10 Worst Marvel Movies in Recent Years
Warning! This list of the worst Marvel movies may cause some geeky PTSD.
Marvel became the top comic book movie franchise maker in history. The comic book mega publisher helped bring major titles like X-Men: First Class, The Avengers, Captain America, and Thor: Ragnarok to life for millions of fans.
DC Comics, eat your heart out.
Great as many of those blockbuster titles were, there are definitely some stragglers that aren't that good. Heck, I'll just be blunt and say it: some Marvel movies are downright awful.
Geeks who have hit the theaters can tell you that there were quite a few movies to take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that just should never have been made. You can't deny it.
Don't remember them? These box office bombs were the worst Marvel movies ever made—and why they should probably have been skipped over or left on the cutting floor.
Did anyone actually go to see this one? Really? Anyone?
Thor: The Dark World was a movie that was born under a bad star. It all started when they fired Patty Jenkins, maker of Wonder Woman. The studio then had Alan Taylor, who never worked with Marvel again. Bad writing, poor acting from villain Malekeith, and just a bad start killed this movie.
This movie wasn't Plan 9 bad, but it was still very "meh." According to Rotten Tomatoes, this is the worst of the worst Marvel movies of all time.
Okay, maybe I'm a little bit biased as a geek, but Ghost Rider was way too awkward to be a good movie. This movie involved the stunt motorcycle rider, Johnny Blaze, as he became the guy who helped give the Devil his due.
It was part Western, part horror, all cringey. I mean, come on, dude! Nicolas Cage? As Ghost Rider? Between that and the bad CGI, it's really hard to like this movie at all.
The Silver Surfer movies still remain some of the worst Marvel movies of all time. The first one was pretty terrible, with CGI that just didn't really help. Somehow, the first Silver Surfer movie managed to get a sequel that made geeks all over foam at the mouth.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was so terrible, it ended up causing an uproar among fans. Piss-poor CGI, bad writing, and an overall terrible casting decisions made this a movie so terrible, Marvel has yet to show the Silver Surfer once again.
Bringing the Incredible Hulk to the silver screen was going to be tricky regardless of who played him. Many older individuals still remember the masterful acting of Bill Bixby on the 70s television show quite fondly. It'd be hard to reimagine Bruce Banner.
Hulk was just not able to live up to the old school world of 70s Hulk. Director Ang Lee tried, but it was just not what people wanted to see. Hulk featured too many over-the-top, cartoony effects.
It was a movie that tried to be cartoony yet bittersweet. By the end of the movie, people felt like it was a really badly-acted film with a lot of unnecessary catering to kids.
Back before Netflix decided to pick up Elektra's story, there was a 2005 movie called Elektra. It was one of the most epic failures Marvel has ever seen—and honestly, it was one of the worst Marvel movies ever conceived.
This movie had just about every single element botched in one way or another. The costumes looked cheap, as did the makeup. Elektra's production sucked, which made everything look pretty horrible on film. The plot and dialogue were equally terrible.
Elektra killed the Daredevil-Elektra romance franchise. It was so bad, a video game slated to be based on the movie got dropped after the movie hit. The flick only grossed a paltry $56 million at the box office. Ouch.
Howard the Duck
Howard the Duck is not a popular Marvel superhero, even in the Marvel Comics Universe. I mean, he's literally a giant anthropomorphic duck. And, in this really cheesy 80s movie, he's a female rock star's manager.
I'm not sure what's worse; seeing an adult-movie version of Donald Duck, or seeing him get it on with a female rocker. Yeah... there's nothing really that redeeming about this movie.
There are a lot of characters Marvel should introduce into the MCU after phase three has concluded, but Howard is not part of that cohort.
Spider-Man 3 was the end of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise. No more Maguire as Peter Parker. It was also the one that director Sam Raimi personally panned, saying that he absolutely hated the way producers wanted him to work the script.
You see, Raimi wanted Spider-Man to fight only one villain in this movie—Sandman. Producers wanted more, way more. They kept piling on different elements and villains to the movie until it turned into a disorganized mess.
Sony got their wish. Raimi used Venom in the flick. Unfortunately, the movie was so terrible that they had to kill off the Tobey Maguire Spidey for good after the movie hit box offices.
If you're a really big Spider-Man fan, you might agree that there are several Spider-Man villains who deserve their own movies. We had Venom recently, but why stop there?
The Fantastic Four
Considering the Silver Surfer debacle mentioned earlier, The Fantastic Four was probably never a good franchise to begin with. Fox tried to create an action-packed movie about Marvel's first superhero family back in 2015.
The Fantastic Four of 2015 was set in an alternate Marvel Comics Universe. Fox also decided to can the original writer, in favor of a director who pretty much turned the movie into something that had little to nothing to do with the original Fantastic Four.
This debacle left most fans wondering what the heck they were watching. At its lowest point, Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 9 percent review. If that doesn't say rotten, I don't know what does.
It must be really, really hard to actually make a movie so bad, it wrecks one of the most popular franchises under the Marvel name. However, a team managed to do it in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone.
Terrible acting, poorly-thought plots, and some of the most cliched dialogue in the year ended up making this true punishment for fans of Punisher. It was so bad, it was considered to be the worst movie of the year.
At only $10.1 million gross at the box office, Punisher: War Zone has the dubious honor of being the worst-grossing Marvel movie of all time.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
What's worse than Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider? Nicolas Cage in a sequel to one of the worst Marvel movies of all time, once again, as friggin' Ghost Rider.
Stop doing these bad casting decisions, Marvel. Stop it!
If you need a breath of fresh air, you can also check out the list of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, worst to best, to remind yourself of the franchise's higher points.
Iggy Paulsen is a fan of anything and everything wholesome. He loves his two dogs, hiking in the woods, traveling to Aruba, building DIY projects that better humanity, and listening to motivational speakers. He hopes to eventually become a motivational speaker himself.