Sunday, March 12, 2006

The New Comic Book Movies

For many years now, the comics community--creators, retailers and fans--has striven to spread to the American cultural mainstream the gospel that comics can be, and are, more than superheroes with their testosterone driven mindless violence and depictions of women with boobs that would make Dolly Parton say "That's just too much, girl!" Hollywood, which is endlessly questing for new sources of material so that none of these so called "artists" ever actually has to have an original idea, seems to have gotten that message. In addition to the "usual suspects" such as Batman Begins, Spider-Man, and X-Men, "comic book movies" of recent years have included such non-genre titles as Road To Perdition, Sin City, Ghost World, A History of Violence and From Hell. Of the major comics based films on the horizon for the next few months, only Superman Returns and X-Men: The Last Stand fit the traditional stereotype of the "comic book movie." The other major comics making their way to the silver screen soon are Frank Miller's 300, a tale of ancient Spartan warriors, and the dystopian Science Fiction thriller V For Vendetta, which opens on Friday, if the March issue of Playboy is to be believed, may be the first decent film to be made from the works of Alan Moore.
While I'm looking forward as much as anyone to Spider-Man 3, I most definitely would like to see this trend toward non-superhero "comic book movies" continue and fervently (though, most likely futilely) hope that it leads a few more people to check out the source material and give some respect to the comics medium's true literary potential.

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