Movies based on comic books are always big box office business, but it's possible no year had better overall quality for the genre than 2017. Nearly every movie based on a comic book property wasn't simply successful, it was good. Nearly all of them were fun, and some of them were downright phenomenal.
Trying to rank all of 2017's comic book movies is a nearly impossible task. The level of quality is so good that putting one ahead of another is an exercise in hair-splitting. But, that's what we're here for, so let's do this. Here's every comic book movie in 2017 ranked in order of quality, starting at the bottom.
9. Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets
Based on the French comic book Valérian and Laureline, a lot of people were excited to see the director of The Fifth Element finally get a chance to make his passion project. Unfortunately, while Luc Besson may have had a passion for making Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, nobody in the story had any passion whatever. While the movie was just as visually stunning as we expected it to be, the lead characters played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne had absolutely no chemistry. The love story between the pair was half the movie, which made that half utterly boring. It's unfortunate, as this is really the only movie on the list which is truly bad.
8. Justice League
While Justice League finds itself low on this list, that's more a function of the genre's overall quality this year than a poor performance by this film. Justice League wasn't perfect, but it was fun. The cast making up the members of the Justice League is solid, and DC's big team-up had numerous memorable moments on which it can build the overall franchise. The movie had a forgettable villain, and ended up a bit messy due to attempts to balance the work of two directors combined with clearly unfinished CGI. The problems keep the movie from greatness, but it was still a solid superhero movie.
7. Atomic Blonde
Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, Atomic Blonde saw Charlize Theron as one of the most badass action heroines we've seen on screen in a long time. The overall story is, well, fine. It's not particularly deep or interesting, and it doesn't always make sense. Having said that, the movie doesn't exist for the plot. The film's action is where it's at and it's worth the price of admission, especially a massive finale action sequence which needs to be seen to be believed. Atomic Blonde pulls no punches, making the movie as visceral and violent as any action movie starring a man.
6. Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel finally figured out Thor on the third try. After a solid, if unimpressive first outing, followed by an utterly forgettable sequel, director Taika Waititi took the helm and brought us the Thor we didn't know we'd been waiting for: a neon-infused, humor-filled, outer space romp. Chris Hemsworth finally got to show off his sense of humor, but the comedy never overshadowed the action of Thor: Ragnarok which, thanks to the added bonus of the Incredible Hulk, was as good as it's ever been. Great supporting performances by Tessa Thompson and Jeff Goldblum at his Jeff Goldbumiest helped elevate this one to a new level.
5. The LEGO Batman Movie
Batman stole the show in The LEGO Movie so it certainly made sense that he should get his own spinoff. He did not disappoint. While the story of The LEGO Batman Movie was over the top and ridiculous in the same way that The LEGO Movie was, it also had a lot of the same heart that the previous movie had. Combined with the sort of story that any true Batman fan would enjoy, with plenty of hilarious references to the various incarnations of the character, this was as good a Batman film, and as good a LEGO film, as we've seen.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise hit when it came out, and so the sequel had a lot to live up to. While the movie may not be getting quite the universal love of the original, much of that is simply because we've come to expect so much from James Gunn. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had an emotional core which the first film never quite achieved and the arcs of Yondu, Peter, and Rocket all showed real growth for them as characters. It all makes the sequel a worthy successor to the first movie, and a sequel that's not to be missed.
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Much like Batman, Spider-Man has been getting movies on a near constant basis for almost 20 years. The first standalone effort of the MCU for the character had a lot to live up to, and also a lot to overcome -- and remarkably, Spider-Man: Homecoming did a great job doing both. Tom Holland's Peter Parker is every bit the Spider-Man you know and love, while still bringing something wholly fresh to the character on screen. The youthful excitement of this version of the character was infectious, bringing the audience along for the ride. Homecoming has us very excited to see what comes next for the wall-crawler.
2. Wonder Woman
After her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we were all excited to see what Wonder Woman's solo big screen debut would look like. Our hopes were high, and yet, the Amazon princess had little problem meeting, and then exceeding, them. Gal Gadot is the perfect person to play Wonder Woman and if there was any doubt in that, it's all gone now. Wonder Woman isn't just the greatest female superhero, but in comic book movie world, she's one of the greatest heroes, period. DC's first unqualified film hit is one of the best movies of the year, comic book or otherwise.
Many have wondered if and when the comic book movie genre would finally achieve the sort of success among movie awards that it has achieved at the box office. While it's too early to know for sure if Logan will actually receive that recognition, the film certainly makes it clear that such things are possible. Hugh Jackman's farewell to the role that made him a superstar is as dramatic and emotionally powerful as any "Oscar bait" drama coming out now. Logan is without question the best comic book movie of 2017, it's possibly the best comic book movie ever made.