1. Batman

What a long, strange trip it's been for this once-flagging denizen of the DC Universe. His first feature appearance in movie theaters in 1966 (Adam West's under the mask) was just a quick, campy capitalization on a popular TV show. He showed up next in 1989 under Tim Burton, newly serious and intensely conflicted, but camp won again when Joel Schumacher took over, brought in Robin and Batgirl and added nipples to the Caped Crusader's costume (we're still not over that). Then Christopher Nolan performed a resurrection with 1992's Batman Returns, and raised the bar for the entire superhero genre with The Dark Knight. That said, we'll watch the Adam West version again anytime.

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