5 Of The Most Common Complaints Made By Comic Book Fans, 2nd Complaint!
Comic book fans are passionate people with extremely strong opinions. They give these opinions, whether studios and production houses like it or not. Read on for the 2nd of five articles exploring the most common complaints fans make about comic book movies.
This is the next article in the 5 part series, “5 Of The Most Common Complaints Made By Comic Book Fans” The 1st Complaint can be found HERE
The Movie Is Not True To The Comics!
The Usual Statements
“That’s not the origin!”
“This is not the core group”
“The powers are all wrong”
“There is no way this character would be killed by ____________”
“Why are all of these people getting killed!? They’re part of the comics’ continuity!”
"What the Frak, Jean killed Cyclops? Now Xavier, what is happening!"
What? Why? Who The F*** Cares!?
One of the most commonly argued topics, is the issue of basing a film on a comic, for a director, writer, producer, or a studio to apply their own creative license to change it around. The basic underlying argument, “What’s the point in basing it on a comic book if the studio is just going to end up changing around the essence of what connects it to that book?” On a variety of levels, I completely agree with this, but I’m pragmatic, and a realist. Comic books are not set; at least most of them are not, in the real world. There are two prevailing arguments on this subject.
The first argument states that a comic book film should be a pure escapist event, for the sake of immersing yourself in the experience of the fantasy and grandeur of the story. A subject that is sorely debated among the purist of Batman and Superman fans, debated among Marvel fans as well; but most notably, and passionately, among the DC contemporaries as mentioned above. This is understandable. Why try to route something in realism that should be about whimsy, about fantastical concepts, about characters that are bigger than life? Because the realism eliminates much of the unbelievable wonder, the ideology, and grandeur of the story.
The second argument stems heavily from studios and their contemporaries in terms of taking a comic book story and bringing it to life in a way that will relate to the largest audience possible. This means taking creative license to alter origins, powers, appearances, continuities, and the players involved; to connect the story to a real world. Most of the time the connections are also made to bring the grandeur of the story down to earth and ultimately relate the danger to everyone watching the film. The word “relate” is among the most commonly utilized, more so than “realistic”.
A Few Films that were not true to the comics (that you ended up loving anyway)
X-Men First Class
Nolan Batman Trilogy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
How it all turned out. Well, not all of it.
Depending on the comic, the connection the fans have to that comic, how long they've been connected to that comic, and what it means to them personally. It can become a frustrating situation for these fans. Let’s take that aspect for a moment, “What it means to them personally.” Some fans use comics to escape the real world due to whatever issues they suffer in that real world. Escaping into their comics and surrounding themselves with these characters can have impacts in their lives. Effect who they become as they grow up, and even shape their morality, and their personality. Even if the escape is not born from wanting to get away from the real world, a strong connection can still be made.
Most comic book fans may despise what they see on the screen, sometimes, because of an unrealistic expectation. The expectation based on a studio promising some form of connection to the source material, which ends up not connecting in the way said fans expected in their minds. Sometimes it’s like a form of selective hearing, or filtering, where essentially the comic is connected to the film, but is its own entry into that universe, and not what you read or heard was going to be done.
I used X-Men Last Stand in the image header; because it was one of those films where the studio decided to (pretty much) kill many beloved characters; making its ultimate point of sacrifice by the main character in their trilogy, Wolverine. I at first went crazy with this, feeling the studio totally ignored the comic book fans all together and did the unthinkable. But then I came to the realization, “characters die, and come back, all the time in comics.” Perhaps we’d see them again in the future. The fact that it was the last film in a trilogy is what possibly outraged most fans.
X-Men Last Stand, to continue my example, did have a ton of issues as a film, regardless of it being a comic book movie. Yet, in the end, it wasn't so bad that I’d swear off Marvels comics, or any other film by Fox. I can almost feel (now) the retcon incoming with X-Men Days of Future Past approaching the big screen, and I hope much of what I felt was wrong with X3; Killing Xavier, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and the varied other mutants as cannon fodder will be corrected. But this is literally my point, that’s my expectation, not what may actually happen; so I shouldn't hold my breath. I will just have to wait for the film, and go enjoy it. Whether I'll enjoy it as a comic book film, or just as a popcorn film, is something that only my sensibilities can do for me, not the community at large.
Most of us end up watching the movies, even if we complain about them, and while a lot of complaints are under the protective “warm blanket” that “We buy tickets, we have the right to complain!” Most comic fans forget that the reason most comic book studios are still alive today, financially, are because of the licensing agreements they made with studios to get their properties brought to the big screen. Eventually doing well enough financially to perpetuate the very source of the thing we love, creating comics.
Were you among those that hated a film that you felt strayed too far from the comics? Were you among those to be vocal, are still being vocal? Every day this week a new common complaint fans make will be posted.
Comment, tweet, share, bitch, moan, praise, adore, flame, complain about a typo, or add to the conversation however you please. You’re comic book fans, it’s your right! @emanuelfcamacho
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