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An iconic comic book writer on what's wrong with dark superhero movies

May. 30, 2014by: Alex Maidy

There is a trend in comic book movies to take all of our classic superheroes and turn them into darker versions of themselves. We have seen it happen to pretty much everything from Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as well as the recent AMAZING SPIDER-MAN reboot, but DC seems to be the biggest culprit of doing this. While it seemed to work wonders for Christopher Nolan's trilogy, many didn't click the same way with GREEN LANTERN or last year's MAN OF STEEL.

While fans can cry all they want about it, when those in the industry begin to speak up you know it is becoming a huge issue. One such person is iconic comics writer Mark Waid. Waid is a veteran of writing characters like Superman, Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, and many more and he is not pleased with the way comic heroes have been portrayed in recent years.

"But this relentless cynicism of, 'Oh, I’m a superhero, what a tortured tragic figure I am.' Bite me, you can fly. Shut up. You know? This is the, 'Oh, my diamond shoes are too tight' problem. (Laughs)

"You’re a superhero. Shut up and enjoy having superpowers. This makes me crazy. This is why the Marvel movies kick DC movies’ asses right and left. Because, I’m not paying $15 for a movie to go watch people being morose about lives that are much more interesting and exciting than mine and they hate them. I’m paying my money to see people sort of revel in doing things that I can’t do."

While I may disagree regarding that being the reason Marvel has been beating DC, it is definitely a factor.  But, in my opinion, Marvel has been doing it way too much themselves.  ANT-MAN was slated to be a much funnier and lighter superhero movie from Edgar Wright and look what happened there.  Waid elaborates on what the issue is with the studios.

"I would simplify it to say that, Batman made a ton of money for Warner Bros, and if you are a major motion picture studio, you know what works and you’re not terribly interested in trying another formula when this one makes a billion dollars. So, I understand it. I don’t agree with it, but I understand the rationale of, everybody’s going to have Batman’s origin, because look how much money Batman made us.

"Conversely, look at how badly the Green Lantern did as a movie. Because they tried to make it a little less dark and onerous and tragic and tortured. They didn’t succeed, but that wasn’t the tone of the movie. That and a million other factors. I don’t think the tone was the problem. But if I’m a Warner Bros. executive, I can understand why I would think that the tone would be the problem. In other words, major motion picture studios like Disney or Warner Bros, they know what works for them, so they’re gonna keep doing more of that."

I have been vocal on this site in favor of the more light-hearted comic book movies like Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN and Tim Story's FANTASTIC FOUR because they were able to balance a level of darkness while still making a fun movie that felt like a comic book.  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY looks like it strikes this balance as well and Disney's BIG HERO 6 even has an element of that.  One of the best superhero movies of all time, THE INCREDIBLES, was able to strike a good line between being outright funny and dark without sacrificing what makes the genre so great.

Until superhero movie begin to bomb, I doubt that we will see an overhaul of the genre.  We can expect darkness and tortured heroes to pervade our cineplexes until the movies stop grossing hundreds of millions of dollars.  But, at least someone is starting to speak up about it.

Source: Den of Geek

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10:27AM on 06/02/2014

I don't agree

I think some people are confusing dark with "serious". Batman and Robin was very light-hearted and comic booky, but it was awful. Thank heavens Christopher Nolan actually looked at Batman/Bruce Wayne as a serious, mature character. That character is dark by nature. Man of Steel wasn't dark it was just more of a serious look at Superman. I think it seems natural for Superman to not want the powers he has where he is different from everyone else around him. He wasn't whiny!
And Green Lantern
I think some people are confusing dark with "serious". Batman and Robin was very light-hearted and comic booky, but it was awful. Thank heavens Christopher Nolan actually looked at Batman/Bruce Wayne as a serious, mature character. That character is dark by nature. Man of Steel wasn't dark it was just more of a serious look at Superman. I think it seems natural for Superman to not want the powers he has where he is different from everyone else around him. He wasn't whiny!
And Green Lantern wasn't dark... it was just bad!
I think Iron Man works really well because Tony Stark's character is comical and self centered. Captain America was amazing because they seemed to take the subject matter a little more seriously and not try to make it a comedy. The result was a great movie!
Batman made a ton of money because he is an awesome character and we had an amazing director bring that character to life!
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10:56PM on 06/01/2014

I have the opposite problem...

