The early 2000s were a time of great change for the medium as filmmakers like Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi made films that set the standard for big screen comic book adaptations. Additionally, sequels to these movies were often superior to the originals by having more ambitious narratives and improved set pieces. As a result, the perception that sequels were inferior to the original movies became a thing of the past.
During this period, seminal comic book films not based on superheroes were also produced by the studios. And crucially, these movies demonstrated that the viewing public had an appetite for alternative stories.
All these movies had a unique tone and style that distinguishes them from today's comic book movie fare. As the genre has evolved over the years, certain tropes have been retained while others fell away to become mere relics.
In case you're blinded by the power of the MCU, here's a look back at what defined the genre - for better or worse - before Iron Man kicked it all off...
10. No Post-Credit Scenes
There was a time when a post-credit scene was selectively used on only a handful of films. Power Rangers: The Movie and Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl being a few examples.
Back then, comic book films didn't have post-credits because there wasn't a need to tease a villain/ally set to appear in a forthcoming sequel, nor was there a requirement to hint at the existence of a larger universe populated by a menagerie of Marvel characters.
As a result, the movies felt more self-contained with a beginning, middle and end. Viewers left the theatre with a feeling of having had a complete experience and that nothing was being saved up for future sequels or spinoffs.