Monday, November 30, 2015

Reading Comics 177 "Omega Men, one of the best comics of the year"

Having read through each of DC's spring sneak peeks, I had a chance to find out if I'd been missing anything from what I'd been reading since then, and I discovered I had, ironically from one of the previews I'd already read:

Tom King's Omega Men

This one's one of the greats, one of the best comics of the year, very easily.  Start with the sensational premise of tackling the idea of terrorism, which surprisingly very few comics have since 9/11.  And then add some of the best storytelling of this or any other year.

The added bonus for me is the inclusion of Kyle Rayner.  Kyle was the new Green Lantern of 1994.  Flashforward a decade and by all rights he should have been permanently sidelined upon the triumphant return of Hal Jordan.  Except old Green Lanterns never die.  They just get better.  With Kyle, it took a while.  DC certainly kept him around, even gave him the Ion mini-series, and when the New 52 began, he was given somewhat special distinction within the pages of Green Lantern: New Guardians as the sole member of the family to have his story revisited.  Yet he was still lost in the shuffle.

In the sneak peaks, he seemed fated to the ultimate indignity: being sacrificed for the sake of someone else's story.  Except that's not his fate in Omega Men at all.  In fact, in some respects, this is as much Kyle's series as anyone else's.  Having now read the first six issues of the series DC saved from cancellation, it was just one of the pleasant surprises to be made.

The Omega Men themselves first appeared in a Green Lantern comics, in 1981.  (Another of those pleasant surprises.)  Yet you don't need to know or care about their prior print history to understand this incarnation.  It's like Marvel's endless attempts to get the Inhumans to work, but this time, it does.

King navigates their story expertly.  Anyone else might have dug directly into the team itself.  Instead, King digs into their story, as it relates to Kyle Rayner and eventually, a princess who turns out to be their leader (except Kyle doesn't know this).  Gradually, individual members and their stories get the spotlight, but never pulling the reader outside of the greater narrative.  The fourth issue is the only real exception, but that's Kyle's spotlight, which is only natural.

A whole mythology effortlessly springs from King's work (grounded in original Omega Men lore, then improved).  It's almost as if this is DC's response to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, with DC saying, "Oh yeah?  We can do it better."  And they really do.  While there have been a lot of cutesy elements added to the DC lineup lately, this isn't one of them.  As far as I'm concerned, Marvel's biggest failing is that it's always tried to infuse cutesy into everything, even amidst all the angst, always just a tad too much.  It may be enjoyable, but it's like empty calories.  Omega Men is the perfect diet.

Wisely, King keeps the team's exact nature ambiguous, so that you can read the series without thinking you're supporting terrorists.  (Actually, if anything, King is writing Star Wars without Star Wars..  Excellent timing, Tom.)  Like the best fiction, it exists to make you think.  It's been a long time since comics undertook that role.

Joining King is Barnaby Bagenda, whose art is outside the DC norm without being so unusual that it makes the proceedings feel like anything other than the adventure it ultimately is, which is to say, it isn't pretentious.  It can be playful, and it can be impactful, but it's never intimidating.  It's also distinctive, and especially for its unusual use of grid paneling (though there are exceptions) looks like nothing else out there, not because of flashy coloring or overly intricate work, but because Bagenda is serving the story, not getting in its way.  This is a calling card for both King and Bagenda, and truly a career-defining work for both.

Even if DC keeps it around just long enough to complete a single story, it'll have done a very good thing, no matter what the characters in Omega Men ultimately accomplish.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reading Comics 176 "DK3, Klaus, Legend of Wonder Woman, Superman: American Alien"

Some comics you just have to read.  These are some of them.  2015 wouldn't be complete without them.

The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 (DC)
Frank Miller is back, this time aided by co-writer Brian Azzarello and Andy Kubert.  I have a feeling that Azzarello will be given all the credit for the results, but Miller's influence is powerful, not only in Kubert's efforts to evoke his art (at least as seen in The Dark Knight Strikes Again), but in the storytelling, perhaps best in the Atom backup tale.  Most surprising, perhaps, is how Master Race reads almost like a sequel to someone else's Dark Knight entirely, Christopher Nolan's.  Remember how Batman was being hounded by police at the end of the 2008 film?  That's where DK3 picks up.  With a few twists, of course.  I think it's brilliant.  Atom, meanwhile, reads like Miller voicing his own thoughts on this last great adventure, his frustration and, yes, gratitude.

