Ah, the superhero origin story. No matter how complex or varied the comic book movie genre becomes, it can never stray too far from that familiar story structure. Next month, Marvel will deliver another one in Doctor Strange. Its content might be different from the norm – the movie will introduce magic and mysticism to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but its format will be cut from the same cloth as Iron Man, Ant-Man and Thor before it.
Hopefully Doctor Strange will join the ranks of some of the best superhero origin stories rather than those that did not work. We’re thinking Green Lantern, Hulk and Fantastic Four (any of them, really). Despite those failures, the familiar framework of the everyman (or woman) going on a journey of discovery to become a hero always has the potential to be brilliant, regardless of how many times it is used.
So, what are those great origin tales of which we speak? Read on for 8 of the best openings to superhero stories that we’ve ever seen on the big screen.