IS REALISM THE KEY TO THE ULTIMATE COMICBOOK MOVIE?!
Which is the most successful approach for today's audience?
I've spent the past 20 years, as many comicbook fans my age, collecting & storing the most diverse range of comicbook material, and it's transition onto the silverscreen. I think we can all agree that the anticipation to see your hero immortalised on screen is one of the most anxious & nervewracking moments in any hardcore afficiendos diary!
It's sometimes easy to forget just how many have actually made the transition over the past 30 to 40 years, infact, sometimes they've been so under the radar for today's younger audiences, that they'd be shocked to realise of their existence, no matter the quality of the end product. Who, of those of us lucky enough to grow up in the 70's / 80's can forget the likes of Wonderwoman & The Incredible Hulk? Delving further into the more obscure of tv adaptions, many of us were glued to the live action version of Captain Marvel & Captain America.
Of course, sometime after this, comicbooks, and graphic novels in particular, took a decidely more realistic turn on it's source material. The likes of Superman, during the Bryne era, were somewhat powered down, and although it took a while for their tv / counterparts to follow suit, the seeds were being sown. Tim Burton immortalized the darkness we all craved for in Batman,.. and with it came the eventual acceptance that superheroes were more than merely wham bam wallop 20 minute fillers. Of course the Reeves Superman movies were more than helpful in maintaining verisimilitude in screen adaptions. The 90's were a somewhat hark back to the campness of the 60's,... Batman & Robin, Lois & Clark, Xena,..the list goes on.
Now, where are we?! The Dark Knight, Ironman, Hulk, Superman Returns, Fantastic Four,... a veritable pic&mix of realism & downright campness is what it has come to in the past ten years,.. and the trend doesn't look set to change,... Thor: Brannagh giving it an almost shakespearian treatment, Captain America: Stylised, gungho patriotism,.. & Green Lantern: Campbell going for the lighhearted yet epic grand scale.
So the question is,.. which is the most successful approach for today's audience? Yes, of course, it all depends on the source material,.. what's right for Batman isn't right Superman,... right?!
There seems to be this consensus among certain viewers that because The Dark Knight was so successful, realism within a superhero world is the way to go. I firmly disagree! TDK was a wonderful movie in it's own right,.. but as a superhero flick? It didn't even equate as one to me. The best superhero movies in my experience that embrace what makes that character fun to read,... the reason you look up to them as a child.
I know what I look forward to in a superhero movie,.. and it sure isn't darkness & gritteness.... I look for a fine balance. I truly believe Snyder will completely blend every element for The Man Of Steel,... the perfect figurehead to push ahead a somewhat crowded genre.
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