Ranking Super Hero Franchises (Worst to Best)

Let's set some ground rules.  I'm not saying this is a DCEU vs MCU list.  I'm saying I want to rate movies even within the MCU.  Like are the Thor movies better than the Iron Man movies?  Are the Avenger movies better than the Guardians of the Galaxy movies?  Get what I'm saying?  Then you also get that DCEU will be left off this list.  

Seriously! I can't tell if they're committing to Man of Steel and Batman v Superman being separate the way Iron Man and Avenger films are separate.  Also I won't bother with movies that don't have sequels.  That rules out Punisher and the Fantastic Four Reboot among other films you might think I have forgotten.

#16- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

Best Film From Franchise:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is better than the first movie in this series and it's still all sorts of bad.  What's crazy is the first movie suffered from trying to make the story about April which marginalised the Turtles.  They also did that weird thing where there clearly was a white Shredder then they got scared and re-shot scenes to make it seem like there was a Japanese guy in the suit.  Out of the Shadows gave us everything Turtle fans would want and still came up short.  Yikes!

#15- Fantastic Four
1) Fantastic Four (2005)
2) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

Best Film From Franchise:
The first Fantastic Four movie is better than the second one.  Unlike the Turtles from the previous entry.  Adding more of the comic book stuff did not do anyone favours in this series.  I preferred the focus on the team in the first movie.  I respect that a black director, Tim Story, got the reins to this franchise but these movies were the wrong type of camp in a way that the reboot was the wrong type of "dark and gritty."  Personally I just don't know if Fantastic Four is for me if it's not called The Incredibles.  So maybe I'm the wrong person to speak on these movies.

- Thor
1) Thor (2011)
2) Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Best Film From Franchise:
I mean I guess the first Thor is better than the second.  At least that's how I feel about it as I write this post.  I'm just not a fan of these movies.  Which is crazy since I really like Chris Hemsworth as Thor.  And I'm definitely looking forward to Thor: Ragnorok because of Taika Waititi's involvement.  But as it stands, this franchise is pretty trash.  I thought I liked the second movie because it had more action, but it has little to no replay value.  The first one is at least an interesting character building story.  The third movie seems like a chance to re-do the whole Thor needs to become worthy again story but with more fun and better supporting characters.

- Spider-Man
1) The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
2) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Best Film From Franchise:
Today I like the second Amazing Spider-Man movie more than the first.  I get that the movie didn't have enough time to tell all the stories it wanted to and it still insisted on devoting time to a story no one has ever cared about: Peter's parents, but it's got fun moments and Jamie Foxx!  The first movie is weird because it has elements of the stupid parent story and The Lizard is not a good one off villain.  He works int he comics and serialised television because he's Peter's mentor and ally when he's not a giant lizard and we genuinely care every time they have to fight.  But ASM 1 didn't capture that.  In fact, other than forcing it down people's throats, his plan was to help people live their optimal life.  Something he knew for sure since he tested it on himself... not really as evil as other villains.

- Wolverine
1) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
2) The Wolverine (2013)
3) Logan (2017)

Best Film From Franchise:
There is no question that Logan is the best movie in this franchise.  I like everything to do with the first 10 minutes (everything up until the end of Weapon X Program's attack in Africa) of Origins.  But the rest of the movie is forgettable at best and frustrating if you want these X-Men movies to sync up.  The Wolverine didn't do it for me but at least was more entertaining than I thought it would be.  The fact that I don't really have much else to say should let you know how little impact this franchise has on me.  One genuinely good movie just isn't good enough.

- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
4) TMNT (2007)

Best Film From Franchise:
The first TMNT movie is genuinely good if you were born anywhere in the early to mid 80s.  Nothing beat the sense of, "WHOA... they're taking this seriously!"  Yes I liked and still kinda like the Vanilla Ice infused second film but it's child's play (they don't even use their weapons... word to Michelangelo using salami in the first scene).  Let's not talk about the third movie because I couldn't even sit through it again.  I know people are looking at me funny for putting the animated movie in here but at the end the turtles have artefacts and trophies from the previous three movies so... it's definitely a story from the same franchise.  Why do I like this franchise so much?  Well my dad sneaked me (past my mother) into the 2nd movie which I'll always appreciate.  And my mother rented the third movie to cheer me up one day so I definitely have a soft spot for these movies.

