The Best Comic Book Movies/TV Shows of 2017

Fine print: This reprints a post from December 2017 on my old site. It’s unedited and just posted here for posterity and because the information herein is so important.

My favorite movie this year was Baby Driver.  Hands down.  For the record, I also really loved The Shape of Water (which felt like a Hellboy prequel in some respects), Three Billboards, Wind River, Blade Runner 2049, and Detroit.  I wanted to mention those movies because they were so great.  Oh, and Get Out and The Big Sick.  And the rough and violent film Good Time, which you probably missed but, if you love violence, you need to seek out and watch.  Robert Patterson makes a career-changing move in this starring role.

But they aren’t comic book movies.

I also really enjoyed watching the BBC adaptation of Douglas Adams’ novels about Dirk Gently (hilarious and smart, and wonderfully acted), more great seasons of Mr. Robot, Ray Donovan and the too-good-for-words-please-don’t-kill-it-just-because-Louis CK-is-a-jerk dramedy, “Better Things.”

But, again, not based on comics.

Comics had a fair year, but not a banner one.  Let’s start with the bad:  Inhumans and Justice League were unwatchable.  The Walking Dead wasn’t bad per se, it just felt tired and worn out, and lacking in any kind of freshness.  If even Neegan’s scenes didn’t have any impact or wallop, you know they missed the mark this year.  And I was really looking forward to seeing Woody Harrelson star in the adaptation of Wilson, a great graphic novel by Dan Clowes, but it was … Not good.  It felt kind of mean and bitter.  Worse still, it was boring.

And now, after all the hullaballo, is my list of the best comic book adaptations of 2017:
Honorable mention: Kingsman: The Golden Circle–not as good as the first, but still a wild ride.

10.  The Lego Batman Movie.  Wonderful, sweet and smart.

9.  Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  The first film is my all-time favorite comic book movie, so this one had big shoes to fill.  It didn’t fill them, but it was still a lot of fun.

8.  Preacher Season Two.  Still great, still profane.  Can’t wait for more!

7.  Runaways Season One.  I didn’t think there could be a good adaptation of one of the best comic series of all time, and I was right.  This is not good.  It’s great!

6.  Legion Season One.  This show is an example of expanding way beyond the source material to create…Art.  In fact, it’s probably the most “artsy” comic book show I’ve ever seen.  The first few episodes will seem confusing and nonsensical but stick with it-it’s brilliant.

5.  Wonder Woman.  It’s hard not to put this movie at #1 because it was so important, so needed, and so “it’s about time.”  And it was a great, great movie.  But the third act was fairly standard and doesn’t hold up on re-watches, so judging solely based on the quality of the film, I’m putting it here on my list.

4.  Thor: Ragnarok.  OK, yeah, it lacked an emotional center, but after the deeply depressing Thor: The Dark World, this was a splash of color and fun.  So good, I saw it twice in the same weekend.

3.  Punisher Season One.  Finally, a Netflix show that hews very close to the comics, making changes only when necessary for the medium of television.  My only complaint about this series is that I wanted even more violence.  But man did this show deliver in the final act.

2.  Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Simultaneously true to the Lee/Ditko years and the Brian Michael Bendis/Dan Slott innovations, this was the Spider-Man movie I’ve always wanted to see.

1.  Logan.  There has, simply, never been a comic book movie that had more heart and soul, more love and power, than this one.

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