Comic movies "too dark"?


Recommended Posts

In his latest column, Brent Bozell writes:

While the "Spiderman" films have retained a fraction of whimsy, movies like "Daredevil" and "The Incredible Hulk" have left many fans hoping they'd seen more righteous heroism and less sulky realism. In the final analysis, superhero comics work best when the reader is inspired, not left seeking Dr. Phil. Complex superheroes can make for a nice, dramatic storyline, but when they're so tortured by personal demons, they can't be very super, can they?

I disagree. The reason Spider-Man is an inspirational character is because of his personal demons. He has these amazing powers, but he can't pay the rent, can't have a girlfriend for fear she will be targeted by his enemies, and can't study enough to get good grades because he's too busy protecting innocent people from criminals. Yet he keeps plugging away, because "with great power comes great responsability."

I do agree that Daredevil, while an enjoyable movie, was too dark. Daredevil should not be killing criminals. He should be a hero that respects life and believes in the justice system. In fact, during one comic storyline in the 1980's, Daredevil fought Spider-Man to stop a vicious beating Spider-man was giving a serial killer, even though that killer had murdered a good friend (and mentor) of Daredevil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, the scene in the subway (where DD lets the crook get hit by the train or whatever) is taken from a very early DD comic book. So he wasn't always the religiously motivated, self-righteous hero.

As for this topic: Heroes are more human (and therefore better) when they have personal demons. That's what makes most Marvel characters more accessible than DC characters. Peter Parker can't catch a break and is fretful that his actions as Spider-Man will result in MJ's death. The Hulk is Banner's walking personal demon. Daredevil is driven by Catholic guilt and a rage he can hardly control. The Punisher... need I say more about Frank Castle? Captain America harbors deep regret over Bucky. Hank Pym is a wife-beating asshole who also happened to construct the greatest foe of the Avengers. Worse yet, Ultron's computer brain is an exact copy of Pym's. (Oops!) Tony Stark is a recovering alcoholic. Reed Richards' pompous error altered the lives of his three closest friends forever, and will always feel guilty for that... especially when it comes to Ben. There's not a single DC character (not even Batman himself) with half the personal demons of a single Marvel character.

Look, it's people like Brent that make me sick. People like him hold this asinine idea that comic books are for children and that the heroes always have to be heroic and without flaws. Look at Superman. He might be 75 years old, but in that time he has displayed Zero (with a capital Z) personality and we've hardly gotten to know him because of it. He's an untouchable god that we cannot relate to. Whereas the 40 year old Spider-Man has been more human than superhuman since Day One because Stan Lee realized heroes are people too; people with real life troubles that (if well written) readers can relate to. And if we can relate to a character, we buy the book.

Now by no means am I advocating the idea that every book should be as dark as The Punisher, Daredevil or even The Watchmen. Campy, lighthearted fun is definitely needed in comic books, but forcing every hero to walk the sunny path will not sell books.

I think I'm going to write a column about this, 'cause I have so much more to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Different things work for different people. I thought Adam West's Batman film was hilarious, especially from the perspective of someone who doesn't buy comics. That said, I enjoyed Burton's Batman films a lot more than Schumacher's (although I really didn't mind BF) because they were better darker.

Haven't got round to seeing Hulk, Daredevil or the Punisher yet but the Spiderman ones are fantastic and I really enjoyed Hellboy as well. All down to personal preference I s'pose...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.