For those critics surprised by “Man of Steel’s” darkened take on Superman relative to past screen incarnations, comic-book fans have a not-surprising rejoinder: It’s about time.
The 21st century has been surprisingly good to superheroes, at least in terms of movies and TV. After years of indignities and disappointments, the launch of “X-Men” in 2000 — followed by other trilogies devoted to Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man — ushered in an era of more serious fare.
These projects not only came from filmmakers who possessed love and respect for the source material but armed with tools (principally in the form of heightened computer effects) to credibly realize their visions.
Granted, there have been plenty of bad costume-clad movies in the last decade or so, but nothing quite like the campy, wince-inducing moments comic readers experienced when they braved watching TV or movie adaptations before this new era began. So for aficionados, the rule of thumb is better dark than daffy, better grim than goofy.
What were the worst? Here’s a by-no-means-comprehensive list (in descending order) highlighting 10 of the most egregious, although if you still have comics lovingly protected in plastic bags, you no doubt have suggestions of your own: