In the past two decades, we’ve seen both DC and Marvel present us with an enormous range of comic book awesomeness.
But just off the beaten path, there are so many great titles that just don’t get the same hype.
So we’ve put together a list of some of the greatest superhero films that might’ve slipped right by you… and trust us, they’re unmissable.
Karl Urban plays the titular Judge in this gritty and grounded 2012 comic book adaptation.
Tasked with taking down Lena Headey’s drug lord Ma-Ma, the small scale action packed flick does a great job at introducing you to the Dredd Universe.
Cinematically different from both Marvel and DC, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air in the superhero genre.
There’s been talk of a sequel TV show in recent years with Karl Urban still involved. So in preparation, now might be the perfect time to watch the film.
Just don’t expect it to be family friendly.
Dr Manhattan. Nite Owl II. Rorschach.
These are some of the superhero names you might not know – but should. The Graphic Novel that this film is faithfully based on is listed as one of the best 100 novels of all time.
Set in an alternate timeline, Watchmen follows a group of retired heroes who are drawn into the mystery surrounding one of their former teammates’ deaths.
With a cast that includes Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino and Matthew Goode – and directed by visionary director Zack Snyder, Watchmen will blow the superhero cobwebs right off you.
There was also a HBO TV Series a couple of years ago that is an unconnected sequel to the Graphic Novel which is also well worth a watch.
In Lincoln City, four per cent of the population has super powers, and the militarised police force keeps an oppressive eye on this portion of the population as they try and go about their daily lives.
Robbie and Stephen Amell play the lead characters – after having vast superhero experience between them as Firestorm and Green Arrow respectively in the CW’s Arroweverse.
Together, they put on dynamic performances in a truly original take on the superhero genre.
As with others on this list, there’s a sequel TV show in the works too – and honestly, it’s really one to get excited about.
Directed by David Yarovesky, Brightburn is essentially a dark take on Superman’s origin story. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman star in this delicious superhero horror film.
Produced by James Gunn and written by his brothers, Brian and Mark, the 2019 film puts a totally different spin on the genre.
Give it a watch around Halloween for some extra spooks.
Unbreakable follows David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) after he emerges as the sole survivor of a train crash completely unscathed.
Testing his apparent super strength abilities leads Dunn to the mysterious Elijah Price – played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson.
From there, the film dives into the struggles a normal person would have with super powers and what that would really be like in the real world.
The film came out in 2000, way before most DC and Marvel properties you know about today.
So the fact that it still stands up and acts a blueprint for those giants to follow is all the testament it needs.
Bonus TV Show: The Boys
It wouldn’t feel right to end this list without mentioning The Boys.
Very graphic, violent and sweary, Amazon’s hit show takes the superhero genre and knocks it right out of the park.
With Season 3 due to come out this summer, now is the perfect time to binge the first two seasons.
Packed full of action, twists and laughs, The Boys turns the superhero trope on its head and succeeds.
It’s brilliantly diabolical.