Should Comic Book Based Films Stick to the Script?

Should Comic Book Based Films Stick to the Script?

Comic Books

In the past, the comics industry has had a tough time in convincing the masses that comics were worthy of an adult audience. Most adults wrote comics off as a childish waste of time in light of the tight-pants on the protagonists and colorful illustrations. These days things seem to be looking up for the comic industry, and comic proprietors owe it all to the old silver screen.

It took a while for Hollywood to notice the hidden gems within the pages of comics and graphic novels, but they eventually realized something that comic fanatics have known for a couple decades. The truth is that comics are a legitimate form of literature, and many have amazing stories. The comic industry originated with heroes like Superman and Batman. The former an alien orphan expelled from the obliterated planet of Krypton only to acquire superhuman abilities from landing in the earth’s atmosphere, and the latter a tortured orphan whose parents’ murder motivated him to become the caped-crusader Add in Spider-Man, yet another orphan with powers from a radioactive spider, and the trend is complete. There are  two things which one can learn from comic stories. The first is that orphans make the best super heroes. The second is that the lives and times of the most beloved comic characters are bursting with gripping triumphs and heart-wrenching losses. These are the perfect ingredients for creating a remarkable story, and now cinematic masterpieces.

With the increase in the number of comic-inspired movies, many avid collectors of comics are elated to see the industry growing at such a rapid rate.  One complaint which continues to arise with those who were weaned on the comics, is the inconsistency which arises from creating a cinematic blockbuster out of the characters on the page. One of the most difficult jobs cited by directors in the genre is taking favorite friends to the comic fans and making them fit into the new medium.

If someone were only just recently introduced to most comic characters through the movies, they would not find many of the faults which the devotees of the stories from the books react to as egregious and abhorrent errors. The elements which most comic films need to cater to a larger audience which is unfamiliar with the years of paper history often cause the die-hards to complain that the end result is inconsistent in key details. For those who love the clawed Canadian called Wolverine, the devotion of the fandom continues to bring this dichotomy to a head.  Wildly popular with the money-spending public, those who have read about the character for years are often just as vocal about the feeling that the movies do the character no justice.

Despite the incredibly compelling storylines and the attention paid to the details of every visual moment in the films, almost every reviewer familiar with the character seems to be compelled to pick at the the details as they relate to one aspect or another of the chronicle in the books. The ability to enjoy the film as an independent entity is lost in the question of whether or not Sabretooth and Wolverine were actually brothers or whether or not his claws should have been depicted as having adamantium on them or whether they should be bone at that point in the imagined time continuum. The fact that the comics themselves occasionally “reboot” the characters and rewrite their histories to fit current storylines is lost on the obsessed sticklers.

Given the fact that the object of any film is to draw the largest possible audience, the challenge is one which in unlikely to be resolved soon. With powerhouse comic films like X-men and Iron Man conquering the box office, Hollywood heavyweights are unlikely to change the formula much. There will be olive branches extended, and subtle nods to the books to help these big screen heroes save face in front of their die-hard fans, but the show will go on with the bottom line squarely at the forefront of consideration.

Blog By Telron Smiley

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