Over the past half decade plus, Marvel Studios has churned out eight films. While not all overwhelming successes with critics or the general public, each has contributed to a layered and textured universe that is now far more valuable than any one single film. Through careful planning, extreme competence and a whole lot of love, the fine people over at Marvel have created a world that can be incessantly argued over in the most loving and passionate ways possible, and for a studio that launched from the world of comics, that’s the most wonderful compliment anyone could ever bestow.

At least once a week here at Cinema Blend, an argument breaks out about something related to Marvel. Sometimes it’s over which films were best executed. Sometimes it’s over which characters work the most or which actors turned in the best performances. They often get heated, but they’re a whole lot of fun. So, in honor of Thor: The Dark World, which makes its own little contribution to the larger universe, we decided to formalize many of our disagreements. What’s the best movie? Who is the best supporting character? Through bitter threats and vicious emails, we hammered out five nominees in each of six Marvel-related categories. Then we voted.

What follows are the categories, the nominees we selected and a paragraph on which actor, movie or character the most writers voted for. If you agree, take to the comment section to pat us on the back. If you don’t, tell us why we’re wrong, preferably in a manner that’s free of hate speech.

Best Movie: The Avengers
With 8 out of 10 of us ranking it as #1, the clear winner of best Marvel movie was The Avengers. And of course it was! Its recipe for success brought together every element the Marvel movie universe had going for it, and then topped it off with big, fat helpings of geeky goodiness that bubbled over into a total nerdgasm.

Take everyone's favorite genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Add in the best villain Marvel Entertainment has yet to unveil. Mix with the jaw-dropping fight skills of Black Widow, the smirking appeal of Hawkeye, the Shakespearean grandeur of Thor, and the earnest heroics of Captain America. It's a concoction so overloaded it should have been a mess. And yet Joss Whedon, god among nerds, forged a film that was satisfying to long-time comic lovers and mainstream movie fans alike. It even made The Hulk, who flopped in not one but two live-action adventures, a freshly viable and fascinating character!

The Avengers not only had to merge all the disparate threads of the movies that led up to it, but also had to top them. And it did with humor and electric panache. No wonder it was almost universally embraced by critics, and pulled in more than $1.5 billion, making it the third highest grossing film of all time , coming in behind Avatar and Titanic. Can Avengers: Age of Ultron possibly top it? We're dying to find out.

The Nominees: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World

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