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Craig Oxbrow said on May 9th, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I always figured the main problem with putting Doctor Doom on screen is that he’d be a lot like Darth Vader. Sure, he predates Vader by fifteen years, but Vader got to live-action movies first and was pretty popular.

However, the films’ solution to make him Gene Hackman’s Luthor in a mask was perhaps not the way to go.

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I also think it’s still entirely fair to say that these movies ARE innovative and new to audiences that have never heard of some of this crazy shit before. I’m pretty sure “Thor” was the first time a lot of people ever considered the concept of an eight-legged horse this weekend.

And it’s not like some of these new batches of movies are without their innovations. Making Jane Foster an astrophysicist was actually a pretty good idea, as was making Jarvis an AI program. I note Iron Man in the comics now has an arc reactor, something completely made up for the films.

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Part of the issue here also comes down to the fallibility of language.

When a comic book fan says they want an adaptation to be faithful, there’s the aspect of that where they want the established canon of a comic book to be present on screen (Thor as a Norse god, Tony Stark has to bust out of imprisonment with his armor, Captain America started in World War II). These have their place, and if too much there is changed, it starts to feel like a different character entirely.

But there’s also the adherence to the basic idea. In the Spiderman movies, the fact that Uncle Ben died during a carjacking instead of a robbery does not matter at all. Not one bit. He’s still dead, and Peter still feels guilty. But in the third one, saying it was someone else that actually killed him undermines that very basic aspect of the character. It’s not a problem because it’s different from the comics, it’s a problem because it pushes Peter away from being Spiderman.

So the question is, which do I mean when I say I want something to be “faithful?” How about “authentic” or “accurate?” Or is a mixture of the two? There’s no one word that’s commonly used which only means one or the other here.

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FistFullOfFists said on May 10th, 2011 at 2:38 am

the biggest problem with green lanterns mask in the movie is that at times it either looks like a layer of skin, or it looks like the mask is a layer of skin too deep.

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Hal Jordan’s mask in the Green Lantern film isn’t the same as that in the comics, actually. The mask in the comics covers his entire nose and a little more of his face. The film mask covers less, and looks crap as a result.

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highlyverbal said on May 10th, 2011 at 6:32 am

I think directors should be allowed to make informed departures from canon. In order to do that, they have to know the canon. So if a director is willing to do some background reading of comics, I will have a lot more confidence in the output in many ways.

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John 2.0 said on May 10th, 2011 at 10:41 am

I think it really comes down to the changes being the result of a thoughtful conserderation of the adaptation vs. the director’s need to put their ‘stamp’ on the character.

I know leather-clad X-men was mocked during production, but it made sense in context of a more ‘real world’ setting, and it gave us Morrison’s ‘rescue team’ asthetic of New X Men. Making Jane Foster a scientist makes complete sense. Giving the Batsuit nipples only serves to ramp up the camp factor. Making Sue Storm a scientist would have worked if they’d picked an actress that could both 1. look good in the costume and 2. project intelligence (I vote for Kristen Bell).

GL’s mask might or might not make sense. It depends on context we don’t have yet.

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drmedula said on May 10th, 2011 at 11:56 am

Fans have a tendency to just ASSUME Hollywood will be unfaithful. I’ve recently been on a Conan fan board where everyone is already refering to the upcoming film as “unfaithful”- even though EVERY SINGLE WORD out of Conan’s mouth in BOTH released trailers is a DIRECT QUOTE from the original Howard stories (As is the official ad-line, “Born on the Battlefield”).
Ironically, many of them are praising the 1982 Swarzenegger film, which was attacked by fans of the time for the liberties IT took with the source material…

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Both Tales And Highlyverbal are on to something here. I accepted a long time ago that changes HAVE to be made in adapting comics into movies. (Heck, even in the comics themselves, changing from one creative team to another, over decades.)As Tales said, there are certain scenes/elements in a given story that we want/need to see. The path the story takes to get to those scenes, we (as fans) should allow filmmakers to be flexible with.

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Note-for-note adaptations seem a little pointless to me, as well as ultimately doomed for failure (or at least mediocrity). An awful lot is going to be lost in the transition from one visual format into an arguably less-versatile visual format unless something is done to take advantage of what flesh-and-blood actors (at the very least, since practical sets and effects are going the way of the dodo for genre films) can offer which their statically-drawn two-dimensional counterparts can’t.

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Bah, superhero comic fans often fall into an unhealthy nostalgia/idiot conservatism trip.

Adaptations are first and foremost about making good movies and if you have a part that’s detrimental to that, you cut it. If an idea doesn’t work anymore today or was stupid to begin with, you cut it. If a mask looks dreadful on a character, you cut it.

Just because you grew up with something doesn’t make it automatically good.

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“something more innovative like Spider-Man 3”

… say what now?

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I believe that reaction was the point, UnSub.

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It needed more air quotes then. :-)

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