Top 10 Superhero Movies Not Based on Comic Books

Script written by Max Lett. Put on your cape and disregard the lack of source material. For this list, we’re looking at our favorite flicks that are based around a character imbued with extraordinary talents or even special powers, but that did not originate as a comic book character. Now, put on your cape, grab your sidekick and let’s get to it! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 superhero movies not based on comic books. Special thanks to our users roxy, for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Put on your cape and disregard the lack of source material. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 superhero movies not based on comic books.

For this list, we’re looking at our favorite flicks that are based around a character imbued with extraordinary talents or even special powers, but that did not originate as a comic book character. Now, put on your cape, grab your sidekick and let’s get to it!

#10: “Super” (2010)

Rainn Wilson portrays a vigilante-style superhero that fights all manner of crime. Whether he’s delivering crippling blows to people who cut in line, or outright murdering hard-core criminals, The Crimson Bolt is hungry for justice. Joined by his trusty sidekick played by Ellen Page, the unhinged dynamic duo stirs up all kinds of trouble while trying to rescue the cook-turned-superhero’s troubled wife.

#9: “Sky High” (2005)

Because he’s the son of two super-powered heroes, Will Stronghold is sent to Sky High. But after it becomes obvious that Will hasn’t yet developed powers of his own, the offspring of the world’s most famous superheroes is transferred to the sidekick program. By parodying the genre, this family comedy puts a fun twist on the world of comic book heroes and allows us to experience the plights and trials of regular high school kids through the eyes of super-powered teens.

#8: “Hancock” (2008)

Will Smith plays John Hancock, a drunken down-and-out superhero who fights crime while causing all kinds of collateral damage. Since Hancock doesn’t take his job too seriously, he often incurs some problematic confrontations with the law. But, things start to change when, in an effort to thank him for saving his life, public relations consultant Ray Embrey sets out to reinvigorate the superhero’s image. What we get is a film that fuses comedy, action and drama with memorable performances from its stars.

#7: “Megamind” (2010)

This delightful superhero romp asks the question: “What happens when a supervillain finally vanquishes his arch nemesis?” At first, the bumbling baddy enjoys his new position as ruthless overlord. But it soon becomes apparent that without anyone to fight, Megamind has lost his identity. In addition to super voice work from the likes of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, to name a few, this 3D CGI flick is entertaining, visually stunning and, well, mega.

#6: “Chronicle” (2012)

In this sci-fi flick with dramatic and thriller-esque elements, three teenagers are imbued with supernatural powers when they come into contact with a mysterious device. Using the found footage style of filmmaking, director Josh Tank made “Chronicle” a breath of fresh air in the superhero movie genre. Watching the boys deal with their abilities, especially Andrew’s slow descent into darkness, is engaging and entertaining.

#5: “The Matrix” franchise (1999-2003)

While it’s not what you’d typically consider a superhero flick, considering it’s more known for its stunning sci-fi, groundbreaking special effects, and fusion of philosophy, martial arts and stylized violence, “The Matrix” also attracted fans for the superhero-like story at its heart: though he initially believes himself to be like everyone else, computer programmer Neo slowly comes to suspect there might be something more to the world than the mundane reality in which he lives. After his awakening, he’s told he holds the key to freeing humanity from the machine-dominated Matrix. And it’s his journey from Everyman-to-Savior, which includes super-flight and super-speed, that had us all hooked.

#4: “Darkman” (1990)

This action movie revolves around a scientist named Dr. Peyton Westlake, who ends up having to use the synthetic skin he’s developing on himself after a gang of thugs horribly mutilates his hands and face and blow up his lab. While it’s not based on any previously conceived comic book character, director Sam Raimi managed to capture the look and feel of superhero stories so well that the film earned good reviews and box office success. “Darkman” also spawned comic books of its own, as well as sequels and other media.

#3: “RoboCop” (1987)

Half robot, half cop; all superhero. After Officer Alex Murphy is shot down during a patrol, his still-living remains are used to create a cyborg that will dole out justice on the streets of Detroit. However, things don’t turn out as planned when RoboCop begins to feel human emotion and starts remembering his past – but despite its heavy violence, this futuristic sci-fi flick garnered acclaim for its socio-political themes, clever writing and special effects.

#2: “Unbreakable”(2000)

Before most of M. Night Shyamalan’s recent efforts proved less-than-watchable, this superhero-inspired gem earned fans among critics and movie-watchers alike. “Unbreakable” follows the story of a security guard and train wreck survivor who gradually realizes he may be more than human. As suspenseful as it is intriguing, the movie also features interesting plot twists and added a sense of realism to the superhero struggle.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Toxic Avenger” franchise (1984-2000)
- “Condorman” (1981)
- “Meteor Man” (1993)
- “Orgazmo” (1997)

#1: “The Incredibles” (2004)

The Parrs aren’t your typical nuclear family. For one thing, all the members possess super powers; for another, the mother-and-father team of Bob and Helen used to be masked crime fighters. Now, they’re living as normal suburbanites in a world that’s covered up the existence of superheroes. So when Bob is given the opportunity to don the old super suit once again, he jumps at it with glee – and the result is this critically acclaimed visual masterpiece that’s filled with humor, action and excitement that’ll delight the whole family.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite superhero movie not based on comic books? For more epic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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