5 Victims Of The Comic Book Movie Trilogy Curse!

5 Super-Victims Of The Comic Book Movie Trilogy Curse!
Posted on: August 28th, 2012

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There’s a strange trend in Comic Book Trilogies. On the whole, series follow this rule. A good enough first movie (usually a slower paced origin story to establish the characters), a fantastic sequel (with the characters established, the story can focus on the main storyline without too much build up) which hints that things can only get better. Then finally, a complete cock up of the third film.

Now, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Some comic characters never get past their first film and with good cause, Daredevil, Electra, Green Lantern, and The Punisher (and somehow they messed up the first movie twice on that one). Others don’t even have great first movies but still somehow manage to have even worse sequels, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider.

The Dark Knight Rises has finally finished off Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy with mixed reaction. I thought it was a fantastic end for the series (the occupation of Gotham and final battle were pure comic book epicness, Bane was a brilliant villain, mainly because he was Batman’s first true physical threat, and I didn’t even mind Catwoman) but I’m sure there are those out there who would consider it another case of the Third comic book movie curse (most likely because the occupation of Gotham and final Battle were too comic-booky for Nolan’s “realistic” Batman universe, Bane had a stupid voice and wasn’t Heath Ledger and Catwoman was pretty pointless).

Whatever your opinion on that movie however, I think we’ll all be able to agree on these missteps in comic book trilogy history.


5. SPIDER-MAN Trilogy


spider man cover


I enjoyed, but didn’t love, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. The first explained an origin story I’m sick of hearing having been a fan of Spiderman for a good few years now but, I’ll admit, it did it well and showed Peter’s (Tobey Maguire) internal struggle with the power he’d been given and the responsibility that lead to. If only there was a better way to put that……

Spiderman 2 DVD Cover



The second was all out war between Alfred Molena’s Doc Ock and Spidey. It was much better paced, had some great set pieces and also set up James Franco’s Harry Osborn as a future villain (which at that point we didn’t know would turn out so badly).


spider dvd


The third movie was a mess. Even overlooking Peter Parker’s Emo phase (which is pretty hard) there was just too much happening. So many villains that none of them got the screen time they deserved (In Venom’s case because he’s awesome, Sandman’s because he was a well written villain) in favour of Harry Osborn’s hilariously terrible amnesia storyline which lead to a very rushed best friend/nemesis/best friend character arc.




I think the main problem with this movie was studio interference. Raimi wanted to set Venom up for the fourth movie but was forced to include him in this one. This diluted everything way too much leaving this movie a weak finale to the series rather than a set up to a Venom/Spider-Man showdown in 4…which let’s face it; we’d all have paid good money to see.


Spider-Man 3 Villains

My Spidey sense is tingling……ALOT!


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Author Info

Dan is just a guy who worked in a video store and took the compliment/insult that he was like “Randal” from “Clerks” a little too literally. Thankfully Bad Haven has given him the chance to blurt out his internal monologues on nerd culture. Proclaiming his love for the things he likes (which include books, movies, games, comics) and utterly destroying the things he doesn’t (pretty much everything else). Dan is an editor, reviewer and feature writer for Bad Haven.

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  • Musikonica

    Patton Oswald has said Wesley Snipes was pretty crazy in filming and would refuse sometimes to come out for his parts. I get the feeling they ignored him at the end probably in a mutual way.

  • DougK

    Completely agree on Batman & Superman (could anyone honestly disagree?). But am I the only one who thinks X-Men 3 is the best superhero flick up until the Avengers? Killing off Professor X midway throws us a curve & ups the stakes. And you’ve gotta admit Magneto lifting the whole Golden Gate bridge was pretty cool.

    • bfg666

      Yes you are.

  • Joey Kelly

    I don’t think this ‘curse’ is limited to comic book adaptations. A quick look at several more recent franchises can prove this.

    Pirates of the Caribbean was great fun, but ultimately fell a little short with At Worlds End because it had too much to show but not enough time to show it in. Take a look at The Matrix also.

    If the first instalment establishes to character and the second focuses more on plot – as you wrote – what does that leave the third? Too much plot, methinks. Most of the characters have already been developed and built on in the first two instalments, so the third is written as a sprawling narrative: the occupation of Gotham in TDKR; the here-there-and-everywhere element of At Worlds End; the number of villains in Spiderman III. Building of a pre-existing narrative whilst bringing in something new is the challenge for the sequel, but it comes again with stricter parameters in the third film

  • merwanor

    When it comes to X-Men I also think the reason for why the third one sucked is because X-men 1 and 2 was written by David Hayter, but not the third one.

    I would also like to put Iron Man 3 on this list, as it ruined the whole series for me in some ways. Even though Iron Man 2 was not that great, they at least did not totally destroy the characters nemesis with a stupid joke.

    • Musikonica

      Iron Man 3 focused too much on the humour. It was working when it was Tony Stark making quick little quips, but when the Mandarin was revealed to be an actor, the movie shifted like it wanted to be Austin Powers suddenly. Oh, and I guess having all the suits fighting at once was cool. I found that clutter to be way too much, and the suits were easily beaten one by one.

  • Korabljenik

    Alfred Molena?
    James Marston?
    Pull yourself together, list writer!

    Also, the title of the list is off.
    Trilogy is something made from 3 pieces.
    The old Superman film series has 4 (5) and Batman has 4 films, so they are not trilogies.
    The title should say: ”Third instalments”.

  • Swagneto

    Great article man! I feel the same way about the superhero trilogy. Once they hit number three they usually drop the ball