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Making lists is one of those things that unites film fans, and it seems to be an almost reflexive action. "What's that? 'Thor: The Dark World' is coming out? Hmmm… seems like we should rank all the Marvel movies so far."
For the purposes of this particular gallery, the HitFix staff voted on every Marvel title since "Blade" was released, and as always, I was surprised by the final result. It's interesting when we get people like Guy Lodge voting in these because he will flat out tell us that he's not a fanboy, and yet that makes his votes more urgent because he's looking at them as a film fan first.
There were some titles that I was not surprised to see here as well. It does not surprise me to see that the sequels to both "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" still place so high on the list. Those films were both made near the start of this superhero cycle, and there was such an amazing energy about them, about what these filmmakers were starting to recognize as the potential of these movies and these characters. It still shines through when you watch the movies, and that sense of invention is what makes the best of these movies so exciting.
Even now, looking at these ten titles, I feel like we're just seeing the early days of how to tell these stories the best possible way on film. I have no doubt Marvel Studios is in the superhero business for a while, perhaps decades to come, and that they are going to try so many different things in the future that these early films will most likely not remain on a similar list forever. But for now, we feel like these are the titles that best represent how to bring the world of Marvel, in all its crazy diversity, to the big-screen.
And don't forget to rank the movies yourself in the poll we've got attached to this one. Let's see if your picks are anything like ours.
"Thor: The Dark World" opens Friday in theaters everywhere.