We here at the magazine would like to do all we can to keep you from seeing a certain comic book movie that involves traditional super heroes behaving in an nontraditional and unpleasant manner. It's made more money already that it probably deserves, so we'd like to help you save your money by suggesting some alternative viewing choices.
Our five choices were chosen because they are all currently available on one of the main streaming services in the United States (your mileage may vary on foreign soils). We wanted to spread things around and tried to pick a variety of formats, styles and tones.
Batman (1996) - available on Amazon Prime
If you prefer your Batman to be more Caped Crusader than Dark Knight, there's only one place to go: the 1966 Batman movie starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Honestly, we would rather have cherry-picked some of the best TV episodes (starting with the first two episodes versus the Riddler), but those aren't available on any streaming service. We should be happy they are finally out on DVD.
Justice League Unlimited (2004) - available on Netflix
Really, this could be any cartoon from the Dini-Timm universe, but Justice League and Justice League Unlimited give you the most bang for your buck in terms of characters. One of the great strengths of these shows were the ability to use the archetypal versions of the heroes we know well and some we didn't (Shining Knight? Warlord?) It's really hard to go wrong with watching any episode. One of our personal favorites is "The Ties that Bind," by Jim Steranko (@iamsteranko) and (former podcast guest) J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) featuring Mister Miracle, Big Barda and the Flash on Apokolips.
Cowboy Bebop (1998) - available on Hulu Plus
We wanted to put some anime on the list and most of the major streaming services have dozens of shows and movies from which to pick. We're just going to choose Cowboy Bebop, the jazz-infused tale of bounty hunters and their travails. But you can;t go wrong with what are a million other choices.
Barbarella (1968) - available on Netflix
If you don't like your comic books or comic-book adaptations grim and gritty, this camp classic is for you. Based on a French comic of the same name and recently re-translated by popular comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue), the film, starring a young Jane Fonda, is all about love, or should that be sex. But what was risque in 1968 is pretty tame by 2016 standards; the movie is now rated PG. Watch out for the orgasmotron and evil villain Durand Durand (yes, that's where they got their name).
Jonny Quest Documentary (2009?) - available on YouTube -
This is sort of a cheat, as it is a fan made documentary about the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon Jonny Quest. But it is as thorough and well-made as any official release you would find on an official DVD release. It has been floating around on the internet for many years, but it's available in various forms on YouTube. I would recommend the three-part version, each about an hour long, part one of which is linked here.
Other documentaries worth checking out online including a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Chip Kidd from the 92Y series (on Amazon Prime) and The Kingdom of Hearts of Dreams and Madness (on Netflix), a profile of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
The morale here: There are literally hundreds if not thousands of alternatives out there, should you not want to see heroes not act like heroes on a giant Imax screen.