23 Worst Superhero Movies, Ranked

Table of Contents If you’ve been online sometime over the past two weeks, you’ve likely…

A ranking of monumental misfires from the superhero movie genre.

If you’ve been online sometime over the past two weeks, you’ve likely seen the latest Marvel/Sony collaboration, Morbius, getting lambasted by critics and audiences alike.


Sony Pictures Releasing

With the film’s box office dropping nearly 74% in its second weekend and getting panned as one of the worst Marvel adaptations ever, I’ve decided to rank 23 of the worst superhero movies of all time to see the corny and crappy company in which the Jared Leto-led vampire vigilante film stands.

23.

Eternals (2021)


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

Eternals may have stunning natural scenery and interesting seeds of ideas with possibly bigger ramifications down the line in Phase Four of the MCU, but it’s unforgivably boring, convoluted, and nonsensical, making it Marvel Studios’ first outright stinker.

22.

The Shadow


Universal Pictures / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

This attempt to launch another Golden Era hero movie franchise in the wake of Batman and Dick Tracy is the definition of putting style over substance, as its paper-thin story crashes under the weight of its era-appropriate production design and visual effects.

21.

X-Men: The Last Stand


20th Century Fox Film Corp / Courtesy Everett Collection

Brett Ratner’s only foray into the X-Men franchise is widely considered to be the series’ first major misstep, as the film eschewed many of the character dynamics that drove its predecessors while absolutely bungling the highly anticipated new characters, such as Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut and Ben Foster as Angel.

20.

Howard the Duck


Universal Pictures / PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy

While Howard the Duck has found a growing cult audience that appreciates its commitment to absurdity, the film’s rejection of tonal consistency and its ineffective balancing act between risqué humor and family-friendly goofiness has cemented this adaptation in the lower echelon of comic book movies.

19.

The Phantom


Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Another ’90s attempt to resurrect a superhero that was long past their heyday, The Phantom‘s pacing issues and underwhelming action stopped this franchise non-starter dead in its tracks.

18.

Spider-Man 3


Sony Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though time (and Spider-Man: No Way Home) has helped many Marvel fans become more forgiving of Sam Raimi’s third Spider-Man effort, Spider-Man 3‘s retconning, uninspired performances, and studio interference regarding Venom help to solidify the film as the hands-down worst Spidey cinematic effort.

17.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen


20th Century Fox Film Corp / Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s definitely disappointing that Sean Connery’s last live-action performance will be tied to this super-fiasco, an ensemble hero epic that brought together iconic literary figures for a middling, instantly forgettable adventure.

16.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine


20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

The X-Men franchise has had a number of godawful entries over the years, but none of them embody “missed potential” as much as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which has a clunky script, terrible CGI, and disappointing twists that cratered future Origins projects and essentially became erased from the franchise’s canon.

15.

Batman & Robin


Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

Batman & Robin left audiences cold with Joel Schumacher’s pun-heavy sequel to his well-received Batman Forever, which returned Batman to high camp akin to Adam West’s series and eventually forced Warner Bros. to decide to start from scratch with the next iteration of the character.

14.

Blade: Trinity


New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

After the high point of Guillermo del Toro’s Blade II, Blade: Trinity decided to take everything that worked about that film and throw it in the trash while horseshoeing an origin story for two hot young sidekicks to take over the franchise and setting up Blade to take on literal Dracula in a wet fart of a finale. 

13.

Wonder Woman 1984


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros. debuted Wonder Woman 1984 as their first major platform release on HBO Max in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in doing so, helped audiences in theaters and at home simultaneously discover that this sequel was bad on many levels and a poor post-Justice League showing for such a beloved character.

12.

Suicide Squad


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Good things are found few and far between in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, an edgelord’s dream antihero team-up film that is responsible for Jared Leto’s terrible Snyderverse Joker as well as one of the worst DC villains (Enchantress) and one of the most baffling DC side characters (Slipknot). Luckily, Suicide Squad helped pave the road for three legitimately excellent spinoffs: Birds of PreyThe Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker.

11.

Jonah Hex


Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

If you don’t remember this D-list DC character’s seriously subpar solo cinematic outing starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, and Michael Fassbender, don’t worry, as not many other people do outside of those perusing the DVD clearance bin at their local retailer.

10.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Desperate to expand on its Fantastic Four property, 20th Century Fox threw everything against the wall with Rise of the Silver Surfer, which results in a tonal roller coaster that does a disservice to the audience of the first film as well as the long-suffering comic book fans who were excited for the big-screen introduction of the Silver Surfer and Galactus.

9.

The Spirit


Lionsgate / Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy

Though this writer has a soft spot for this hot mess of a superhero movie, The Spirit is undeniably stupid while also showcasing irreverent humor and tired, ugly stereotypes, all of which cause the film to stumble out of the gate and wallow in the muck.

8.

Elektra


20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Courtesy Everett Collection

This Daredevil spinoff brought back Jennifer Garner’s Elektra Natchios in a visually dazzling but internally hollow film that uses its fantasy elements as a crutch and loses almost all of the charm of its critically reviled predecessor.

7.

Green Lantern


Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ryan Reynolds makes his third appearance on this list with his headlining affair in Green Lantern, which plays like a collection of unconventional decisions that meant to make the film stand out and instead makes the film feel too cartoonish and confusing for its own good.

6.

Steel


Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

The normally charismatic and imposing Shaq helps this plodding ’90s superhero film become a vortex of anything resembling fun that fails to even reach “so-bad-it’s-good” territory.

5.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance


Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the combination of Crank directors Neveldine/Taylor and star Nicolas Cage seems like a match made in heaven, Spirit of Vengeance fails to reach the promise hinted by the film’s nuttier sequences and eventually becomes too tangled in its own complicated and overwrought mythology.

4.

Barb Wire


Gramercy Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Pamela Anderson’s first major feature film role in this skull-numbing comic book adaptation sadly destroyed her hopes of becoming a leading lady on the big screen ever again.

3.

Catwoman


Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Outside of the unreleased Marvel movies that were produced to secure rights in the ’80s and early ’90s, Catwoman was often considered as the end-all, be-all when it came to bad comic book movies, as Halle Berry’s “modern” take on the DC Comics antihero proved that the path to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

2.

Morbius


Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

One day, there will be a fascinating book (or, at the very least, a blog post) that will be written about what really shaped Morbius into the complete screw-up that it became, from the extremely bizarre cinematography choices to the numerous seemingly pointless characters and plot threads, to the number of clearly reshot scenes that feel out-of-place, to the scenes that feel edited down to inches of their life, including the baffling and hypocritical ending.

1.

Justice League


Warner Bros. Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

As bad as Morbius and Catwoman are, they don’t hold a candle to Joss Whedon’s attempt to transform Justice League to the aimless and contradictory whims of Warner Bros., resulting in a true cinematic disaster that somehow looks even worse with the release of the impressive “Snyder Cut” more than four years later.