Some comic book movies missed the mark in 2022, but others thrilled audiences everywhere.
It seems that with every new year in the 21st century, more and more comic book movies take to the box office in an attempt to be the very best. 2022 was a rather competitive year for the titans of DC Comics and Marvel Comics to clash on the silver screen, with some of the best comic book movies releasing in 2022 alone.
Comic book movies continue to thrive as a popular genre, thanks to costumed heroes and A-list actors. As is the case with a lot of movies though, and comic book movies in particular, some of them aren’t as good as audiences would expect. Others contend for the crown for the best comic book movie released in 2022.
When Doctor Michael Morbius is determined to find a cure for the rare blood disease that has made his entire life nothing but pain, he inadvertently finds something horrifying, but beautiful. Morbius follows the titular Marvel Comics character and Spider-Man villain as he discovers his new vampiric powers, with a notable lack of what makes the character fun and without everyone’s favorite Spider-Man.
Yet again, Sony Pictures continues its attempts at building its own “Spider-Man Cinematic Universe” without the prestige and producing expertise that has gifted the MCU since 2008. Morbius seems to be a conflicted attempt at the new cinematic universe, and rarely offers anything other than a stale formula and a confusing post-credits scene. At least the memes were good.
Thor has been through much turmoil and suffering throughout his years in the MCU. With Thor: Love and Thunder, it’s finally time for the character to reflect on his centuries and discover his inner peace. However, all is interrupted when he discovers the victims of Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer with a vengeance against gods. To make matters worse for Thor, his ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster, has arrived wielding his reforged hammer Mjolnir.
The newest Thor film fails to live up to the comedic chops of Thor: Ragnarok, and manages to be a movie worse off than its predecessors. Thor: Love and Thunder not only lacks quality humor, but it also lacks heart and true stakes. Christian Bale is wasted as Gorr the God Butcher, one of the best Marvel villains of recent memory, leaving for a forgettable and squandered MCU film.
Over a decade in the making, Black Adam debuted in 2022. It follows the origin story of the nemesis to Shazam, whilst making him a less-than-bad anti-hero. The film follows Teth Adam, and his arrival in the 21st century to find his home of Kahndaq under occupation. With his powers and morals, he embarks to free his country, whilst encountering famed heroes like Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone.
Black Adam was supposed to be the DCEU’s triumphant return, and a new Phase 1 of storytelling for DC Comics. However, with the recent shakeups at DC Studios, and the fact that Black Adam was a fairly average and consistently safe comic book movie, it seems that not many people are interested in the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe, more than they are interested in its reboot.
Many know the story of Superman and the Justice League, but few know the history of his best friend, Krypto the Super-Dog. DC League of Super-Pets is the story of Krypto, as he discovers a group of shelter pets imbued with great power. Together, this new league of misfits needs to save the Justice League, and the world.
Although DC League of Super-Pets doesn’t connect itself to a wider cinematic universe, a film aimed towards children doesn’t need to. It’s a fun animated comedy that takes the DC Comics characters fans adore, and gives them a charm for kids and parents to enjoy. With a consistent story and surprisingly good humor, DC League of Super-Pets does a good job at entertaining.
Marking yet another MCU appearance for Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continues the new saga of the MCU by opening the door to the possibilities of the Multiverse. The film itself follows Doctor Strange as he teams up with a mysterious and powerful girl, America Chavez, as they stumble through the Multiverse to evade the threats of Wanda Maximoff, the powerful Scarlet Witch.
The problem in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came from the newfound reliability of cameos and exciting possibilities. Fans seemed more interested in Mr. Fantastic or Iron Man’s supposed appearance than the story itself. Multiverse of Madness features memorable Sam Raimi charm, but sadly, not enough of it to be the best it could be.
After the tragic death of King T’Challa, Wakanda mourns a year later, whilst remaining without a Black Panther. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a film about grief, but also one of hope. Shuri takes the lead as she embarks to protect her nation alongside Queen Ramonda, the Dora Milaje from the United Nations, and a newly discovered ancient civilization of underwater dwellers.
Everyone involved in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever seems to pour love into the film. It acts as a cathartic homage to Chadwick Boseman, whilst also engaging MCU fans in a fun ride featuring characters new and old, with hope for Phase 5 well underway.
A serial killer stalks Gotham City, brutally murdering key political figures and leaving sadistic clues for the police and Batman. The Batman follows the reclusive Bruce Wayne, as he festers deeper into his cowl Batman. It’s been two years since Bruce Wayne became Batman, and he begins to question whether he is making a difference, for better or worse, all whilst trying to solve the case of another crazed killer with a mysterious motive.
The Batman features a retelling of the Caped Crusader, whilst also digging deep into the roots of the character. It’s everything Batman fans could want. The Batman explores the titular character differently from other depictions, and offers a thrilling and noir story that doesn’t rely on cameos or unbelievable spectacle to be enjoyed.
MORE: Every DC Movie Released In 2022, Ranked
Jake Fillery is a freelance writer who loves nothing more than talking and writing about movies, comic books, video games, and TV shows.