I’m My Own Worst Enemy

Saw Iron Man 3 this past weekend and it was awesome and you should totally go see it if you have even the slightest interest in superhero films or summer action flicks or damn good movies. You should also probably stop reading this post because it has nothing to do with IM3 and awesome things.

That is because I’m a glutton for punishment and when good things happen at the movies — specifically good comic films — I immediately start on an Internet sleuthing expedition to find out information about the future of comic films. And then I want to be a superhero who can go back in time and slap myself upside the head because of my crippling stupidity.

For what it’s worth this time I can blame other people. See after seeing IM3 with a group of friends we got on the subject of Man of Steel and there was some general excitement from these friends which I was baffled by. I wasn’t sure if it was just that these people largely don’t read comics — and maybe they’re the smart ones in this case because I’m still trying to forget my brief toe-dipping into the DCnU — but these were also the same people who were genuinely excited about The Hunger Games after I’d completely written it off before the trailer was released and the train wreck had turned into awesome. Could that be the case here?

Yeah, no. It’s still awful. Or at the very least really confusing. I might be biased, though, because I still have residual anger about Nolan’s Batman trilogy and I actually watched Green Lantern and I really miss Superman’s underpants.

I realize now that the crux of my problem is that too much is changing. I know this sounds somewhat counterintuitive to my usual assertion that transitions inherently are change because they are an interpretation. And here I am quibbling over things like costume designs. If I seem nitpicky perhaps I am. But by all accounts the recent changes in the comics — and by extension the films and television shows — are all attempts to streamline stories and make these characters relatable to today.

Uh, okay. Well, that’s fine and good to an extent, but I don’t really understand the point of changing the very essence of the characters themselves. It’s my biggest issue with Nolan’s Batman, though, admittedly not the issue that sends me into a frothy rage. And, by all accounts, it’s the same thing that’s going on with MoS. Certainly it’s the angle the New 52 have taken and why I can’t really manage to read anything that’s come out from the last year. But that was an issue long before the reboot, albeit on a less grand scale — and mostly I was concerned with Wonder Woman who has been going off the deep end of character development for what seems my entire life.

The funny thing is that taking characters that are popular and retooling them into new superheroes is not something that’s never been done. The best example I can think of — you know, to be relevant to today — is Green Arrow who literally started out as a carbon copy of Batman except he had a bow. I’m not exaggerating this in the least. It wasn’t even thinly veiled as so much there wasn’t an effort to veil anything. And now he has a surprisingly popular TV show that I haven’t bothered to watch because I’m still trying to get over Smallville and I only watched three seasons of that, which was giving up on it well before it truly became absurd.

What reduces me to tears is that MoS is very likely to succeed. It’s Superman after all. He’s as recognizable as Mickey Mouse. Even if you’ve never read a single comic, seen the Donner films, or had any exposure to him through all his stints on TV you probably still know a bit of his story. Plus, it’s summertime and action flicks rule the box office and even at it’s most terrible there will still be fists and explosions and other visual eye candy. And, really, all it has to do is make more money than Superman Returns. That may not seem like much of a feat, but it too followed a rather unloved Supes film and at the time was the largest opening weekend for Warner Bros. From this inevitable future will undoubtedly come yet more films that will actively chip away at my soul. Like Justice League. Oh, and the animated features aren’t instilling any confidence either. In short, it’s something of a joke to say that the LEGO Batman film is the best from the latest crop. And it should be noted I already knew what I was getting into with that particular flick since I played through the game.

Don’t even get me started on Teen Titans GO!


  1. Comic book scribe and editor Dennis O’Neil stated that he “felt the filmmakers really understood the character they were translating”, citing this film as the best of the live-action Batman films.

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