Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken the game of the superhero genre to an unprecedented level. By pushing out back to back mind-blowing blockbusters every year, they have made the comic book movie industry highly attractive to other players. But this profitable business wasn’t so appealing always. Many directors and studios attempted to bring the comic book heroes on the screen but failed miserably. The secret to the success of MCU is a-list cast like Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, talented brains like the Russo brothers, a massive budget, and the right special effects and creative team. But the movies we are talking about are a big dent in Marvel’s reputation. No matter how high the studios reach, there will always a Green Lantern for every Wonder Woman in DC. Now let us dive into the films that embarrass Marvel comics. Here are the 10 disastrous versions of the popular superhero franchises of MCU.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man
No no! We are talking about the “The Amazing Spider-Man” of 1977 that people were psyched about. It must have been good for their first attempt back then but to watch that Spidey crawl on the wall now makes us feel super uncomfortable. But why would someone enjoy those awkward action moves of Spider-Man when they could have easily watched Bruce Lee kicking butts? Sticking to the imagination by reading comic books was a better option than losing faith in the hero with this film.
2. Dr. Strange
What was CBS thinking while producing Doctor Strange whose adventures are based on the magical realm? Back in 1978, even to make a thrilling action movie was a challenge with the available special effects (Remember The Amazing Spider-Man?). Naturally this Dr. Strange was not even close to capturing the trippy and hallucinating world of the Sorcerer Supreme.
3. Captain America (1944)
The first comic book of America’s soldier was published in 1941 and the first live-action of the hero took place three years later in 1944. This Captain America obviously didn’t get the same bulging muscles like Chris Evans but that’s not the issue. Whoever has seen this version will forever remember that instead of the Tesseract, Cap fought his enemy The Scarab from obtaining a weapon called “Dynamic Vibrator”. That’s a name that certain brands can definitely use to sell their product.
4. Captain America
Captain America I and II of 1979 left the audience spellbound with the transparent plastic shield and the shiny costume. Chris Evans should have borrowed these outfits for “The First Avenger” of MCU. The first installment scored 10% on Rotten Tomatoes which encouraged the makers to push out a sequel to the fans’ horror. Thank God the times have changed and our current Cap doesn’t look like he’s attending a costume party.
5. The Incredible Hulk Returns (Why? Oh Why?)
Most of us have watched the fabulous team-up of Hulk and Thor a hundred times in Thor: Ragnarok. We loved that hilarious bonding that threw us off our seats multiple times. But back in 1988, the two Marvel heroes had shared the screen in “The Incredible Hulk Returns”. There was nothing incredible about the film where the mighty green beast and the God of Thunder(in leather pants) were fighting a gang.
6. Captain America (Again)
Captain America of 1990 did have a popular cast, Matt Salinger but couldn’t capitalize on it like MCU. The Red Skull of this adaption ran an Italian crime syndicate that plotted to take down the president. Don’t know what was worse, the entire movie or the Red Skull who scarred the comic book fans for years.
7. The Trial of Incredible Hulk
This time falsely accused Bruce Banner joins hands with a new ally for justice, the Man Without Fear, and lawyer, Daredevil whose suit was atrocious. This film was slightly better to watch than Hulk’s team up with Thor. It’s hard to say how the audience felt about it since hardly anyone has seen this TV film.
Before the comic book readers were gifted with Daredevil on Netflix, they had to suffer through 2-hours of Daredevil in 2003. It is one thing to come up with a sh*tty original piece but, how could one ruin a ready-made source material? All they had to do was make a faithful adaption of the badass Marvel character. It was evident from Ben Affleck’s performance that he wasn’t interested in the character. Later, the Oscar-winning actor-director confessed that he didn’t enjoy filming it as he wanted a different plot.
9. Punisher: War Zone
This movie was so bad that the audience didn’t even rate it on Rotten Tomatoes. Evidently, no one has even watched this film in 2008. Coincidentally, the actor Ray Stevenson who played the titular character got a chance in the MCU as Thor’s friend. But he is better known for the significantly smaller role in the MCU than the protagonist of “Punisher: War Zone”.
10. The Punisher
There are two Punisher movies that Marvel deeply regrets being associated with. The Dolph Lundgren starrer in 1989 is considered as the worst adaption of the comic book anti-hero. According to the few victims who have watched this film, it was a mix of racism and filled with action without a gripping story.