2022 has been a mixed bag for superhero movies and TV. While we never expected much from Morbius, we'd have never predicted the likes of Thor: Love and Thunder, Moon Knight, and Black Adam failing to live up to expectations (okay, so maybe the latter isn't that surprising).
A hit-and-miss year of filler in some respects for the MCU, there has still been a lot to love, even if Phase 4 did disappoint at times. The world has expanded on the big and small screens, and while most DC movies were pushed into 2023, that's left us with plenty to discuss as well; The Batman was arguably the year's best superhero release!
Crucially, both worlds have introduced some huge new characters to their respective franchises. With all that in mind, we're now taking a look back at every big Marvel and DC movie and TV show to bring you our take on which of these heroes and villains were the best...and who stands out as being among the worst!
You can find out who made it on to each list by clicking the "Next" button below.
From She-Hulk to Moon Knight and even Werewolf by Night's title character, 2022 saw Marvel Studios introduce a lot of big new characters on Disney+. So, what earns Man-Thing a place here?
This absolute scene-stealer delivered some gory kills and a lot of big laughs in the first Special Presentation, proving himself a character with a lot of potential moving forward (especially as he has ties to the Multiverse). As Jack Russell's best friend, Man-Thing looks set to play a unique role in the MCU, likely as part of the Legion of Monsters.
Despite his hideous appearance, it took no time at all for us to fall in love with Man-Thing, and that's a sign of a truly great hero. We can't wait for more from the adorable big green fella.
4. America Chavez
Relative newcomer Xochitl Gomez got her big break in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a movie that could have quite easily seen America Chavez overshadowed. After all, she had to compete against Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, and an entire Illuminati of A-Listers for our attention...and succeeded!
Gomez is a real talent, but America herself is someone we loved spending time with. The teenager's role in the MCU still needs to be fleshed out, but we got major chills seeing her punch that star-shaped hole in reality to defeat the Scarlet Witch.
That bodes well for her future, and we anticipate America being key to the fight against Kang the Conqueror in both Avengers movies on the horizon. In a movie that saw John Krasinski show up as Mister Fantastic, it's great that this character is one who made such a lasting impact.
3. The Mighty Thor
Filmmaker Taika Waititi dropped the ball in a big way with Thor: Love and Thunder, doubling down on the silliness of Thor: Ragnarok and delivering a movie that lacked many of its predecessor's greatest qualities.
On the plus side, Natalie Portman's return as Jane Foster didn't disappoint. The character's arc was a little rushed (as was her time as the MCU's new God of Thunder), but the actress did the best she could with the material and delivered electrifying results. We just wish she'd stuck around as Thor for another movie!
What we did get was really special, though, and while Jane wasn't a new addition to the MCU, The Mighty Thor was. By the time all is said and done, the door is left open for the character to return in a new form, perhaps as a Valkyrie similar to what happened in the comic books.
2. Ms. Marvel
She-Hulk was fun to spend time with and we can't say enough good things about Oscar Isaac's performance as Moon Knight. However, it's Iman Vellani's Ms. Marvel we believe is most deserving of a place here.
The actress absolutely knocked her MCU debut out of the park, and while those middle episodes sagged a little, this Disney+ series served as a solid origin story and a fantastic showcase for what makes Ms. Marvel so beloved among comic book fans. Yes, her powers were changed (pretty drastically, if we're being honest), but that could be forgiven.
After all, the finale's "Embiggen" moment was excellent, and we really hope The Marvels picks up where Ms. Marvel left off and continues putting this teenager on the map.
It was never going to be easy for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to live up to its predecessor, but filmmaker Ryan Coogler delivered a beautiful, emotional spectacle with this sequel. Shuri becoming the new Black Panther was at the heart of its story, but so was Namor's MCU debut.
A star-making turn from Tenoch Huerta gave us a very different take on the Sub-Mariner, but one that was loyal to who the anti-hero is on the page. With a fleshed-out background and a fascinating exploration of Mesoamerican Indigenous culture, all signs point to this being one of the biggest and most important introductions this shared world has had in some time.
We considered giving Black Adam a spot on this list because Dwayne Johnson was awesome in the role. However, in the battle of anti-heroes, Namor wins 2022. Easily.
When we first heard that Russell Crowe had been cast in Thor: Love and Thunder, excitement among fans was palpable. Once it became clear he would star as Zeus, that only increased, and we all expected the Gladiator actor to deliver an unforgettable performance.
Well, we won't forget whatever the heck this was supposed to be, that's for sure! Clearly instructed by Taika Waititi to ham it up as much as possible, Crowe would have been more at home in a parody movie from the early 2000s than the MCU.
While Zeus is far from a beloved comic book character, it's hard to express anything other than disappointment with what we saw from him here. Even that fantastic post-credits scene teasing Hercules' debut is tainted somewhat by how daft his father acted in Omnipotence City.
It's a shame in many ways to see DC receive only a single mention here, particularly when it falls into the "worst" category. The Batman was phenomenal, but we've seen those characters on screen before, and it takes place in its own world separate from the DCU. As for Black Adam, it was a disappointing movie with a downright dreadful big bad.
Marwan Kenzari already proved himself a forgettable Jafar in Guy Ritchie's Aladdin reboot, and he wasn't much better as Intergang leader Ishmael Gregor either.
Upon transforming into the undeniably comic-accurate Sabbac, the actor found himself in the body of a bad guy who looked like he'd stepped out of a video game. An afterthought to the movie's lead and his battle with the JSA, the demonic villain serves as one of the genre's words baddies of all time and deserves a place here.
With Oscar-winner Jared Leto cast as Dr. Michael Morbius, there was a time when we thought the Living Vampire's debut had some real potential. After all, vampire movies can be fun and, of all Spider-Man villains, Morbius ranks among those best suited to their own spin-off.
Heavy reshoots quite clearly had an impact on the movie's quality, but Morbius himself wasn't a character we're remotely interested in spending more time with. Whether it's an origin story that hit all the expected notes, a lack of screentime in his vampire form, or the fact he was a pretty toothless vampire, this was an expected let-down from Sony.
Leto certainly did his best and there are glimmers of a good performance here. However, neither that nor one of the worst post-credits scenes ever can save the character.
Ms. Marvel ranks among Marvel Studios' best TV shows on Disney+, primarily thanks to its fantastic lead. However, those villains got off too lightly with critics as the Clandestines sit alongside the likes of Malektith and the Flag-Smashers as the MCU's worst bad guys.
Whether it was the low-budget weapons they unleashed, the fact they felt like leftovers from an unmade season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or their generic, world-ending plan...what was there to like about them?
It's a shame, too, because with a better big bad, Ms. Marvel could have become an instant classic. As things stand, it's hampered by this lot and Kamala Khan deserves better foes if and when season 2 happens. Hopefully, that will wash away the bad taste left by this group.
Look, we know many of you love the Doctor Who alum and he certainly went some way in redeeming himself in House of the Dragon. However, as if Terminator Genisys wasn't proof enough that he's ill-suited for blockbuster fare, his work in Morbius just proved he should be kept as far away from theatrical releases as possible.
As Michael Morbius' pal Milo, Matt Smith sleepwalked through a role that could have been at least somewhat elevated by a better actor. Whether it's the cringeworthy dancing in front of the mirror or his attempts to play an evil vampire, nothing he did in this movie worked.
Now, Milo was a rotten character, regardless, and a poor choice of villain for Morbius. We'll give Smith some leeway for that as there was only so much he could do, but if there was ever a character who drives home how bad Sony is at making superhero movies without Marvel Studios' help, it's this one.