2. Batman Returns
Tim Burton’s Batman is one of the most revolutionary comic book movies ever made because it was, in many ways, the first of its kind. Its sequel, 1992’s Batman Returns, is very much its own kind of beast, and that’s what makes it stand out in a vast sea of comic book sequels that go back to the same well.
Where to start with how unique this one is? Is it the original interpretation of The Penguin that sees Danny DeVito rise from the sewers of Gotham and become a mayoral candidate even though he’s an evil crime boss? Is it Michelle Pfeiffer’s career-defining and powerful performance as the sinister, revenge-driven Catwoman? Or is it the fact that a movie set at the most wonderful time of the year is the very antithesis of Christmas?
Batman Returns is a Tim Burton movie through and through in a way that Batman ’89 wasn’t. Heck, it’s barely even a superhero movie. It’s an appropriately Gothic tale that truly captures why the idea of a vigilante protector dressed as a bat is the only sane solution to this insane world. And even though it wasn’t the sequel many expected at the time, it’s aged so well that it’s now considered one of the most unique and ambitious movies the genre has ever seen.