Fortress of Fandom: Are Hollywood Adaptations Ruining Comic Book Movies?


Story By: Jarrett Ramones, Multimedia Journalist

Once again I’m here arguing against not only with my fellow Fortress Friends but also myself. Here we go, movies about comic books will never ever capture the true essence of the source material. There I said it! (actually that was way easier than I had imagined) This may be an unpopular stance but give me a second and I’ll break it down.

Lets examine what it is about comics that separates them from other forms of entertainment. First off there is pacing, a comic progresses in the liking of the individual reader. There is no music or editing that can manipulate the viewer’s feelings about a given action. The reader interprets the action on the page for themselves.

Next, think about voice. The sound of a character’s voice may not seem important at first but it really makes or breaks the likeability of a character. Consider (you saw this coming) Christian Bale’s Batrasp, cheezus that was unintelligible. Fans panned Bat-Bale’s raspy ramblings and you know why?

“Because fan-children are unsatisfiable monsters ready to cast out and chastise any that might envision their precious superheroes different than them?”

NO, well yeah, kind of, but No disembodied voice! It is because fans of particular characters have a very specific idea of what their favorite character sounds like and anything that is not it will only infuriate and disappoint.

Look the truth is that while comic book movies are great fun for the whole family, comic book purists will always have a reason to hate choices made that alters the source for the sake of the film. To the casual viewer it might not be a big deal that the Ninja Turtles be from space but to anyone who loved the source material this is scandalous blastpheme.

Lets move on to duration. A film has a beginning, middle and end, that’s it. If it is a particularly popular franchise you might see a series of sequels (or the Force forbid prequels) but there is always a definite ending to popular film franchises.

On the other hand certain comic books run on for years, you can walk into a given comic book retailer and pick up a new story every day for the rest of your life (lest society march ourselves into the “Walking Dead”). There is never a lapse in new content for fans is basically my point, films have to mash storylines together just to try and please as many people as possible.

I love comic books. I love movies. Will I continue to see comic book movies? Of course, but the fact of the matter is is film will never be able to appropriately portray what it is that makes comic books so special.

 Perhaps I have yet to convince you that movies are less than capable of capturing the essence of the source comic books well then I have a few words for you: Howard the Duck, Green Lantern, Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four, Barb Wire, Ghost Rider, Catwoman, Jonah Hex, and DAREDEVIL.