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BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31

Moviemongers Don't Care about Comic Books: My View

Long ago the original comic book companies were absorbed by corporations who perverted the comics. As of mid-1976 they had lost aesthetic credibility as art and I ceased to bother with them. The debacle of greedy oversaturation and other ills speaks for itself. More recently, these worsely-mutating corporations have been cobbling movies of so-called Silver Age characters and their stories, again, as far as the corporations are concerned, strictly for money and everything else be damned. Don't think I've followed this in detail, which would be akin to inviting miscreants to spit in one's face. Nevertheless, it had come to my attention that the latest spate of Marvel films ("Marvel Cinematic Universe") was trying to be true to the original stories. However, now I've learned a colossal blunder has been committed. In watching the end of "Captain America: the First Avenger" I suffered the stomach punch of hearing a supposed Nick Fury tell Cap that he's awoken after 70 years (???) whereas it should be more like 20. This means that all those MCU movies are set in exact present day and have no aesthetic value. They distort the literary imagined reality. discredit those working on the films. and reinforce the notion that graphic art may serve only as a cash-producer in the clutches of hucksters and need never be recognized as legitimately on a par with all other art. They comfort creeps like Steve Allen who mocked comics as nonsense.
______I predict history will ultimately find comic books up until 1976 the greatest art of the twentieth century, their covers and insides, their art and literary compendia, and all these movies will be forgotten as an afterthought regardless of how many millions they garner or don't. I don't blame folks like Josh Whedon, who surely are doing their best within the parameters foisted upon them as pawns. They might not realize that by disregarding the time period you are disrespecting all those who bought the comics all this time and made possible the jump from Silver Age to silver screen, in quest of a quicker buck, presumably, from those who allegedly predominate at theaters and/or to make filming easier. I ran across an MCU timeline, and they've got Tony Stark born in 1967. Absurd! Now I don't care about cars and wouldn't mind if you passed off 2010 models in 1963-65 (you couldn't get away with that in the 30's and 40's Golden Age), but don't shove the accoutrements of today, cellphones, the internet, etc. and current references to what should be almost 50 years ago. This should be an easy call. Let me note that years ago when I was catching the first 1980's Batman flick the moment they mentioned "Cosmopolitan" as contemporaneously constituted I flipped off the tv. However, I will concede that most comics were written to be timeless and their temporal setting was a chance feature. But then you would get to stories of social relevance in , e.g., "Daredevil" a la the so-called 60's, and you'll be stuck. No one would ever stand for forcing the Beatles into present day, e.g.. You mess with my art and I'll step on you like a cockroach. Moreover, theatrical film is the wrong form for comics, which should be adapted to television series (I'd say the same about the long, detailed books of Charles Dickens), preferably animated, and that would reduce the cost on the front end; then you could still film the grandest stories of each comic book if profitable.
_______Unfortunately, by current antisocial US law corporations may only take into account profit as a motivating factor or they can be sued by shareholders, which is why art and corporations don't mix. Even before the advent of corporate ownership things were awry within comics since other perverse US law allowed companies to deprive creators of the rights to their work and people like Joe Shuster and later Jack Kirby and Stan Lee had to sue for proper royalties, let alone control of what they should have been able to control under any fair social contract and public policy.
_______Therefore, considering all of the above my viewing if at all of "big" pictures like the Avengers must await free access on a small screen. "The Avengers" was never that great anyway, relatively. I read all issues 1 to an issue in at least 1974 though I never bought any because I would swap books with someone who did and who elected different choices than I, and I didn't read them always in order as he might not have had #1 to start. But I'm sure I focused on that issue when I did because it was the first. The only thing I recall about the early Avengers is liking Scarlet Witch's costume (and to a lesser extent, her brother, even though he was an unapologetic copy of Flash). The Avengers mostly comprised characters who didn't or couldn't make it in their own books unlike the JLA whom they me-tooed though never had their pizzazz. Furthermore, as far as the ridiculous choice of stories I never enjoyed Loki. Finally, I am reviewing many of the issues on Comic Book Database, and Cap doesn't arrive until #4 as for being the "first" Avenger.
_______This is a serious piece, on a subject about which I care much. If you are going to take issue with me and present your position, go for roughly five lines or more or keep your own counsel, or be treated as a sniping troll. Also, if you wish to recommend other boards where I may post this and be welcomed, that would be appreciated.



racer9876
Defender Of The Universe
Premium
join:2000-07-03
Rosamond, CA
.

me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to BDiogenes
Wow, scared of change much?

The movies(or at least most of them) take place in a different cannon/separate universe than the comic book. I don't see whats wrong with that, a good movie is a good movie a good comic is a good comic. I liked most of the movies that were inspired by comics, of the past 12 years.

I can understand being mad ad DC for their reboot, and thus making the past however long they have been around basically not have happened in the dc universe cannon, but really even thats not that big a deal that just makes it easier for the comics to take place in modern day. Even going so far as to make a character that was straight for the past 50 years gay now, yes DC is doing this for those who have not heard, apparently they want to get with the times but i'm guessing its a marketing ploy more than anything else.

Stuff changes, new/multiple comic book universes happen, life moves on.

Also, dat wall-o-text.


Rook008
Miles To Go
Premium
join:2002-02-05
Far Rockaway, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BDiogenes
I don't have a problem with comic book characters being brought into the current time. I find it's sometimes more entertaining when they do. I don't think it lessens the aesthetic value of the work.
--
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H. L. Mencken

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
reply to me1212
me1212 and Rook008, in sum I believe the period alteration an artistic error as well as disrespectful. Rook008, there must be things you would insist not be toyed with. If you "update" Sherlock Holmes, it's obnoxious, but comic books (and to some extent all sff) have an inferiority complex so if you trifle with them you are sending the wrong signal and ruffling the feathers of us who adore graphic art AS IT IS. That is the difference and the point, which I would hope I didn't need to explain. Yeah, me1212, DC and Marvel have "moved on" since 1976 in disgrace without me, and now I'm exploring the independents for the first time in the hope "I won't get fooled again." Surely, you don't suggest MOI knows about 52, although a kind dealer at a con gave me a few in the vain wish that I be "updated". I also like the wall of sound.
______racer9876, there must always be a wiseacre, but at least you're funny.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to BDiogenes
Everyone has their opinion.

I grew up in the 70's reading many of the comics that are currently being brought to film. Yes, comics were used to comment on social events, at times. More often then not, there were a brief escape from reality.

As for the movies modernizing the story lines, I see nothing wrong with it. So far they've done a decent job of it.
The companies behind the comics are in the business of making money. That's all. If they have to change up spider-man's origins to make it "sexier" to attract a wider audience, guess what, Spider-man's origins will be changed.
Consider the Vampires over the ages. At first they were twisted husks of humanity, then they evolved to the emo crap that they are today.
Things change. Like Nick Fury being white, and now he is black. That has little impact on his char.

Bottom line, it's about the money, nothing more.
--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


Rook008
Miles To Go
Premium
join:2002-02-05
Far Rockaway, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BDiogenes
Some things don't need to be updated, but they are anyway. It happens, sometimes the result is a better work, sometimes it's worse. It's a business about money, and it seems that there may be more money to be made by updating these characters.

I don't deny that some things are better left the way they were, but as long as I can still experience the originals, I don't much care that any new stories are updated versions. Things change, it's inevitable.

I can see why you might feel that it's disrespectful to mess with this stuff, but I don't. And I think that the comics (the ones I used to read, anyway, I don't really read comics anymore) were works of art, where the movies being made from them are just a passing entertainment.

Also, Sherlock Holmes was recently updated and I hear it's great. In fact, I first heard about it on this forum. (Thanks again Darci, I think I'll watch episode one a little later.)
But the original stories are still there, and they're still great.
--
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H. L. Mencken

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to BDiogenes
People cried about the Jim Abrams Star Trek too but in the end it turned out to be a great film. And people actually figured out it was not a bad shift in the timeline, And trust me there are no fans more rabid than Star Trek fans.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


crazediamond
Maybe you shouldn't be so proud?
Premium
join:2002-01-19
Atlanta, GA
Yes but more importantly how is Abrams going to deal with V'ger and that thing with the whales since those predate Spock jacking up the time line? Presumably Khan is in the clear since New Kirk probably won't find himself in a position to accidentally unleash him on the galaxy this time around.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31

1 edit
reply to Rook008
Jesus is reported to have said (Matthew 6:24), no one can serve two masters...in this case art and commerce...for you in the end will love one and hate the other, and Jesus recommends against serving Mammon (money). Elsewhere in the Bible Jesus by His actions in so many ways concedes that one must earn a living thus He does not advocate starvation.

said by Snakeoil:

Bottom line, it's about the money, nothing more.

Exactly my point, and I want my art from aesthetes like Roger Corman, Inoshiro Honda (before marbles rolled out of his head), and Jack Kirby and not from mercantilists and parasites like Jack Welch. Incidentally, I've despised the expression,"bottom line" since I first heard it repeatedly circa 1973 from NY radio talk host Barry Gray, who sought to be hip, because it imprudently frames and couches general discussion in monetary terms, even if metaphorically. Finally, you picked up on my attaching "supposed" to NF. But I'm thinking they just wanted SLJ in the role for gruffness rather than a switch of tint. E.g., if Paul Robeson or James Earl Jones plays Othello, does that Moor stop being Caucasoid? From the Marvel old days the first African-Americans I can recall were Jameson staffer Robertson at the Bugle and Wyatt Wingfoot, so older Marvels would be bereft. I didn't read "Sgt. Fury..." too much, or closely. Snakeoil, I do concur about not using ignore features.

said by Rook008:

Some things don't need to be updated, but they are anyway. It happens, sometimes the result is a better work, sometimes it's worse. It's a business about money, and it SEEMS that there MAY BE more money to be made by updating these characters.

