Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Peril Of Comic Book Movies

The comic book movie trend is far from over. Comic fans have felt the highest highs, and the lowest lows when their favorite books hit the screen. While comic book movies have been around for some time, it is only in the last decade or so that they have grown immensely in mainstream acceptance. Movies like Batman, The X-men and Spider-man have brought comic book
The Amazing Spider-Man (comic book)Image via Wikipedia
culture into mainstream notoriety.


When the comic book movie trend first began, fans were eager to see their favorite comic books brought to the big screen. However, several disappointing films quickly gave the fans a bitter taste in their mouth. It’s hard to predict what will make or break a comic book movie. One very common complaint is that the movies stray too far from the stories presented in the comic books.


Comic book movies have the options of pulling from existing story material or creating something new with the existing characters. When the movie pulls from an existing storyline, die hard fans are very quick to point out when changes are made to the plot. This dissatisfaction has done little to change the fate of comic book movies though. Considering that millions of movie goers have not read the books and are not aware of existing plots, the movie is completely new and original to them.


Another option for comic book movies is the reboot. A filmmaker can restart a particular comic book hero’s story any way they like. And since it is a new beginning to the tale, none of the existing plots apply. While it may seem much more extreme than simply changing part of the plot, rebooting a franchise in general seems to be more accepted than changing a story. Perhaps this is because reboots happen in the comic world from time to time as well.


The reboot allows movie makers to take an existing hero and place them in more modern situations. One very successful example of this was the Iron Man movie adaptation. Iron Man’s origin story remains almost exactly the same as the comic origin with the exception that instead of taking place in Vietnam, the movie origin takes place in Afghanistan. The core origin story is the same, but it is made more relatable and modern by updating it slightly.


At first, comic book movies depended upon their base of loyal fans to spread excitement. However, once they achieved mainstream success many fans felt as though they were ignored. Hollywood rushed to crank out as many comic book movies as possible as quickly as possible and the quality suffered. Fans complained on comic book forums across the globe but the poor adaptations kept coming.


Comic book fans feel betrayed by the industry they helped make. Now that comic book movies have gained mainstream acceptance, filmmakers don’t have to worry if they upset a few comic book nerds. The peril of comic book movies is that they have sold their soul to be one of the cool kids.