I really hate it when movie studios try to inject light hearted sidekicks, neighbors, comic relief, etc into dark movies. For example, the characters of Albrecht and Sarah in The Crow, The stupid neighbors subplot in the Thomas Jane Punisher film (and Travolta chewing scenery), Jigsaw being so over the top (and his stupid brother) in Stevenson's Punisher War Zone, Rob Scneider in Stallone's Judge Dredd, etc etc etc. Make a hard R Punisher with no comic relief or light hearted BS, and it will
I really hate it when movie studios try to inject light hearted sidekicks, neighbors, comic relief, etc into dark movies. For example, the characters of Albrecht and Sarah in The Crow, The stupid neighbors subplot in the Thomas Jane Punisher film (and Travolta chewing scenery), Jigsaw being so over the top (and his stupid brother) in Stevenson's Punisher War Zone, Rob Scneider in Stallone's Judge Dredd, etc etc etc. Make a hard R Punisher with no comic relief or light hearted BS, and it will be a classic.
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9:14AM on 06/01/2014
Green Lantern was basically a movie that didn't know what it wants to be. It had a dark story but they wanted people to think that it's a lighthearted movie, which ended up making the movie not making a lot of sense. Hal Jordan is supposed to be this guy who laughs at danger and enjoys being a superhero. Of course he has a sad and depressing backstory which eventually come back to haunt him, but that could have been saved for the sequel.
Green Lantern was basically a movie that didn't know what it wants to be. It had a dark story but they wanted people to think that it's a lighthearted movie, which ended up making the movie not making a lot of sense. Hal Jordan is supposed to be this guy who laughs at danger and enjoys being a superhero. Of course he has a sad and depressing backstory which eventually come back to haunt him, but that could have been saved for the sequel.
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5:23PM on 05/31/2014
I completely reject your premise re: Ant-Man. You do not have any of the details to say the issue with that is because it was supposed to funny, but they wanted to make it dark.
I completely reject your premise re: Ant-Man. You do not have any of the details to say the issue with that is because it was supposed to funny, but they wanted to make it dark.
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5:14PM on 05/31/2014
I am a huge fan of Nolan's Batman movies, and I like my comic book movies dark, with that said, I do also like the comic book movies that try to be like a comic book. Bright, and vibrant, over the top, and fun. I personally like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (although Jaime Foxx performance was too much), I also feel the main reason it didn't get good reviews AND most people didn't like it, is because it got rid of the dark comic book tone we have been seeing in comic book movies lately. The movie
I am a huge fan of Nolan's Batman movies, and I like my comic book movies dark, with that said, I do also like the comic book movies that try to be like a comic book. Bright, and vibrant, over the top, and fun. I personally like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (although Jaime Foxx performance was too much), I also feel the main reason it didn't get good reviews AND most people didn't like it, is because it got rid of the dark comic book tone we have been seeing in comic book movies lately. The movie was extremely vibrant, and over the top, and fun. It LOOKED like a comic book movie, the bright colors, the sillyness (which felt like spider-man.). So I like my comic book movies dark, but only if it calls for it, but I think everyone is so into everything being so grounded and dark now days that movies like TASM2 aren't going to succeed anymore.
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3:06PM on 05/31/2014

Hey Alex, which Marvel Studios movies do you think are guilty of this?

I'm not trying to be snarky here, just curious because I don't see them doing the dark approach with their films, hell for better or worse Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 were almost full on comedy. On subject, I agree with Waid, I disliked MOS not because it was a badly made or acted film but the 'dark' tone was the wrong approach for Superman.
I'm not trying to be snarky here, just curious because I don't see them doing the dark approach with their films, hell for better or worse Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 were almost full on comedy. On subject, I agree with Waid, I disliked MOS not because it was a badly made or acted film but the 'dark' tone was the wrong approach for Superman.
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+0
10:45AM on 05/31/2014

He's one of those people that claim that...

