Despite the constant handwringing of various people about the current state of cinema, films based on comic-book properties have been around for quite a long time. The 1940s featured serials based on Batman and Superman, but even if those are discounted (as in this supercut), there have been comic book/comic strip films for at least 50 years. In this video, by YouTuber Moon Film, Wagner’s “Ride Of The Valkyries” scores the long walk from Batman in 1966 all the way up to this year’s Captain America: Civil War (sadly Suicide Squad is snubbed—which will probably just lead to more angst and bad tattoos for all involved).
The video is interesting for a number of reasons. First, it reminds you just how many times Hollywood (and independents) have tried to adapt these properties. There may be a bit of a golden age of superhero films at the moment, but there was a lot of start-and-stopping to get there. You can see the adaptations happening in waves as various studios chase the success of Superman: The Movie, Tim Burton’s Batman, or even The Crow and Spawn. The supercut also shines a line on films most people don’t associate when hearing “comic book films”: the non-superhero type films. There’s also some great work from indie comics like Ghost World and Road To Perdition, alongside some clunkers (Barb Wire).
Lastly, Moon Film’s supercut (or montage, to be classy about it) is shown in chronological order, which allows the viewer to see the various trends that have taken over comic-book film properties over the years. The cheesy sincerity of the Superman films, the gothic tones of Burton’s Batman works, the brightly lit colors of everything in the ’90s (Mystery Men, Tank Girl, Batman Forever), the grounded efforts of X-Men movies and Nolan’s Batman films, and back to the sincerity of the Marvel adaptations. It’s a fun trip through the various phases and cyclical nature of filmmaking and popular tastes.