Klaus #1 (Boom!)
This is Grant Morrison's Santa Claus origin story.  As of this issue, infinitely more amusing than Nameless, for which I'm very grateful to report.  A Wildman returns to a town he's frequented in the past, only to discover that it's changed under the auspices of a new regime.  Ironically, the main problem is a spoiled child who is ruining Yuletime and being disappointed by it at the same time.  Morrison slips in his magic, and quickly sends Klaus toward his destiny.  It'll be interesting to see how the story continues to unfold, but this is certainly a promising start.

Legend of Wonder Woman Chapters 1-3 (DC)
Superman: American Alien #1 (DC)
Both of these are origin stories that revisit the children at the start of iconic journeys.  Renae De Liz, and her lush art, are perfect for the girl who would be Wonder Woman, as she struggles against the confines of a life meant to shield her from harsh truths.  It's a story the Amazon Warrior has badly needed, and in recent years has been working toward, ever since Ben Caldwell's serialized Wednesday Comics adventure.  American Alien, meanwhile, revisits Smallville, and fruitfully.  Max Landis and Nick Dragotta bring a far more inclusive version of the young Clark (and family) discovering his powers than I've ever seen (except maybe in the pages of Tom De Haven's It's Superman!).

Certainly the comics featuring DC's Big Three are entirely welcome additions to their respective mythologies.  Hopefully Morrison will be doing the same for Santa.  They're all very much worth a look.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reading Comics 175 "A look back at the Divergence sneak peeks"

I recently downloaded the complete set of sneak peeks DC unveiled in the final month of Convergence previewing its revamped line-up.  This was half a year ago, and the results in sales have spoken for themselves.  DC's ambition was to break loose from the strict sense of continuity that had existed since the New 52 launch in 2011.  Some, though not all, titles could now follow in the footsteps of the creative shakeup first featured in the pages of Batgirl, while a host of new series promised even more diversity.

This is the first time I've had the opportunity to read every series (omitted from these previews was one for Harley Quinn & Power Girl, plus Justice League of America, which I did read when it debuted), so it was certainly interesting to see just what the lineup looks like in total breadth and scope.  Here's my thoughts on the results:

Action Comics
Greg Pak's contribution to the "Truth" arc in the Superman titles was something I'd already sampled.  Reading it again and knowing I didn't feel compelled to further read produces the same result.  There was always the sense that everyone else was just lagging behind Superman.  I remain unconvinced that "Truth" had to be a crossover.  But at least it gives other creators a chance to tell their own tales in this latest examination of what makes the Man of Steel relevant.

All Star Section Eight
As usual, I'm just not buying what Garth Ennis is selling.

For whatever reason, DC decided to push heavily the concept of the hero in exile for the Divergence era, from Superman to Green Lantern.  It's interesting to include Aquaman in this effort, but is it really a good idea?  Most readers are still trying to accept Aquaman as a serious element of the DC line, not merely in his own element, but in the greater landscape.  Continually making Aquaman literally a fish out of water might not be the greatest idea.

This is the series to thank for the Divergence phenomenon.  Seems lively enough.

So begins the Commissioner Batman era...

"Truth" collides with Commissioner Batman.  But more intriguing is Lex Luthor popping up at the end of the preview, offering to lend Superman a hand.  The Luthor featured in Justice League is officially part of a different time period.  So there's a shot this series has something useful to say about everyone's favorite bald DC character.

Batman Beyond
Dan Jurgens surprisingly writes a very entertaining Batman Beyond.  I wouldn't really have expected that.  I like how Jurgens so often surprises me that way these days.

The humor title with the worst preview.

There was a strong attempt to increase the humor in DC's line with Divergence, and this was the most obvious attempt.  Not to be confused with the Forever Evil Bizarro, this one's very much the classic version, at least as last seen in, say in a Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison comic, and is very much an all-ages comic.

Black Canary
Easily one of the more intriguing revamps, with Dinah now the head of a rock band, and competently told.  Hopefully readers realize a good thing at some point. 

