Comic-Book Fans vs. Comic-Book Movies
Comic-book purists will be the first to tell you when a movie based on a given comic-book title sucks.
Often, they will tell you this before the film has been COMPLETED, let alone released.
They can do this not because they are a kind of psychic Siskel or ESP-bert, but because of one, simple, and irrefutable truth — EVERY comic-book movie sucks. Because SOMEONE will always find fault or otherwise be disappointed when their favorite super-hero makes the transition from newsprint to final print. And THAT’S because even though both are “visual” mediums, and a comic seems like a perfect storyboard for film, something is always lost in translation, meaning that someone, somewhere, will invariably call “suck.” But are they right?
Of COURSE they’re right, because it is an expression of their opinion. But are they being fair?
Complaining that a film isn’t a faithful representation of a beloved comic-book is a little like complaining that your Big Mac isn’t enough like the cow it came from. It’s a completely different animal; processed and engineered to be consumed by the masses. And no, that doesn’t mean the comic-reading masses, it means Mr. & Mrs. Moviegoer. The latest issue of HELLBOY sold around twenty thousand copies. HELLBOY II: The Golden Army made about $75 million domestically.
Even when you count those readers who are “waiting for the trade,” the differential is substantial. Definitely an unfair comparison, but that’s exactly my point.
Whether or not you felt the WATCHMEN movie sucked has nothing to do with the WATCHMEN comic, the same way that THE GODFATHER III sucking (an opinion I disagree with, by the way) can’t take anything away from the first two films. Nor, for that matter, can THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN take anything away from THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, because you’re either comparing apples to oranges, or apples to some other, perhaps shittier, apples.
And the fact of the matter is, enough people will eat shitty apples that it becomes a moot point.
Because every last one of those comic-book purists that talked smack about X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE will still buy a ticket and wait in line to see it.
How do you like THEM apples?