Superhero movies are now so big in the entertainment business that we're rapidly approaching the time when the amount of them we get in a given year will hit double digits. In 2016 we had six superhero movies in theaters, and fans have been debating all year long where each new release ranks compared to the other.
With Marvel Studios, DC Films, and Fox each releasing two tentpoles this past year, we had an even split in opportunity. So which films highest, and which studio did best? We have the answers, based on our own Comicbook.com user composite scores.
Here are the Superhero Movies of 2016, Ranked Worst to Best.
Suicide Squad has gone on to become a worldwide box office success, earning more than even Marvel's Doctor Strange has (so far). And yet, critical reaction to the film remains harsh - and if our composite rankings are any indication, fans feel much the same way.
X-Men: Days of Future Past was a new high point for the franchise, earning both critical acclaim and a substantial box office. With X-Men: Apocalypse promising to bring an iconic franchise villain to the screen, things seemed to be on the upward slope.
What's strange is, X-Men: Apocalypse isn't horrible, and has its share of fans; however, the film landed with a soft thud, and didn't really offer fans anything that memorable. It definitely wasn't the novelty that Deadpool was, or the soft reboot (new young cast), producers intended.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Somehow Zack Snyder did it twice: he made a DC superhero movie that totally divided fans, as well as critics and audiences.
Batman v Superman promised something that superhero fans have always wanted to see (Batman and Superman onscreen together), but it definitely delivered in a way that no one was expecting. It's no surprise that the movie has landed here in the middle of the rankings; for as many people that despise it, there are those who call it a masterpiece.
Time will tell if Dawn of Justice ever shifts one way or the other in our rankings.
Not even Marvel knew what a hit Doctor Strange could become, but since 2016 was a year for unexpected heroes to get their shine, Strange is now a household name.
Despite all the race-changing controversy, star Benedict Cumberbatch and his esteemed co-stars (Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton) kept the metaphysical antics and mind-bending visuals of Scott Derrickson grounded in great drama.
Doctor Strange cast its spell on viewers, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be a better place for it.
Fox never thought that Deadpool could be the phenomenon that it's become - that's why the studio blocked star Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller's bid to make the film for so long. However, fan support online moved mountains, and Fox found out what Reynolds, Miller, and millions of fans already knew: Deadpool is a star.
Thanks to Deadpool, we finally have an R-rated Wolverine movie (Logan) coming to theaters, with the door wide open for more adult superhero movies to come. We also have Ryan Reynolds in the starring role he always needed, and the world has been funnier for it.
Captain America: Civil War
No surprise here; Marvel won the superhero movie showdown of 2016 with this Captain America threequel. Civil War did so many great things, including paying off years of Marvel movies and TV plotlines; introducing new characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther; and giving superhero movie fans the biggest character battle yet.
After Civil War, Marvel movie fans have every reason to expect that The Russo Bros. will put Avengers: Infinity War at the top of our 2018 superhero movie rankings, as well.