and scenes of extreme violence, is a lot of fun, and is ‘kick-ass’ in every sense of the word.
Men in Black (1997)
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones team up for this sci-fi buddy movie, based on the Malibu (Marvel) comic of the same name. The movie tells the story of a secret agency that protects the Earth from the worst scum of the universe (aka extra-terrestrial threats), it was a huge hit back in 1997, and is still enjoyed by audiences today.
There are a number of X-Men movies on this list, but the first one has to go to X2 – the sequel to 2000’s X-Men. As the title suggests, X2 is the second entry in the X-Men series, but arguably the first really great instalment.
The reason X2 works so well is because it finds a good way to utilise (most) of its cast, gives Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine plenty to do, and offers up more bang for your buck! Plus, the movie’s story about exterminating mutants makes for truly thrilling stuff!
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The next X-Men movie on the list goes to X-Men: First Class – a prequel set during the 1960s. This movie – directed by Matthew Vaughn – tells the story of how the X-Men formed, with a specific focus on the relationship between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender).
What sets this X-Men film apart from many of its peers, is its sharp, smart direction, as well as its strong script. The movie also boasts a great cast, and one of the series’ best performances from Michael Fassbender, playing a vengeful Magneto.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Another X-Men movie, and another top film that should be viewed by every self-respecting comic book movie fan. X-Men: Days of Future Past is set during the 1970s, picks up a decade after the events of X-Men: First Class, and details the emergence of the mutant-hunting robots known as the Sentinels.
As with its predecessor, X-Men: Days of Future Past focuses on the prequel cast, and their story, however, it also finds plenty of room to draft in the original cast too. Chief amongst these is Hugh Jackman who reprises the role of Wolverine – a time-displaced mutant who ends up straddling two timelines.
The Rocketeer (1991)
Based on the comic book of the same name by Dave Stevens, The Rocketeer is an adventure romp about stunt pilot, Cliff Secord, who discovers an experimental rocket pack and transforms into a super hero. Set on the cusp of World War II, the movie follows Secord’s story as he crosses paths with mobsters and Nazis.
Although The Rocketeer flopped at the box office during its debut, the movie soon went on to pick up a cult following. The screenplay is written by Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo – the duo behind the excellent ‘90s Flash TV show – and stars Billy Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Sorvino, and Timothy Dalton.
The Mask (1994)
Up next is a hilarious comic book caper based on the Dark Horse comic of the same name. The Mask stars Jim Carrey as an unlucky bank clerk, who is given wonderous powers after finding himself in possession of a magnificent mask.
Featuring plenty of gags, some cartoony moments of slapstick, and some rubber-faced fun from Carrey, The Mask is a real hoot of a movie. The film was a big hit when it was released back in ’94, and still remains a firm favourite today.
Based on the comic book of the same name, Wanted tells the story of an account manager who discovers he is the son of a professional assassin. James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, and Morgan Freeman star.
Directed by Sam Raimi, and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Willem Dafoe, Spider-Man is an exhilarating adventure movie about high school student, Peter Parker, who is granted powers after being bitten by a genetically modified spider. These powers give Parker great strength and agility, a precognitive ability to sense danger, and the opportunity to spin his own webs.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Picking up shortly after the events of Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 continues the story of Peter Parker as he faces various problems in his home life, his love life, and his life as a super hero. Some people will tell you this film is on par with its predecessor, while others will (rightly) tell you it is even better!
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Based on a series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a romantic action comedy, about a young musician’s attempts to get a record deal, while also battling his girlfriend’s ex boyfriends.
Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, and Chris Evans star. Edgar Wright directs.
In this stripped-back adventure-thriller, comic book lawman, Judge Dredd and his partner, Judge Anderson, are tasked with bringing order to a 200-storey block of apartments. What follows is a gun-toting battle as the Judges come face-to-face with some of the miscreants of Mega-City One, in this low-budget sci-fi action film.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Matthew Vaughn directs this brilliant spy-comedy about a teenager who is recruited into a secret organisation, to fight for Queen and country. Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Mark Strong star.
Based on the character of the same name from Dark Horse Comics, Ron Perlman takes the lead role in this dark supernatural fantasy about a demonic hero who fights paranormal threats. Guillermo del Toro directs, while Doug Jones, Selma Blair, and David Hyde Pierce co-star.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Set shortly after the events of 2004’s Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army is an entrancing sequel filled with beautiful imagery and curious characters. This time around, Hellboy must do battle with an underworld prince, who has plans to claim the Earth for himself and his kind.
Iron Man (2008)
In Marvel Studios’ Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. takes on the role of Tony Stark – a genius billionaire, who builds himself a suit of armour, after being kidnapped by terrorists. This suit then gets an upgrade, to become something far slicker and more high-tech, transforming Stark into Iron Man in the process.
Sticking with Marvel Studios for this next one, Ant-Man is a fun caper movie, about a former criminal trying to go straight but finding himself mixed up in a heist. Along the way he becomes the size-changing super hero, Ant-Man – a pint-sized character played to absolute perfection by Paul Rudd.
Next up is Blade, the Marvel movie about a half-human/half-vampire, vampire hunter who stalks the things that go bump in the night. Wesley Snipes takes on the titular character in this action horror from director, Stephen Norrington.
Blade is not only a blood-soaked horror flick, loaded with some great set pieces, it was also Marvel’s first big box office success. And because Blade was a success, it paved the way for all the great Marvel movies that followed.
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Aimed directly at the super hero-loving crowd, Big Hero 6 features larger than life characters, beautiful animation and a story that is effortlessly engaging. The film revolves around Hiro Hamada, and his new best friend, Baymax – a robotic healthcare companion.
The Old Guard (2020)
Based on the comic book of the same name, and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard is a super hero tale about a group of immortal mercenaries. The movie stars Charlize Theron and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Based on the Harvey Comics character of the same name, Casper follows the story of a paranormal therapist and his daughter, tasked with removing four troublesome ghosts from an old manor house. Three of the ghosts are extremely mischievous, and cause chaos, but the fourth is very lonely and simply wants a friend.
The Incredible Hulk (1978)
Onto this next one, which is the 1978 version of The Incredible Hulk. This TV movie – which essentially became the pilot episode for the television show of the same name – stars Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, and tells the story of a scientist who transforms into a seemingly monstrous (but really misjudged) creature.
There have been a number of Hulk movies over the years, but none have ever matched the sheer brilliance of this one from 1978. The series that followed became a global success, but it all started with this 90-minute TV movie.
With the X-Men long dead, Logan follows the story of an ageing and dying Wolverine, as he battles for survival in a world that hates and fears him. Hugh Jackman takes on the lead role for what is arguably his finest performance, as the mutant with the metal claws faces up to his own mortality.
Sin City (2005)
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Sin City is a neo-noir crime anthology movie featuring criminals, a prostitute, a police officer, a serial killer, and everyone in between. Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City features an all-star cast including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, and Mickey Rourke.
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
In this horror movie from director Ernest Dickerson, William Sadler takes on the role of a drifter, who is pursued by a powerful demon in search of an important artifact. Billy Zane plays the demon, while Jada Pinkett Smith, Thomas Haden Church, and C. C. H. Pounder co-star.
The Phantom (1996)
Camp, but a heck of a lot of fun, The Phantom is a jungle adventure romp based on the comic strip character of the same name. The movie stars Billy Zane as Kit Walker/The Phantom and takes influences from the likes of Indiana Jones and the Alan Quartermain films.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Marvel Comics’ best-loved superhero gets an update and takes part in an imaginative adventure which spans the multiverse in this animated epic. Into the Spider-Verse is loaded with great gags and top-notch animation, but is also packed with plenty of heart.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Another Spidey story, and another multiverse adventure, but this time set inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: No Way Home sees the Peter Parker of the MCU, team up with other Parkers from other realities to take on a sinister set of villains.
Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield star. Jon Watts directs.
Gerard Butler, Dominic West, Lena Headey, and Michael Fassbender head the cast in this vivid adaptation of the comic book by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. 300 is set during the Battle of Thermopylae, with Zack Snyder in the director’s chair.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Based on the Mirage Comics characters of the same name, who were made very popular in the late ‘80s thanks to a hugely successful cartoon show, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a gritty action-adventure picture, about four Turtles and their battle with the evil Shredder. The movie was a box-office smash in 1990, remains a cult favourite today, and is a bodacious film not to be overlooked.
The Shadow (1994)
A slight cheat on this next one, as The Shadow didn’t originate as a comic book, but it gets included as the movie is essentially a comic book romp. The film – which stars Alec Baldwin – follows the story of super hero Lamont Cranston, and his battle with the forces of evil.
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson front this cult comedy, based on the comic book (and cartoon series) of the same name. Josie and the Pussycats pokes lots of fun at the music industry and features the funniest boy band ever committed to the screen.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy is a colourful space romp, about a rag-tag group of outsiders who come together for a common goal. That goal is to save the galaxy – a feat no one expects them to achieve.
Boasting a stand-out soundtrack, some eye-popping visuals, and a fantastic cast, Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t just one of Marvel Studios’ best movies, it is also one of the best comic book movies of all time.
Turtles Forever (2009)
Another outing for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but this time it is an animated romp, which focuses on the multiverse. In Turtles Forever, the Turtles come face-to-face with various versions of themselves from other realities, leading to some fun and nostalgia along the way.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Another entry from Marvel Studios, and this time it focuses on a Chinese super hero called Shang-Chi! The movie – from director Destin Daniel Cretton – tells of Shang-Chi’s origin, and his estrangement from his father, Xu Wenwu.
From Hell (2001)
Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Robbie Coltrane and Ian Holm star in this a dark horror movie based on the graphic novel of the same name. From Hell – directed by The Hughes Brothers – focuses on the murders of Jack the Ripper.
And finally, Ryan Reynolds is on fine form in this hilarious, action-packed comic book movie, about a wise-crackin’ mercenary with incredible healing powers. Tim Miller is on directing duties, Reynolds is at his best, and Deadpool proves to be one of the funniest Marvel movies of them all.
OK, so those are all the best comic book movies which are NOT based on DC Comics characters, but how many have you watched? Well, while you think about that, here is a list of all those movies again, to save you from having to scroll back up.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Black Panther (2018)
- The Crow (1994)
- Kick-Ass (2010)
- Men in Black (1997)
- X2 (2003)
- X-Men: First Class (2011)
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
- The Rocketeer (1991)
- The Mask (1994)
- Wanted (2008)
- Spider-Man (2002)
- Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
- Dredd (2012)
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
- Hellboy (2004)
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
- Iron Man (2008)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Blade (1998)
- Big Hero 6 (2014)
- The Old Guard (2020)
- Casper (1995)
- The Incredible Hulk (1978)
- Logan (2017)
- Sin City (2005)
- Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
- The Phantom (1996)
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
- 300 (2007)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
- The Shadow (1994)
- Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Turtles Forever (2009)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
- From Hell (2001)
- Deadpool (2016)
Thank you for dropping by I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post about the best non-DC comic book movies. For more posts (of the DC variety), be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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