I haven't made much of an effort to keep track of Selina Kyle in the New 52.  The preview seems to play off developments from Batman Eternal, although this could very well have been what she was up to in her own series.  But readers don't seem to care.  Either it's the lack of a buzz writer or a buzz artist, but Catwoman just doesn't seem as relevant as she did a decade ago.  From what I can tell, it's not because the quality of the material is letting her down. 

Constantine: the Hellblazer
Since returning to the DC fold in Brightest Day, Constantine has had a remarkably rough path toward being accepted by fans again, especially after his longstanding (though low selling) Vertigo series was cancelled to make room for the in-continuity relaunch.  So this was the second attempt.  I liked what I saw.  I think readers are just being finicky.

Victor Stone's first ongoing series ended up having soft sales.  I think it's because it jumped right into the kind of story that DC so heavily favored at the start of the New 52, ignoring character exploration and/or development and throwing things directly into a story that only superficially attempts to do either one.  Just because Vic has gotten a lot of development in the pages of Justice League already doesn't mean readers were ready to be thrown into the deep end so quickly.

Slade Wilson remains surprisingly enduring and versatile as a character.  I've been wanting to check out this latest series.

Detective Comics
This one's somewhat confusing.  What's going on with Harvey Bullock?  As I said, more confusing than intriguing.  Not the greatest use of the preview format.

Doctor Fate
Paul Levitz seems to have used this to be DC's answer to Ms. Marvel.  And I actually like what I saw in the preview quite a bit.  It could be the better version of Ms. Marvel.  But the thing that G. Willow Wilson did that Levitz didn't was to have that female protagonist.  We're in an era where it's more important than ever to feature strong, unique women in comics.  So it's not surprising that whatever Levitz has accomplished here has been all but ignored.

Knowing more about it than I did before, I can see now that Alpha Centurion was safe all along.  I still wish they had gone with a different caption style, but the last issue has been released.  The ride's over. 

Earth 2: Society
This is a personal favorite that has struggled to find an appreciative audience.  If readers were going off this preview, I guess I could understand why.

The Flash
When I read this previously, I thought it might be safe to read Barry Allen's adventures again.  On second look, it doesn't look that way after all.  As one of the few titles to overlap with the existence of  TV series featuring the same character, you'd expect it to be a bigger priority...

Gotham Academy
When I read this preview originally I was baffled by it.  But now I love it, and honestly wish I had started reading the series.  At the very least, has great potential.

Gotham by Midnight
It's common to complain when DC adds further Batman titles to its lineup, but often enough, the material justifies it.  This one is that version of Gotham Central that never got to happen, the Spectre (this time back in his familiar Jim Corrigan guise) leading a team of cops.

As someone who has been enjoying the series anyway, and knowing that nothing changed from how it'd been operating previously, this was just more pleasant reading material for me.

Green Arrow
With all the creative teams cycling in and out since launching, this should be one of the biggest messes of the New 52.  But somehow it's been landing on its feet.  I liked the preview when I read it originally, and liked it again this time.  Oliver himself seems to be aware of his tumultuous recent past, and that's a good thing.  Looks to be worth reading.

Green Lantern
I was not at all excited when I originally saw what Robert Venditti had done to Hal Jordan and/or the Green Lantern Corps in general.  But reading the preview put the whole thing in a different and much different perspective.  Easily the best surprise of this experience.

Green Lantern: Lost Army
For whatever reason, the Corps has to be in one crisis after another.  I mean, Geoff Johns didn't always have a crisis (it just seemed that way).  So I don't necessarily think this was the best possible angle.

Harley Quinn
One of DC's bestselling titles.  Now that I've gotten around to having a look, it seems pretty good.

Justice League
I guess now that Darkseid has been killed off, readers have taken notice of "Darkseid War" in general.  But this is the big Geoff Johns epic the series has been building toward since the start.  How was that ever even an issue?  Oh, because readers haven't always been as sold on how significant this run has been.  Right.

Justice League United
Apparently featuring just about any available character at this point.  And the preview was prett much just randomly featuring introductions to some of them...

Justice League 3001
Giffen/DeMatteis continue their latterday tour of Justice League duty.  I'm not sure if there's wide appeal for this particular material, but it's fun for what it is.

