Monday, August 31, 2009

Comics and Movies

In the next soon-to-be-released edition of KudeeCast, Jason makes a comment about how comic book movies are often frustrating because of the many ways they deviate from the original comics. I couldn't agree more.

Since its release in 2005, I have hesitated to watch the Fantastic Four film, partially because of this reason. The film's main villain is, of course, Victor von Doom, AKA: Dr. Doom - one of the most feared and powerful villains in the Marvel Universe. But rather than staying true to Doom's origin as a poor child from Latveria who grows in both knowledge, technology and mystical power to become the villain we all know today, the film depicts Doom essentially as an American billionaire (if it wasn't for the fact they say he's from Latveria, his accent and demeanor certainly wouldn't give it away) who comes to power in the same cosmic accident that creates the Fantastic Four.

Twists in the plot such as this always seem to anger the true comic fans. Whether it's something great like distorting Dr. Doom's origin, making Mary Jane Watson Peter Parker's High School crush or killing off Venom after 15 minutes of screen time, or whether it's something minor like making Tony Stark's butler Jarvis a computer or giving Wolverine a leather jumpsuit instead of his classic yellow spandex (okay, maybe those aren't minor).

While in some cases, I have to admit, the changes are not a big deal, and in fact, are (I hesitate to say) necessary for translating the story from the printed page to the silver screen, most of the time I'm still left asking, "WHY DID YOU DO THAT?" I mean, would it really be so bad to try and get the story right?

And I've barely even mentioned what is perhaps the biggest tragedy of them all - killing off the villain at the end of the film. This is fortunately one area where The Fantastic Four film didn't go wrong, but yet so many comic films do. One of the greatest joys of the comic book world is seeing the hero and the villain locked in a seemingly never ending battle. While at the end of the day we always want to see Peter Parker trump the Green Goblin, or Wolverine get the better of Sabertooth, or Batman send The Joker to Arkham Asylum for the umpteenth time - we DON'T want to see these bad guys put away forever. You have to admit, when Gobby comes back from the dead, you might be saying, "Oh no Peter, watch out," but there's at the very least a little piece inside that's excited because it means you get to see the conflict all over again.

In the movies, though, dead means dead, at least most of the time, so when we see the hero put the villain six feet under, we know they're not comming back, and we know that we're missing out on seeing another great battle between the two in a future film.

I write all this knowing it isn't going to change anything - and that as comic book movies that distort the comics continue to come out, I will still keep paying $8 a pop to see them on the big screen. But at the same time, I keep in the back of my mind the resolution that should Hatman & Indigo, or any other 3Twins story, ever make it big enough to get the green light for a film version, I will NOT let them turn Hatman's head into a Fedora, or change the animal parts of Indigo, and I will certainly not let them kill off Glomo, or The Evil Zap Man, or Super Cold Frozen Man, or any other villain that we didn't kill off in the comics!

Well, that's all, thanks for letting me rant.


P.S. For more of Jason's take on this, be sure to watch the next installment of KudeeCast when it airs soon on


  1. Dr. Doom gaining his powers along with the Fantastic Four was the way they did it in Ulitmate Fantastic Four. However, in UFF, they got their powers from a teleporter to the N zone going awry (Vic rigged it to happen). Anyhow I think at least for that example they were only trying to merge the 2 stories for the movie. :)


    P.S. KudeeCast2 should be out later this week.

  2. You have changed my perspective or should I say you've added another insight into the way I personally view action films based off original superhero comics. For the most part I've always been aware of 90% of movies based off of comic books but not the actual story that the comic tells. I am more of a web comic fan, i haven't read much of the older traditional comics. I think i may just look into them.

  3. Ryan,

    That's great to hear. If you would like some help finding a local comic shop in your area, I suggest visiting