Don't get me wrong -- "The Dark Knight" is a great film (with some flaws). But is it the greatest comic-book movie ever made? I have to say no.
Before you jump on me, the way fanboys on Rotten Tomatoes attacked any critic who dared give the movie a negative rating -- and this was before the picture was ever released -- consider this: Just a month ago, people were saying "Iron Man" was the best comic-book movie ever made. There's an unfortunate mob mentality that comes into play with comic-book movies: the minute one comes out, it's immediately the best movie ever -– at least until the next best thing ever.
This is a disservice to many great comic-book films of the past -- many of which a lot of people might not have realized were adapted from comics. Like "Road to Perdition," "A History of Violence," and "Ghost World." The thing is, there are no objective criteria to determine the "greatest comic-book movie." It's only a matter of opinion. And of course, not all comic books are the same -- they’re not all action-packed, or all about superheroes. So consider some of the movies that have been drawn from this broad literary field. How could you possibly compare "Mystery Men" to "American Splendor," or "Persepolis" to "Hellboy"? It's apples and ottomans.
If "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" are great simply because they rebooted Batman, what about the "Spider-Man" or "X-Men" series? If "The Dark Knight" is amazing because it makes Gotham real, what about the kinetic virtual worlds of "300" and "Sin City" -- which used the actual comics as storyboards to dazzling effect? And should we forget "Men In Black," "The Crow," or "Dick Tracy" just because they came out many years ago?
As refreshing as Heath Ledger's Joker is, "The Dark Knight"'s flaws are pretty clear. It's too long; the Harvey Dent transformation into Two-Face is rushed and doesn't make as much sense psychologically as it could; and the Scarecrow cameo doesn't go anywhere. This is not the greatest comic-book movie ever -- even as I might wish it had been. Of course, that's just my opinion.
So what do YOU think is the greatest comic-book movie ever made? Can there be such a thing? Chime in below and let us know!