It's amazing to think that a little over a decade ago comic book movies were considered box office poison. But once the dawn of the new millennium arrived, studios began treating superhero properties with the respect they deserve, turning larger-than-life adventures into some of Hollywood's most profitable creations. And this summer should go down in history as the trend's highest point.

With hits like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man all making serious bank at the box office, the genre has been extremely successful both monetarily and critically. But the debate between which one of those aforementioned films is the best is one that will rage well beyond this summer. 

In reality, all three films succeeded in areas that the others didn't quite live up to, so it's a balanced competition. To compare and contrast what each of these films got right, we're presenting the The Summer 2012 Comic Book Movie Showdown.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!  

Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)

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