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The 10 Strangest Superhero Movies, Ranked

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The 10 Strangest Superhero Movies, Ranked

Who doesn’t love a good superhero movie? Every one of the big titles is instantly recognizable, and they have figured out how to captivate audiences worldwide to become some of the most successful franchises to ever grace the big screen. They have perfected the art of making entertainment out of redemption, friendship and overcoming adversaries to the point where Spider-Man is more popular than any rock star or politician.

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But what happens when you make a superhero movie that doesn’t quite break the mainstream, or when it does, it’s received as being a bit…off. Some superhero movies are less refined and polished because they are strange in comparison to what we have come to expect, some are great, and some will go down in history as being less than that. The common factor is everyone comes away from them being a little bit puzzled as to what they just saw.


10 ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Suicide Squad poses a classic conundrum for the audience to consider. When a supernatural witch threatens mankind, and you’ve run out of all the good guys to throw against her, who do you turn to? Luckily they found the most dangerous and murderous villains, and they press-gang into fighting the evil force, ending in mixed results for humanity.

This was one strange experience. The entire film felt like a disjointed fever dream with kooky characters jumping in and out of the plot, only to be never seen again. The biggest shame of which was the heavily edited and poorly integrated Joker/Harley subplot that looks promising, but ended up leaving the audience in a state of total confusion. Still, it had some great fight scenes and a few laughs.

9 ‘Spawn’ (1997)


Ex-Mercinary Al Simmons gets double-crossed and ends up on the wrong side of a bullet, but is able to parlay a deal with the devil and come back to earth as a demon. Adorned with a magical cape that can morph into whatever he needs when he is seeking his revenge, Spawn is based on the popular comic books that took a darker and grittier look into the superhero world.

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Spawn has a lasting legacy, but perhaps not for all the intended reasons. Although some aspects were praised, it made the fatal flaw of incorporating CGI technology back in 1997, long before it has been refined. What exists now is otherwise a pretty good movie interjected with scenes that look like they were crafted from the original Doom video games, leaving the viewer in a state of bewilderment.

8 ‘Steel’ (1997)

Shaquille O'Neal with a steel mask, looking at the camera

Shaq (Yes, O’Neal) plays a sort of Iron Man role in this movie, which sees him creating a suit of steel armor to avenge his sidekick who was paralyzed by a greedy and corner-cutting industrialist. Eventually, he decides to give up his life of weapons manufacturing and becomes a superhero to right the wrongs of the world.

Steel is so cliché that it feels like they are making a parody of a superhero movie in one. The strange feeling you get from seeing Shaq try to play a serious role while visually being unable to make eye contact with the other actors is unmatched, and this film went down as a box office bomb. Worth a look into if you want to see what a superhero movie would look like if you described one to aliens.

7 ‘Supergirl’ 1984

Supergirl standing in front of a Popeye's restaurant

This one is hard to explain. So, Supergirl is called Kara Zor-El and she travels to earth to retrieve a very powerful Orb which was stolen and somehow mistakenly thrown into space. Once there, she figures out a witch called Salena has stolen the orb and plans to use it. Knowing this, Supergirl makes a high school alter-ego of a teenage girl. Supergirl is also Superman’s cousin, but he doesn’t appear at any stage.

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Did we mention that Salena is using the orb, so she can break her bond with an evil warlock? Or that in between fighting over earth’s continuing existence, both she and Supergirl fall in love with the groundskeeper (Who Salena drugs with a love potion) at the high school and battle over his affection. For a while there, Supergirl is trapped in a shadow realm and Salena declares herself the princess of earth and takes the groundskeeper as her personal cohort. This one is absolutely wild, a must-see.

6 ‘The Punisher’ (1989)

The punisher holding a gun looking from the side 1989 version

That’s right, The Punisher wasn’t always a popular movie and franchise. 15 years before it was a financially successful movie it was an adaptation that left people scratching their heads. It is however true to the comic book in the same way as the 2004 version was, which sees the Punisher battle the mob and become consumed with bloodlust after they kill off his family.

Nearly every scene in this movie is action, and it’s both strange and fantastic. The film was criticized because it paid little attention to the overall plot and focused entirely on every moment being as packed full of gun fights as possible, but it did a magnificent job of pumping 90 minutes of a movie into non-stop shootouts and fistfights.

5 ‘The Trial of the Incredible Hulk’ (1989)

Image via NBC

We are getting into truly weird territory here. While on the run from the law, The Hulk is framed for an assault on a subway by a mob boss who controls the city. In the pursuit of freedom, he gets Daredevil to act as an undercover investigator to clear his name of any wrongdoing, then manages to use his medical powers to heal him once he gets badly beaten by the same mobsters.

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This movie is sort of a courtroom-based drama with some superhero sleuthing thrown in for good measure. One thing that immediately becomes apparent when you re-watch this is how different the hulk acts in comparison to the one we know and love today. This one is a fantastic watch for a good laugh in between concerned looks.

4 ‘Captain America’ (1990)

Captain America (1990)

Let’s analyze the plot for a second and see if we can work out why this movie was seen as a very odd artistic endeavor. Captain America gets frozen in ice by the Red Skull, gets revived, and has to try and save the president who is being hunted down by a crime family…because they don’t like his pro-environmental policies. He also battles the Red Skull in a castle towards the end.

This film took the comics very loosely as inspiration and was probably the reason why Captain America wasn’t attempted against for another few decades. That being said, as perplexingly strange as this movie is, if you are a hardcore fan of the franchise it would be a fantastic way to look at previous attempts at the character.

3 ‘Batman Forever’ (1995)


People forget about the older Batman, but they really shouldn’t. The same Tim Burton who is behind many of our favorite movies made some pretty interesting adaptations in the early 90s, and Batman Forever is no exception. Both Two-Face and the Riddle are trying to steal all the information from the brains of everyone in Gotham and Batman has a nipple-protruding suit that was the focus on many critics questions.

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Take a gothic movie set and apply the campiest costumes from the 1970s, and you have Batman Forever. The plot is obviously not the strongest, and sure some of the characters have no business acting the way they do, but Batman Forever has to be acknowledged as one of the most interesting Batman adaptions out there today.

2 ‘Spider-Man: The Dragons Challenge’ (1981)

Peter Parker and Sidekick in Spidermans a dragons challange 1981

I guess this could be loosely described as a Spider-Man movie that is attempting to be a kung-fu adventure. A Chinese minister comes to America because he is being investigated for allegedly selling secrets about Mao Zedong during WW2. In order to prove his innocence Spiderman has to track down the marines who witnessed this.

Another movie that seems to combine the legal system and superhero abilities, this Spider-Man movie is quite an experience. Peter Parker saves the minister’s life several times, but he eventually has a heart attack just as he was wrapping up the minor details of his court case. Spiderman also uses kung-fu a lot in this movie, so needless to say it’s not exactly your average experience.

1 ‘Howard The Duck’ (1986)

Image via Universal Pictures

Howard the Duck is about a duck named Howard. Pretty straightforward forward right? He is a speaking duck, who also becomes a superhero after he gets bumped into space and lands on earth. Here he makes crude sex jokes, beats up people who don’t deserve it, and gets into fights a lot because he has a habit of insulting anyone he sees.

I can’t express through words how much of an experience this movie is, it’s simply something that has to be witnessed. Although considered one of the worst films ever made, it has garnered a cult classic status that disagrees with that title. Love it or hate it, this one will leave you questioning everything in existence.

NEXT: 10 Superhero Movies For People Who Hate Superhero Movie

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