There used to be a time when movie trailers were little more than teasers to surprise you, intrigue you, and entice you for a few minutes before the actual movie started rolling (in theaters).
However, as the internet became the best marketing vehicle to reach audiences, trailers changed. They went from being simple teasers to full-blown artistic endeavors in and of themselves.
These days, fans wait impatiently for movie trailers to drop. Rumors of when a production studio will drop their next big trailer can flood social media when the slightest whiff of information gets leaked. Fans can be set alight with excitement… or crushed with disappointment.
Superhero movies are the blockbuster events of our time, with their trailers so paramount to their eventual success. Too dull? Uninspired character designs? Hammy script? These can all wipe away any and all excitement that fans might’ve had going into the trailer.
But when a superhero movie trailer is good, the effect it can have on a movie is incredible—especially for movies that appear out of thin air, that nobody really knew about prior.
Here are the best superhero movie trailers we’ve ever seen, that made fans lose their minds, and why they’re so good.
14. Superman 2
Here we have a classic movie trailer with a descriptive voiceover that flat-out tells the audience what’s coming in the sequel. Superman 2’s trailer was better than the final film—at least until the original director, Richard Donner, released his own cut decades later.
The sight of Zod fighting Kal-El showed the size of the battle that Superman faced, all set to John Williams’ rousing “Superman March.”
13. Deadpool 2
This one isn’t technically a movie trailer for Deadpool 2—it’s more of an announcement short film what was to come later.
Ryan Reynolds’ beloved sword-wielding warrior is on the street when he sees a mugging—so he springs into action and runs to the nearest phone booth to get changed into his outfit, which takes some time.
It’s all set to John Williams’ iconic “Superman March” theme, and the short is hilarious and even features a cameo by Stan Lee.
12. Superman Returns
This one isn’t a happy and rousing trailer, but more of a legacy feel. As Marlon Brando’s Jor-El speaks to his son, reciting his famous speech from 1978’s Superman, clips from 2006’s Superman Returns are shown—connecting the old movie and the new.
In truth, Superman Returns divided opinions among fans. But putting the actual film aside, the trailer was gently fantastic.
11. Suicide Squad
To hear the villains’ stories all put to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was fun, wrapped up by Freddie Mercury. Though the final product was a disaster, the trailer for it was alluring and part of the reason it made over $700 million at the box office.
It showed the irreverent humor of the team involved and gave us Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn before she became the undisputed best DCEU character.
10. Spider-Man: No Way Home
With speculation that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be returning for the multiverse movie, fans waited and waited to see a glimpse of the film—and when they couldn’t bear to wait any longer, Marvel still kept them waiting.
Then, it dropped and showed off some things that set the internet alight. It became the most-watched movie trailer of all time in 24 hours, beating Avengers: Endgame by over 60 million views.
9. Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy was something of an unknown quantity when it was first announced by Marvel. The cast contained no real A-list stars other than Benicio Del Toro, and it was all based on one of Marvel’s more niche comic properties.
However, when the movie trailer dropped, hype for the film exploded. It was funny, stunning, and teased things that every Marvel fan wanted to see, leading into one of the most beloved series in the Marvel Cinematic Univers.
8. The Dark Knight
Not only is The Dark Knight arguably the greatest superhero movie ever made, it had a special movie trailer to boot.
Even after seeing this artful tease, the world didn’t know yet just how influential the film would end up being—it simply gave the impression of a dark picture that would push Batman to his limits.
All this time later, the movie trailer still holds the attention of viewers—mainly due to Heath Ledger’s incomparable work as The Joker.
7. Avengers: Infinity War
The movie trailer for Avengers: Infinity War remains the best movie trailer ever put out by Marvel. It showed off the impossible fight the team had ahead of them, and made the audience wonder how the litany of Marvel characters would all fit into one movie.
The preview showed how powerful a threat Thanos would be, coupled with some devilishly good dialogue delivery by Josh Brolin.
6. Man of Steel
The original teaser for Man of Steel was moody, dark, and unlike anything that Superman fans had seen before.
It didn’t show the red suit up close, or anything else related to Superman. It simply looked at Clark Kent as the dialogue of his two fathers’ voices played over top.
Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner’s words were everything fans needed to hear to know that Kal-El was back (though the movie was lacking).
5. Logan (“Way Down We Go”)
Logan had two official trailers, with this one being the second. While the first trailer was a masterpiece, this one was great in its own way.
Set to “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo, this movie trailer for Logan was painful, emotional, and foreshadowing. The finished film ended up being one of the best superhero movies of all time, and this trailer skillfully sums up what to expect when watching it.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises faced unfairly high expectations from viewers because it followed after the greatest superhero movie ever made in The Dark Knight. Even so, the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises made fans lose their minds with hype.
It looked ominous and dark. Tom Hardy sounded fearsome as Bane. Concluding the trilogy that Christopher Nolan made, fans had never been more excited than they were after this preview dropped.
3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League
It isn’t often that justice truly gets served in the movie world, so when it actually happens, that’s cause for celebration.
A fan-led protest that lasted over three years finally came to an end when the first trailer dropped for Zack Snyder’s Justice League—and it featured everything that fans had wanted in the original cut.
Set to “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, it was beautiful and utterly jaw-dropping to finally see. The finished film might have been a flawed masterpiece, but the trailer was a masterpiece in its own right.
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
This movie trailer had fans at a fever pitch when its final shot came into view. X-Men: Days of Future Past is one of the most beloved storylines in all of comic book history, so seeing it adapted on the big screen was a dream come true for comic book fans.
The trailer was perfect. It had the music that backed up the desperation of its premise, and it featured all of the favorite returning cast members from the original film. Plus, that glorious shot of McAvoy and Stewart face to face.
1. Logan (“Hurt”)
Move beyond just superhero movies. Logan’s first official movie trailer is one of the best movie trailers ever made, period.
The look and feel of Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine had what fans wanted: despair, pain, failure, and mystery. Set to the song “Hurt” as sung by Johnny Cash, it evoked the feeling of a gunslinger’s last ride as he reached the end of his time.
When the film hit theaters, it became clear that the movie trailer was a perfect representation of the movie in every way.