Sure, Batman and Spider-Man are great superheroes who shaped the genre, but whenever one of their films is made, there's a huge fuss if it wasn't faithful to the comics. These movies didn't have to worry about that; they had no comics and were made up out of nowhere. Some are simply hilarious to watch; others give a fresh take on the superhero world that comic book superheroes can't.
1. Condorman (1981): A comic book author (Michael Crawford) finally gets to live the Condorman comic he writes after getting involved with international spies.
2. The Toxic Avenger (1984): More comedy horror than straight-up superhero, this B-movie about a janitor who falls into a vat of toxic waste, turns into a monster hero, and decides to clean up his town spawned three film sequels, a TV series, and a musical and is regarded as a cult classic.
3. Darkman (1990): Before Sam Raimi did the Spider-Man films, he wanted to obtain the film rights to either Batman or The Shadow. But the film rights for Batman went to Tim Burton and the rights for The Shadow went to Russell Mulcahy, and Raimi was left to make up his own superhero. Darkman (Liam Neeson), a mixture of elements from different heroes, uses disguise and mimicry to destroy the criminals who destroyed his life.
4. The Meteor Man (1993): A man in the projects (Robert Townsend) is struck by a supercharged rock from outer space and decides to use his powers to fight evil before they drain away.
5. Unbreakable (2000): An M. Night Shyamalan film about a security guard (Bruce Willis) who finds that he is indestructible and has a psychic ability to sense wrongdoing. And who happens to recruit him? None other than Samuel L. Jackson!
6. The Incredibles (2004): In a world where superheroes have been forced to lead normal lives, an ex-superhero (Craig T. Nelson) tries to hide his illegal heroic activities from his family.
7. The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (2005): A boy (Cayden Boyd) whose imagination dreamed up two superheroes (Taylor Lautner and Taylor Dooley) who protect a "planet so cool, it makes you drool"—but now he's the only one that can save it. This was Lautner's first film in a major role; he was 12 and looked more than antisocial.
8. Hancock (2008): A drunk, careless superhero (Will Smith) decides to clean up his image and hire a PR manager (Jason Bateman).
9. Megamind (2010): Strongly influenced by DC Comic's Superman stories, this film asks what it would be like if the villain (blue-big-headed cross-between-Brainiac-and-Lex-Luthor played by Will Ferrell) actually beat the hero (superman Brad Pitt)?
10. Chronicle (2012): Three boys—the class president, the social outcast with an abusive father, and the normal kid—find a strange crystal underground that gives them telekinesis.