When thinking about comic books that have made great films, Marvel stands tall. Over the years, the unique characters and innovative storylines that they created have made perfect movie fodder. Although existing in various forms as a comic book publisher, the name Marvel first appeared in 1961. After that, famous Marvel artists such as Stan Lee and Steve Ditko helped to make it one of the most well-loved and exciting brands around.
With some of the best comic book characters, such as X-Men, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Ghost Rider, it is easy to see why they have sold so well. Moving into more modern times, the many films made that are based on the various Marvel characters have seen them find favor with a whole new audience.
The very latest Marvel movies have all taken place in a franchise known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although this seems all-pervasive now to fans, you might be interested to know that it is a recent development. In fact, the first MCU franchise film was as recent as 2008, when the first Iron Man was made for it. Before then, Marvel films were being made, but not independently by Marvel themselves. There were still plenty of brilliant movies that exist from before MCU, though, that really amazed fans.
When looking back before 2008 and the first MCU film, it is clear that many awesome titles were produced that featured some of the best-loved Marvel characters. Here are some of the films that you have to see:
If you love your Marvel comics, then you will love this film from 2007. Produced by the Ryan Kavanaugh-led Relativity Media company, this was an action-packed film that was very true to the comic books. Starring Nicholas Cage as the title character of Johnny Blaze (aka the Ghost Rider), it also featured the always-great Eva Mendes. The plot centers on Cage’s character making a deal with the Devil to save his father’s life in exchange for his soul. This turns him into the Ghost Rider and a struggle for the very universe then unfolds. Grossing over $20 million at the box office, it is a thrilling ride.
This film was very popular when first released in 1998 and starred Wesley Snipes in the main role. Not many people realized that Blade was a Marvel character but he definitely was! The film is a great comic book conversion and has a dark, moody feel. It tells the story of Blade, who is a half-human/half vampire but with none of the vampire’s normal weaknesses. Full of action and great lines, you will be gripped to the end and wanting to know if Blade prevents war between humans and vampires.
This may cause some confusion, as there has been a recent MCU version of this comic book. However, many will remember an earlier version from 2005 that was just as good, if not better. It was a big, big hit at the time and made a reported $330 million worldwide in earnings. The real attraction of this flick is to see many of your favorite Marvel characters all in one place, such as Mister Fantastic, The Thing, and Doctor Doom.
If you like more Marvel heroes for your money, then this is also a great choice. Released in 2000, it went a long way to really making Marvel films popular with the public again. When you look at the cast and the great writing, it is easy to see why. With such mega-stars as Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Sir Ian McKellen, it was never going to fail! Add in Famke Janssen and Halle Berry, and you have a sure-fire hit on your hands! The story tells of the conflict between the X-Men of Professor Xavier and the Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Magneto.
What the above really shows you is that Marvel films have been great viewing for a long time, not just since MCU came into being. They offer the ideal mix of action, storytelling, bad guys and escapism that hits home with audiences. The money they have made at the box office certainly shows that! Of course, it is always exciting to see what the next release will be but why not check out one of the above while you wait?