[All caps for emphasis mine]

From past experience I felt you would get the message. While I deplore the plutophilia and mercantilism and those might factor into the artistic blunder, it might be preferable to approach the issue as incompetence, even if influenced by attitude. I believe it remains murky as to whether present-day movies cause any larger profit, but it is sure that disturbing the temporal equilibrium of hundreds of tales will bring trouble and expense to accommodate. With this status quo Tony Stark would miss the Merry Marvel Marching Society and that snack drink which sponsored the 1966 daily cartoons, a concoction whose name escapes my memory(?). Sherlock Holmes shanghaied to now forfeits the Victorian flavor and some of his charm; today he must be a computer whiz yet the device would now do what he would have in the past so SH is no longer the same character. Still, I was aware of that series and would like to see the initial offering; presumably, you had it stored.
_______me1212, returning to the topic of social commentary, in those days the best friend I traded with and I, snot-nosed kids without any political identity yet formed, used to chide such stories as "relevance" and relegate Denny O'Neil and others the butt of jokes...until he revamped Greenie and altered history. Those panels with the African-American oldster speaking of "blue skins" (drawn by NA) are to die for, among the greatest of all time. I have been inclined to create a "short list" of what I think are the ESSENTIAL titles to appreciate all aspects of the excellence afforded by coms, in the order I first experienced them: Metal Men, Strange Adventures, Greenie, JLA, Spidey, and FF (JLA being included especially for its exposure of so many characters though its quality might not equate totally with the utter exquisiteness of its fellow listees). Most definitively, the literavisual structure 1956 to some indefinite point in the Bronze Age produced by DC for all their titles with their characters auditioning in "Showcase" and "B & B" embodies one of the greatest aestheticisms of all time.
_______Kearnstd, I'm guessing Trek is almost as set as Holmes so one movie, if nothing else, may be ignored amid the vastness of Trek material to enjoy.

Everyone, if you read of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster you'll find it was public pressure that obliged Warner to do right by them minimally (I would never contemplate they should've reaped most of the reward generated by Superman since many others share in the contribution to his fortune, but they should've controlled his destiny and then they could've so shared). As I sense some ambivalence among you, I suggest you determine what you TRULY want and make that happen. For me, with another few movies diverted from the optimum the big two shan't ever get another penny from me. Reflect on your real desires, but for the moment I must turn to different fare until I can check back.


Tenar

join:2008-01-02
Midland, ON
reply to BDiogenes
said by BDiogenes:

...Therefore, considering all of the above my viewing if at all of "big" pictures like the Avengers must await free access on a small screen....

I'm sure your financial support of the avengers will be missed..

said by BDiogenes:

...I read all issues 1 to an issue in at least 1974 though I never bought any because I would swap books with someone who did...

Oops I guess not..

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
reply to BDiogenes
Tenar, Marvel did have my financial support plenty '76 and prior; I even had subscriptions at one time, and those jerks sent each issue folded in half, creasing and ruining every cover. Of course, their covers never held a candle to DC's (they handed coloring to anyone, which is why some issues can't be credited now).

Everyone, don't be discouraged from continuing the dialogue; I will check back often. You've been great about addressing the issues.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to BDiogenes
One thing to note is when they modernize things it is not bad. Comic books and their stories are typically happening in present day. Now if they use real locations like NYC people will expect to see use of things like well cell phones.

Batman gets away with the old style cars in the Tim Burtan films because well Gotham is not a real city..(Though Camden, NJ comes close when talking crime rate)
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

chipper

join:2012-05-28
Beverly Hills, CA
reply to BDiogenes
i think it's a matter of expectations. comic novels or novels, for that matter, is simply different. it is a writer's medium. you have no limitation in terms of budget, time, physical considerations, etc.

when stories are made into film, there are too many limitations that hit is natural for some of the elements to be lost, or many of the elements to be lost for that matter. for one, they have, at the maximum, three hours to tell the story. we cannot go into the minds of each character. physical limitation is also a factor.

comic novel fans or literature fans will simply have to accept those limitations.

they're just different. the character, no matter how much film makers claim to be a direct adaptation of the ones in the comic, are just different.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
reply to Kearnstd
chipper, I agree about the limitations, which is why I suggested tv series, including for Charles Dickens. But that doesn't mandate you alter the temporal setting.
_____Kearnstd, wasn't the Batman movie I cited with Tim Burton?


footballdude
Premium
join:2002-08-13
Imperial, MO
reply to BDiogenes
As a fan of the old comics, I really dislike it when they change material issues in order to make the movies. I hated the fact that they put Mary Jane on the bridge instead of Gwen Stacy. I hated the fact that Tony Stark just cavalierly went public with his being Iron Man. Those things are radical departures from the source material.

Having Captain America rescued from the ice in 2011 instead of 1970 doesn't bother me, though. The whole ice thing was a cheap ploy to modernize Cap in the first place, so it makes sense that they'd play the same game in the movie.
--
Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty - Ronald Reagan


Voxxjin
Made of Hamburger
Premium
join:2010-01-13
Dupont, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to BDiogenes
I think they have done a good job at making things modern. The changes haven't bothered me too much. Over the last 10-20 years (at least) I have seen comicbook heros get changed/remade/or die only to be 'reborn'. It gets annoying at times and I understand that they may be trying to breathe new life into a character. But yes it bugs me too when they do.

