What are the best comic book movies that offer an alternative to Marvel and DC? Since the MCU’s inception in 2008, we have been gifted nearly 30 comic book movies from the world of Marvel, most of which have been brilliant. Rival studio DC has had less success, but has still given us some great movies, from Christopher Nolan’s epic Dark Knight trilogy, to Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The world is well and truly obsessed with comic book movies, and there’s plenty more to come!

However, you might be feeling a little bit fatigued when it comes to the constant output of these shared universes. To be fair, we do get like eight of them every single year, so it’s understandable to feel that way. So, what are the best comic book movies that offer an alternative to Marvel and DC? We’ve got 10 of the best for you, right here!

The best alternative comic book movies are:

  • Dredd
  • Akira
  • Oldboy
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World
  • Kick-Ass
  • 30 Days of Night
  • The Mask
  • V for Vendetta
  • Snowpiercer
  • Sin City
Credit: Entertainment Film

Dredd (2012)

This epic sci-fi action movie meticulously brings to life the dystopian wasteland of Mega-City One with brilliant production design and blistering set pieces. Starring Karl Urban in the titular role, and with a script written by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Garland, it’s hard to understand why Dredd flopped at the time. Sadly, though, a poor box-office performance meant that this cult hit would probably never see a sequel, as much as the demand is now there.

Learn more about Judge Dredd’s comic book history here.

Credit: Streamline Pictures

Akira (1988)

Long before the glory days of Batman movies and the MCU machine, a small animated movie from Japan would depict the ultimate superhuman origin movie, with the cyberpunk action film Akira. The cultural impact of Akira and its stunning animated style remains huge to this day, with the post-apocalyptic streets of Neo-Tokyo regularly referenced in film, TV, and music across the world.

Learn more about the comic books that inspired Akira here.

Credit: Show East

Oldboy (2003)

The ultimate revenge story, Oldboy has arguably paved the way for some of the most iconic moments in comic book movies and television iterations, with its impeccable fight choreography certainly influencing the likes of the Daredevil Netflix series. Park Chan-wook’s incredible mystery-thriller twists and turns its way through a mesmerising story, before its jaw-dropping conclusion will quite literally leave you speechless.

Learn more about the Oldboy comic book history here.

Credit: Universal

Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010)

We all know how talented Edgar Wright is when it comes to his sharp, original stories, but Scott Pilgrim vs The World proves he is equally adept at adapting a story too. The fantastic comedy movie stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, and combines humour, music, and stylish fight scenes for a wonderfully fun comic book adaptation.

Learn more about the Scott Pilgrim comic books here.

Credit: Lionsgate

Kick-Ass (2010)

We all love an underdog story. In Kick-Ass we got a most endearing and uplifting superhero movie that puts Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s nerdy Dave Lizewski front and centre as the titular vigilante. With supporting roles for Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace-Moretz, and Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn at the helm, Kick-Ass delivers bloody violence, great comedy moments, and a thrilling alternative to your standard comic book fare.

Learn more about the Kick-Ass comic books here.

Credit: Sony Pictures

30 Days of Night (2007)

In the spirit of the release of Morbius, we figure it’s only right to include some vampire action in this list of alternative comic book movies. 30 Days of Night is a gnarly, gruesome horror flick worthy of its place in any list. Josh Hartnett stars as the protagonist in this heart-pounding survival story, which uses glistening white snow as the perfect blank canvas for blood… and there’s lots of it!

Learn more about the 30 Days of Night comics here.

Credit: New Line

The Mask (1994)

It probably comes as a bit of a surprise to see this quirky Jim Carrey comedy movie on this list, but believe it or not, The Mask is actually based on a comic book counterpart. The Mask offers a brilliant blend of silly, slapstick humour for young audiences, while also delivering a good amount of more adult comedy for older viewers.

Learn more about the comics behind The Mask here.

Credit: Warner Bros

V for Vendetta (2005)

Renowned for its razor-sharp political and social commentary, and of course, the iconic mask, V for Vendetta is a staple of any alternative comic book collection. Natalie Portman stars opposite Hugo Weaving in this explosive, dark thriller movie, which was actually written by The Matrix creators Lily and Lana Wachowski. Although technically owned by DC, this movie is as far from the superhumans of the DCEU as you can find.

Learn more about the V for Vendetta comic book lore here.

Credit: Lionsgate

Snowpiercer (2013)

Asian cinema and the world of comic books go hand in hand, as this list has already proved. Korean director and all-round nice guy Bong Joon-ho began his move into the spotlight of the Western world with the enthralling sci-fi movie Snowpiercer. Starring Chris Evans in the lead role, Snowpiercer is a violent, bleak commentary on social structures, and has even spawned a successful TV spin-off series.

Learn more about the roots of Snowpiercer in the comic book world here.

Credit: Miramax

Sin City (2005)

Who doesn’t love a bit of violence in their comic book movies? While the fairly mild-mannered, child-friendly world of Marvel movies has been rather averse to any real visceral moments, Sin City is a brutal, brooding adaptation of legendary comic book creator Frank Miller’s work. Shot in striking black and white for the most part, the rare flashes of colour utlised here really make this action movie pop on the big screen.

Learn more about the Sin City comics here.

So, there you have it! The 10 best alternative comic book movies that will hopefully offer some respite from the worlds of Marvel and DC. You no longer need Superman or Spider-Man to come to your rescue, when you have heroes like Scott Pilgrim or The Mask ready and waiting!

For more comic book content, check out our review of The Batman, or enter an even darker world with our top 5 A24 horror movies.