A superhero can come from anywhere! Before Marvel and DC dominated the genre, superhero movies were made with very different sensibilities. Here are 5 non-Marvel or DC superhero tales you need to watch.
While we love Iron Man, Captain America, Batman, and more, there are a few heroes that do not come from Marvel or DC camp but are equally as impressive. From filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro to M. Night Shyamalan, many have attempted their own take on these fantastical characters either inspired by comic books or coming straight out of their minds. From the first superhero family in animation to a demon-turned-investigator here are 5 superhero movies you need to watch.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Created by comic book artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been a fan favorite for generations now. We follow the anthropomorphic turtle brothers, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo as they fight evil every night in New York City while navigating their teenage selves. Ever since their big screen debut in 1990, the team has appeared in seven theatrical feature-length films with the latest being this year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem directed by Jeff Rowe and starring the voices of Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noon.
Where to watch: Paramount+
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In 2004, horror auteur Guillermo del Toro directed Hellboy, starring Ron Perlman in the title role based on a character of the same name created by Mike Mignola for Dark Horse Comics. Set in the backdrop of World War II, the movie follows a demon-turned-investigator named Hellboy, who is an agent in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense and protects America against dark powers, aided by a merman Abe (Doug Jones), and a pyrokinetic woman Liz (Selma Blair). The movie was highly praised for its fantastic visuals and campy appeal by fans and critics alike. The success of the feature was followed by a sequel Hellboy 2. The film franchise was later rebooted by director Neil Marshall with David Harbour in the lead role.
Where to watch: Netflix
One of the first families of the animated superhero genre is Pixar’s The Incredibles. Written and directed by Brad Bird, the movie follows a superhero couple, Bob and Helen, who are in hiding in accordance with the law, however, Bob’s urge to help people lands the entire family into trouble while their two kids navigate the discovery of their powers. The feature is a hilarious and grounded take on the everyday lives of superheroes and even bagged the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. The voice cast stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, and more. The success of the feature was followed up with a sequel Incredibles 2.
Where to watch: Disney+
Directed by Tom McGrath from a screenplay by Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, Megamind is another great supervillain-turned-superhero tale, as it follows its titular character, a highly intelligent villain, who after defeating his nemesis, creates another hero to fight. However, the tables turn when his creation turns out to be a villain worse than him. The movie casts the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross, and Brad Pitt. The feature is well-loved for its slick animation style, hilarious plot, and memorable characters. Furthermore, per Deadline, Peacock has ordered a follow-up series which is due in 2024.
Where to watch: Peacock
In the year 2000, director M. Night Shyamalan presented a very realistic take on the superhero genre with Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis as protagonist David Dunn, who discovers he has superhero abilities but is manipulated by a man whose body is excessively weak. The feature makes a thrilling watch as David navigates his new abilities and tries to detangle the web of lies around him. Dubbed the director’s best work, the movie has developed a cult following and was expanded into a trilogy with a spiritual successor, Split starring James McAovy, where David made a cameo appearance while the third and final feature, Glass came out in 2019.
Where to watch: Max