It reminds me of James Bond and how his personality changes with each actor. Someone mentioned the 're-do' of Star Trek and while the film was good, I disliked the remake of the universe.

I was always a fan of the Punisher (from the 80's) and didn't like some of the later story lines and such they have come out with. (Always preferred the more normal human characters than the mutant/alien/demigod type characters with special abilities)

In any case, while changes happen between comicbooks and movies, and while some of these changes do bug me, I can deal with it so long as it is not a huge change. And for the record, I did like the Avengers movie a lot.
--
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war


Varlik
Without Honor You Will Never Be Free
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Anderson, SC

2 edits
reply to BDiogenes
Movies have always by in large been an imperfect stage for sci-fi and fantasy printed material. Even when a story is told in stages via multiple movies it still suffers loss IMO. Batman Begins is about the best superhero movie by far. Am I outraged by its origin storyline? No. Spiderman was a so so movie was I upset that he was bitten by a genetically altered spider instead of a radioactive spider? No. Was I angry as the Hulk that his webbing came from glands in his wrist? Nope though I was miffed a little because I thought it took away from showing his natural scientific intelligence. I was upset that they had MJ there from the begging instead of GS. Did I mind that the Green Goblins face was a mask no and yes. They should have at least come up with a better mask then that.

I could go on and on but simply put comics just don't equate well to the big screen. The worst comic book character on the big screen in my personal opinion is Superman. Superman stories can be broken down into simple story + slug-fests or long complex stories (yes I know they usually have a big slug fest in them too). The simple story + Slug-fest story lines aren't going to hold the average moviegoers attention. And Sups long complex story lines that can go on for months in comics sometimes over multiple titles well they would get butchered at best. Does this mean I hate Superman movies? Nope. Superman II is still one of my favorites. It played a large role in my becoming a comic reader and collector.

Now to jump onto another tangent do I think that the comic companies have become big corporate giants who have lost their way? Yes I do. That's why I haven't' bought anything new in at least a year from Marvel and DC including the other company imprints they own. Dido and Quesada have by and large killed things for me. Marvels return to multiple issue mega crossovers beginning with 'House of M' killed things for me. And Dc's drive to diversify their heroes by killing off existing characters and replace them with new ones (Blue Beetle and the Question etc.) left me with a bad taste in my mouth. But when they rebooted continuity again with a few dramatic changes via the new 52 well I was done.

That said I still enjoy Young Justice on CN, so go figure. As a side note I also subscribed directly from marvel on a few titles for a few years (Jr Hi/ High School) titles I didn't worry about collecting FF, Avengers and Gi-Joe since it was cheap to do so. And I was also annoyed by the folded issues but figured out that it was the post office doing it.
--
"Sir SIR! We don't use DHCP servers. We only use IBM & Microsoft servers." From there my call to tech support went steadily downhill.

--Turn the lights down in your soul cut the power to your heart see the carcass in its dying rages.


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

1 recommendation

reply to BDiogenes
I think you are overreacting for a few reasons (some already mentioned).

- Time differences between when a comic story was published and when the movie was made make it almost a necessity to work out the kinks with the date. That's exactly what the comics did. Set their story for the modern day of the time. The movies are only following the same principle. None of these Marvel hero movies had their characters hard set on a certain period with the exception of Cap America, and even the comics froze him.

- Comic books are a totally different medium than movies. You cannot translate everything in a comic effectively in a movie. Plot development, exposition, framing, pacing. All of it works completely different between mediums. So reworking a comic story to gel better to a cinema experience is justified. What is important is the "spirit" of the comic translates well. Not that every detail is followed to the letter.

- It's funny your complaint about movie companies just out to make money. Comic books companies are in it for the same. Why do you think Superman had around 20 comic titles in it's lifetime? You don't think gems like Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and Superman Family weren't obvious grabs to cash in on Superman's fame? Let's not forget the four or so titles Spiderman had at once. And don't get me started with the marketing frenzy of the 90's across the board.

- Complaining about waiting to see the films on television is a rather selfish reason not to like what's going on. Comic book publishers wanted you to you go buy their comic so you just reading your buddy's books just says you're too cheap to support your favorite books. Yeah you can say you couldn't afford it, but then you are complaining about not getting something for nothing in the end. Besides these movies are, or will be, out on video. That's just another format you can borrow from your buddy without paying.

I was a serious comic book reader and know exactly that it means to appreciate the medium and see the art and mastery that was found in many titles. I also remember the tons of crap that all of the publishers have put out at one time or another, so there is no way you can say the comic book medium is a pure and untarnished art form (and I can honestly say that about every age in comics including the Golden and Silver age).

I recommend you loosen up your strict sensibilities and look at each medium for what it is. Comics are comics and movies are movies. Movies (and television and toys, etc) have translated over to the comics form and most of the time the comic is a very different animal. The same should hold true for movies and/or television. A movie about a comic character should be seen without too much constraints to the source material (just like books adapted to movies)

Appreciate that the movies, on their own medium and without focusing on what was left out from the comic books, brought new interest to classic character. Comic sales will surely improve for all of these titles as well as awareness. Plus when you just see the movies just as they are they are actually pretty good popcorn fare. Enjoy your comics separately from the films.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
reply to footballdude
footballdude (and Varlik), when I read from you about the bridge I went berserk...because I forgot I already knew about that. That movie isn't telling "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" because its time precedes her. MJ was his first flame, even if I hardly paid attention to that aspect when reading the early issues used. Nevertheless, the film is waste and David Koepp and Sam Raimi have flipped away their careers by touching it. The actors are mundane ignoramuses who wouldn't know any better. Also, wasn't Goblin's face masked in the comic? It was when Harry imitated his father. Varlik, I agree about the web-shooter, and thanks for the info about the post office; how did you figure that out? It always seemed incongruous Marvel folding its issues.
_______SRFireside, we have irreconcilable differences based on personal feelings. I know all about adaptation. There was a great discussion elsewhere about "Legend of the Seeker" and the book series upon which the show was LOOSELY based. My general point would be if you are going to use the original names and accoutrements then respect the material and don't markedly screw with it because otherwise you are parasitizing its original popularity to falsely piggyback a larger audience. That's commonsense neither you nor anyone else can overcome. I'm not overreacting because I don't much care about the movies and my opening didn't state why I abandoned comics in 1976, but if you look at Daredevil 130 and then 129 you may be able to guess. I have often reflected on the half-dozen or so titles featuring Supes and whether such was a precursor of later excess. I decided no because all his books maintained themselves long-term, i.e., the audience wanted them (Jimmy Olsen topped 150). Another factor is that Supes was neither heavily written with continuity nor based on anything close to realism. That said, if I liked Superman, I would disapprove aesthetically, but there's a difference between an aesthetic bad choice and gross exploitation of the public as via those movies. I do hold 1951-1976 (the period in which I read) was comparatively pure in terms of the motives and acts of the com purveyors. I am very reflective and have considered that had I been a Golden Ager I'd have been none too pleased about the Earth 2 bit in Flash 123 and JLA's "Crisis on Earth 1" on top of the banishment of all the JSA heroes save those who could financially cut it even if I celebrate that as a Silver Ager. Spider-man with 4 I couldn't say because I wasn't buying then. It wouldn't be my preference.
_______I never complained about waiting for the movies; I was being sarcastic as I would now never view that trash, and you didn't read my posts carefully enough to pontificate. I did "support" my "favorite books"; I said we swapped, which means we ended up with our own back in the end, after getting a chance to read ones we didn't buy, including used issues, and we traded much more than coms, i.e., the publications we created and descriptions of the pretend movies we made as well as opinions on everything fannish.
_______SRFireside, you seem halfway reasonable so I don't understand why you would want to stand in as an apologist for parasites.


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX
It's not an apologist stance. It's a purist stance based the belief of absolute accuracy isn't pure, but purity of the spirit of the source is paramount. To be an absolute purist on a certain thing means that ANY endeavors outside the source realm will ALWAYS be imperfect, and ultimately shunned. This is really the wrong way to go about it. It denies the commonality with the two mediums and only focuses on division.

Take a look at a few adaptations. Sure you can see what they did wrong, but you should also see what they did right. Christopher Nolan's Batman films are a mishmash of elements taken from different Batman comic eras. His history is rewritten a bit, the villains are inaccurate, and the main plotlines didn't exist in the comics. In spite of all this you get a very well written set of movies that give some truly dynamic character and plot development. You get the best live action rendition of the Joker to date. For the first time on the silver screen you get a complete and immersive Batman with his motivations and other complexities there. This could not have happened if the comics were followed to the letter. Do you call these movies abominations too?

As a lesser example lets look at Sam Raimi's Spiderman. Yes Peter Parker never shot webs from wrists (he used an invented device). Yes Gwen Stacy was replaced by Mary Jane on certain plot points. Yes there are dozens more details that don't jibe with the comic. But you still have the teenager (who thought and acted like one) dealing with his new powers and learning what it means to be a hero. That's the very essence of the Spiderman comic.

Some of the changes made in movies end up being a necessity. For instance having Gwen Stacy in the Spiderman movie starts to complicate the plot so they used Mary Jane. Making Tony Stark a playboy who changes his ways not only makes for stronger character development in a film, but also covers a number of character points from the comic in a timely fashion. Iron Man became a great movie because of it. A lot changes come from a cinematic eye, and should be understood as such. The Crow had character and scene changes very different from the book, however the comic in its truest form would have made a horribly boring movie. Alex Proyas did right by the comic even with the changes to make a movie much loved by the comic fans.

