The Cover: A burly bloke wearing a dress sprints by, a wild look in his eye and a manic grin slapped all over his face. “Your favourite pin-up” boasts the caption, begging the question, who exactly is this comic catering for?
The Movie: Christian Bale subverts his gruff, humourless persona by starring as Clint, a nightclub doorman with a penchant for cross-dressing. When the local troublemakers discover Clint’s double-life, it’s time for him to finally come to terms with who he is. By battering them in a frock.
Key Scene: Clint drives his stiletto into a hooligan’s groin. You go girlfriend!
Captain Marvel Goes Western
The Cover: The purple background signals we’re firmly in “camp” territory here, as does the jaunty-looking fellow in the background. That poor old nag looks set to collapse at any minute…
The Movie: Jon Favreau sets about revitalising the Western genre by introducing has-been DC hero Captain Marvel to the land of dry gulches and six-shooters. Some rustlers have been causing havoc in the local town, so the Cap saddles up the sickliest looking mount in the Old West and gives chase…
Key Scene: A hilarious misadventure with a cactus. How we laughed…
The Cover: Wow, Carnage and Venom really have a thing for the grotesquely over-muscled lady, don’t they? Is it just us, or is this a teensy bit too sinister?
The Movie: With their Spiderman reboot falling flat, Marvel decide the problem is with the web-slinging one himself, so put the focus on a new heroine, a striking young woman with a rather severe haircut. Casting flounders for a while, before the studio settle for Hilary Swank with a CGI six-pack.
Key Scene: Carnage and Venom go tooth to tooth as they scrap over their potential prey. Bruce Campbell provides the voice for both of them.
The Cover: It’s that man Captain Marvel again, this time in a weirdly unsettling domestic scene. Those children look terrified, and the plain white backdrop of nothingness hardly makes things any cosier.
The Movie: Down on his luck superhero Captain Marvel takes a job as a childminder. It’s a good job he did too, as a team of ruthless burglars have been targeting the kiddies’ house for months. An action-packed family caper ensues in a bizarre mash-up of Superman and Home Alone .
Key Scene: The Cap has a tear in his eye when the little boy of the house tentatively calls him “dad”. Unfortunately, the boy’s real father overhears and hangs himself. Bummer.
The Cover: A charmingly rubbish Batman cover in which the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder appear to be pissing about on a pair of penny farthings. What larks!
The Film: Gotham’s new green initiative means that the Batmobile is now frowned upon by the Bat’s chums in the mayor’s office. Worried about losing the intimidation-factor, our hero opts for the unsettling sight of a man dressed as a giant bat riding an oversized bicycle. Crime rates plummet as Gotham’s crims realise their nemesis has finally gone loco.
Key Scene: Alfred takes the new bat-cycle for a test-drive around the grounds of Wayne Manor. Okay, we just want to see Caine on a penny farthing really…
The Fantastic Fingers Of Felix Flaust
The Cover: A man in a severely naff “wizarding” outfit appears to have his fingers inside various members of the Justice League. Wonder Woman looks particularly uncomfortable…
The Film: Lars Von Trier directs this unflinching meditation upon mental breakdown as we follow former magician Felix Flaust (Robin Williams) in his day-to-day life as a troubled shut-in. With only a set of finger-puppets for friends, poor Felix imagines himself as a criminal mastermind, engaging his beloved comic-book characters in all manner of thrilling scrapes. A one-man performance a la Ryan Reynolds in Buried , Williams bags the plaudits for his compelling display of total lunacy.
Key Scene: Williams ploughs his hand through a plate glass window in order to give Batman’s death scene the required amount of blood…
The Cover: Hmm, where to start? The horrific image of a furry alien abusing a seal, or the smaller but perhaps more disturbing sight of said alien holding a baby? All sorts of wrong.
The Film: Confessions Of A Window Cleaner -esque sex farce in which randy alien Alf (voiced by Seth Rogan) embarks upon a series of sexual misadventures with various different species, as he tries to find one of his own kind with which to mate. The film is banned in fifteen countries, as Rogan attempts to distance himself from a script he admits he hadn’t read the whole way through.
Key Scene: A harrowing encounter with a camel…we’ll say no more.
The Cover: A Poison Ivy-style temptress recline within a giant orchid. Nothing weird about that, but wait a minute! Who’s that peeping tom hiding amongst the pink grass? Truly the stuff of nightmares.
The Film: Surrealist, art-house fare in which a beautiful young woman with an addiction to hallucinogenic drugs finds herself stalked by a terrifying, dwarf-like figure. Is he a product of her over-stimulated imagination, or is the little blighter really out to get her?
Key Scene: A clever-clever subversion of Don’t Look Now , in which a red, hooded midget turns out to be a harmless little girl.
The Cover: Wonder Woman appears to be playing that shark like a guitar, but is that bloke flying a plane…underwater? What the…?
The Film: Wonder Woman (Lucy Lawless) makes her big-screen return in this muddled super-caper directed by McG. Logic goes out the window as our heroine grapples with flying sharks and water-bound fighter pilots in a comic-book car-crash that makes The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen look low-key.
Key Scene: A posthumous cameo from Christopher Reeve, whose digitally manipulated speech is used as the voice of the chief shark. Oh yeah, they can talk…
Bat vs. Wolf
The Cover: Bloody hell, this looks like it was drawn by a toddler! What’s wrong with Wolvie’s face? And look at the size of his left bicep! Has Stryker been tinkering with him again? And the less said about that bat-thing, the better.
The Film: A third Origins film replaces Hugh Jackman with the WWE’s Triple H, and pits him against a horrific villain known only as Bat Man. With his familiar moniker and penchant for awful bat-based puns (“I’m going to bat-ter you”, “I’m the bat that got the cream” etc) Bat Man looks set to invite a crippling lawsuit from DC Comics, until it becomes clear that Marvel have destroyed their own credibility anyway.
Key Scene: The inevitable appearance from Stan Lee as a beardy nerd, offed by the Bat Man in a pre-titles sequence.
The Cover: Yipes! Where to look…she looks a tough customer, doesn’t she? Widow’s veil, gun in one hand, intimidating breasts…Madame Mirage means business!
The Film: Noire-ish thriller in which Scarlett Johanssen’s femme fatale goes on the hunt of the men who killed her hitman husband. Naturally, she’s picked up a few tricks from her late hubby, and she isn’t afraid to use them. Is it wrong that we’d actually pay to watch this?
Key Scene: Ms. Mirage seduces one of her victims before doing something unmentionable to his “region” with her boot. Half the audience cheer as the other half wince…
Man's Best Friend
The Cover: Awww, it’s just a touching embrace between a boy and his dog. As a nuclear weapon appears to detonate in the background…eh?
The Movie: Owen Wilson reprises his role as Marmaduke, the lovable pooch with plenty of attitude. Sadly, Marmaduke finds himself in the blast zone of a nuclear weapon, turning him into a horribly mutated killing machine. “His bite is worse than his bark” screams the gore-spattered poster as a new horror hero is born.
Key Scene: Marmaduke is finally beaten to death by a posse of shovel-wielding locals. If only that was how they’d ended the original…
The Cover: Look at Hansi’s expression. Crikey, we didn’t know anybody could love anything that much, let alone a swastika. Still, Hansi knows what she likes, so more power to her. Boo to the Nazis though, obviously.
The Movie: Chloe Moretz stars as the idealistic young Hansi, a dedicated member of the Hitler Youth living in Nazi Germany. As we know, Hansi bloody loves the old Swastika, until a Jewish schoolfriend’s parents are killed by SS men. Thoroughly disillusioned with the regime, Hansi tools up and goes on the rampage, killing every Nazi who crosses her path until the final showdown with Adolf himself…
Key Scene: The final battle in which Hansi chucks a swastika-shaped dagger right through Hitler’s bonce. Nein nein nein!
Weird Tales Of The Wee Males
The Cover: Okay, fairly straightforward Captain America as Gulliver parallel going on here…but wait, what’s that massive hand doing in that cave? It’s as big as Cap’s entire lower body…is that deliberate? Very odd.
The Movie: Oliver Stone directs this thinly-veiled political satire in which Captain America finally gets his just desserts at the hands of the little guys he’s been shitting on for years. Subtlety is not the order of the day as the credits fall on a burning effigy of the stars and stripes.
Key Scene: Fidel Castro appears as himself in an early fight-scene with the Captain. Implausibly, but perhaps predictably, Castro wins.
The Cover: This early incarnation of The Flash looks naff enough on his own merits (tin helmet…check, jeans worn too high up his waist…check) but that spider…we’re speechless.
The Movie: Oh, please, please, please can this be the set-up for the new Flash movie? The world is being terrorised by giant green-faced men from Mars. How on earth can mankind survive? By having a man in a red jumper run around them really fast, that’s how! Brilliant.
Key Scene: A group of cynical earthlings piss themselves laughing at the spiders, before getting munched by the understandably peeved arachnids.
The Cover: “Hi, I’m Plasmer” says this frankly petrifying interpretation of womanhood. “Me Too” claims a hideous freak behind her. What does it all mean? A bad acid-trip of a cover.
The Movie: A horrible accident during a routine sex-change operation produces Plasmer! By day she’s a horribly masculine-looking body-builder, by night she’s a grotesquely freakish mutant. How is she coping with the situation? Quite badly actually. She’s out to kill every medical operative on the planet in revenge…
Key Scene: Plasmer’s human form manages to get a drunk guy back to hers. On the strike of midnight she changes, leaving her date speechless. He was lowering his standards as it was…
The Cover: Skinny girl holds slain brute whilst collected oddballs point and laugh. Most disturbing? The round-headed fellow performing a jig in the background. * Shudder *
The Movie: Retaining only the title from the original source material, Major Bummer is an army-based comedy following the trials and tribulations of the unfortunately named Charles Bummer. Mocked remorselessly by his fellow soldiers, Bummer’s tale is one of triumph against adversity, as he rises through the ranks to the position of Major. At which point, the ridicule becomes predictably worse…
Key Scene: R. Lee Ermey’s drill sergeant coins a catchphrase with his booming, “Buuummmmmmmmeeeeeeer!”
The Cover: Yikes! What’s happened to Robin? Looks as though he’s has a peek into the Ark of the Covenant. Batman looks gutted. As you would if you’d lost a friend…just a friend.
The Movie: Batman must stop the evil “Duster”, a former cleaner laid off by Gotham City Council. Disgruntled in the extreme, “Duster” has created a lethal compound that turns anyone who inhales it into dust, and is spreading it through Gotham’s ventilation systems. Wonder whether this one would fit into Chris Nolan’s vision?
Key Scene: The intensely homoerotic moment at which a spluttering Robin turns to death in his costumed companion’s arms.
The Cover: We never knew Ryan Reynolds had a dragon tattoo on his chest! Seriously, why is this guy naked? It’s just bizarre.
The Movie: The story of assassin Crying Freeman (Ryan Reynolds), a deadly knife-wielding killer with a penchant for offing his victims in the buff. A series of wronged women hire him to take care of their cheating husbands, enjoying the added bonus of having them question their sexuality in their dying seconds when confronted by a chiselled naked man.
Key Scene: A tooling-up montage in which Freeman sharpens his knife on one of his rock-hard abs.
The Cover: Not the most ridiculous on this list, but one of the more confusing entries. First-off, isn’t Donald too old to be going to school. And what can he possibly have read in the paper to stop him dead in his tracks? Has the Titanic gone down? Sailor-suits out of fashion? What?!
The Movie: A Forrest Gump -seque trip through time with various global disasters averted by the heroic canard. Cue Donald cutting through the Titanic iceberg with a blowtorch, putting out the fire on Pudding Lane and wrestling with terrorists on 9/11, whilst managing to crowbar in some slapstick laughs along the way.
Key Scene: Donald bites Hitler on the backside, turning him into a figure of fun rather than a fearsome leader.
The Amazing Archie
The Cover: What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing. What’s wrong with the dialogue? Everything. Enough said.
The Movie: Teen sex comedy in which Chris Pine’s Archie has to win Betty’s heart by finding replacement girls to “satisfy” all the other guys who want to date her. With the help of a local pimp (Snoop Dogg) he thinks he’s got it taken care of, before his principal finds out and expels him. Now Archie must sort him out too! Wacky sex-capades galore!
Key Scene: Archie has to sneak a bevy of “ladies of the night” into the school common room. What could possibly go wrong?
The Cover: Yeah alright, we had a bit of a chuckle too, but really, does putting Superboy in a frock really justify such a shockingly naff plot?
The Movie: We don’t even need to come up with much here, as it’s all there on the cover. Young Lex Luther creates an image-projecting device to make Superboy look a bit of a tit. Naturally there’s hell to pay when Supes finds out, as the pair trade various super-powered pranks in this wacky screwball comedy.
Essential Scene: Superboy uses the old laser-stare to set Lex’s trousers on fire. All the other kids point and laugh as Lex suffers second degree burns to his backside.
The Cover: Batman has taken on some camp villains in his time, but this pair have just raised the bar. A knock-off C3P0 and a toothy version of George from Rainbow do not a terrifying twosome make…
The Movie: Furious at being forced to make the third Batman film in 3D, Chris Nolan rebels against Warner Brothers by casting Tom Hardy as the pink fellow and Joseph Gordon Levitt as the robot. The two flounce around Gotham getting up to no good as Christian Bale sheepishly tries to put a stop to their antics. Meanwhile, Heath Ledger quietly spins in his grave.
Essential Scene: Hardy pinches Bale’s arse, distracting him as JGL steals the Batmobile. The pests!
Superman's Mystery Song
The Cover: Do not adjust your eyes! That is Pat Boone on the cover of a Superman comic. And yes, the Man of Steel is worrying about how to stop the power of song. What’s the problem, Supes? Smash Pat’s head through the keys and be done with it.
The Movie: A sing-along musical starring John Barrowman as Superman, who must record his own catalogue of super-ditties to stop a song containing the details of his identity hitting the charts. Get ready then for Barrowman crooning his way through a whopping 40 showstoppers, to ensure his secret is safe…
Essential Scene: Colin Farrell appears as Bono, the musical superhero charged with penning Supes’ songbook.
The Cover: The Green Lantern’s sidekick appears to be being spanked by a giant humanoid tree. There’s so much wrong with this, but the spanking element is particularly worrying. Why Green Lantern is just standing there laughing is also beyond us.
The Movie: With Warner Bros feeling the pinch, they decide to pit Ryan Reynolds’ Lantern against a reheated version of the Ents from the Lord Of The Rings . DC fanboys are understandably disappointed by this risible turn of events, but anyone who sat through The Two Towers is understandably delighted to see those trees get a thorough kicking.
Key Scene: The Green Lantern swaps his magic ring for a good quality chainsaw to finish off the final tree and turn it into decking for his back garden.
Father Knows Best
The Cover: More spanking now, but at least this time it’s between father and son. Pa Kent’s expression is somewhat unfortunate though…
The Movie: A teenage version of Superman angers fans by passing over Tom Welling once again, this time in favour of Zac Efron. Young Supes is happily enjoying his school days until, shock, horror, his dad becomes principle. Cue a father-son authority clash that looks set to tear the Kent family apart, until the pair must team up to stop Lex Luthor blowing the place up with a chemistry lab-based prank.
Key Scene: Clerk makes a mug of his old man by using his eye-lasers to burn a giant penis into the back of his suit jacket.
King Of The Swingers
The Cover: Never has the relationship between a man and his monkey looked so suspect. There’s something worryingly post-coital about the Tarzan’s layer of sweat here…
The Movie: A virtual man-child (Jim Carrey) is found living in the jungle, having been raised by apes. When the scientific exploration team that uncovered him take him back to New York, hilarious culture-clash giggle ensue.
Key Scene: Jim goes swinging from the telephone wires in downtown New York, making monkey noises and chucking his excrement at hapless passers by.
The Cover: This looks like the sort of cover you’d find adorning a misery memoir. Truly harrowing stuff.
The Movie: Superman has a PR crisis on his hands when it emerges that a prowler has knocked up an approximation of his costume and has been terrifying the children of Metropolis. The Man Of Steel must track down the real offender before finding himself in hot water with social services.
Key Scene: A mob of angry mothers hold a demonstration in which an effigy of our hero is burned at the stake. Naturally, Clark Kent is sent to cover the story…
Mandrake The Magician
The Cover: Quite a nifty trick, being able to appear as a skeleton. Not sure how his companion recognises him though. Distinctive top hat perhaps?
The Movie: Dashing magician Mandrake (Tom Hardy) is New York’s finest conjurer, but was brutally killed when a rival tinkered with the apparatus before one of his death-defying tricks. Back on the scene as a ghost (retaining all his magic capabilities, of course) Mandrake is out for revenge, leaving a trail of ghostly mayhem in his wake.
Key Scene: Mandrake’s killer is revealed to be none other than ancient wand-wielder, Paul Daniels, as played by Danny DeVito.
Have At Thee Ulik!
The Cover: Way too much going on here, and almost all of it chronically OTT. It’s difficult to take anything very seriously when confronted with the sentence, “Slay him, Troll King!”
The Movie: Kenneth Branagh surprises everyone by taking Thor back to his hammiest roots, with a baffled-looking Chris Hemsworth struggling with the “Thees” and “Thous”. Inevitably Hemsworth drops out to be replaced by Branagh himself, whose Thor is slightly frail, but terribly well-spoken. Good show!
Key Scene: Branagh wrestles the hairy fiend Ulik with gleeful abandon, allowing him to forget about The Boat That Rocked for a few precious minutes.