The Superhero has a long history in the cinematic medium. As far back as the golden age of cinema, there has seldom been a time without some type of masked adventurer to appeal to the minds of viewers. In the 1940s, this was mostly in the form of the chapter based serial.
A precursor to later television shows, these would follow the cliffhanger adventures of daring heroes and adventurers as they battled the forces of evil week after week. Many pulp heroes thrived in this medium including The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, The Spider and The Green Hornet, to name but a few. Even some comic book characters found themselves adapted to the screen, including Batman, The Phantom, and Captain America. Still, with the exception of Zorro and The Shadow, few of these mystery men could boast having a feature length film.
It wasn’t until the 1970s and the first Superman film that modern audiences were graced with a Hollywood budget feature-length spectacle of the comic book superhero, and what better character to begin with. Since that time, there has not been a decade without its superhero adaptations, and even more so since the new millennium. The action movie genre is now so flooded with comic book adaptations they've become a genre unto themselves, complete with specific tropes and clichés. Just as with the comics, there have been great films, and some really bad ones.
It’s time to look at a few of the best. The ten best.