Although it was DC who struck the first blow for comic book movies with 1978's Superman and Tim Burton's Batman in 1989 (it's still astonishing that took more than a decade to happen), it wasn't until Marvel got their house in order (albeit with several rights-sharing partners) at the turn of the millennium that funny book films really became a genre.
Whether DC fans care to acknowledge it or not, Marvel Studios are the current top dogs in the genre that Sony, Fox and New Line Cinema helped make or them. They're masters of spectacle and ceremony, diversifying a lot more than their critics give them credit for and justifiably dominating the box office come blockbuster season.
Throughout the years, the rights to Marvel's biggest and best heroes have been shared across multiple studios with lots of different ideas and contradictory voices, so it's not surprising that the results have been a mess of different tones fuelled by wildly contrasting agendas. Or that there was lots of variation in quality before Kevin Feige unveiled his grand-plan for cinematic domination for the brand Stan Lee built.
And even as suggestions of over-saturation sneak in, Marvel (and their partners) continue to explore brave new worlds, hiring the world's best talent to make crowd-pleasing costumed movies at an unprecedented frequency. Looking back at some of their more infamous and more flat-out terrible projects, it's amazing we ever got here.
But which Marvel movie deserves to be crowned the greatest? And which would they prefer we all forgot? After all, it hasn't all been a bump-free road to money town...