- Superman
1) Superman (1978)
2) Superman II (1980)
3) Superman III (1983)
4) Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
5) Superman Returns (2006)

Best Film From Franchise:
Depending on what day it is I think the second Superman is better than the first but overall it doesn't matter.  I haven't seen any of the movies more than once and those two are the ones that stick with me the most.  I don't like Superman overall but I definitely respect the fact that without these movies, we don't get the Nolan movies or serious actors like Jack Nicholson in future comic book movies.  The tagline, "You'll believe a man can fly," was dope and spoke to the respect they were going to show this character and as such I have to give it up to Superman.  Now I don't know if this counts but I know Singer sees Superman Returns as a part of the Reeve movies so I've added it.  I think it sucks but if you want to hear someone talk about how much they love it, listen to this episode of the LDF Podcast.

- X-Men
1) X-Men (2000)
2) X-Men: X2 (2003)
3) X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
4) X-Men: First Class (2011)
5) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
6) X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Best Film From Franchise:
First Class is my favourite X-Men movie and I don't care what anyone says.  It's the movie the least concerned with timelines and trying to connect or correct them.  It just works and seems cool.  X2 is a close second for the same reasons.  I guess I like the first movie and Days of Future Past but overall these movies suffer from seemingly being a part of the same continuity even though every new movie seemingly goes out of its way to negate the one that came before it with weird casting choices and character arcs that don't sync up.  However, it's a pioneering franchise and it's been with us for 17 years so you can't really doubt it's staying power and appeal.

- Blade
1) Blade (1998)
2) Blade II (2002)
3) Blade: Trinity (2004)

Best Film From Franchise:
Blade lowkey made Comic Book Movies (R rated at that) a viable option again.  You gotta respect that.  Some of the effects look wonky but the first two movies are dope period.  I prefer the first one but that second movie is really good and has good ol' GDT at the helm.  I know people like to clown Wesley for the third movie but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you would also feel some way if you put a franchise on your back and got a movie franchise about a black vampire hunter to its third film and all of the sudden you're being sidelined by two new characters.  I get that he didn't handle it the best way, but that doesn't negate the fact that he was mad for a good reason.

- Iron Man
1) Iron Man (2008)
2) Iron Man 2 (2010)
3) Iron Man 3 (2013)

Best Film From Franchise:
Dawg that first Iron-Man movie goes hard!  It's the clear winner of the trilogy.  I don't love the second movie but it's not the worst movie I've seen either.  I like the twist in the third movie and maybe that is what makes me like the movie overall even though I hate that Tony is out of his suits most of the time and they make War Machine a joke.  Let's not kid ourselves though.  The main draw of any of these movies is watching RDJ go to work and you can't deny he brings it in all of these movies!

- Batman
1) Batman (1989)
2) Batman Returns (1992)
3) Batman Forever (1995)
4) Batman & Robin (1997)

Best Film From Franchise:
I love Batman.  Of course a franchise that just got progressively worse with each movie is going to get high up on this list because it's BATMAN!  Honestly I can't think of a better solo hero than Batman.  And the first movie was made even cooler by how cool my dad thought it was.  And the fact that it came on during a family trip and my parents decided to let me watch it even though it might have some questionable content.  I genuinely dig Returns and Forever but get why people trash them.  However, even I can't defend Batman & Robin.  That was the first movie that I saw in a theatre and thought... I guess I don't like every single movie I see.  I don't think it was the camp factor (which I really don't like in this movie) it was the whole doomsday frozen world aspect which felt like a Superman and not a Batman problem to me.  Either way I've got love for this franchise.

