A fascinating exploration of the most significant superhero films and television shows in history, from the classic serial Adventures of Captain Marvel to the Disney+ hit show WandaVision.
In The 100 Greatest Superhero Films and TV Shows, Zachary Ingle and David M. Sutera celebrate over eighty years of superhero cinema and television. Featuring blockbusters such as Black Panther and The Dark Knight, Ingle and Sutera also include lesser-known yet critically acclaimed shows like The Boys, cult films such as The Toxic Avenger, and foreign series like Astro Boy to provide a well-rounded perspective of the genre. All one hundred selections are evaluated based on qualities such as plot and character development, adherence to the original source materials, technological innovations, and social impact. The entries cover both live-action and animated films and TV series, and almost a third of the entries are not associated with Marvel or DC—a testament to the genre’s variety in its eighty-year history.
The 100 Greatest Superhero Films and TV Shows includes an analysis of the superhero’s evolution and its relevance to the feminist movement, auteur theory, convergence culture, critical race theory, and more. Featuring more than 80 photographs alongside the authors’ selections, the diverse entries are sure to inspire debate and entertain all fans of superhero movies and television shows.
Zachary Ingle is a visiting assistant professor of film at Hollins University. He has edited four books and has published articles in Post Script, Literature/Film Quarterly, and Journal of Sport History. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia.
David M. Sutera is an assistant professor at Bridgewater State University. He is the author of Vaudeville on the Diamond: Minor League Baseball in Today’s Entertainment World and Sports Fans 2.0: How Fans Are Using Social Media to Get Closer to the Game. He lives in Bridgewater, MA, outside of Boston.
List of Entries A-Z
About the Authors
[A] compact, fact-filled compilation.... Although this is a serious study, the text is accessible and not pedantic. In discussing the origins of superheroes, for example, the authors suggest a categorization as follows: “mutant (Wolverine), alien (Superman), science (Hulk), technology (Iron Man), magic (Shazam), divine-heaven/hell (Spawn), and natural (Batman)” that will be easily understood by any superhero fan.... For those interested in further study, there is a well-chosen bibliography. A solid choice for film and popular-culture collections.
In this guide to the best films and TV series centered on superheroes, Ingle and Sutera list their picks alphabetically, from Angel and Ant-Man to Wonder Woman (both the 2017 film and the 1970s series starring Lynda Carter) and five X-Men iterations. A brief history of the rise of comic book characters as film subjects precedes a discussion of iconographic superhero genre elements (urban settings; characters who fight crime or protect citizens; weapons; costumes) and a section where the authors lay out their selection criteria (such as aesthetics, historical significance, and unique thematic content). Each entry lists cast members, runtime or number of episodes, and audience rating and includes a synopsis, commentary, and photos. A list of 49 films that almost made it into the book may provoke lively debate. A diverting book with accessible writing and, on occasion, academic depth. Superhero fans will be charmed.
The 100 Greatest Superhero Films and TV Shows will be a welcome—perhaps even mandatory—addition to any serious superhero fan’s library, but it’s not meant to sit idly by as an occasional reference. The readable format, accessible writing and movie-still photographs invite leisurely consumption, one entry at a time, and hopefully will inspire coffee-shop banter among superhero superfans.
It’s clobbering time! Ingle and Sutera pull off the impossible. Once and forever, this dynamic duo pulverizes age-old misconceptions of save-the-day superheroes as only popcorn fun. With feline agility, Shuri-level supersmarts, and a Spidey websling-superstick connectivity across all media and era, Ingle and Sutera provide the repository of historical, social, and aesthetic knowledge of superhero televisual and silver-screen narrative. From scholar to fan to layperson, The 100 Greatest Superhero Films and TV Shows empowers us to find our superstrength in the fight for justice, equality, and freedom for all!
There was an idea. To bring together The 100 Greatest Superhero Films and TV Shows to see what we might learn about these stories and, perhaps, ourselves. Zachary Ingle and David M. Sutera have dared to take a deep dive into these speculative worlds and have returned with this indispensable volume. Their superheroic efforts and attention to detail are on full display here. Casual readers will be delighted, and even hardcore fans will find gems to add to their crown of knowledge.
The amount of work these men put into this project is impressive, and I’m sure it is deeply appreciated by many and will be used for much debating and learning. This book flows smoothly, is written for the people, and its purpose is obvious – so good for so many purposes.
Features more than 80 photos
12/19/21, Authority Magazine: Ingle and Sutera were interviewed about the deeper social impact of their book and superheroes in general.