So, by now, you’ve all had a chance to see Captain America: Civil War. This gives me a chance to fully dive into spoilers in this post, so if you decided not to watch the film yet, you should probably check it out before reading this post. Today I ask myself if the Captain America-trilogy, which I call the The Man Out of Time-trilogy, is the best superhero trilogy of all-time.
While there have been a lot of superhero films in the last couple of years, there aren’t a lot of trilogies to compare the Man Out of Time-trilogy with. You didn’t get three Michael Keaton Batman-films, so in spite of the fact that we have had a lot of Batman films, you only really have the Dark Knight-trilogy from the Gotham universe. And the Dark Knight-trilogy deserves to be in the discussion. The other DC Universe films you could compare it with is the Christopher Reeve Superman-saga, but only two of those films really work, if I’m being honest.
Now, if we look at Marvel for other trilogies then we only really have the Iron Man-trilogy and the original X-Men trilogy (X-Men; X2; X-Men: The Last Stand) to compare with at this time. But there are, at most, two good films in the Iron Man-trilogy and two good films in the original X-Men trilogy.
And therefore, for me, it ultimately comes down to the following debate: the Dark Knight-trilogy versus The Man Out of Time-trilogy. Now, I warned you in the beginning, but this is where the spoilers begin. So if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War yet, or somehow missed the Dark Knight-trilogy, then turn away now.
Now, while I don’t think any of the Captain America-films can stand on their own, Dark Knight Rises is the only film in the Dark Knight-trilogy that can’t stand on its own. When I talk about trilogies though, I need them to tell a thorough story that has an intriguing beginning and a strong ending.
Both Batman Begins and Captain America: The First Avenger are origin stories, and while I think Batman Begins is the most beloved of the two, I do think that The First Avenger gets even stronger when you watch the entire trilogy. The Dark Knight-trilogy contains three stories about the Batman, and is, essentially, a story about the rise and fall of the Dark Knight.
On the other hand, though, the Man Out of Time-trilogy tells you one story: how Steve Rogers became a soldier to fight for his country and its citizens, but learned the dangers of politics and security in a time that has been affected by forces of old and new, thus making him leave the shield behind him, and, essentially, say goodbye to the title of Captain America by going on the run from the U. S. Government and the United Nations. It is an absolutely mesmerizing development.
And another argument you could make for the Man Out of Time-trilogy is that it gets better from movie to movie. I love The First Avenger, The Winter Soldier, and Civil War, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that The Winter Soldier is much better than The First Avenger. Now, is Civil War better than The Winter Soldier? I do think so, but both films are superhero movie masterpieces just like The Dark Knight is. If I had to choose, then I would definitely call the Man Out of Time-trilogy the best superhero movie trilogy of all-time.
Finally I want to present the CinemaScores (grades) for the two trilogies, as well as the current (at the time of writing) Rotten Tomatoes ‘tomatometer’ percentages:
The Dark Knight-trilogy:
- Batman Begins – A – 85%
- The Dark Knight – A – 94%
- The Dark Knight Rises – A – 87%
The Man Out of Time-trilogy:
- Captain America: The First Avenger – A- – 80%
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – A – 89%
- Captain America: Civil War – A – 91%
But what do you think? What is the best superhero trilogy of all-time?
– I’m Jeffrey Rex