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The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s 

Ranker Film
Updated July 8, 2019 1.5k votes 303 voters 18.9k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite superhero films that were released in the 1980s.

The 1980s weren't only a great time for heroes that didn't wear capes, like in action movies and teenage karate films. The '80s had its fair share of super heroes that wore capes and cool suits too.This list contains information on 1980s superhero movies (the cape-wearing kind), ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best 80s superhero movies set the stage for decades of great comic book movies to come. A few of these intensely great 80s superhero films feature a group of heroes working together, while others stray from untied teams of heroes to more unlikely heroes... like a cop that gets turned into a robot. 

What films will you find on this best 80s superhero movies list? Christopher Reeve became one of the most iconic faces in superhero films when he put on his red cape as Superman. Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV were some of the best films of the decade. Tim Burton's first Batman movie is another good superhero film released in the 1990s. Part man, part machine, Robocop shared a futuristic look at superhero movies when it came out in 1987. Other great films that are featured on this top 1980s superhero movies list include Tron, The Punisher and Supergirl.

Which '80s superhero movie do you think is the best? Vote up your favorites and watch them rise to the top of this list!
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1
Batman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton

Released: 1989

Directed by: Tim Burton

Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character. The Dark Knight of Gotham City (Michael Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major ...more

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#38 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #27 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Superman II is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp

Released: 1980

Directed by: Richard Lester, Richard Donner

Superman II is a 1980 British-American superhero film directed by Richard Lester. It is a sequel to the 1978 film Superman and stars Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Terence Stamp, Ned Beatty, ...more

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#101 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #128 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #209 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

3
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons

Released: 1987

Directed by: Paul Verhoeven

RoboCop is a 1987 American cyberpunk action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan, in the near future, RoboCop ...more

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#104 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #63 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #58 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

4
Flash Gordon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow, Ornella Muti

Released: 1980

Directed by: Mike Hodges

Flash Gordon is a 1980 British science fiction action film, based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film was directed by Mike Hodges, and produced by Dino De ...more

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#186 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #230 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #163 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
Superman III is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Richard Pryor, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder

Released: 1983

Directed by: Richard Lester

Superman III is a 1983 British-American superhero film directed by Richard Lester. It is the third film in the Superman film series based upon the long-running DC Comics superhero. The film is ...more

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#217 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #453 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

6
Masters of the Universe ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Courteney Cox, Dolph Lundren, Frank Langella

Released: 1987

Directed by: Gary Goddard

Masters of the Universe is a 1987 American science fantasy film directed by Gary Goddard and starring Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Jon Cypher, Chelsea Field, Billy Barty and Courteney Cox. It ...more

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#200 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #167 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #60 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

7
Tron is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Lisberger

Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars ...more

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#254 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #149 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

8
Superman IV: The Quest f... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Jim Broadbent

Released: 1987

Directed by: Sidney J. Furie

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is a 1987 American superhero film directed by Sidney J. Furie. It is the fourth and final film in the original Superman film series. This is the first film in ...more

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'Superman IV: The Quest For Peace' Was Such A Mess That It Tanked The Franchise For Decades #554 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #180 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made

9
Howard the Duck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Tim Robbins, Jeffrey Jones, Lea Thompson

Released: 1986

Directed by: Willard Huyck

Howard the Duck is a 1986 American science fiction comedy film directed by Willard Huyck and starring Lea Thompson, Tim Robbins, and Jeffrey Jones. Produced by Gloria Katz and George Lucas and ...more

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'Howard The Duck' Is Really A Metaphor For Cultural Assimilation #395 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #288 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
The Incredible Hulk Retu... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby, Charles Napier

Released: 1988

Directed by: Bill Bixby, Nicholas J. Corea

The Incredible Hulk Returns is a 1988 television film based on the Marvel Comics character the Hulk, which serves as a continuation of the Incredible Hulk television series. In The Incredible ...more

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#1,273 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #355 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #167 of 212 The Best Adventure Movies

11
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Dolph Lundren, Louis Gossett, Jr.

