From the comic panel to the movie screen

David Gutman

I love comic books. Period. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve been raised on a steady dose of “Spider-man,” “Batman,” “Green Lantern” and the “Justice League.” With being a comic book reader also comes a love for comic book movies.

But to my ultimate surprise I’ve overheard many people talk about how they don’t like comic book movies at all because they are fake and unrealistic.

“Comic book movies can’t be entertaining for both the regular folk and for the comic book fans,” a friend of mine said. “It would never work.”

I’m going to state the reason why that is not true. The movies “Sin City,” “The Crow” and the portrayal of the Spartans versus the Persians at Thermopylae in “300” were all based on comic books. The movies are so close to the source material that one can hold the comic book and watch the movie and see the similarity on the film. These people have been seeing and enjoying comic book movies for years and have not known it.

What really irks me, as a comic book fan, is when a movie is made based on a comic book and the screenwriter turns the source material on it head. Case in point: “The Dark Knight.” I personally love “Batman” and the stories written about his character, and that is what makes me hate the movie “The Dark Knight.” To me, having Christian Bale growling and grunting like a football player with brain damage was bad enough but making it so that Batman never did any detective work in the entire film astounded me.

Batman was introduced in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939, and making him do no detective work was disheartening. But the worst aspect about this is that the mainstream populace absolutely adores this movie. I’ve tried watching the movie again and tried to watch it fresh like I’ve never read or even heard of Batman before and I still think the movie is bad.

That same friend of mine, who said that comic book movies that cater to both bases would never be good, also said that he loved “Dark Knight.” Go figure.

What people don’t realize is that comic book movies can and have been entertaining for both readers and non-readers. Smash hits like “Spider-man” 1-3, “X-Men” 1-3, “Iron Man” 1-2, “The Incredible Hulk,” “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World,” “Watchmen,” and many others who have had the screen treatment are true to their source material and are entertaining enough for the regular folk.

With a full heart I cannot wait for the other comic book movies coming out in theaters soon: “Green Lantern,” “Thor,” “Captain America,” “The Avengers” and many others yet to have a release date. In the meantime I will see you at the movies.

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