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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Alternate Takes 01.04.14: Top 5 Comic Book Movies Of 2013
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 01.04.2014

Welcome to Week 283 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

Well, it seems like there is a burnout with the Knockout tournaments and people don't seem as interested as in the past, so we will just fly through the rest of the matchups until we come up with a winner. This week will be the final bracket from the second round and then next week we will do the entire Sweet 16, the next week the entire Elite Eight and so on. However, since this is losing interest, I won't talk about the matchups and just list them at the top of the column for you to vote on.

Here is a look at last week's winners:
Spider-Man 2 def. 300, 186-92
X-Men: First Class def. Man of Steel, 192-86
The Wolverine def. A History of Violence, 153-101
X-Men 2 def. Iron Man 3, 204-75


So, back to the regular column. This week, we'll do a countdown and I will countdown the comic book adaptations of 2013.

Failed to Make the List:
Oldboy, R.I.P.D., G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Kick-Ass 2, Red 2, Blue is the Warmest Color

5. 2 Guns

Outside of Blue is the Warmest Color, 2 Guns is the one comic book movie that came out this year that most people don't even know was based on a comic. The book was from Boom! Studios by Steven Grant, a long time comic book writer who has worked for both Marvel and DC Comics since the 80s. He has since gone on to write more non-superhero stories, including adaptations of the TV show CSI as well as 2 Guns, a story about two undercover law enforcement officers trying to bring down a major drug lord. In the movie, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington play the undercover agents, while Edward James Olmos is the drug lord, and the movie is more fun than I could have ever hoped. Coming into a year where I was excited for R.I.P.D., it was the under-appreciated 2 Guns that stole the show.

4. Man of Steel

Yeah, a lot of people hated Man of Steel because of nitpicks. Some hated how Jonathan Kent died (I did as well). Others hated the death toll of the final scene (I didn't it was no worse than The Avengers and Superman was fighting against someone more powerful and war ready than him in Zod). Others hated how Zod was "pre-determined" to save Krypton (I didn't. I prefer a villain who believes he is doing the right thing over a mustache twirling stereotypical villain). At the end of the day, Man of Steel brought the action that was missing from Superman Returns and was a great start for Superman. That brings me to the final complaint the end of the movie. Honestly, without spoiling it, I have no problem with how Superman beat Zod because he found no other way to stop him for good. I believe it was a learning tool that he will use to become the Big Blue Boy Scout that everyone hated until this movie and then wanted back. I think it was a great origin device that will make him the greatest hero in the world one day.

3. Thor: The Dark World

Honestly, I loved the first Thor more than almost any other Phase 1 movie outside of the first Iron Man and The Avengers. However I didn't like the stuff on Earth as much as what happened on Asgard. This sequel took place almost completely on Asgard, with Earth as either comic relief or saved for the final battle, and that made it even better than that first movie in my eyes. I thought the stuff with Thor and Loki was fantastic - and honestly, this movie was the culmination of Loki's story (if Loki has his own trilogy, it starts in Thor, continues in The Avengers and concludes here), and if you look at it as Loki's story, it was a perfect conclusion. Plus, that last battle was just crazy in all the right ways.

2. The Wolverine

I missed this when it arrived in theaters. However, I chose to buy the Extended Edition, which adds some stuff and might be one of the best R-rated superhero movies on the market. It is based on the Chris Claremont story where Logan heads to Japan and ends up giving up at least 2/3 of a film that all Wolverine fans have been waiting on. Yes, the final fight was a bit too comic-bookish for a movie that tried so hard to bring out the Japanese Noir aspects of the Wolverine character, but this is a comic book movie, and that is fine with me. Forget about X-Men Origins, this is the Wolverine movie that fans deserved.

1. Iron Man 3

A lot of people hated Iron Man 3. I disagree with them a thousand times over. People hated that Tony Stark was not Iron Man for most of the movie, but that was the entire point and what made this a perfect conclusion to Stark's story. He was not Iron Man for most of the first half of the first movie (the best part of that movie) and people still love it. Tony Stark, by the second Iron Man movie, started to live as Iron Man. By The Avengers, he realized there was a lot of bad shit out there in the world, and Iron Man 3 allowed him to prove that he was a hero not as Iron Man, but as Tony Stark. Shane Black is a fantastic filmmaker and this movie was all Black (which made people who wanted more Jon Favreau action angry). The other complaint was about Mandarin not being The Mandarin from the comics. I personally thought the twist was brilliant, and while I will agree that Guy Pierce was kind of a generic bad guy, that final fight with the Extremis soldiers was what this was leading to. I am personally glad that they didn't have Mandarin as the promos made it look like, since that would have made him Bane 2.0. I am also glad they didn't use the mystical rings because Iron Man is not about magic leave that for The Avengers. Iron Man is a tech character and this was in my eyes the perfect conclusion to Tony Stark's story that started with the first Iron Man movie, and the movie where he finally became a true hero.


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