Easily one of the trickier revamps DC has attempted in the New 52, Lobo is interesting in this incarnation, but I can't shake the feeling that he loses his greatest appeal by straying too far from his roots.

Martian Manhunter
A brilliant series that had a brilliant preview.  Hopefully readers will realize how awesome this is before poor sales makes it go away.  What's sad is that until now Martian Manhunter hasn't had a true chance to shine in the New 52 era.  What's awesome is that in his first shot, DC absolutely nailed it, further cementing him as the best hidden treasure in its catalog.

On second look at this, I appreciated how it conveyed, or attempted to, what makes Midnighter unique: that version of Batman that previously only existed in Frank Miller stories.  But I remain unconvinced that anyone has managed to truly pull it off.

Omega Men
You can read elsewhere how I read this a second time and came away with a much greater appreciation for what it set out to do.  Of the whole Divergence line, this one probably has the best shot at proving to be a definitive statement.

I've loved the series.  Rumor has it that DC will bring it back for six additional issues later to conclude the story.  Hopefully that happens.  The preview features Beth Ross after she's been elected president, but at the start of the series itself, we see the whole process by which she attains office.

Red Hood/Arsenal
The two-man team its predecessor probably was all along.  Now making it official!

Robin: Son of Batman
I've loved Patrick Gleason's work in this series, but apparently not as many readers have been intrigued by his solo work as his collaboration with Peter Tomasi.  There seems to be confusion concerning the Year of Blood arc.  Let me explain: the Year of Blood occurred during Damian's formative years as he was raised by his mother, Talia al Ghul.  The Year of Blood events in this series are Damian atoning for those actions.  This preview features more of an introduction to Goliath, Damian's Man-Bat companion, than I've seen in the series so far.

Secret Six
It's funny.  The Nook version of this preview loads Robin: Son of Batman instead.  So I had to turn to comiXology (an account I'll be returning to in the near future) to see what Gail Simone had to offer.  As usual, nothing much I'm interested in...

I still can't quite explain why Cullen Bunn has proven to interesting to readers and/or publishers.  But this preview was the first time I kind of enjoyed his efforts.  Although basically Sinestro looks to have been repackaged as the replacement for the surprisingly entertaining Red Lanterns.

It was possibly a mistake to have the series try to help her find a new context while readers have been wondering that, too...If she isn't a Teen Titan, maybe put her back into space?

Suicide Squad
It baffles me that DC wouldn't make this series a priority, what with the upcoming movie.  But as far as I could tell, it really didn't.

I think this title has been on fire since Geoff Johns came aboard, and the Gene Yang era has proved equally fascinating, but a lot of readers were turned off by the "Truth" concept, believing it further erodes the New 52 Lois Lane.  I don't agree. 

Superman/Wonder Woman
By the end of the preview, "Truth"-era Superman seems to have broken up with Wonder Woman.  This series is easily the biggest casualty of having to do "Truth" stories.

Teen Titans
I liked the story, which featured a conversation between Wonder Girl and Red Robin, and how it handled the Superboy situation, which along with the Kid Flash situation is one of those things the New 52 has tried to do that has rubbed readers the wrong way.  I have less of a problem.  And I continue to love Ken Rocafort's art.  The Titans just seem like another concept that's proving increasingly difficult to keep relevant, along with Catwoman, the Legion of Super-Heroes...If I were DC, I'd made a concentrated effort to make these titles and/or concepts seem important again.

We Are Robin
This preview leaves out Duke, which to my mind is still the best way to make this series seem relevant, because he really is the best draw.  Otherwise the series has struggled to sell its concept.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reading Comics 174 "Omega Men, revisited"

I've been reading the complete sneak peaks DC put out for the Divergence launch in June, and it occurred to me that what I was talking about last time concerning Frank Miller and Holy Terror!, and what it means to think about comic books, terrorism, and the aftermath of the Paris attacks specifically has another dimension worth bringing up.

It's funny, too, because the Omega Men preview was one of the few I'd caught originally, and I even talked about then how audacious it was in showing what amounted to a comic book version of the beheading films terrorists have been uploading for the horrified public.

Reading it again, especially in light of the Paris attacks and the renewed sense of urgency they've provoked, I can't help but think of Omega Men as more significant than it seemed even then.

