In a year where real-life heroes often felt too hard to find, their on-screen counterparts thrived. Superhero movies flourished in 2017, serving up a healthy mix of artistic heights, box office triumph, and historical moments in the genre. We got our first female-led superhero movie. We said goodbye to Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine. We got our first live-action team-up of the Justice League. We got a new Spider-Man, finally in the hands of the MCU. We got a Taika Waititi blockbuster, for goodness sake. That variety and quality paid off in spades at the box office, making it the biggest year for the superhero genre to date.
With that in mind, I’m taking a look back at the six major superhero movies of 2017, from The LEGO Batman Movie, which arrived in theaters way back in February, to Justice League, the freshest of the bunch, though only in terms of release date. It’s been a hell of a year, in terms of sheer volume (six superhero tentpoles in one year!), financial and critical success, and creative merit. Forget about superhero fatigue, if anything, the genre just seems to be getting more interesting and successful by the year.
If you read my list of best popcorn movies the other day, you might notice some of these were listed in different order. That’s not a mistake, I just don’t always look for the same things in popcorn movies that I do in superhero films — they can cross over, but the metrics aren’t the same, which is why #1 on this list didn’t even appear on the other.
Sound off with your ranking in the comments, and because I know this is a very serious, sensitive issue, don’t all rush at once to tell me how wrong I am.