... movies are a diversion to forget the real world for 2 hours. Not everyone thinks that way. There are also people who prefer watching something challenging. There's no right or wrong there, but you gotta respect the other side. Nowadays, the premise or the trailer or even the poster can tell you whether a movie will be escapist fun or not. So if it's not your thing, don't watch them.
... movies are a diversion to forget the real world for 2 hours. Not everyone thinks that way. There are also people who prefer watching something challenging. There's no right or wrong there, but you gotta respect the other side. Nowadays, the premise or the trailer or even the poster can tell you whether a movie will be escapist fun or not. So if it's not your thing, don't watch them.
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4:01AM on 05/31/2014
I would rather watch a dark superhero movie than some goofy nonsense that throws in stupid, distracting elements that jarringly remind you you're watching a film. Fact is there are myriad ways you can portray most comicbook characters - there's rarely one specific way of handling the character that everyone agrees is correct. Balance is key. The Fantastic Four movies were too silly - doesn't mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and make them angry nihilists, but it's something
I would rather watch a dark superhero movie than some goofy nonsense that throws in stupid, distracting elements that jarringly remind you you're watching a film. Fact is there are myriad ways you can portray most comicbook characters - there's rarely one specific way of handling the character that everyone agrees is correct. Balance is key. The Fantastic Four movies were too silly - doesn't mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater and make them angry nihilists, but it's something that needed to be addressed with the reboot. The Raimi Spider-Man films were right in a lot of ways, but when you rewatch them now Peter Parker and Mary Jane come across as incredibly irritating, whiny characters, and obviously the third film upped the stupid levels and we get emo-jazz Peter. Spider-Man's story has dark elements and plenty of them, but there should always be a core of positivity. Peter Parker is funny and sarcastic and usually loves having powers, but there are still days when it feels like a curse for him. You absolutely need balance with his character. Batman's invariably held up as the darkest of heroes, but he definitely has a sense of humour in the comics which we've not seen handled well in the films since the Michael Keaton era.
I don't have the massive problem with Man Of Steel that a lot of you seem to. It was a perfectly valid take on the character's origin that's more in keeping with where comics are at today than the jovial/silly Richard Donner movies. Again I think a balance could be struck between the two but I find Snyder's film to be the more satisfying, modern comic-like experience.
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3:38AM on 05/31/2014
In the future I expect movies to become interactive. We already have this to extent with movies getting different cuts in different regions and Iron Man 3 even getting added scenes for its release in China. I suspect that in the future the theaters will scan the audience and only show the R-rated cut if there are no kids so everyone will be able see every movie when it comes out and people who go to late night screenings can see violence and nudity. Actually we can do this NOW: if audiences
In the future I expect movies to become interactive. We already have this to extent with movies getting different cuts in different regions and Iron Man 3 even getting added scenes for its release in China. I suspect that in the future the theaters will scan the audience and only show the R-rated cut if there are no kids so everyone will be able see every movie when it comes out and people who go to late night screenings can see violence and nudity. Actually we can do this NOW: if audiences can choose between 2-D and 3-D then why can't they choose between R and PG13 cuts?
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3:17AM on 05/31/2014

Green Lantern had a light tone?

All Hal Jordan did for two hours was whine about how afraid he was. It was too dark. It should have been "An alien gave me a ring!" "Are you guys getting married?" Rim shot.

X-men Origins: Wolverine should have been darker: it should have started with Wolverine waking up and having metal claws and screaming because he didn't know where they came from.
All Hal Jordan did for two hours was whine about how afraid he was. It was too dark. It should have been "An alien gave me a ring!" "Are you guys getting married?" Rim shot.

X-men Origins: Wolverine should have been darker: it should have started with Wolverine waking up and having metal claws and screaming because he didn't know where they came from.
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1:43AM on 05/31/2014
i agree not every superhero needs to be dark i never pictured spider-man being dark or the fantastic four but there making them dark the only ones i can think of that deserve to be dark is batman the punisher and wolverine
i agree not every superhero needs to be dark i never pictured spider-man being dark or the fantastic four but there making them dark the only ones i can think of that deserve to be dark is batman the punisher and wolverine
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12:25AM on 05/31/2014
Agree that superhero films shouldn't be dark, only a few characters call for it, such as Batman....but stop bringing up Tim Story's FF, they were fun when they came out, but now that are just terrible.
Agree that superhero films shouldn't be dark, only a few characters call for it, such as Batman....but stop bringing up Tim Story's FF, they were fun when they came out, but now that are just terrible.
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+1
11:00PM on 05/30/2014

Mark Waid is a popular writer, but not a very good one, and while he's right in a general sense, I think he's missing the mark.