This doesn't excuse bad writing, of course. The first Batman movie series can all be tossed completely in my opinion. Not necessarily because of the changes from the source material, but because they were badly put together movies from the get go (especially Schumacher's contributions). Then you have the movies that put a comic character in and completely ignore what that character is about (Catwoman, The Phantom, The Shadow Strikes) and may as well created their own character instead of trying to capitalize on a known name.

These things will happen, but that shouldn't be the reason to toss comic adaptions altogether. Every entertainment.. no actually every business medium... has those who think of the money more than the product they produce. You even mentioned a few comic book industry money grabs and seem to excuse those endeavors. Still in the end the films (and comics) that stand the test of time are the ones that focused on the product.

Of course you can trash the crap movies. You won't see me bat an eye to complaints about Wolverine, The Hulk movies, Steel, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and any Superman movie but the original (I will go to bat for SOME aspect of the first movie). And yes, most comic movies are flawed. However don't lump all of them in the same pile.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
SRFireside, you are a very thoughtful person as I had said, and I am appreciative of you taking the time and making the effort to respond as you did. I will be replying but not necessarily to disagree yet to explain further and give examples where I concur and where problems lie. Meanwhile, I encourage you to correct grammatical typos in your last piece as I might wish to quote it elsewhere because it is so exemplary.
_____I am not a "hater". As an aesthete my mission must be to appreciate all art. What I cannot abide are derivations which cherrypick source material to death and thus disrespect those who brought the original work to prominence, not all adaptations of comics. This is what I mean. Books and movies are on an equal footing; one is relatively just as likely to have read a book as to have seen a movie whereas comics and movies are not. The wider public is more likely to have become acquainted with Spider-man through a movie than a comic, which imposes a special burden on screenwriters. If you markedly reconfigure the comic to suit your cinematic agenda, someone then reading the comic will never be able to accept the original version. E.g., I prefer the George Reeves tv show, which I encountered first, and don't enjoy the comic. Now, I will justify my preference and I do, but who is to say I wouldn't feel differently if I'd read the comic first or the show had been faithful? I like even more the Batman tv show, which I think is relatively faithful, especially in the earlier portion of the series, and I do love the Ceasar Romero and other big four villain portrayals, particularly Frank Gorshwin's. To which movie series does the Batman film I saw on tv circa '96-'97 with the "Cosmopolitan" mention belong?
_____You will have my gratitude and I will be happy the fewer of these movies I must avoid. I'll return in the foreseeable future to finish my explanation, but I must attend to other business first.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
reply to SRFireside
SRFireside, let me lead you gradually into my position. Note that I haven't read any coms since 1976 and in many instances a bit longer. Spider-man is at once a special case and a good example. I identify with Peter Parker more than any other character in all literature, especially in issues 97 and 122. He means everything. Since Gwen Stacy was his sweetheart I relate to her like one of mine and one in particular. If I recall correctly from over 35 years ago, in the earliest issues PP was tied to Mary Jane because she had feelings for him which he did not overly share, but I read those issues mostly after the ones in the 40's, 50's, and 30's when he loved GS. So MJW was first.
__________The murder of Gwendolyn Stacy by PP's archenemy and someone he knew personally is a touchstone, a MOMENT, one of the greatest moments in comics history. That can't be debated*. It is the equivalent of killing Lois Lane. So you wouldn't take Lana Lang and substitute her in that recognizable storyline and muddy and ruin the whole history, would you? Not if you knew what the heck you were doing? David Koepp and Sam Raimi are aesthetic inchoates. While I do advocate telling the stories of most villains in one movie, which can then be set in the present and look back properly to stories from past issues, the Green Goblin isn't one of those. To limit him to one movie, regardless of anything else, represents a monumental blunder, and after I had forgotten I had checked the plot of that travesty years ago, I assumed the Goblin survived to reappear. One incidental note. At Megacon 2012 Stan Lee was pointedly asked, "Why did Gwen Stacy have to die?!" and instantly responded, "Because I was in Europe when Gerry Conway wrote it!" GC was one of those my friend and I would ridicule for his "relevance" stories. My first foray into Spidey was 39, 44, and one other around the same number, which I might have selected from a slightly larger group all priced the same, after having watched numerous episodes of the 1967-on cartoon. Those were my first Marvels of lasting significance, having begun and stuck with DC till then. "The Amazing Spider-man" 39 is one of the greatest covers of all time, from any standpoint. Totally unrelated to this topic and after writing this post, I happened to read some panels from this time of Spidey on another site, and my reaction was that I could've gone for days, not minutes...the sight of GS and how she was drawn, and how PP felt about her, and the relations between the characters.... After an earlier post I remembered staffer Robertson's first name was Robbie.
___________Scarcely would I characterize the Silver Age resurrection of Golden Age castoffs as a "money grab" as none were even auditioned for their own titles but more an admirable attempt to appease or placate older readers after unceremoniously junking what they had been reading, and I have a demographic theory as to why sales dropped circa 1949 (a different topic) and they must really have nose-dived as DC phased out half its lineup. My perspective as a Silver Ager, and the reality is that I can never be a Golden Ager. You will be hard-pressed to establish the growth of Superman-featuring titles as a money grab since he began with two and they quite naturally proliferated 1941-1958 into as many as eight. The Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane ones were largely the result of the tv series.
___________Candidly, my ire about art suffering does not stem mostly from the movies or even only within comics but originates from what corporations have done overall to art as they have gained greater influence over culture and daily life. This thread was specifically spurred (jingle-jangle) by my having attended day one of Oasis 25 and being eager to attend day two for the Thor and X-Men films only to be socked by Cap and thus having to stay home without any way to justify the admission fee sufficiently. I have seen none of the other movies you referenced, merely because I have not been partaking in cinema and not out of avoidance. I hope the first Supes is good since I have it recorded for eventual viewing.