Released: 1989

Directed by: Mark Goldblatt

The Punisher is a 1989 Australian-American action film directed by Mark Goldblatt and starring Dolph Lundgren. It is based on the Marvel Comics' character of the same name. The film changes many ...more

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#170 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #437 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #47 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

12
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Faye Dunaway, Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow

Released: 1984

Directed by: Jeannot Szwarc

Supergirl is a 1984 British superhero film directed by Jeannot Szwarc. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and is a spin-off to Alexander and Ilya Salkind's Superman film ...more

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#342 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #277 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #179 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

13
Swamp Thing is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Christian Shewcraft added Adrienne Barbeau, Louis Jourdan, Karen Price

Released: 1982

Directed by: Wes Craven

Swamp Thing is a 1982 American science fiction superhero film written and directed by Wes Craven, based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. It ...more

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#137 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #91 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #463 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

14
The Trial of the Incredi... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby

Released: 1989

Directed by: Bill Bixby

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk is a 1989 television film spin-off to the 1970s Incredible Hulk television series, featuring both the Hulk and fellow Marvel Comics character Daredevil, who team ...more

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#61 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #1,301 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #62 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

15
The Toxic Avenger is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Marisa Tomei, Mitch Cohen, R. L. Ryan

Released: 1984

Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz

The Toxic Avenger is a 1984 American superhero film released by Troma Entertainment, known for producing low budget B-movies with campy concepts. Virtually ignored upon its first release, The ...more

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#305 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #172 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #164 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made

16
The Return of Swamp Thin... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
The Return of Swamp Thing Heather Locklear, Louis Jourdan, Sarah Douglas

Released: 1989

Directed by: Jim Wynorski

The Return of Swamp Thing is a sci-fi-comedy film released in 1989, and directed by Jim Wynorski. It is based on the DC Comics title Swamp Thing and is a sequel to the 1982 horror film Swamp ...more

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#156 of 185 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #173 of 233 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #84 of 95 The Very Best DC Comics Movies

17
Heavy Metal is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy

Released: 1981

Directed by: Gerald Potterton

Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian adult animated anthology science fiction fantasy film directed by Gerald Potterton and produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of ...more

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#351 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #311 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #315 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

18
Zapped! is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Scott Merritt added Heather Thomas, Scott Baio, Willie Aames

Released: 1982

Directed by: Robert J. Rosenthal

Zapped! is a 1982 American comedy teen film directed by Robert J. Rosenthal and co-written with Bruce Rubin. The film stars Scott Baio as a high school student who acquires telekinetic powers.

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#361 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #394 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #185 of 212 The Best Drug Movies of All Time

19
Condorman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, Michael Crawford

Released: 1981

Directed by: Charles Jarrott

Condorman is a 1981 American adventure/comedy superhero film from Walt Disney Productions starring Michael Crawford, Barbara Carrera and Oliver Reed. Inspired by Robert Sheckley's The Game of X, ...more

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#330 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #185 of 188 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #141 of 143 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

20
Hero at Large is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Kevin Bacon, John Ritter, Anne Archer

Released: 1980

Directed by: Martin Davidson

Hero at Large is a 1980 comedy film starring John Ritter and Anne Archer. The film was written by former Disney screenwriter, AJ Carothers and directed by Martin Davidson. The original music ...more
21
Sheena is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Tanya Roberts, Ted Wass, Nick Brimble

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Guillermin

Sheena, also known as Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, is a 1984 Columbia Pictures film based on a comic-book character that first appeared in the late 1930s, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. A hybrid ...more

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#322 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #23 of 43 The Best Adventure Movies That Take Place in the Jungle #95 of 98 The Best Action Movies of the 1980s

22
Moonwalker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger

Released: 1988

Directed by: Will Vinton, Jim Blashfield, Jerry Kramer, Colin Chilvers

Moonwalker, also known as Michael Jackson: Moonwalker, is an American anthology film released in 1988 by singer Michael Jackson. Rather than featuring one continuous narrative, the film is a ...more

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#337 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #142 of 186 The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1980s #53 of 137 The Best Concert Movies

23
The Toxic Avenger Part I... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Lisa Gaye, Ron Fazio, John Altamura

Released: 1989

Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz

The Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is a 1989 American superhero comedy film and the second sequel to The Toxic Avenger.
24
The Toxic Avenger: Part ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Ron Fazio, John Altamura, Phoebe Legere

Released: 1989

Directed by: Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz

The Toxic Avenger Part II is a 1989 comedy horror film released by Troma Entertainment. It was directed by Lloyd Kaufman and features The Toxic Avenger in an adventure to Japan to meet his ...more