Mark's missing the mark, get it?

Okay, seriously though, he's totally right about the studios mentality about going with a proven formula. However, superhero films going "dark and gritty" isn't the problem. That's what the entire comics industry itself has been doing since the 1980's, and a lot of the time it works really well (X-Men, The Nolan Batman films, Blade). Even so, that trend is really just emblematic of a greater trend to set superhero films in a more realistic, grounded world,
Mark's missing the mark, get it?

Okay, seriously though, he's totally right about the studios mentality about going with a proven formula. However, superhero films going "dark and gritty" isn't the problem. That's what the entire comics industry itself has been doing since the 1980's, and a lot of the time it works really well (X-Men, The Nolan Batman films, Blade). Even so, that trend is really just emblematic of a greater trend to set superhero films in a more realistic, grounded world, which is a trend I am wholeheartedly 100% in favor of. The vast majority of really good superhero films since the original X-Men have followed this trend (again the good X-Men films, Nolan's Bat flicks, Iron Man, Winter Soldier). The problem isn't when directors and studios try to make the films "dark" or "realistic" it's when they don't understand the source material so they get lazy and just copy someone else's formula, and that is a problem that is universal with adaptations as a whole.
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5:21AM on 05/31/2014
Trend trend trend trend trend.





Trend.
Trend trend trend trend trend.





Trend.
10:56PM on 05/30/2014
For me, comics will always be superior to movies. So they can do whatever the hell they want with the movies.

Just keep your corporate money-grubbing hands out of my comic box.
For me, comics will always be superior to movies. So they can do whatever the hell they want with the movies.

Just keep your corporate money-grubbing hands out of my comic box.
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10:32PM on 05/30/2014
I agree completely. Superheroes are at their core a wish fulfillment tale. Captain America: Winter Soldier nailed it. It grounded things enough to make the audience connect, and it still embraced the comic book fantasy. Captain America was portrayed as a bright eyed boyscout who follows the rules (but not in an over the top naive kind of way). This film embraced that light hearted aspect of the character, and it made for a better movie.

Man of Steel, on the other hand, was too afraid of
I agree completely. Superheroes are at their core a wish fulfillment tale. Captain America: Winter Soldier nailed it. It grounded things enough to make the audience connect, and it still embraced the comic book fantasy. Captain America was portrayed as a bright eyed boyscout who follows the rules (but not in an over the top naive kind of way). This film embraced that light hearted aspect of the character, and it made for a better movie.

Man of Steel, on the other hand, was too afraid of Superman's boyscout nature. WB looked at what was trending, and decided that Superheroes must be dark and emotionally wrecked. They fought against everything that made Superman work as a character, and as a result the film turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the decade.
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10:57PM on 05/30/2014
Your avatar is the shit.
Your avatar is the shit.
11:03PM on 05/30/2014
I don't agree with Waid's comments on the whole, but I totally agree with your assessment of one of the major reasons why Winter Soldier worked and Man of Steel didn't.
I don't agree with Waid's comments on the whole, but I totally agree with your assessment of one of the major reasons why Winter Soldier worked and Man of Steel didn't.
5:07PM on 05/31/2014
I'm pretty convinced that Winter Soldier worked because of all the other elements besides Cap himself in the movie and how he interacted with him. The character itself is one of the most boring, one dimensional, dated, and cliche super heroes to have ever been created. There's nothing to him, and the first flick was a dud for thinking that there was. You can't reinvent or update a character called Captain America, he was/is a product of the time period he was created in, which is what sucks
I'm pretty convinced that Winter Soldier worked because of all the other elements besides Cap himself in the movie and how he interacted with him. The character itself is one of the most boring, one dimensional, dated, and cliche super heroes to have ever been created. There's nothing to him, and the first flick was a dud for thinking that there was. You can't reinvent or update a character called Captain America, he was/is a product of the time period he was created in, which is what sucks about him. There's only so much you can do with him. The only other way to keep people invested is to challenge the character with outside forces that make him question his cliche character traits and the world in which he exists. However, no matter what you do he's just not flexible enough to be unpredictable or interesting as a character because of his foundations. I credit Winter Soldier with keeping me invested in the events of the film, but that's because Marvel realized that to draw people into a Cap film these days you need to focus on his world, not his character.

