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Alternate Takes 3.22.14: Top 10 Comic Book Sequels
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 03.22.2014

Welcome to Week 293 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

This week saw some sequel news as Fox seems to have enough faith in their Fantastic Four reboot that they have already lined up a release date for Fantastic Four 2. They also have release dates for what is called Wolverine 3 as well as an untitled Marvel movie, probably another in the X-Men universe.

With the success of the Marvel sequel movies, it appears that everyone wants their piece of the pie before the floor falls out on the comic book movie world. With that news, plus the word that Captain America 2 might be the best Marvel movie of them all, I thought now would be a good time to note that sequels in the comic book world are often better than sequels in other movie forms.

Here are what I consider to be the Top 10 comic book sequels ever made. Reboots that are not connected to prior movies are not included (so Batman Begins is not a sequel to Batman).

10. Batman Forever

Yes, I do feel that Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever is a fun and entertaining Batman movie. Things didn't go off the tracks until the fourth movie and this one had a lot of positive aspects. For one thing, Val Kilmer was a great Bruce Wayne, much better in the role of Wayne than Michael Keaton, although Keaton was a better Batman. Second, The Riddler was PERFECTLY cast with Jim Carrey. I kind of hated Tommy Lee Jones' over-the-top acting as Two Face, but overall, I thought Batman Forever was a good movie. Plus, it is on this list while Dark Knight Rises is not.

9. Thor: The Dark World

I loved the first Thor movie, but I will be honest, I have spoken to other film critics (specifically some after the Thor: The dark World screening), and it appears they did not share my feelings about what made the first movie great. They loved the fish out of water stuff on earth while I loved the stuff on Asgard more. Since the second Thor movie paid more attention to Asgard, with little care for Earth until the end, it made it almost better than the first movie. Add in some great work by both Tom Hiddletson as Loki and Rene Russo as Frigga, and this was just another fantastic Marvel Studios movie.

8. Hellboy 2

News broke this week that Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim may get a sequel despite the fact that U.S. box office was very disappointing because the International take made it a financial success. This makes me very happy because I really wanted a sequel regardless of box office. It also reminded me of another Del Toro movie that I wanted a sequel of in the first Hellboy, one that almost didn't make enough money to warrant a sequel. It got it and took the movie into a more fantastical colorful world that was 100% Del Toro and the movie was just a joy to watch. Now if we can get the conclusion to the trilogy.

7. Batman Returns

The second of three Batman movies on this list, Batman Returns was Tim Burton's second and final outing for the Batman franchise. The first movie was pretty good, but the second movie really opened up the world of Batman and turned it into something special. Michelle Pfeiffer was great as Catwoman, Danny DeVito was fun as the Penguin and the entire movie just felt more like a comic book movie than the first one.

6. Iron Man 3

Yep, here I go again trumpeting my love of the underappreciated Iron Man 3. Jon Favreau created one of the best comic book movies ever made with the first Iron Man movie but then kind of dropped the ball with Iron Man 2, a movie that was fun but was nowhere near as intelligent of a movie as the first. Shane Black, the man who wrote Lethal Weapon and helped Robert Downey Jr. get his career back with the amazing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, was brought in to give it the more gritty feel of a Shane Black film. What happened was a very smart movie that perfectly wrapped up Tony Stark's story in a way that showed that he was a hero inside and outside armor. Plus, the Mandarin twist was brilliant despite the weaker Guy Pearce villain weighing it down.

5. Blade 2

The first Blade movie was good. However, while that movie was decent, it was kind of a simple tale, which is fine for the first movie in the series. With Blade II, Guillermo Del Toro came on as director and made the best Blade movie of the trilogy. He added the vampire hunters, with the always awesome Ron Perlman in the lead, and brought to life a story of a strain of mutated vampires that fed on both humans and vampires alike. Great story, great acting, great fight sequences and a great movie.

4. Spider-Man 2

I have to admit that the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies have not aged as well as hoped. Raimi is still one of my favorite directors and I think the reason that I don't like the movies as much as I used to is because I have really grown to dislike Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. However the second movie still has a lot to love, including some of Raimi's signature touches like the Doctor Octopus arms coming to life in the operating room. Also, Alfred Molina was great as Doctor Octopus.

3. X2

Unlike the Spider-Man sequel, the X-Men sequel holds up just as well today as it did when it was first released. Also, like Spider-Man, the second X-Men movie was better than the first by a long shot. Bryan Singer took the time to make sure that his superheroes and villains were more than just costumed heroes and villains and were real characters that were based on the ideas of both racism and homophobia, which makes it a perfect depiction of the comics. The second movie had one of the best sequences of all the movies when the government attacked and started capturing Mutant children. The scenes concerning Ice Man and his parents were also perfectly done.

2. Superman 2

Originally, the plans were for Richard Donnor to make Superman and Superman II at the same time, something that is done a lot now but was unique back in the 70s when this franchise started. Unfortunately, the producers of Superman decided to fire Donnor and hired Richard Lester to finish Superman II, while also removing Marlon Brando from the film based on money they didn't want to pay him. Well, Lester's version of the movie was good, but the Donnor cut which was released in the DVD sets was great. This was one of the best sequels ever, a great movie that followed a simply average one.

1. The Dark Knight

There could be only one. Whether it is the great direction, the wonderful acting of Heath Ledger as The Joker or the perfect character of Harvey Dent, this was the perfect Batman movie and one of the best comic book movies ever made.


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