The Marvel Studios Double-Standard
Why is it that fans seem to be biased towards Marvel Studios films, while disparaging towards adaptations from other companies?
Recently, I have noticed a trend on this site and others that I find legitimately confusing. Fans very rarely complain (extensively, at least) about changes made to films by Marvel Studios, particularly after release, but they tear apart films from other studios for making similar changes. Films from companies such as 20th Century Fox and Sony are called "not true Marvel films" for taking liberties from the source material, with fans claiming if they were in the hands of Marvel Studios, they would be handled with more reverence to the original stories. However, I find that Marvel Studios has made several changes from the source that are quite drastic, and yet they get a free pass. Take these incidences, for example:
-Marvel Studios used Pepper Pots as a love interest for Tony Stark, where she was originally linked with Happy Hogan.
-To my knowledge, Obadiah Stane never had a personal connection to Tony, and of course, was not responsible for the assassination attempt on him in the Middle East that led him on the path to becoming Iron Man (originally Vietnam).
-Ivan Vanko, the primary antagonist of Iron Man 2, is not a character that appears in the comics. He is a amalgamation of two Iron Man villains, Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo. His father's name, Anton Vanko, is the identity of the first Crimson Dynamo. Anton's backstory as a disgruntled Stark employee, combined with Ivan's partnership with Justin Hammer, is derived from Whiplash. The initial harness used is a callback to Whiplash, while the bulky armor he wears towards the end of the film is reminiscent of the Crimson Dynamo (sans color). This still does not justify the fact that he is not a villain or character that ever appeared in the comics; he is a creation of the film created by combining two characters.
-Justin Hammer was made much younger in the movie; around Tony's age. In the comics, he appears to be in his later 80s/early 90s. The personality is completely different.
-The Abomination looks nothing like his comic book counterpart. I recall little outrage at how much they changed his appearance, while every article involving the Lizard from the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man derides the lack of a snout, thought the design is reminiscent of the Steve Ditko original.
-Thor's Donald Blake identity from the original comics was done away with, referred to in a throwaway joke.
-Jane Foster is no longer a nurse or physician.
-Bucky was around Captain America's age. While this is a deviation from the original comics, the case could be made that they derived this from the Ultimate comics.
-The Red Skull had no ties to Dr. Erksine or the Super-Soldier formula. He also had no connection the to Hyrda organization.
I could go on further, but it would serve little purpose. Let it be known that I am in no way deriding the Marvel Studios films or pointing out reasons as to why I think they are bad films or poor adaptations. The Avengers is currently my favorite superhero film of all time, Iron Man my third. The other four are all within my top ten, and I am ecstatic to see where the MCU goes next. I do not believe that changes to the source material are necessarily a bad thing, as oftentimes they lead to a better, more exciting film. What works on the page does not always work on screen, and I encourage filmmakers to give us something fresh, even if it means altering the source material or combining bits and pieces of it in ways give fans something new and original.
The point I'm trying to make, is that fans are able to see past glaring changes to the source material with these films, while not with others. In fact, these changes are many fans' reasons as to why they consider them to be horrible films, even if they have yet to be released. X-Men: First Class was torn apart by many fans for ignoring the comic lore and making drastic changes to both characters and events. The Amazing Spider-Man is currently suffering the same scrutiny, mostly towards the Lizard's appearance, the rumored changes to Spider-Man's origin, and Peter Parker's modernized social status. Many fans still claim the Joker from The Dark Knight wasn't the "real" joker, as he wasn't acid-bleached with chemicals, while Bane and Catwoman receive the same amount of derision. Some claim that with the changes made to the Bane character, they should have named him something else, though the same could easily be said about Iron Man 2's Whiplash or The Incredible Hulk's Abomination. On the more nit-picky, OCD, basement-dwelling fanboy side of things, Catwoman receives flack simply for not wearing her trademark cowl in The Dark Knight Rises, while many seem to have gotten over Thor's lack of helmet after realizing it takes little away from the film.
The question I ask is, why does this double-standard exist? Is it simply because the MCU films are produced by Marvel Comic's own film studio? Is it the shared continuity? That would certainly explain why many use "give the rights back to Marvel" as an solution to changes made in non-Marvel Studios films, while pro-Marvel bias would lend itself towards the negative sentiments Nolan's Batman trilogy has been receiving on this site recently. What do you believe is the cause of this double-standard? Or, is there no double-standard, and I'm simply delusional? Leave your thoughts below.
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