Summer Superhero Mash-Ups

By Justin Meinken, Staff Writer

Honorable Mentions (because this list was way too hard to make): X-Men and X-Men 2 directed by Bryan Singer, Iron Man directed by Jon Favreau, Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron directed by Joss Whedon, X-Men: First Class directed by Matthew Vaughn, The Wolverine and Logan directed by James Mangold, Ant-Man directed by Peyton Reed, and Doctor Strange directed by Scott Derrickson.

Number Five: X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed by Bryan Singer.

Inspired by classic time-travel films like the Back to the Future trilogy, X-Men: Days of Future Past mainly focuses on Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) and his journey back in time to stop the apocalyptic future that all mutants now face. Peter Dinklage plays the main antagonist, Bolivar Trask, whose goal is to utilize mutant abilities to create mutant hunting machines called “Sentinels” and if time is not corrected, he might just succeed. These story elements, as well as many others, meld together to form an incredible sci-fi thriller that stars all the iconic X-men characters.

Best Scene: Quicksilver’s action sequence in the kitchen beneath the Pentagon.

Number Four: Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn.

When Marvel decided to create a film starring a rag-tag team of intergalactic degenerates based off a 2008 comic book series, most critics didn’t have high expectations. However, Marvel struck gold with their killer cast featuring Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Zoe Saldana as well as their use of expert comedic writing. This memorable cast forms the very likable “Guardians of the Galaxy” as they’re eventually known, and the film focuses heavily on the team learning to work together. While the team members are at each other’s throats, they have to put aside their differences as they battle across the galaxy.

Best Scene: Groot foregoes the plan and immediately steals a Quarnex battery in front of their captors.

Number Three: The Captain America trilogy, directed by Joe Johnston, Joe Russo, and Anthony Russo.

The once cheesy and melodramatic Marvel superhero got his proper film introduction in 2011 and started a very successful trilogy. Chris Evans plays the famed Captain America, a World War II super soldier turned American hero. Loosely based off the real life veteran Audie Murphy, Captain America is a skilled warrior with a big heart who maintains his virtues even when he is pushed well beyond his limits. As more Marvel films continue to star Captain America and his friends, only one thing is certain: The Captain will defend the Avengers with his own shield, or be carried on it.

Best Scene: The airport action sequence. (Captain America: Civil War)     

Number Two: Deadpool, directed by Tim Miller.

Prepare for one of the greatest comedies of all time and the second highest grossing R-rated movie in history with 363 million dollars at the box office. Ryan Reynolds stars as your friendly neighborhood pool guy as he showcases his unmatched abilities to fight crime and do fourth wall jokes. Deadpool uses everything from swords to a Zamboni to defeat endless waves of comedic baddies in his quest to save his girlfriend and look good while doing it. A sequel is set for 2018.

Best Scene: The entire action sequences and dialogue exchange on the highway.

Number One: The Dark Knight trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan.

At a time when superhero movies were exclusively seen as children’s films, Christopher Nolan formed a dark and disturbing adaptation of one of the most iconic comic book characters. Christian Bale plays Batman, or “The Dark Knight” as he is later known, and the trilogy encompasses the majority of his life. Not only did this series produce one of the greatest superheroes in all of film, but it also produced one of the most infamous villains in movie history. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is absolutely chilling and beyond disturbing, and his performance alone easily places the Dark Knight trilogy on the number one spot.

Best Scene: The Joker saying, “Wanna know how I got these scars?” (The Dark Knight)