From Top to Bottom: Comic Book Movie Sequels

by Matt

Welcome to the 11th edition of the weekly "From Top to Bottom" column! Every week I will look at something within the comics industry and give you my opinion on what I think is the best and what I think ranks amongst the bottom-feeders.

Last week, I celebrated Canada Day by looking at the Top and Bottom of Alpha Flight characters. Today, because I am SOOOO excited for the new Batman and Hellboy sequels to come out, I thought it would be fun to rate my favorite Comic Book Movie Sequels. We all know they will pull huge crowds and make a buttload of money but can a comic book movie sequel be any good? Is there a chance that it could be better than the original? Have they EVER been good? Am I WAY too hyped for Batman and Hellboy sequels? All these questions will be answered and more!

I'll answer one of those questions right off the bat. Yes, I'm really hyped and excited for the new Batman and Hellboy sequels and I hope they deliver. Sequels like, The Empire Strikes Back and Aliens really spoiled me when I was younger. Those were excellent sequels and were a perfect example of how a sequel should work. Most sequels have paled in comparison to these and I come out of the movie theatre slightly disappointed. Some sequels I have enjoyed and I am pretty forgiving for some of them (Star Wars Episodes I-III for example) but most are not as good as the original. Only a few, rare sequels have made me excited and were in my opinion better than the original. Here are my Top 3 Comic Book Movie Sequels followed by my Bottom 3 which I wished I rented instead.

3) Blade II
I was blown away by the first Blade and I had some high expectations for this installment and I was not disappointed. I have always loved seeing heroes and villains teaming up for the greater good (a theme you will see a little later) and this was fantastic! Blade and the Bloodpack team form a very uneasy truce and Reinhardt (Ron Perlman) was a great foil to Blade.

2) Superman II
Kneel before Zod! I have fond memories of this film and looking back on it, I found that it is pretty cheesy (the memory kiss and the huge cellophane Superman symbol) but when I was a kid, this had a fight to end all fights! I always thought Superman was sort of a wuss but I got chills when he asked Zod to step outside. Even Superman was going to kick some ass!

1) X2: X-Men United
I went into the first X-Men movie expecting nothing and came out shaking my head in disbelief. They actually made an X-Men movie that worked! Going into X2 I was hyped beyond measure and I was not disappointed. This movie had everything, I couldn't have asked for more. I couldn't believe how hardcore Wolverine was when he was chopping down those soldiers. The opening scene with Nightcrawler teleporting everywhere, Storm making the tornadoes, Magneto teaming up with the good guys (I love that!), Mystique fighting it solo, Deathstrike and Wolverine's fight, oh I could go on and on and on about how much I LOVE this movie!

I wish all sequels had this effect on me but sadly this is not the case. Some sequels have been good but not as great as the original (Spider-Man 2 for example) and some have just been plain awful. Here are my Bottom 3 Comic Book Movie Sequels, that I wish I could have gotten a refund.

3) Fantastic Four 2: The Rise of the Silver Surfer
I have to give this movie a little credit. It is vastly better than the first and it does have my favorite sequel plot device (heroes and villains teaming up for the greater good) but it fails on so many layers. And how can they make uber-hot Jessica Alba not so hot? How the blue hell is that possible? This movie had a lot of potential, combine that with my hype for the movie (I thought the trailers looked good) and my expectations far exceeded what was made. I kept thinking "if only" throughout the whole movie. So close but yet so far.

2) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Nuclear Man? I hated Superman III so much that I thought this Superman HAD to be better. How could they possibly make another bad Superman? Boy, was I wrong and I was HUGELY disappointed. The plot, the acting and the dialogue was horrible. Trapping Nuclear Man in an elevator?

In the words of G.O.B.,


1) Batman and Robin
My wife and I were engaged at the time this came out and I was looking to expose comics to her slowly and I thought seeing this movie together would help. This damaged that more than it helped. I have never been more embarrassed to be a comic collector than I was when Batman and Robin kicked their boots together to get "Bat-Skates". I wanted to die at that moment. Right then, I knew this was going to be a crappy movie. And that was just the start, we were treated to some horrible acting and even more horrible dialogue. This movie killed the chance of any comic book movie being made for a very long time.

Here is for hoping that The Dark Knight and Hellboy: The Golden Army show how to make sequels! I'll see you in line Friday night.


Doug Smith said...

I'm still waiting for HOWARD THE DUCK II, myself.

Chris Ware said...

After Batman Forever, I didn't even bother watching Batman & Robin and yes, Superman IV was pretty bad.

I'll agree with your top two choices for best sequels, but I thought both Spider-Man 2 and Batman Returns were both better than Blade II.

Doug Smith said...

I couldn't even finish watching BATMAN RETURNS. Horrible, horrible movie.

Matt said...

Batman Returns had some moments but not a whole lot and it was definitely not better than the original. Spider-Man 2 was solid but didn't offer anything special.

Chris Ware said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Ware said...

Batman Returns had some moments but not a whole lot and it was definitely not better than the original.

Wait, were your top three for movies that were better than the original? I thought it was just your favorite sequels...

Spider-Man 2 was solid but didn't offer anything special.

What did you think made Blade II special?. I thought the ending was kind of cheesy.

Dan said...

Batman Returns was more garbage than Batman Forever. I didn't even try to watch Batman & Robin; the commercials were just so bad.

Never saw Blade II or III. Didn't go near the Fantastic Four movies. Just looked so wrong.

Loved X2. It's my favorite comic flick of all time, so no arguments there.

dancewithzombies said...

I personally loved batman returns, though I'm not sure I would say I like it more than the original. I'm only partial because that was the first movie I really remember as a kid and because of that movie, I started getting into comics. So, it will always hold a special place in my heart!

As for X2, it IS one of the greatest sequels of all time. Its almost perfect.

And tonight at midnight, all hell breaks loose!! (yay midnight showings of hellboy, but nay on the bad pun.)

Matt said...

Batman Returns did have some cool moments. And Catwoman was especially awesome. Didn't care for the ending all that much but it was fun.