The poster for Doctor Strange (the 14th film in the Avengers series) was recently unleashed onto an unwitting public. It features a near-silhouette of the title character standing next to an enormous round window which is well-known to the few fans of the Doctor Strange comic books. This, of course, got our wheels turning, and you can even read our full editorial on the poster itself, commenting on its aesthetics.
The aesthetic of superhero movie posters tend to run unimaginative. Often, posters advertising superhero movies are flat, unrealistic, over-Photoshopped glory shots of the title character (or characters) in a dramatic pose that they will not strike in the movie. Or they will be a closeup of a fist, a chest, or some other icon already known to the public. Each of these ideas was novel once, but the pattern has become a little too rote.
So it’s important to look back at some of the wondrous artwork (some of it hand-painted) that has been devoted to superhero characters over the years and all over the world. A good poster will fulfill its commercial function by keeping us enthused about the product. A great poster, however, is a clever and brilliant work of art unto itself, and one that can make even the most turgid film seem like an important epic.
Note: The following list does not take the quality of the film it advertises into account. Whether or not the film itself was good, or bad, the following superhero movie posters are all great in their own way.