So basically, it's not about recognizing and being loyal to a traditional boy-scout character trait, it's about finding a way to immerse people in the material. Nobody flocked to Winter Soldier because of the loyalties to the character. No one really gives a shit about that in Cap's case. Oh yes, he's still boring! That's what counts!! I don't think so, lol. They're more interested in the integrity of the story, plot, action, effects, direction etc.

All I can say is that if your favorite superhero happens to be Captain America, (and not in any one film, but in general) you have shitty taste in superheroes. Time to accept that certain heroes can't appeal to the main stream without a crutch, (Cap) and others should, (and have) consider other angles that haven't been explored with the character, (Superman).

10:29PM on 05/30/2014

What the Hell areu taking bout?

I hate when I hear comic book movies are too dark and they should be light and fun "like a comic book." Do you even read comic books? They ARE dark, gritty action stories. You want your comic book movies to be like Saturday morning cartoons, NOT comic books. And stop calling Man of Steel "DARK". It's not dark, it's Superman. Metropolis gets destroyed in Superman. Maybe not in Christopher Reeves movies or on Lois and Clark, but if that's your Superman reference, you don't have the right to weigh
I hate when I hear comic book movies are too dark and they should be light and fun "like a comic book." Do you even read comic books? They ARE dark, gritty action stories. You want your comic book movies to be like Saturday morning cartoons, NOT comic books. And stop calling Man of Steel "DARK". It's not dark, it's Superman. Metropolis gets destroyed in Superman. Maybe not in Christopher Reeves movies or on Lois and Clark, but if that's your Superman reference, you don't have the right to weigh in on SUPERMAN. The comics are the source material. DC Comics has always been more dark and gritty.
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10:35PM on 05/30/2014
You right: [link]
You right: [link]
11:10PM on 05/30/2014
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong, I think Man of Steel was total crap, and I agree with Silverload's assessment of how they screwed up the character, but the tone of that film was not the problem and you are spot on in saying that this general trend which Waid refers to is not the problem either.
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong, I think Man of Steel was total crap, and I agree with Silverload's assessment of how they screwed up the character, but the tone of that film was not the problem and you are spot on in saying that this general trend which Waid refers to is not the problem either.
11:10PM on 05/30/2014
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong, I think Man of Steel was total crap, and I agree with Silverload's assessment of how they screwed up the character, but the tone of that film was not the problem and you are spot on in saying that this general trend which Waid refers to is not the problem either.
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong, I think Man of Steel was total crap, and I agree with Silverload's assessment of how they screwed up the character, but the tone of that film was not the problem and you are spot on in saying that this general trend which Waid refers to is not the problem either.
+0
9:47PM on 05/30/2014

Agree and Disagree

To me it depends, I can't see the Watchmen, for example, doing quips and having Shawarma. Funny enough, I would say that Marvel's movies are getting dark in phase 2, especially when compared to phase 1. I would argue that not all worked e.g. Thor 2 and Iron Man 3. Cap 3 had the best mix, and I think DC should try to find their perfect mix. They tried to do something new to Man of Steel, some part worked, some parts not really.
To me it depends, I can't see the Watchmen, for example, doing quips and having Shawarma. Funny enough, I would say that Marvel's movies are getting dark in phase 2, especially when compared to phase 1. I would argue that not all worked e.g. Thor 2 and Iron Man 3. Cap 3 had the best mix, and I think DC should try to find their perfect mix. They tried to do something new to Man of Steel, some part worked, some parts not really.
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-1
9:36PM on 05/30/2014

