The most well-known comic book movie subgenre is the superhero movie, but there was a time when comic book movies were often about a different sort of character than those with superpowers who ran around saving the planet time and time again. With the exception of 1978's Superman and a few others, these movies were different from the epics that are now released on almost a yearly basis.
The press surrounding the movies wasn't focused on the movies' origins to the extent that it is today. Again, there were a couple of exceptions, and Tim Burton's Batman may be the best example. So maybe the "old" way was better, since it gave each film a chance to make it big without complaints from a hardcore fan-base about casting decisions or alterations to the source material.
Sure, some of the movies failed miserably with both critics and audience. Nevertheless, they developed a cult following. Which comic book movies are we talking about? Well, here are ten films we almost always forget about, even though they deserve to be remembered.
Flash Gordon (1980)
First published in 1934, Flash Gordon was actually why we now have Star Wars. When George Lucas couldn't acquire the rights to the character in the 1970s, he decided to create his own space-opera. But the Flash Gordon movie we're talking about here was made in 1980, with Flash as a quarterback, rather than a polo player.
Starring Sam J. Jones as the titular character and Max von Sydow as villain Emperor Ming, the movie is as goofy as you'd expect, with a plot that places a rather usual human in a highly unusual situation. But the goofiness, accompanied by a soundtrack composed and performed by Queen, is exactly what makes the movie so charming.
The movie's earnings topped its budget by quite a bit, but critics had no love for it. Their main complaint was that it was a gross attempt to parody better-known films, including Star Wars. But Flash Gordon has been recognized as a game-changer in more recent years.
Edgar Wright said it was a favorite movie that influenced his own work, and Alex Ross actually said that it was his all-time favorite film.