When a superhero is brought to the big screen for the first time, an origin story is an inevitable but necessary part of the adaptation. With the Spider-Man franchise being rebooted once more for Spider-Man Homecoming, we’re also going to have to get used to these stories being retold multiple times.

Of course, regardless of how many chances some franchises get, they’re not always going to tell these stories right. Sometimes a superhero will have their origin tweaked to make it work for the present day, while others will seemingly just be altered for the sake of it (a storytelling method not exactly loved by fans).

With this feature, we’ve decided to single out just ten of the worst offenders (if you missed our 10 of the Best click here) to take a closer look at exactly what they did wrong and to consider why that was. As always, we know you have an opinion on these, so be sure to let us know whether or not you  agree with our suggestions by heading to the comment section below!

10. The Amazing Spider-Man

Young Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man promised to reveal the “Untold Story” of Marvel’s most iconic superhero, but we were instead left with an origin story which resulted in a huge list of questions thanks to some sloppy plot holes. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the reboot also tried its best to differentiate itself from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, but many of the scenes felt like deja vu and several of the key moments which were left out disappointed fans.

Perhaps The Amazing Spider-Man’s biggest crime was failing to include Uncle Ben’s “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility” line, while his death was more down to Peter generally being a bit of a jerk, a personality trait that his Uncle’s demise didn’t really effect. Here’s hoping the sequel answers some of those burning questions…


9. Catwoman


Patience Phillips (an awful turn from Halle Berry) worked for a cosmetics company…wait, who the heck is Patience Phillips?! That’s just one of the many bizarre elements of this Catwoman movie as it ditcheed the famous Selina Kyle and replaced her with the uninteresting Patience who was given powers and mysteriously brought back to life by an Egyptian Mau cat.

She then developed cat-like abilities, and yes, it really was as bad as it sounds. Needless to say, the plot just got worse from there, and what could have been a really brilliant Batman spin-off was ultimately one of the worst comic book movies of all-time. Thankfully, Selina Kyle and Catwoman would get the big screen treatment she deserved in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.


8. Elektra


We were first introduced to Elektra in Daredevil, a movie which spectacularly failed at revealing the origin of the comic book assassin. In that film, she went from rich businessman’s daughter to someone who was able to take on the Man Without Fear just from spending time slicing up a few sandbags with her sais and learning martial arts when she was younger.

If you were hoping that they’d make up for past mistakes by giving the character her own solo outing, you would be wrong, as the former flame of Matt Murdock was resurrected, trained, kicked out of the Hand and became a contract killer all in the first few minutes of her movie. If that sounds bad, then those of you who have seen Elektra will know that what followed wasn’t much better either, and like Catwoman, you can blame this release on the lack of female superhero films currently filling out cinemas.


7. Deadpool (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)


It may sound irrational, but sometimes comic book fans are forced to ask themselves, “Do studio execs hate us?” The widespread joy when it was revealed that fan favourite choice Ryan Reynolds would play a young Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was hard to miss at the time, and everything we saw of him in the movie served as proof of sorts that we were going to get the crazy, wise cracking character from the comic books on the big screen.

For a little while at least, we did. Then it happened. By the end of the movie, Deadpool had been transformed into some sort of bizarre multi-powered mutant who could fire optic blasts and teleport. But hey, at least they gave him weird marks on his eyes which looked a bit like his mask from the comics! Thank goodness things have changed a little since then…


6. The Punisher


As with many of the other superhero movies on this list, The Punisher’s origin story couldn’t be any simpler. After serving his country overseas, Frank Castle returned home only for his family to be gunned down in front of him during a picnic when they got caught in the crossfire of a gangland shooting. The movie took that idea, stretched it out, and made the murder of Frank’s family an act of revenge (completely missing the point of what made their deaths so tragic in the first place).

This would end up taking up the plot of almost the entire movie, and while parts did pay homage to some famous Punisher comic books, this was the second of three failed outings for the character and the origin story alone makes it one of the worst. The rights are now back with Marvel, and a new series is on its way…


5. Batman


Look, there’s n denying that Batman was a very important step in superhero movies becoming as successful as they are today, but it didn’t exactly do a great job of telling the Caped Crusader’s origin story.

The movie doesn’t even spend all that much time dealing with how and why Bruce Wayne decided to don the cape and cowl, and the big twist that it was in fact a much younger version of The Joker who was responsible for the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne is in equal parts idiotic and unexpected. Comic book fans would have to wait a whopping sixteen years to see a proper Batman origin story with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.


4. Hulk


What a mess. Instead of having Bruce Banner exposed to Gamma Rays and transformed instantly into the Green Goliath you see above, Ang Lee’s take on the Marvel superhero was incredibly convoluted and involved Bruce’s father, genetic testing and a confusing and borderline nonsensical plan from David Banner to steal his son’s powers and become a pretty terrible version of the Absorbing Man.

Lee made a lot of mistakes here, particularly with his portrayal of the Hulk – he ended up being ridiculously huge at points – and a stylistic decision to use comic book panels to show the action from varying perspectives. The Incredible Hulk was a semi-reboot which skipped over the origin story, and it might be best to just leave it well alone for now, especially as we have the brilliant Mark Ruffalo in the role and part of The Avengers franchise as a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.


3. Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds was an ideal choice to play Hal Jordan on the big screen, leading us to wonder how this movie could end up going so terribly wrong. DC and Warner Bros. first major superhero movie (which wasn’t either Batman or Superman) got bits and pieces here and there right,  but as soon as the lead character was transported to the CGI heavy planet of Oa, things just fell apart.

Parallax (that big brown sludge like monster from the final act) was also botched, and why they decided on the design they did when his comic book counterpart looks so terrifying is baffling. There’s very little this movie got right in its exploration of Green Lantern’s origin or character, and it’s a shame we’ll never get to see Reynolds have another go at playing Hal Jordan. Why? Well, after all the money wasted on dreadful special effects and a poor marketing campaign, this superhero made very little profit at the box office.


2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine


If you thought that Deadpool’s origin story was botched in this X-Men spin-off, then how they handled the title character should really get your blood boiling. We were promised a movie which would reveal the early years of the iconic Marvel superhero, and after an extremely rushed opening sequence which did the childhood of James Howlett no justice at all (see: Origin), a cool credits sequence paved the way for mediocrity.

As it turns out, this idiotic version of Logan volunteered to become part of the Weapon X programme and the trauma of the adamantium being bonded to his skeleton didn’t wipe away his memories; a magic bullet did. On the plus side, Liev Schreiber was just about perfect as Sabretooth, and things worked out well for Logan in the end…


1. Fantastic Four

Fantastic 4

The Fantastic Four’s origin story really couldn’t be any simpler. They steal a spacecraft, get bombarded with cosmic rays in outer space, crash to Earth and suddenly find themselves imbued with strange new powers. Their main foe is Doctor Doom, one of Reed Richard’s former classmates and the now scarred dictator of the fictional European nation of Latveria.

It makes “sense” then that Tim Story’s take on the iconic superhero team would be to make their relationship as convoluted as possible, while simultaneously turning Victor Von Doom into a shadow of his comic book self. The team behind the movie were trying to go for a family friendly tone, but failed at that and failed at successfully adapting these characters. At least Josh Trank’s version wasn’t as bad…oh, wait…


If you liked this post you may also enjoy: