Ulterior Motives? A Look at the Comic Book Adaptation Phenomenon

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Amid countless gaudy, big-budget failures, we as valued members of the movie-going public have been regularly graced with above average entries into both DC and Marvel’s ever-expanding catalog of film adaptations. Some are obviously favored over others, but if there’s one thing to be gathered from the recent battery of interrelated Marvel efforts and the mind-blowing success of The Avengers that followed, it’s that Marvel, more so than it’s renowned competitor, got their act together and established a very successful game plan that they’ll undoubtedly employ for their second round of Avengers-oriented films, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man included.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the DC Universe: a sect of similar efforts that have undoubtedly fell victim to what we’d call inconsistency, with projects ranging from abysmal to mediocre to pretty fantastic over the course of several decades. What’s been inherently wrong with these films from the get-go is its heroes’ popularity. For example, we have the original block of Superman films starring the one and only Christopher Reeve, the first half of which were generally favorable to say the least and still hold up today. In 2007, we were graced with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, of which I generally loved but was considered as fair to middling by those self-deemed superfans of the Man of Steel. The issue that this massive gap in between productions presents is that studios will inevitably have to reboot certain franchises to keep in tact both the endless possibilities of modern technology, a big budget, and an overall sense of cohesiveness.

With the Man of Steel reboot starring Henry Cavill as the titular hero looming precariously on the horizon, there’s been a lot of speculation as to whether a Justice League film is in the works, and given rumors of a Batman franchise reboot to follow, this possibility can almost be rendered a reality. It’s almost a crying shame to partially disregard how generally inventive Christopher Nolan’s go with the Dark Knight’s mythos is and always will be, except in order to appeal to a wider audience, a more cartoonish approach, sans-realist overabundance of an appealing gloom-and-doom aesthetic, is required in order to remain steadfast in the production of a so-called Avengers-killer.

Will a Justice League film top The Avengers from a financial standpoint? In all fairness, probably not, and people have been discussing how inaccessible a bulk of the former troupe is in relation to the fast-talking billionaire geniuses, genetically enhanced super soldiers and Norse gods of the Marvel Universe. Are these upcoming DC-inspired titles being made for the sake of upholding the characters’ respective legacies and overall integrity? Or is someone in dire need of a big-budget cash grab to follow in the footsteps of THE biggest comic book-inspired film to ever have existed; arguably so, of course. In any event, be sure to check out the next in line as Marvel’s franchise reboot of the Spidey mythos hits theaters July 3rd, starring The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield as the titular wisecracking web-slinger.

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One comment on “Ulterior Motives? A Look at the Comic Book Adaptation Phenomenon

  1. tomstoup says:

    Great stuff, man!

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