The writer is Tom King, one half of the duo responsible for the intermittently brilliant Grayson.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  King very deliberately sets the preview up as a dialogue, a thought piece, which none of the other sneak peaks did.  That's reason enough for it to stick out.  The fact that it seems to feature the death of Kyle Rayner, a character comic book fans of twenty years ago have particular nostalgia for, at the time of my original reading appeared to be the most important aspect of the whole piece.

But it really wasn't. 

My friends over at Weird Science track monthly sales, so I get to find out which titles are selling miserably (although, apparently, lately it's just about all of them), which includes Omega Men, which at its current rate would target it for cancellation.  And in fact that's exactly what DC did.  Except it went back and reversed that decision.

I'm thinking DC realized what it had, even if readers at the moment don't.  What I'm suggesting is that Omega Men might be one of those seminal comics that needs to be discovered.  I'm hardly its greatest possible ambassador, having read only the preview (twice).  But if King has managed to keep it compelling, relevant, on-point (and DC's faith in it certainly seems to suggest that), this might be exactly the comic book to explain, or at least attempt to make sense of, a perspective that seems downright baffling to the rest of it.

This is not to say that I think Omega Men or Tom King are endorsing terrorists, but that this is the rare experience that dares to go where no one else has gone, and it deserves some recognition for it. 

There are plenty of people who think Frank Miller's Holy Terror! after all did have the right approach, and there are others, notably President Obama, who think it's wrong to have a knee-jerk reaction to the Paris attacks.  And maybe Omega Men can help explain why.

Hey, it's worth a look.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reading Comics 173 "Holy Terror, Frank Miller!"

On Friday evening, Paris came under a series of attacks that were quickly determined to be perpetrated by Isis.  France itself, as voiced by President Francois Hollande, swiftly announced military reprisal.  Isis is known by a lot of names.  One of them is the Islamic State.  The times we live in have seen a lot of Muslim extremism, best identified with the attacks on 9/11, but not limited to them. 

You may be wondering why I'm writing about this on a comics blog.  Or, assuming you know what Holy Terror! is, you may know already.  This was a 2011 graphic novel published by Frank Miller.  It was originally conceived as another of Miller's Batman adventures.  Miller made his name, in part, with the historic Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.  His Batman wouldn't be terribly out of place taking violent retribution for 9/11.  Clearly Miller himself rethought the concept, and repackaged it with an original creation.

Holy Terror! met an unfavorable reaction upon its release.  As had become typical of his recent Batman work (Dark Knight Strikes Again; All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder), fans thought he'd lost his creative spark, gotten things horribly wrong, gone too far.  In particular, his scorched earth response to terrorism was seen as insensitive to the vast majority of Muslims who would never in their lives consider violence as a response to the world around them.

And yet, there was President Hollande speaking in much the same terms.  We'd become accustomed to different kind of talk in the years following 9/11.  Americans engaged in two increasingly unpopular wars, and that seemed to be about it.  Never forget, people seemed to say, but try your best to move on.

And yet, clearly radical Islam hasn't moved on.  And they're kind of the people who count in this conversation.  You might argue that we've provoked them, and one of the terrorists in Paris seemed to confirm this view when he shouted "This is for Syria!" in the concert hall.  The Paris attacks were all about bringing what is unfortunately entirely common in the Middle East to the Western world: random chaos meant to spread, well, terror.

Every time they strike out, there's the response that says, well, we'll have our revenge.  Radical Islam is not created from the minds of those who will sit at a table and negotiate.  It's the product of an environment that breeds frustration, which leads to a thought process people elsewhere just won't understand.  The governments of the countries where the radicals live can only do so much.  At this point, radical Islam has begun to build its own state.

Which, in some ways, might be a matter of convenience, in terms of retaliatory actions.  Miller's scorched earth response, President Hollande's scorched earth response, has a virtual playground to operate in as a result.  Is this the best response?  This is a conversation that seems to continue, and in the meantime, more tragedy unfolds...

When Miller published Holy Terror!, it was the last time he had total control over his projects.  This month his collaboration with Brian Azzarello and Andy Kubert, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, begins its serialized publication, and another Batman adventure, The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade with Azzarello and John Romita, Jr., was just announced.

