It’s a smart move to get this particular discussion out of the way before Spider-Man: No Way Home arrives, because based on how loud and rabid the web-slinging fanbase have been the closer we get to the release of Tom Holland’s third solo outing, the rest of the competition will barely get a mention.
Thanks partly to the pandemic, it’s been a very mixed year for the blockbuster comic book adaptation, with critical acclaim constantly battling against fan support and box office dollars, with only one of the year’s major superhero titles arguably managing to land the complete trifecta.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was lauded by fans and warmly received by critics, but it never saw the inside of a theater, while The Suicide Squad scored some of the DCEU’s best-ever reviews but still flopped hard. Over at Marvel, Black Widow and Eternals have performed admirably-if-unspectacularly, while Venom: Let There Be Carnage delivered exactly what was asked of it.
As you can see below, the back-and-forth over the merits of 2021’s best superhero movie is raging online, and as you’d imagine, there’s been no definitive winner.
If we’re talking about a combination of commercial success, strong reviews and impressive fan response, then from an analytical level it’s hard to look past Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but taste and personal preference is always entirely subjective.