*When 122 came out, my friend immediately recognized the significance, but I was concerned over how she had been killed. He observed, it doesn't matter how they did it, just that they did it. Since then I realize that the ambiguous circumstances deliberately added to the poignancy and made for the resulting dialogue, all quite intentional and outstanding. In my amnesia over the Raimi flick I was contemplating how they could in future present the scene to most exquisite effect.


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX
So it seems to me the issue with you isn't necessarily comic adapted movies, but bad ones. I will be the first to admit Sam Raimi's take on Spiderman was scatter-shot at best. There are lots of elements from the first film that really irked me from plot points to special effects to little visual elements. So don't get me wrong. I didn't like that they replaced Gwen. I didn't like that the Green Lantern was a one off to be killed (a common Hollywood issue having this fixation that people are only happy when the bad guys die at the end). I didn't like PP's web shooters and (for lack of a better term) nuclear wall clinging replaced with a Spiderman 2099 take on genetics. In the end I say that movie gets a "pass" from me because it has its charm, but yeah I have some problems calling it a true representation.

There is to be sure a fine line in adaptations on whether or not they do a "good enough" job respecting the original content, and of course some director's seem to more interested in spectacle over good storytelling. However I simply cannot write off "Hollywood" as a whole because of the bad apples. For the dozen or so forgettable movie-machine styled films you get a couple true classics. The turn of the millennium gave us a glut of comic book movies, which in turn gave us Ghost Rider, Catwoman and several more really bad movies, and they are bad movies regardless of the character origins. But the past few years have brought some good entertainment.

So what is your take on Marvel Studios' Iron Man and Thor? How mad are you at the Avengers movie? Do they get corralled in the same pen as the likes of Rami's Spiderman? Have you seen the Nolan Batman movies? What's your take on them?

You said something interesting in a previous post where you preferred the movie versions of some characters as they were your first exposure to them. It seems, in part, you proven my point in that. When a good comic film is taken at face value, without being overly concerned with the pedigree of the content, it should be considered a good film if you have a wherewithal to be open minded about it. Forget the crap films. They will always come. I'm talking about the movies that do film making justice.

BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
I meant to add I don't think Tobey Maguire resembles PP circa issue 40 although he might for the earliest ones, about which my memory wanes, and he doesn't get a complete pass from me for enabling this travesty. The ultimate concern must be who has creative control via the rights and why they would allow fools to sully the virgin public consciousness as to the premier Marvel character. Apparently, Disney feels differently, and I don't know exactly what mess owned Marvel previously. (Note you meant to say Goblin in your first paragraph and your second sentence in your prior post needs a little tweaking).
_________You get one chance to tell a hero's story right per generation, maybe ever. What you had written of Batman brings out a distinction between him and Spidey and the Marvel heroes. They were scripted with continuity and a real sense of the passing of time. Batman has existed for many decades, with tens of stories featuring any of his enemies yet with few if any being the sort of signature tales found with Spidey or other Marvel characters; if a filmmaker doesn't understand that, they shouldn't be touching the material. Thus you can get by with scattershot or mishmash for some DC but not with Marvel. That's where my title comes in; do you as an artist care about comic books or only about cinema? On concern for the pedigree, I am advocating for the esteem of graphic art you realize. Sherlock has his place in literature. Do you know when and if the heroes will fall into the public domain and then we might have as many Supermans as Frankensteins and Draculas?
_________I've solely seen Cap and merely because it was on when I stayed in hospital for tests. Before that the 1966 Batman, which wasn't so good. No other superhero movies I recall. Can you answer on that Bats flick I started? I did say I might catch the MCU sometime, but screwing with the time foretells overall disregard of being faithful. I'm particularly worried over FF & X-Men. By the way, I read the Spidey portion of my last piece to that sweetheart; not in any better shape with her than PP was with GS, but I also identify her with Crystal, maybe more so, but not me with JS. I really do feel your Jun. 4 post especially exemplifies posters discussing something civilly when they might not begin on exactly the same wavelength. Kudos.


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX
I can't recall the exact movie you are mentioning, but if it's a circa 90's Batman then I can say with confidence it was likely Schumacher's version. I can also say with confidence that Joel Schumacher was the absolute worst. I keep pining about the new movies (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the upcoming one) because there is a lot of respect for the character in these films and as movies they are well thought out. I would be interested in hearing your opinion after watching Batman Begins. It would be a good "case study", if you will. The movie is pretty divergent on the details and is far from being true to the letter, but the end result to me is a product that covers a lot of ground without feeling rushed.

So how did you feel about Captain America? I thought it was pretty good. Better than any other Cap film or show made before. If you find Cap acceptable you may also enjoy others. Iron Man is a simple story, but Robert Downey Jr really carries the film. Thor is an enjoyable film that plays with Marvel's mythology just enough for a movie about a comic book hero/Norse god to actually work in a film. Hulk... well better you not bother yourself. Fantastic Four may be a hit and miss for you. Ben Grimm is spot on and the other characters hit their personality marks with a lot of dynamic. I think they actually improved on the comic with a pretty slick explanation on why each person got the power they did. Dr. Doom you may have conniptions over. X-Men may not thrill you as it messes with comic continuity for the sake of covering a lot of it in the timespan of a movie.


BDiogenes
militant aesthete and consumerist

join:2010-10-31
The Batman film I saw was circa '96-'97, and I believe this was its broadcast tv debut right before or after that of "Silence of the Lambs" which I had to miss because I didn't catch it would start a half-hour early to accommodate its two-and-a-half-hour length. The movie was darkly lit, and I don't recall Robin. This was probably the first in its group as I prefer to watch things in order. Many regard the tv series as a comedy, with some justification, and I haven't read Frank Miller of course, but I would assume the Nolan entries strike some sort of balance. Realistically, there ain't much letter in Bats to which to be true, at least not in my memory bank. Something befell Bruce Wayne's parents which prompted him to embark on his career against crime. You have butler Alfred, the Police Commissioner, and Robin. It must begin in the late 1930's or I won't watch; you can't forsake the atmosphere of that time and the lack of gizmos available to the public. Who now would need a Batphone or a searchlight holding a bat's shadow? Without being appreciative of BW's ingenuity you are a moron who artistically doesn't merit my attention.
_________"...the First Avenger" was okay until the end. In the comic it never appeared as if he had such strength and proceeded with so much violence; in the film he acts like Spider-man. If I hadn't been leery, I would've been quite taken on the second occasion. On the first I started dozing off for lack of sleep. I failed to register the 70 years reference then. The 1966 cartoon was little more than a slide show. I guess there was one film in between, and I hope it was faithfully synchronized.
__________FF was my second Marvel and on par with Spidey. When I saw a still from it sometime before 2007, and this was also before I checked the Tobey plot, Sue Storm's hair looked nonblonde inter alia and I went berserk! I dubbed the movie Vomit Magnet the next time I posted topically, in 2007. The other 3 didn't comport with their usual looks either. Recently, I checked a still, and her hair might be blonde, but her persona as pictured diverges and the film contains a Yahoo.com mention (?). "X-Men: First Class" would be what I would see first; another fan told me it was true and a period piece.


SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX
I haven't seen First Class, but I haven't heard anything about it to make me think it's any better than any of the other X-Men movies. It's set in the 60's era and that's about all timeline accuracy there is. To me the first X-Men movie is the best of that trilogy, but I did hear people say First Class was the best of all the X-Men movies.

I still would endear you to go see the new Batman films. Since it sounds like you have not as much investment in Batman's various comic renditions I think you may be pleasantly surprised. It's too engaging a movie series not to. The 60's TV was camp and proud of it, which makes it valid in its own right. Any Batman fan who can't get around that are just too anal for their own good.

Sounds like FF was a comic you were attached to. Thus changes from the movie irk you more. Still I understand casting Jessica Alba was a Hollywood move to bring in more box office tickets rather than find an actress more suited to be Sue. Small price to pay in my opinion if it got them on the silver screen.

My recollection of Captain America was that he was very strong and agile. It seemed to be me movie made a pretty accurate display of his abilities without overdoing it (a la Raimi). Sure he wasn't a sideshow to sell war bonds in the comic, but I think they had to justify the costume and build some more character and story development (lets face it.. the comic was thin on both) at the beginning.


crazediamond
Maybe you shouldn't be so proud?
Premium
join:2002-01-19
Atlanta, GA

1 recommendation

First class has an absolutely hilarious scene with wolverine. That was pretty much the highlight for me.


Snakeoil
Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Premium
join:2000-08-05
Mentor, OH
kudos:1
reply to BDiogenes
quote:
FF was my second Marvel and on par with Spidey. When I saw a still from it sometime before 2007, and this was also before I checked the Tobey plot, Sue Storm's hair looked nonblonde inter alia and I went berserk! I dubbed the movie Vomit Magnet the next time I posted topically, in 2007

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fantas···r_(film)

I remember this version of Fantastic four being advertised in the theaters. I think it was only advertised for a week or two, then the ads were killed, and the movie never released. Though if you look hard enough on the net, you just might be able to find a couple. I saw a couple, and the first FF more was pretty much what was in the 1994 version. Except the newer one had better effects.

Here's is a trailer from the 1994 version:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_X5C6e3ZeY

--
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.