Marvel movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have come a long way. How far, you may ask? Movies based on Marvel comics date back decades. And that isn’t including all the television shows and cartoons. There is a lot of content that predates what we currently know and have experienced with the epic tale that is Avengers: Endgame. Fortunately for us fans, many of these films aren’t cannon. It is interesting to note that there was a time when comic book movies weren’t main stream. It’s just odd to think that people used to get made fun of for liking comics. But now, you are thought of as an outsider for not.
5) Ghost Rider (2007)
Nic Cage is a sandwich with lettuce, mayonnaise, and tomatoes. No matter the combination of what you add to that sandwich, the end result is simply delicious. I wish they were able to find a way to fold this franchise in with the MCU. Can you imagine how awesome an unhinged Nic Cage performance alongside an arrogant Robert Downey, Jr. would be?
4) Blade (1998)
While coming after Steel and Meteor Man, Blade was truly the first Marvel superhero movie of its kind. Wesley Snipes’ performance is gritty and he paves the way in the original to bring an entire Blade Franchise to life. Plus, the dad from Grounded for Life is hilarious when he gets his hand chopped off.
3) Fantastic Four (1994)
The famed, unreleased movie (which you can totally watch in its entirety for free). For what it is worth, most people agree that this is better than the 2015 reboot. I am one of those people. It is like a classic, schlock B-movie. If you told me it was produced by Troma, I would believe it (and love it more).
2) Spider-Man (2002)
This is a difficult one because Spider-Man is actually a part of the MCU now. But back in 2002, he lived in his own little universe. The first movie popped from the screen illustrated how a comic book movie can be loyal to the pages while also serving a big return at the box office.
1) X-Men (2000)
For my money, this is the granddaddy of superhero movies. It showed off an ensemble cast in a way that others have struggled. It brought in the right amount of realism while sticking to some of the traditional campiness of the source material. It defined Hugh Jackman as an Icon for nearly two decades. Sure the MCU might be celebrating 10 years…but X-Men has them beat. I must say, I am particularly looking forward to when Professor X and crew are fully assimilated into the MCU.