Thursday, June 3, 2010

Comics - what you always knew.

With the recent Captain American and Thor pictures appearing online and in the post Iron Man 2 hype, I thought I’d share some thoughts with you all concerning Superheroes.

You know growing up I loved comics and cartoons. I was a geek, complete with glasses, and I loved He-Man, Thundercats, Transformers, Gi Joe, and any and all superhero or superhero related stuff. Comics, games etc. I bought the Marvel Role Playing game and made my own stories. As I grew up I came to realize that I would always love these things. I never “grew out of it”, as so many people wished I did. It has formed the man I am today. I feel that I am a good person with a loving family and I treat people with respect. That being said, superheroes and comics were a big part of that, and I am PROUD OF IT.

I am not ashamed of my opinion and of what I like. I don’t hide that I love comics and that I am a Trekkie, or geek. I don’t find shame in people thinking that I never grew up, I don’t care if they look down on me. I honestly want everyone to either accept who I am for me, or just leave me alone.

I always knew people thought comics were for kids and they really were. Now a days, they are more mature etc. But I love reading the colourful characters that fight crime.

Comics were about mythology, fantasy, becoming a hero and doing good! You had Sub Mariner for guys who like water, you have Thor for mythology lovers and you had Captain America for those who loved soldiers and the military. Fantastic Four were scientists, and Iron Man was an engineer. All good professions! But now blind lawyers must be turned into burgundy avengers and American super soldier icons are turned into bland, dulled down, darkened up men who are being treated with realism. Captain America is supposed to wear the FLAG, but I guess the flag was brown with straps, and dark blue. Realism eh?

I like realism, but not in comics or superheroes. I know everyone here loves Chris Nolan and his vision of Batman. But it’s just not fun. You can tell a good story, with tension and suspense and still make it fun. Look at Superman. Christopher Reeve was just amazing. Good story, it was serious with great actors (Hackman and Brando) and it was fun and left you with a sense of awe! But there was still tension. Luthor sends two missiles to destroy California and New Jersey! Can Superman stop them both? Zod takes over EARTH! I mean they can certainly do something wicked if they wanted to.

It takes a creativity to bring life to these characters, it doesn’t take creativity to drain them of fantasy.

Let’s make Captain America a real soldier. Why would he wear that bright red and blue suit? Because he is a symbol of America. The American flag is what he treasures (remember in Earth X he actually wore the flag and nothing else – toga style). This whole realistic stuff is really bugging me. I am basically done with it.

But I do care, I don’t want my heroes ruined by these fools who cant direct traffic, let alone a film.

Or people with limited imaginations who cant “visualize” a live action Thor, because it’s doest make sense to them. Lets do a film about Greek Mythology where Zeus has a lightening generator and Atlas has a strength enhancer formula or arm guards that help him lift stuff. Maybe Hades can just be a dark priest, who has access to modern medicine, he has no actual magic.

Lets talk about how Iron Man’s suit really works! What is the power source? Who cares! I have never questioned it before. He builds a suit. DONE. Now write a story that is interesting. Developing the armour is NOT a story. It’s an explanation. Movies are stories aren’t they? We didn’t see how Jor-el built the spaceship that carried Superman did we? NO. They are ADVANCED so they can build small ships that fly through galaxies. DONE. Superman lands and lifts a car, and the story gets going. Its not 10 BLOODY SEASONS OF GETTING POWERS!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, but would he have them all right away? Maybe he gains powers later? More explanation, less story. Dialogue is easier to write when you explain stuff. Show, don’t tell. Instead of wasting half the movie on Batman getting his gadgets, why not develop Scarecrow into more of a villain, or show more of Batman later? No no, J-man, we need realism here. That’s what we want in our SUPERHERO MOVIES. Yes Realism is the key to fantasy!

This is a trend that must stop, even Robin Hood and King Arthur aren’t immune to realism. You want realism, go out and get a job and pay some bills. You’ll soon find yourself going back to fantasy.


1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, there are more things that I disagree with you than there is to agree with you on this subject.

    First and foremost, I agree with you that a lot of incompetent people are at the helm of these reboots and rehashes for Hollywood movie plots. It's because of these incompetent people that some of these movies suck. However, it's not because they just added realism. There's nothing wrong with a little realism. It adds plausibility to plot elements. Adding TOO MUCH realism, on the other hand, can really make something look dumbass. It's all about "life in moderation." Balance should be practiced, but it isn't by some.

    For example, if your summary of what Thor's all about is the final version of the script, then we're ready to see a real stinker of a movie. Someone got carried away with this whole realism thing to the point where they're out to debunk a Greek myth....where's the fun in that?

    Well, there's another question worth can movies be "fun?" Movies are capable of being "fun" (even though there's no direct interaction to it like a game) by generating a suspension of belief. This is created by maintaining a very fragile balance between fact and fiction. Too much fact, and things just get boring. Too much fiction, and things just get weird. That said, I think this only applies to only part of what makes a good movie story. It seems that emotion has become a regular trend in storytelling for movies. I don't mind this aspect, either; after all, emotion in a character adds dimension. However, moderation in this aspect apparently is overlooked in many movies. If you ask me, the recent Spider-Man trilogy took a nose dive because they poured on the emotion. I didn't see all of Spider-Man 3, but from what I saw, I did NOT feel for the part near the end when someone dies, yet there were tears shed by the characters....emotion FAILED.

    Perhaps, you can debate that I don't know any better, because I don't. You should know, J-Man, that I was never into American comics. I don't know Batman or Iron Man as they existed in the comic universe. But, the way I see it, although I'm not familiar with how comic book heroes have been for years, perhaps it's this ignorance that's allowing me to see these superhero movies at face value. While the movies may not match up with their literary counterparts, they must live up to being a good story on their own. Some of them are good, MOST of them aren't. I actually thought that Iron Man turned out great (maybe not the second one), but I'll spare you the details this round. :)