In the beginning, there was a time where comics and books were the only media that took your imagination to other realms. Over time, TV, movies, and even video games allowed our imaginations to stretch out and continue. Throughout that time, characters come and go, heroes would sometimes fall, and the villains would sometimes be the ones we'd cheer for. Our heroes were still all symbols we've looked up to, but as times changed, so did the heroes- most notably the transition from comics to movies.
Ten years ago, if you would of told me I'd see The Avengers on the big screen, I wouldn't believe you. I look back at it, and I still can't believe it's happening. Some people don't know what has changed from the original comics, to the movies, meaning both origin stories, and what exactly we've been delivered in the media. I'll be providing one example where updates from originals helped benefits the movies we got today.
Example: Iron Man
What We Got:
Show of hands, how many of you knew about Iron man's golden suit after the silver original suit? How about the different amounts of suits until we got something that looks remotely like the one in the movies? The suit with Roller-Blades? In this case, the movie outdid what the comics provided. The movie decided to surpass some of the more 'outlandish' designs in the comics, and create something both modern, and profound enough where people would buy it. Cave-Made suit - Silver Prototype - Mark III. It'd be great to see, Tony have a huge armory in the movie, but let's think about Iron Man (movie) focusing on the aspect of that. Would both the audience and fan boys enjoy the entire first movie focusing on the grey cave suit, silver prototype, golden suit, and then finally a gold and red suit? Fan boys- yes, but the normal audience doesn't need that. The direction Iron Man took to update the origin and then merge comic history together.
Not only did the entire war in Afghanistan replace the Vietnam War in the original comics, but so did major plot points. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia on Tony's origin:
While observing the effects of his experimental technologies on the American war effort, Tony Stark is injured by a booby trap and captured by the enemy led by Wong-Chu, who then orders him to design weapons. However, Stark's injuries are dire and shrapnel is moving towards his heart. His fellow prisoner, Ho Yinsen, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work Stark had greatly admired during college, constructs a magnetic chest plate to keep the shrapnel from reaching Stark's heart, keeping him alive. In secret, Stark and Yinsen use the workshop to design and construct a suit of powered armor, which Stark uses to escape. But during the escape attempt, Yinsen sacrifices his life to save Stark's by distracting the enemy as Stark recharges. Stark takes revenge on his kidnappers and heads back to rejoin the American forces, on his way meeting a wounded American Marine fighter pilot, James "Rhodey" Rhodes.
Did you pick up on what the movie changed and kept the same? Updating the movie to a modern time war not only set up a better ground for The Avengers, but it also kept the movie from being a complete train-wreck period piece. I also believe the Extremis storyline revamped Tony's origin to where it happened in the Middle East, which also aided the movie's plot and setting. Not many people know just how much the movie changed and kept, but sometimes updating origins benefits the way things flow. Would you still be interested in a period piece movie set during the Korean War times? How about Stark having to recharge his battery? All these things were changed and updated, and it created a much more tangible experience for moviegoers and fans a-like.
It's a funny thing, both as comic fans, and fans of comic book movies, we sometimes seem to forget the origins, or at least we over blow these things. Sometimes origins can be really destroyed a la X-Men Origins:Wolverine, and sometimes changing things up can also lead to a better movie experience like First Class, and even Thor. I figured some would find this as an interesting read, and maybe think about what they complain about on screen. If this is received well, I'll write one about Thor or even Batman. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.
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