Entertainment

The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 296 voters 18.3k 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!
list ordered by
1
Batman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton
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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#23 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #19 of 575 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
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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#143 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #166 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #85 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

3
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons
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 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #75 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Behind The Scenes Facts About 'RoboCop'

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
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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#64 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #234 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #118 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

5
Masters of the Universe ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Courteney Cox, Dolph Lundren, Frank Langella
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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#231 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #144 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #56 of 102 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

6
Tron is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff
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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#334 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #110 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

7
Superman IV: The Quest f... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Jim Broadbent
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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#527 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #165 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #6 of 217 The Worst Sequels Of All Time

8
Superman III is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Richard Pryor, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder
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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#218 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #521 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

9
Swamp Thing is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Christian Shewcraft added Adrienne Barbeau, Louis Jourdan, Karen Price
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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#113 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #133 of 164 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #15 of 29 The Scariest Superhero Movies, Ranked

10
Howard the Duck is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Tim Robbins, Jeffrey Jones, Lea Thompson
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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#171 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #313 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedfeaturing 'Howard the Duck' Is The Weird Fever Dream Predecessor To All Your Favorite MCU Movies

11
The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Dolph Lundren, Louis Gossett, Jr.
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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#33 of 102 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made #411 of 547 The Greatest Movies for Guys #11 of 21 The Worst Marvel Movies of All Time

12
The Incredible Hulk Retu... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Lou Ferrigno, Bill Bixby, Charles Napier
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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#1,289 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #382 of 601 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #204 of 376 The Greatest Movie Themes

13
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Faye Dunaway, Peter O'Toole, Mia Farrow
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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#268 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #284 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #149 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks 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
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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#129 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #87 of 102 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made #1,350 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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
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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#352 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #154 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #128 of 183 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
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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#194 of 217 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #157 of 180 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #89 of 99 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

17
Heavy Metal is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
John Candy, Harold Ramis, Eugene Levy
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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#356 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #309 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #322 of 371 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
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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#270 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #437 of 575 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #197 of 210 The Best Drug Movies of All Time

19
Moonwalker is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger
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
20
Condorman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, Michael Crawford
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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#327 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #178 of 183 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #140 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

21
Hero at Large is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Kevin Bacon, John Ritter, Anne Archer
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
22
Sheena is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Tanya Roberts, Ted Wass, Nick Brimble
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 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #348 of 587 The Best Fantasy Movies #133 of 143 The Best Classic Fantasy Movies, Ranked

23
The Toxic Avenger: Part ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Ron Fazio, John Altamura, Phoebe Legere
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
24
The Toxic Avenger Part I... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Superhero Movies of the 1980s
Lisa Gaye, Ron Fazio, John Altamura
The Toxic Avenger III: The Last Temptation of Toxie is a 1989 American superhero comedy film and the second sequel to The Toxic Avenger.