How to make a brilliant comic book movie

Slide show: From "Ghost World" to "Superman," we look at films that translate the medium into greatness

Matt Zoller Seitz
January 15, 2011 6:01AM (UTC)

Last summer I wrote an article bitching about the crappiness of most superhero movies. It inspired a heated comments thread on related topics, including animated adaptations, comics-based movies that aren't about superheroes, and what, if anything, "comic book" and "comic strip" even mean. This slide show is a belated sequel to that article: a list of the 10 greatest films inspired by comics.

What's the best comics-based movie ever made? What's the worst? Can a film truly capture the spirit of comics if it's not based on a comic? (I really wanted to put Walter Hill's incredibly comic-bookish "Johnny Handsome" on here, but left it off because it's based on a novel!) When you translate a comic to the big screen, do you lose its essence, no matter how good the movie is? And does anyone else besides me think disco-era "Flash Gordon" is awesome? Riddle me those questions, readers, then meet me in the Letters section.


Matt Zoller Seitz

MORE FROM Matt Zoller Seitz

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Comic Books Film Salon Friday Night Seitz Movies Slide Shows Slideshow


Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •