The Comic Book: Mark Millar's black comedy about a schmuck who discovers he's heir to a supervillain.
The Movie: Freely adapted version about a fraternity of assassins - James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie take orders from Night Watch's Timur Bekmambetov.
The Comic-Book Movie: Nowhere near as dark as Millar's vision, but Bekmambetov wields a camera as freely as if he's scribbling with a pen.
30 Days of Night (2007)
The Comic Book: A 2002 three-issue miniseries from Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith about an Alaskan town under siege from vampires.
The Movie: David Slade's bloody horror with Danny Huston terrorising Josh Hartnett and Melissa George.
The Comic-Book Movie: Niles had dabbled with selling the concept as a film before publication, so it's no surprise the story works.
Tamara Drewe (2010)
The Comic Book: Posy Simmonds' middle-class satire, a remake of Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd , was originally published as a newspaper strip in The Guardian.
The Movie: Stephen Frears' bucolic romp starring Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper.
The Comic-Book Movie: It might look scarcely more cinematic than a Sunday night TV movie, but Frears steals shots from the original with the same reverence shown by Zack Snyder.
Swamp Thing (1982)
The Comic Book: A one-off character who became a DC mainstay, probably because he was unique: a vegetable-man fighting to protect his swamp.
The Movie: Wes Craven swapped Hollywood for lo-fi horror with Ray Wise and Louis Jourdan.
The Comic-Book Movie: Craven's subversive sensibilities ensure that this is raw, corny, B-movie fun.
The Comic Book: The oldest comic on this list, Little Orphan Annie debuted in the New York Daily News in 1924.
The Movie: John Huston's musical is technically an adaptation of the 1977 Broadway smash but hey, it still counts.
The Comic-Book Movie: With Aileen Quinn and a bald-capped Albert Finney dead ringers for the cartoons, this is surprisingly close.
My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999)
The Comic Book: Hisaichi Ishii's newspaper strip about a family's misadventures: think a Japanese Simpsons , but sweeter.
The Movie: Studio Ghibli co-head Isao Takahata's episodic run-through of the Yamadas' adventures.
The Comic-Book Movie: Ignoring the usual Ghibli style in favour of replicating Ishii's sparse, abstract designs, this couldn't be more faithful.
The Comic Book: An Alan Moore creation for the Swamp Thing comic, John Constantine was a cynical British blonde investigating occult occurrences.
The Movie: Francis Lawrence courted controversy by casting Keanu Reeves - neither British nor blonde - as Constantine.
The Comic-Book Movie: Purists may wail, but full marks for trying something different in a decade dominated by superheroes.
The Comic Book: Created in 1929, EC Segar's spinach-munching sailor has never been out of pop-culture since.
The Movie: Robin Williams as Popeye - sure. Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl - uncanny. Director: Robert Altman. WTF?
The Comic-Book Movie: Oft-derided, but the sheer oddness of Altman bringing his trademark technique to oversized cartoon-style sets is kind of endearing.
The Mask (1994)
The Comic Book: A 1980s Dark Horse Comics creation from John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke about a magical mask and its transformative effect on Stanley Ipkiss.
The Movie: A star vehicle for 1990s It-comic Jim Carrey, and a showstopping entrance for Cameron Diaz. Directed by Chuck Russell.
The Comic-Book Movie: Copious CGI helps sell the actual mask, but really Carrey is pretty much a cartoon anyway.
The Comic Book: Devised by Stan Lee (but written by brother Larry Lieber), Thor was unusual amongst 1960s Marvel heroes by virtue of being an extraterrestrial god.
The Movie: Long stuck in development hell, it was rescued as a road-test for The Avengers with Kenneth Branagh directing Chris Hemsworth and Anthony Hopkins.
The Comic-Book Movie: Branagh brings Shakespearean pomp and cheeky wit to make a decent, hammer-sized fist of things.
Ichi The Killer (2001)
The Comic Book: Hideo Yamamoto’s bloody manga series.
The Movie: Takaski Miike’s no-holds-barred orgy of destruction, headed by Nao mori and Tadanobu Asano.
The Comic-Book Movie: Notoriously bloody, and a hard watch even after being clipped by the censors. It’s probably the nearest art-house audiences have got to witnessing manga’s extremes.
The Comic Book: A Stan Lee/ Jack Kirby classic about the monster within Bruce Banner, smashing into pop-culture in 1962.
The Movie: Marvel raises the bar for creative hiring by putting Ang Lee in charge of Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte and some odd-looking dogs.
The Comic-Book Movie: Lee’s art-house approach baffled many, but it’s a sincere attempt to treat the material with depth, and the innovative editing at least ensures it looks like a comic book.
Fritz The Cat (1972)
The Comic Book: Robert Crumb’s 1960s underground classic about a purr-vy feline con artist.
The Movie: Ralph Bakshi’s debut, the first animated movie to get an X certificate in America.
The Comic-Book Movie: Denounced by Crumb, but it’s still closer to the artist’s work than to, say, Disney.
The Crow (1994)
The Comic Book: James O’Barr’s cult hit about a paralysed man resurrected by a crow so he can take vengeance on his attackers.
The Movie: Alex Proyas’ gothic classic, sadly overshadowed by the death of its star, Brandon Lee, mid-shoot.
The Comic-Book Movie: Between Proyas’ vivid visual style and the real-life pall of mortality hanging over the film, it captures a rare depth of feeling
Heavy Metal (1981)
The Comic Book: Not a specific story but an entire magazine, published by Leonard Mogel, to cater to the surprisingly broad demographic of sci-fi erotica fans.
The Movie: An animated compendium of weird, kinky sci-fi tales directed by Gerald Potterton and voiced by the likes of John Candy and Eugene Levy.
The Comic-Book Movie: A mixed-bag, although the sheer variety alone replicates the sense of watching the magazine.
The Rocketeer (1991)
The Comic Book: The 1930s-set action about a stuntman with a rocket pack was nostalgia to begin with; Dave Stevens created the concept in the 1980s.
The Movie: Joe Johnston’s retro-adventure with Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton.
The Comic-Book Movie: A box-office flop, but one whose old-school charms continue to beguile those who track it down.
The Comic Book: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s meta-satire of the whole superhero genre, which featured on TIME magazine’s All-Time 100 Greatest Novels list.
The Movie: Zack Snyder puts an unstarry cast (Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley) through its paces.
The Comic-Book Movie: Talents as diverse as Terry Gilliam and Paul Greengrass said it couldn’t be adapted successfully. So Snyder went back to the source and aped it frame-by-frame. It’s a little too reverential.
The Comic Book: Jean-Claude Forest’s parable of sexual liberation, touted as the first adult comic strip.
The Movie: Roger Vadim directs/ strips then-wife Jane Fonda against a backdrop of psychedelic sci-fi.
The Comic-Book Movie: Despite Fonda’s willingness to shed clothes, the film has less boobs than the source – but nails the cheerful attitude to sex.
Dick Tracy (1990)
The Comic Book: Chester Gould’s heroic, yellow-coated police detective, a staple of 1930s newspaper strip culture.
The Movie: The first comic-book adaptation directed by an Oscar-winner, Warren Beatty, who stars alongside his celebrity mates (Pacino, Hoffman) and Madonna.
The Comic-Book Movie: The story’s all over the place and the less said about Madonna, the better, but look at it. Made by one of the best crews ever assembled in Hollywood, the attention to detail in replicating Gould’s world is remarkable.
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
The Comic Book: An Italian comic anti-hero created by sisters Angela and Luciana Giussani in the early 1960s.
The Movie: Horror icon Mario Bava flirts with pop-art cartoonery directing John Philip Law as an amoral master thief.
The Comic-Book Movie: Lurid, camp and OTT, so pretty faithful to the source… although it says as much about Dino De Laurentiis’ taste for cinema, this being made concurrently with Barbarella .
Nausica Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)
The Comic Book: Started by Hayao Miyazaki in 1982, but the film didn’t stop him carrying on – it continued until 1994.
The Movie: Miyazaki’s eco-parable animé about survivors in a post-apocalyptic world is the film whose success led to the founding of Studio Ghibli.
The Comic-Book Movie: The film only got made on condition Miyazaki adapted his own creation, so the original is faithful – but for many years western audiences got only incomprehensible re-edit Warriors Of The Wind .
V For Vendetta (2006)
The Comic Book: Ten-issue series from genre master Alan Moore, a scathing satire of Thatcherite Britain.
The Movie: The Wachowski brothers’ first project after The Matrix franchise, although it’s James McTeigue calling action on Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman.
The Comic-Book Movie: Moore famously denounced this – and indeed every – version of his work, unhappy that V was a Bush-era freedom fighter rather than the original anarchist. But compared to most adaptations of Moore, it works fine as a stylised, pop-political actioner.
The Addams Family (1991)
The Comic Book: Introduced into the New Yorker magazine in 1938, Charles Addams’ eponymous family pretty much invented goth as a lifestyle choice.
The Movie: Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci headline Barry Sonnenfeld’s big screen adap.
The Comic-Book Movie: Based more on the 1960s TV series than the comics, but Addams’ distinctive character designs and affectionate ghoulishness remain intact.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The Comic Book: Although studios had already mooted a spin-off, the name comes from the ‘origins story’ series of the same name, begun in 2006.
The Movie: Back to school with another reboot, courtesy of Matthew Vaughn, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.
The Comic-Book Movie: A faithfulness to the established X-Men canon pays off with strong character work and a geekgasm of in-jokes.
The Comic Book: A memoir with a difference, starkly drawn in black-and-white but infused with warmth and satire.
The Movie: Marjane Satrapi’s animated adaptation of her own graphic novel, co-directed with Vincent Paronnaud.
The Comic-Book Movie: Inevitably, a close fit, and a film whose critical acclaim has helped to draw attention to the artistic power of drawings.
The Comic Book: Mike Mignola’s unique spin on superhero lore – a Nazi demon who renounces his heritage to help the Government round up the monsters.
The Movie: Guillermo del Toro brings on the bizarre beasts, with a little help from Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones.
The Comic-Book Movie: Del Toro is arguably the only director who could have made this work, and his commitment to replicating Hellboy’s world-weary nobility pays off. Sequel’s ace, too.
American Splendor (2003)
The Comic Book: Harvey Pekar’s ongoing series, in which he challenged comic conventions by making himself the grumpy, dishevelled (anti-)hero of his stories.
The Movie: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini direct Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis in a lo-fi loser indie movie with a difference.
The Comic-Book Movie: A highly experimental marriage of fact and fiction that’s unusual compared to, say, Batman , but reflects the source superbly.
Road To Perdition (2002)
The Comic Book: Based on classic manga Lone Wolf And Cub , but transposed to Prohibition-era gangsterism, this was a landmark in the graphic novel’s rise to critical respect.
The Movie: Sam Mendes’ follow-up to American Beauty , with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman headlining a going-places cast that includes Daniel Craig.
The Comic-Book Movie: A proper prestige pic and Oscar winner, which showed that comic-book movies needn’t be all about capes.
Iron Man (2008)
The Comic Book: Created by Stan Lee during Marvel’s 1960s’ glory days, as a dare – could he pull off a businessman superhero? Yes, as it happens.
The Movie: Robert Downey Jr dons the suit under direction from Jon Favreau. Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow provide support.
The Comic-Book Movie: Smartly updated with a War On Terror plotline, but faithful to Tony Stark’s playboy roots – it’s the most successful ‘fun’ superhero movie in recent years.
Men In Black (1997)
The Comic Book: Lowell Cunningham’s dark series about agents hunting down escaped extraterrestrials on Earth.
The Movie: Barry Sonnenfeld nails the tricky comedy/ FX balance with the help of Messrs Smith and Jones.
The Comic-Book Movie: Sonnenfeld eschewed Cunningham’s tone for easygoing laughs, but those eye-catching visuals still have panel-strip pizzazz.
Batman Returns (1992)
The Comic Book: The Penguin and Catwoman, both created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, date back to the early days of Batman in the 1940s.
The Movie: Tim Burton goes for broke with a bonkers trio of villains (played by DeVito, Pfeiffer, Walken) to toy with Michael Keaton’s hero.
The Comic-Book Movie: On the very cusp of OTT (a place later Schumacher films would merrily plunge into), this is still the Bat-movie that best captures how deviant Gotham City is.
The Comic-Book: Frank Miller’s buffed-up, beastified re-imaging of the Battle of Thermopylae, when 300 Spartan warriors took on the Persian army and trounced them.
The Movie: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey and Michael Fassbender dine in hell. Slo-mo courtesy of Zack Snyder.
The Comic-Book Movie: Taking his cue from Sin City , Snyder doesn’t see this as a movie adapted from a graphic novel, but a bunch of really big pages with actors on them.
The Comic Book: Originally introduced as a supporting character, a star will out and vampire hunter Blade became a Marvel mainstay.
The Movie: Stephen Norrington’s bloodsucking action-movie, which gave Wesley Snipes his signature role and reminded us all that Stephen Dorff was still around.
The Comic-Book Movie: A pumped-up actioner whose influence is only obvious in retrospect; as Marvel’s first real hit, it paved the way for X-Men , Spider-Man and the rest.
The Comic Book: A Japanese manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, serialised between 1996 and 1998.
The Movie: Park Chan-wook’s gruelling psycho-drama about a man out for vengeance, which made an art-house star out of Choi Min-sik.
The Comic-Book Movie: Transposed to Korea, the film has become emblematic with that country’s cinema, but the dark, stark themes are very manga.
The Comic Book: Back to basics with Stan Lee’s origins story about average joe teenager Peter Parker, bitten by a radioactive arachnoid for some Spidey sense overload.
The Movie: A leftfield director in Sam Raimi; counter-intuitive, non-blockbuster casting in Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst; and a CGI superhero.
The Comic-Book Movie: The first comic-book movie for over a decade to top the year-end box office, chiefly because (webslingers aside) Raimi caught the wistful/ whiplash quality of the comic’s teenage kicks.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
The Comic Book: Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-volume series about geek hero Pilgrim, although the film’s title comes from Volume 2.
The Movie: Edgar Wright’s pop-culture-packed slacker-actioner in which Michael Cera woos Mary Elizabeth Winstead amidst much cartoonish fighting.
The Comic-Book Movie: A faithful live-action rendering of O’Malley’s punky attitude and genre-hopping sass.
Superman II (1980)
The Comic Book: Introduced in 1961, Kryptonian convict General Zod gets out of the Phantom Zone and heads for Earth.
The Movie: A returning cast (Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman) but not a returning director, as Richard Donner is ousted for Richard Lester.
The Comic-Book Movie: With the Zod storyline foreshadowed in the first Superman movie, this is a sequel that (regardless of behind-the-scenes turmoil) seamlessly follows on for that authentic comic-book feel.
Ghost World (2001)
The Comic Book: Daniel Clowes’ cult slacker series, published between 1993 and 1997.
The Movie: Terry Zwigoff’s snarky misfit comedy with Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson and Steven Buscemi.
The Comic-Book Movie: Comic connoisseur Zwigoff (he directed ace genre doc Crumb ) nails the tone so convincingly that most people are unaware of its roots as a comic.
Batman Begins (2005)
The Comic Book: A grab bag of decades’ worth of Bat-stories, but the primary influence is 1989 origins tale, The Man Who Falls .
The Movie: Christopher Nolan’s Bat-reboot suited up Christian Bale alongside heavyweights Caine, Freeman, Oldman and Neeson.
The Comic-Book Movie: A model in how to reboot a franchise and make it relevant for its times (in this case, post 9/11 paranoia). A trick, of course, that comics have been pulling off for years.
Flash Gordon (1980)
The Comic Book: Alex Raymond’s influential 1930s cartoon strip about a sportsman who becomes a hero fighting Ming The Merciless.
The Movie: Mike Hodges swaps Get Carter for multi-national space-faring campness from Max von Sydow, Brian Blessed and Sam J Jones.
The Comic-Book Movie: A deliberate riposte to George Lucas’ admission that Star Wars was inspired by Flash, this has panel-strip gusto in its bright colours and tongue-in-cheek tone.
The Comic Book: Mark Millar’s semi-autobiographical ‘what if?’ reverie about his childhood dreams of fighting crime.
The Movie: Matthew Vaughn’s hyperactive action-comedy about an ordinary kid (Aaron Johnson) who decides to become a superhero.
The Comic-Book Movie: Developed in parallel, comic and movie share a taste for bubblegum ultra-violence, sick laughs and unstoppable entertainment.
When The Wind Blows (1986)
The Comic Book: A graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, of The Snowman fame. Considerably darker than that Christmas cracker.
The Movie: Jimmy Murakami’s animated sob-story about an elderly couple (John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft) living through a nuclear Armageddon.
The Comic-Book Movie: Unlikely to be screened at Christmas, Murakami remains faithful to Briggs’ devastating, adult drama to demonstrate the power of the medium.
The Comic Book: Spiritually inspired by Frank Miller’s 1986 classic The Dark Knight Returns , although the Joker’s origin story has its roots in 1998's The Killing Joke .
The Movie: Tim Burton’s mega-hyped gothic take on the Caped Crusader. Michael Keaton plays the bat, but this is all about Jack.
The Comic-Book Movie: A widely-watched and largely acclaimed blockbuster that ditched the campy appeal of the Adam West TV show for a weirder, more leftfield vibe.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The Comic Book: 1967’s Spidey classic, Spider-Man No More , in which Peter Parker renounces his powers.
The Movie: Sam Raimi’s follow-up to the global smash piles on the agony and the ecstacy for Maguire, Dunst and Franco’s love triangle. With added Doc Ock.
The Comic-Book Movie: A full-on Marvel marvel, as Raimi goes for broke with berserk camerawork, without losing sight of the central dilemma.
Sin City (2005)
The Comic Book: Frank Miller’s unusual, near-monochrome series of interconnected stories in the titular metropolis, begun in 1991.
The Movie: Robert Rodriguez (plus friends Quentin Tarantino and Miller) direct Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and loads more in a urban nightmare-noir.
The Comic-Book Movie: Innovative use of CGI turns the cinema screen into a moving recreation of Miller’s original panels that blurred the line between genres. It’s so faithful, Miller even directed parts of it.
The Comic Book: X-Men classic God Loves, Man Kills , in which anti-mutant crusader Stryker catalyses an uneasy truce between Professor X and Magneto.
The Movie: Bryan Singer reunites Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and co. Literally reunites, as mutant factions band together to fight Brian Cox's Stryker.
The Comic-Book Movie: Long cited as a high-point in the evolution of modern screen superheroism, Singer pulls off the tricky balance between multiplex mayhem and the comic’s thematic and character weight.
A History of Violence (2005)
The Comic Book: John Wagner and Vince Locke’s 1997 graphic novel about a seemingly ordinary guy dragged into his bloody past.
The Movie: David Cronenberg flirts with (and subverts) the mainstream with a seemingly uncharacteristic crime thriller. Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello and Ed Harris star.
The Comic-Book Movie: A landmark in bringing critical acclaim and auteur sophistication to non-superhero comics. The film takes liberties with the original’s plot, but the result kick-started a late bloom for Cronenberg.
The Comic Book: Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga about biker gangs in post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, serialised between 1982 and 1990.
The Movie: Otomno’s own page-to-screen adaptation, transforming the original into a groundbreaking cyberpunk animé.
The Comic-Book Movie: Obviously, a close fit to the source in tone and visuals. More importantly, the crossover hit that brought animé to a global audience.
Superman: The Movie (1978)
The Comic Book: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s 1930s original, the blueprint for all superheroes since.
The Movie: Richard Donner directs Christopher Reeve, with mega-watt support from Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando. You’ll believe a genre can fly.
The Comic-Book Movie: The groundbreaker that proved the artistic and commercial mettle of big screen superheroes. Reeve remains the genre’s most perfect piece of casting.
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Comic Book: The rise and fall of Harvey Dent is based on the 1996 series The Long Halloween , bolted to a depiction of the Joker based on the character’s first appearances in the 1940s.
The Movie: Christopher Nolan’s epic is the ultimate superhero movie, the first to break £1 billion dollars worldwide and the first to win an Oscar for a performance, thanks to the late Heath Ledger's memorably mad turn as The Joker.
The Comic-Book Movie: The title is the giveaway. With Batman never mentioned, this is a mature crime thriller in which the Joker’s anarchy is instrumental in destroying a great man. In other words, as deep and profound as the best comic books.