The Most Important Superhero Movies of the Decade

Chadwick Boseman in
Chadwick Boseman in "Black Panther." Photo by Marvel/Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9360960bx)

Over the course of the 2010s, superhero movies have dominated the box-office. The Marvel Cinematic Universe well grew into something beyond Stan Lee’s wildest dreams and in 2013, DC attempted to follow in Marvel’s footsteps. Superhero movies may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is highly unlikely that you have managed to get through the decade without catching at least one superhero flick. Here are the most iconic.

Logan (2017)

The X-Men franchise has been going strong for more than a decade. In 2011, X-Men: First Class ushered in a new generation of mutants and the story continued to evolve. Across both generations, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has been a consistent character who can always be depended on for his strength and loyalty.

In Jackman’s final portrayal of his mutant, we see a new side to the superhero. Logan tells the story of a damaged superhero, tired of fighting and vulnerable in the aftermath of tragedy. Logan was the superhero movie we needed when we grew tired of heroes in capes and craved something more human and relatable.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame has been the superhero movie of the decade. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been preparing for the ultimate battle since Iron Man (2008). The infinity stones have been spread out across 22 films and each story has brought the Avengers closer together to prepare them for the final showdown.

The cinematic finale did not disappoint and collectively, Marvel fans allowed the movie to gross more than $2.7 billion at the box-office, making Avengers: Endgame the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Wonder Woman (2017)

In 2017, DC’s Wonder Woman became the first superhero movie to focus on a female lead. Gal Godot starred as the titular character and her story was a triumph not just for female strength but for the power of compassion. The film grossed a whopping $821.749 million at the box-office, proving that there has been a huge untapped market for strong female leads. After Wonder Woman’s success, more strong female protagonists would follow in Godot’s footsteps.

Black Panther (2018)

The success of Black Panther was a monumental moment for black culture. Traditionally, the superhero genre has been white-washed but Black Panther showcased a predominantly black cast. The movie was a triumph for African-noir cinema and the film grossed a staggering $2 billion at the box-office worldwide. The film’s success proved irrevocably that there is no excuse for a lack of diversity in modern cinema.


Very recently, Joker surpassed Deadpool as the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. Joaquin Phoenix gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck, a troubled man who over the course of the film transforms into the infamous villain we know as the Joker.

What is remarkable about the movie is the way it so effectively shines a light not on how good defeats evil, but on how good men can descend into villainy. Although by the end of the film we have little sympathy for Joker, his story demonstrates how a lack of support system combined with a cruel society can cause a person to unravel. Its delicate treatment of mental health and flawless cinematography raises Joker to iconic status.