With palm-dripping anticipation, Paramount’s Marvel Avengers gets its nationwide UK release on Thursday. Set to blast previous “highest grossing films evurrr” rivals away with Hulking ferocity (do one, Avatar!), we chart the best and worst in the way of big screen comic book adaptations…


(1) The Dark Knight.

Fogged in a droning, warbling sub-bass score, and home to the most twisted piece of posthumous method acting never committed to plastic, Christopher Nolan’s 2008 nouveau classic perfectly captures the cult comic book’s sense of metropolitan dread and isolation.

Best scene: The Joker’s quivering, game-changing entrance scene – and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exit.

(2) Ghost World

The lynchpin for Scarlett Johanson role as indie cinema’s best-ever babestation, Ghost World faithfully ambles into Thora Birch’s problematic teen world – and to heart-wrenching effect.

Best scene: The pair’s ironic and self-effacing appearance at an end-of-year ball. Enter: AIDs jokes, awkward thousand yard stares and punch consumption by the gallon.

(3) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Little did Steve Barron and co. know that his adaptation of Mirage Studio’s reptilious comic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would become so emblematic of early-nineties western culture. Those four anthropomorphic vigilantes, who would “booooguss” and “raayadicalll” themselves through four sequels (“Ninja Turtles” is set for 2013 release) set to stone a delicious slice of sewage-drenched pop iconography.

Best scene: *FURIOUS SCOWL* – “Pizza dude’s got thirty seconds!”


(1) Barb Wire

The lowest career point of a career famed for its risible moments: Pamela Anderson’s dire performance as trashy bounter-hunter-by-day missy Barb Wire hasn’t even achieved retroactive lesbian cult status (Showgirls, take a bow).

Worst scene: “Don’t call me babe”. Is that meant to be a powerful and/or hilarious girl power moment? Turns out, both descriptors apply: powerfully flat and hilariously forgettable.

(2) Popeye.

If the thought of watching Shelley Duvall “sing” and prance through her most unbearably cardboard performance doesn’t repel, check out Robin Williams’ ingloriously over-played portrayal of sea-sick comic book star Popeye in Robert Altman’s 1980 adaptation.

Worst scene: “He needs, he needs me, he needs me” x 666. Ohhhhh Shelley. This is Lucky Voice on a friday night, this is cinema, yeah?

(3) Casper.


Worst scene: Ricci’s Cinderella moment: don’t snog that centre parted former ghost Xtina, he looks like a choir boy.

Words: Jack Mills