(Super) Men of Steel

May 30, 2014 Movie Smackdown

While he’s not necessarily the world’s singularly favorite (or only) superhero any more, Superman still maintains a strong pull on the audience’s loyalty. Many brave actors have tried on the tights and cape over the years.

Please vote for the man who was the superest of the Supermen in our poll. We’ve set it up so you can vote several times if you want to vote for more than one. […]

The Avengers (2012) -vs- X-Men: First Class (2011)

May 2, 2012 Bryce Zabel

If one superpowered superhero can fuel a super-blockbuster (Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Batman, Superman, Captain America), just imagine what a half-dozen of them in the same movie can do.

A few years ago, Marvel Studios did just that. After giving movie-length origin stories to its key players, Marvel now brings all their power-hitters together into the ultimate superhero combo group — The Avengers. Imagine this group fighting not just evil but each other for screen time: Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man and a couple of second tier-types, the token hottie, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, the guy with the bow and some very fancy arrows. […]

THE AVENGERS: Assembling a New Classic?

October 11, 2011 Bryce Zabel

After carefully setting them all up with their own movies, Marvel now brings all their dashing superguys together into the greatest superhero group of all time with Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and, for good measure, the token woman Black Widow and the archer who’s never quite gotten out of the Marvel second tier, Hawkeye. […]

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) -vs- Batman Begins (2005)

July 24, 2011 Bryce Zabel

These two characters are flagship iconic brands for the Marvel and DC universes. It’s almost impossible to conceive of either of them really existing properly without what these characters bring to the table, whether that table is part of the Avengers or the Justice League.

Batman has clearly outstripped Captain America in overall name recognition in our times (although that could change), but both characters are equally important in what they mean to their caretakers.

Like the new Green Lantern, X-Men: First Class and Thor from earlier in the summer, Captain America: The First Avenger is an origin story. So, too, was Batman Begins when it came out in 2005. Captain America hopes to launch a franchise while Batman re-booted a faded franchise by starting over.

Despite my historical embrace of the First Avenger, I promise as a former honorary junior member of the Justice League of America, I am perfectly capable of rendering a judgment for the Dark Knight if he’s deserving. So then — which of these origin films is the most successful adaptation from the page to the stage? Here’s the Tale of the Tape, matching up with the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con. […]

RESULTS! The SmackPoll: Comic-Con Superhero Edition

July 24, 2011 Movie Smackdown

THE RESULTS ARE IN. All the fighters have entered the ring now in this “Summer of Smackdown!” With the release of Captain America this weekend, the battle for blockbuster superiority is now in full swing. So far Thor has dropped the hammer on the competition, taking in over $446M since its international release.

From the beginning, we’ve had our SmackPoll up, asking our readers which film they think will go down as the best super-hero film of the summer. No, it’s not scientific, nor even a real fair fight given the staggered release dates, but it is kind of surprising. As of today, the film that just was released Captain America: The First Avenger is in first place, followed by Thor, followed by X-Men: First Class and it’s DC’s Green Lantern at the back of the pack.

The poll will stay open until the end of Comic-Con on Sunday at 5:00pm PST. If you’re in attendance, or following things on the Internet, pass the poll around to your friends and, now that Captain America is out, let’s see if he can hang on to his lead. […]

Thor (2011) -vs- Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980 | 2006)

May 4, 2011 Rodney Twelftree

Down here in Australia, we actually got Thor in our theaters a full two weeks before the God of Thunder finally visited the United States. Along with our Aussie pride that the title character is played by local lad Chris Hemsworth, that still doesn’t quite equal what our American friends may be feeling over the success of Seal Team Six, but we take our thrills where we find them.

Comic book heroes coming to blows is a concept as old as the medium itself, but this Smackdown pits entire universes against each other. Thor versus Superman. Marvel versus DC. Yes!

The extraterrestrial Superman is the most recognizable comic book character ever created and Thor, the mythically awesome Stan Lee-created Asgardian God who comes to Earth, are the powerhouse figures of their respective comic book universes. DC Comics has published Superman since 1939, while Thor has been around since Marvel introduced him in 1962. Both have incredible powers. Superman derives his incredible strength and abilities from his proximity to Earth’s yellow sun, while Thor’s powers come from his family lineage as a Norse God (who may be an extraterrestrial himself) — the God of Thunder, to be exact. […]