It's odd that Miller became so unpopular among fans just as he was becoming a Hollywood It Boy (Sin City, 300, V for Vendetta).  Such are the vagaries of fame.  But then, maybe Holy Terror! is due for a comeback, and Miller's fortunes could change again.  This is a crazy, mixed-up world.  Anything's possible.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Officially part of Wasteland history

In the midst of reading Wasteland Vol. 10, Last Exit for the Lost, which I recently bought along with Vol. 11, Floodland, I happened to pick up the latter and have a look at the critics blurb section on the back cover.  And guess what I found?  A blurb from Comics Reader.

Yeah, this blog.  (It's since been slightly rechristened as Comics Readr, of course.)  From me.

The blurb comes from my review for Wasteland #58, two before the final issue of the series.  I got both volumes at my final visit to Zimmies, the comics shop I frequented in Lewiston, Maine, off and on for some twenty years.  I had requested they order the volumes for me, and it was only when I was getting ready to leave the shop for the last time before heading off to Virginia (and then Florida) in the midst of a hasty transition period that I remembered to ask if they'd come in.  They had, of course. 

I spent some time talking with the store owner about Wasteland (which I had had to get special-ordered to read in its final issues, too).  Now that the series is complete and all its collections are available, it may be easier than ever to spread word about it.  Whether from my influence or not, the store was now carrying the first couple volumes already.

Most of the collections feature a blurb from Warren Ellis, apparently the most famous fan of the series (in addition to being an acclaimed comic book writer), plus critical voices offering Wasteland praise.  As long as Wasteland was being published I wrote about comic books in one venue or another.  By the time I started this blog, Wasteland had become increasingly hard to find stocked in an actual comic book store without a specific request.  I've read about half the series in collections and the other half in the original serialized format.  It turned out to be a very good thing to read the final issues directly, because it allowed me to spread the word about Wasteland again.

And yes, to be excerpted as a blurb, but also as a voice for writer Antony Johnston and other invested parties to have come across.  The blurb reads:

"Epic, epic stuff...One for the ages."

Whether for potential readers or to the creators of Wasteland, it's a statement that speaks directly to what I've longed believed, that this was an effort that deserves special distinction.  Other than Ellis, a lot of the other blurbs come off as if it's "merely" worth reading or good for existing fans.  I don't think that quite encapsulates the achievement, especially in its operatic conclusion.  So I'm glad to have provided the statement that suggests something greater.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Marvel/DC Box Office Results 2000-2015

Here's an interesting little exercise:

  1. The Avengers (2012) $623M
  2. The Dark Knight (2008) $534M
  3. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) $459M
  4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) $448M
  5. Iron Man 3 (2013) $409M
  6. Spider-Man (2002) $403M
  7. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373M
  8. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336M
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) $333M
  10. Iron Man (2008) $318M
  11. Iron Man 2 (2010) $312M
  12. Man of Steel (2013) $291M
  13. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) $262M
  14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) $259M
  15. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) $234M
  16. X-Men: Days of the Future Past (2014) $233M
  17. X2: X-Men United (2003) $214M
  18. Batman Begins (2005) $206M
  19. Thor: The Dark World (2013) $206M
  20. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) $202M
  21. Superman Returns (2006) $200M
  22. Thor (2011) $181M
  23. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) $179M
  24. Ant-Man (2015) $179M
  25. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) $176M
  26. X-Men (2000) $157M
  27. Fantastic Four (2005) $154M
  28. X-Men: First Class (2011) $146M
  29. The Incredible Hulk (2008) $134M
  30. Hulk (2003) $132M
  31. The Wolverine (2013) $132M
  32. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) $131M
  33. Green Lantern (2011) $116M
  34. Ghost Rider (2007) $115M
  35. Watchmen $107M
  36. Daredevil (2003) $102M
  37. Blade II (2002) $82M
  38. Fantastic Four (2015) $56M
  39. Blade: Trinity (2004) $52M
  40. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) $51M
  41. Catwoman (2004) $40M
  42. The Punisher (2004) $33M
  43. Elektra (2005) $24M
  44. Jonah Hex (2010) $10M
  45. Punisher: War Zone (2008) $8M