New Study Names Superman As Worst Superhero Franchise Ever


Despite reigning as one of the most instantly recognizable and popular characters on the planet since making his very first appearance in 1938, Superman has a hugely inconsistent track record on the big screen. Clark Kent’s first feature-length solo outing in Richard Donner’s 1978 classic is still warmly regarded as one of the best superhero movies ever made, but less than a decade later, fourth installment The Quest for Peace delivered one of the worst.

In between, Superman II was beset by behind the scenes troubles that led to a Snyder Cut scenario decades ahead of time which eventually saw Donner’s original vision largely restored, while the third outing focused far too heavily on Richard Pryor’s comic relief character. After a two-decade absence, Bryan Singer’s reverential Superman Returns didn’t pull in the numbers expected by the studio, and Man of Steel fans are still crying out for the sequel that Henry Cavill’s Kryptonian surely deserves.

Unfortunately, a new study has now named Superman as the star of the worst superhero franchise ever, taking into account the average Rotten Tomatoes scores across his big screen appearances. The findings incorporate crossovers like Batman v Superman and Joss Whedon’s Justice League, but the Snyder Cut is left out of the conversation. Indeed, the law of averages has clearly not been kind to the Big Blue Boy Scout, as you can see from the top and bottom five below.

Bottom 5

1. Superman: 48%

2. Batman: 59%

3. DC Extended Universe: 59%

4. Wolverine: 67%

5. X-Men: 67%

Top 5

1. The Incredibles: 96%

2. Guardian of the Galaxy: 89%

3. Captain America: 87%

4. Avengers: 86%

5. Deadpool: 85%

The Dark Knight also suffers from a poor showing, which can largely be attributed to Joel Schumacher’s disastrous Batman & Robin, and it’s not particularly good news for DC adaptations in general. You can’t argue with The Incredibles taking the top spot, though, with Brad Bird’s pair of animated favorites a couple of stone cold modern classics.