Trying to rank the best comic flicks of the decade is a surprisingly tough task. I've approached it with all the enthusiasm Hester Prynne must have shown walking to the scaffold. It's not because I don't love discussing the past ten years of the genre, but because I hate ranking films. It puts me into knots of indecision. If I could, I would rank things in a sort of Venn diagram – Iron Man overlaps Batman Begins which overshadows Spider-Man.

But Venn diagrams are impossible to post, and the end of the decade demands lists. So please, take this as one humble writer's list, and use it to jump-start your own. To keep myself sane, I'm leaving off adaptations such as A History of Violence and Road to Perdition. They were based on graphic novels, and they certainly elevated the art of comic adaptation to a whole new level, but that's precisely the problem. Trying to rank Perdition against X2: X-Men United feels like a disservice to both films, and a cheesy way to flesh out the list.

So, don't think of the exclusion of American Splendor, Road to Perdition, Ghost World, Persepolis, and A History of Violence something negative. They're excellent films. They prove what rich material is often contained within a mocked genre. But I would rather think of these films as literary adaptations that belong in dramatic categories. Even that implies they're "better" than superhero tales, which I suppose is true to some extent, but also unfair. They hit us in different ways, and appeal to us on different levels. Asking Tony Stark and Marjane Satrapi to compete just because they're both illustrated is just wrong. But your mileage may vary. If you can resolve the conflict, I applaud you, and am anxious to see how you rank them.

Now, on to the rankings -- and you don't know how I longed for more time to re-watch every selection.