- Spider-Man
1) Spider-Man (2002)
2) Spider-Man 2 (2004)
3) Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Best Film From Franchise:
Spider-Man 2 is simply one of the best super hero movies ever.  It's got moments from the comics and has a satisfying end for our tortured hero.  It truly tells the tale of working hard and being rewarded which is great.  You gotta give it up for the first movie too though.  Solid entry that introduces the characters and stakes that make the second film so satisfying.  Now that 3rd movie is a different story.  People are mad at Venom and the multiple villains but I think the worst choice of the movie was having it be about Peter forgiving Sandman and shoehorning a wrinkle in that showed Sandman killing Uncle Ben instead of the guy we watched kill him in the first movie.  Plus at the end of the movie Sandman just flies away and I don't know if his daughter will be okay.  I just know Peter forgives him... k?  Plus Peter hit MJ in the third movie... dawg... come on!  All the emo dancing memes can't erase that.  With all that I still place Raimi's Spider-Man movies high up because of the first two movies.

- The Avengers
1) The Avengers (2012)
2) Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Best Film From Franchise:
The first Avengers movie is going to go down in history no matter what Paul says.  You can hate them if you want but the MCU is doing something cool with the way it releases its movies.  They aren't rushing anything like DCEU... they took 4 years and 5 movies to build up to The Avengers and it paid off and felt satisfying.  I didn't like Age of Ultron as much but I still find things I want to go back and visit about it.  Specifically watching the Avengers interact with each other in their downtime and Ultron is cool no matter how angry fans are that he didn't last for more than a movie.  You just know the Russo Brothers are going to bring the pain in Avengers: Infinity War and the follow up movie.  As such this franchise is placed so high based on potential as well as what we've already seen.

- Guardians of the Galaxy
1) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
2) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Best Film From Franchise:
It's still fresh in my mind as I write this  but I think Vol.2 is better than the first film and that this franchise is all sorts of dope.  Each character gets a chance to shine (Gamora and Nebula definitely get to be actual characters with hopes and dreams in Vol. 2).  However, there are people who just did not like this movie, and you can hear them out on this episode of Spoiled Rotten!  I'm not even a fan of James Gunn's work outside of these movies but homeboy is definitely putting it down as it pertains to his Marvel work and I look forward to more of his influence on the MCU.  James definitely gets a chance to tell his own stories with these movies and as such they always feel a bit stronger than most of the other solo outings.

- Batman
1) Batman Begins (2005)
2) The Dark Knight (2008)
3) The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Best Film From Franchise:
Obviously The Dark Knight.  Any other answer is erroneous!  Erroneous on all counts!  People like to take shots because Heath won an Oscar.  But you can't honestly tell me that he didn't disappear into that role.  You can't tell me that when you first saw the movie that you weren't legitimately scared that Joker might pop up and make a pencil disappear into someone's ear or shoot someone for fun.  He was a true menace and had some cold lines.  I also don't understand people who don't get that the true storyline was about Bruce hoping Harvey could be the white knight Gotham needed then realising Harvey just ain't built like that.  So no, the Two-Face aspect isn't rushed at the end... it's been bubbling under the surface the whole movie and is a part of Joker's point.  Even your white knight can become a murderer if the right buttons are pushed.  In fact everyone has to compromise their morals throughout the film it's just that Gordon and Batman are better men so their compromises don't seem so egregious.  I still don't like The Dark Knight Rises but I love how all three movies tell a contained story and work well when you watch them all together. 

- Captain America
1) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
3) Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Best Film From Franchise:
I didn't know I could love Captain America so much.  Having said that, I feel like if you search your feelings you'll realize Captain America has the strongest trilogy out.  While I think Winter Soldier is a stronger film than Civil War  I can't say I don't have a general feeling of the movies getting better and better.  Whereas I feel Guardians is doing a great job of building on a solid foundation, Steve, lowkey, has three solid outings that work on their own.  Yes Civil War relies more on all MCU movies but I still think it's fun if you haven't seen the other movies.  Chris Evans as Captain America is a protagonist you immediately feel for by the end of the first movie and it's great seeing him adapt to his new situation and be a genuinely good guy throughout.