There have been 34 movies based on DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse comic books released in the past decade (9 by DC, 17 by Marvel, 8 by Dark Horse). If you put any stock in Rotten Tomatoes’s raw percentage, the worst of them was Son of the Mask (5%), and the best is Iron Man (94% and currently in theaters). 2007 was an especially unremarkable year for comic book movies: only Spider-Man 3 and 300 scored at least a 60%, and both just barely. There are at least four more such films slated for release before the end of 2008, and based on my totally unbiased guesses, The Dark Knight will be highly rated, The Incredible Hulk and Hellboy II will be mediocre, and the sequel to The Punisher will be junk.
My brief unscientific survey showed that most people believe that Marvel would have the highest average rating. The Daredevils and Elektras would be more than balanced out by the consistent high-quality of the X-Men and Spiderman series. In truth, DC edges out Marvel by a pedestrian 58 to 54%. Dark Horse does worse, with a dismal 37%.
I’d really like to revisit these numbers in another ten years. Iron Man will certainly have sequels, as will Superman Returns and the burgeoning Batman franchise.