The history of superhero comics truly begins with 1938’s Action Comics #1. And the history of superhero movies truly begins with Superman, who starred in the first-ever feature film adapted from a DC Comic in 1951 and then returned to theaters in the movie that revolutionized the way the world looked at these stories, 1978’s Superman.

Today, Marvel is an even bigger presence in Hollywood. But for many years, DC and its library of iconic superheroes — Batman! Robin! Wonder Woman! And to a much lesser extent, Aquaman! — was dominant. With the DC Extended Universe now concluded with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, it seemed like a fun time to take stock of every DC Comics film ever made — at least until I started rewatching them for this piece. Then it often seemed less fun.

READ MORE: These DC Comics Can Never Get DC Movies

The list below contains over 40 feature films. I excluded anything that went straight to home video, and also ruled out anything from DC’s publishing imprints like Vertigo and Wildstorm. (The adaptations of Alan Moore’s comics for DC remain a weird gray area; I included Watchmen because those characters have now crossed over into the main DC Comics Universe, and excluded V For Vendetta because that movie actually starts with the Vertigo logo.) I also restricted myself to feature films, which meant no movie serials. If you do want to read about Spy SmasherHop Harrigan and the rest, I wrote about all but one of them during my History of Comic Book Movies column.

I’ll get around to finishing that some day. In the meantime, here’s my ranking:

Every DC Comics Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best

From Superman and the Mole Men to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, we ranked every movie based on DC comics.
Get our free mobile app

Actors Who Turned Down DC Roles

These major stars could have played some of your favorite DC Comics’ heroes onscreen. But they all said no for one reason or another.

Gallery Credit: Matt Singer