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The Nukes Gotta Go: The Evolution of Comics in Cinema by Glen Ryan Tadych

Deadpool, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse all released within three months of one another; a heavy dose of comic book films for such a short span of time. Interestingly enough, the reception for these films is all over the place.

certainly paid off for them given the film’s worldwide gross of $763 million—Deadpool was 2016’s highest grossing film until Civil War surpassed it in May.

eight years now, starting with Iron Man (2008), and having such extensive character arcs from film to film over that span of time means when a friend vs. friend film like Civil War finally comes about, harder and deeper notes will be struck. In a sense, this is what comic books themselves are like, and it’s awesome to see this level of continuity finally finding its way into cinema. I won’t say the MCU is the first franchise to do this, as that credit belongs to Harry Potter, but the MCU is no doubt taking that continuity to a level beyond Harry Potter.

Moving on to Batman v. Superman and Civil War, it’s obvious the former was just an outright mess, and the film’s 85% drop In my beginnings with Public News, I in ticket sales after one week—a historic presented a so-so review of Avengers: Age Deadpool received an overly welcoming reception from audiences, presenting itself occurrence for such an expensive and of Ultron (2015), what was supposed to highly anticipated film—should serve as as a fresh approach to comic book films, be one of 2015’s biggest movies. It was more than enough evidence to support this but this had more to do with the titular definitely one of last year’s most anticiposition. And if that weren’t enough, actor character than the film itself. Deadpool pated films, behind Star Wars: The Force (Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds) Jeremy Irons (who played Alfred in BatAwakens and Jurassic World, but the end man v. Superman) said the film’s story was isn’t like most comic characters we see result was on a subpar level compared to on the big screen, and given the long wait “overstuffed” and deserved its negative Batman v. Superman was our introduction previous films in the Marvel Cinematic reception. fans endured for a proper adaptation of to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, Universe (MCU), particularly for the the character since the botchery of X-Men and for those who cared about Henry sequel to The Avengers (2012). Origins: Wolverine (2009), it’s fair to say Civil War on the other hand has had an Cavill’s Superman, this film was only his exceptionally superior performance, both second entry, in which case I don’t think expectations were extremely high. Now that we are well into 2016, several commercially and critically. But why most audiences had developed much of heavily anticipated comic book films have is this? If you ask me, I say it’s simply Expectations reached even higher when an attachment to his character. And when hit theaters, with and without favorable because Civil War is a better movie, gener- we’re talking about a climactic fight to the reception. The differences in both the films Deadpool officially received its R rating ally speaking. All the characters and plot death between two iconic characters such and their reviews have sparked numerous from the MPAA, an inevitable decision points aside, better decisions were made given the character’s vulgar nature. This as Batman and Superman, it’s difficult to discussions regarding the status of comic with Civil War in the editing process. Both properly channel an emotional response is a point when most studios will purbook films. Are they getting better? Are films were lengthy, but one could argue sue different directions to make the film from audiences when you’re only in the audiences getting tired of them? I myself Civil War had better pacing than its DC suitable for wider audiences, but there second chapter of your series. have had frequent conversations with a co-worker, an avid comic reader who will comes a time when doing this destroys the counterpart. project’s integrity. So I’ll definitely admit I Yes, Batman v. Superman shows us why be referred to as the Comic Book Guy, was glad to see Fox have the nerve to just Regarding the characters, I feel this is these two would go up against each other, and it’s in these discussions where I’ve but it plays itself out in more of a predictrecognized a pattern regarding these films release Deadpool the way it was meant to more or less self-explanatory, but Civil be seen, despite my not having much inter- War possessed the better character devel- able way because the filmmakers have and the industry. est in either the film or the character, and it opment for obvious reasons. The MCU to rush to fill their 150-minute runtime. has developed these characters in film for


MARCH 29 - APRIL 18, 2017


Public News #43  

Houston's Arts & Entertainment Digital Press March 29 - April 18, 2017

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