hating on DC

Man Lantern was not dark and it's problem was the villain. 2. Man of Steel worked and it's crazy how Marvel can bring actions mix characters but MOS can't! Amazing Spiderman was great to..
Man Lantern was not dark and it's problem was the villain. 2. Man of Steel worked and it's crazy how Marvel can bring actions mix characters but MOS can't! Amazing Spiderman was great to..
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9:30PM on 05/30/2014
I agree with Waid. Aside from having powers they're usually charming, intelligent, funny, and wealthy. Yet so many of them act tortured. I'm bored with it.
I agree with Waid. Aside from having powers they're usually charming, intelligent, funny, and wealthy. Yet so many of them act tortured. I'm bored with it.
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9:15PM on 05/30/2014
You want a light, colourful DC movie? Green Lantern. I'm getting pretty tired of this line of reasoning. Yes, dark, depressing comic book movies can be a wearisome trend. But this is why Batman Begins was dark, why Batman Begins had to be dark: Batman and Robin. If you want a palate cleanser, you're not going to eat exactly the same course you just ate. Batman had to be re-done in a manner that could be taken seriously and that was as drastically different from the previous incarnation as
You want a light, colourful DC movie? Green Lantern. I'm getting pretty tired of this line of reasoning. Yes, dark, depressing comic book movies can be a wearisome trend. But this is why Batman Begins was dark, why Batman Begins had to be dark: Batman and Robin. If you want a palate cleanser, you're not going to eat exactly the same course you just ate. Batman had to be re-done in a manner that could be taken seriously and that was as drastically different from the previous incarnation as possible. So, what is the opposite of colourful and goofy? Dark and serious. And then everyone saw how that worked and went "we want to make the next Dark Knight", which isn't how things go. But, the Nolan Batman movies should not be blamed for it. The executives in charge of other projects who tried to apply the formula to their properties should. Blame whoever wants to come up with a "grounded" and "realistic" take on the Fantastic freaking 4.
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-2
9:03PM on 05/30/2014
Mr. Waid couldn't be more right. "Dark" is the laziest of all critical terms (to the point where we might even call it a non-critical term). For going on 15 years now it seems the Internet set have automatically associated being aesthetically "dark" (also a vague term, as it turns out) with being mature, complex, emotionally grave, and psychologically compelling, regardless of whether it's true in this particular case or not. What's resulted is a vogue in "darkness" that leads to a lot of
Mr. Waid couldn't be more right. "Dark" is the laziest of all critical terms (to the point where we might even call it a non-critical term). For going on 15 years now it seems the Internet set have automatically associated being aesthetically "dark" (also a vague term, as it turns out) with being mature, complex, emotionally grave, and psychologically compelling, regardless of whether it's true in this particular case or not. What's resulted is a vogue in "darkness" that leads to a lot of murky, bland action films full of half-baked pathos and the color palette of moldy bread.
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8:22PM on 05/30/2014

Lighten Up A Bit

I totally agree with what Mark Waid said. Not every superhero needs to be dark. That's exactly why Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. He's fun, charming and witty. Batman is a dark character so it makes since that his movies are that way. With that being said, I also really enjoy the Batman movies from the 90's which were much more fun. I really hope the upcoming Ben Affleck/Batman franchise isn't as dark as the Nolan trilogy.
I totally agree with what Mark Waid said. Not every superhero needs to be dark. That's exactly why Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. He's fun, charming and witty. Batman is a dark character so it makes since that his movies are that way. With that being said, I also really enjoy the Batman movies from the 90's which were much more fun. I really hope the upcoming Ben Affleck/Batman franchise isn't as dark as the Nolan trilogy.
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6:27PM on 05/30/2014
Depends on the character. Batman=dark. Fantastic 4=not dark
Depends on the character. Batman=dark. Fantastic 4=not dark
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11:15PM on 05/30/2014
For sure. If you try to make the character something they're not you're going to fail, but even if they're a more lighthearted, fantastical character or team, it still helps immeasurably when the director takes the material serioudly and tries to ground it as much in reality as is appropriate. For example: Iron Man 1, Winter Soldier and Blade II.
For sure. If you try to make the character something they're not you're going to fail, but even if they're a more lighthearted, fantastical character or team, it still helps immeasurably when the director takes the material serioudly and tries to ground it as much in reality as is appropriate. For example: Iron Man 1, Winter Soldier and Blade II.
5:20PM on 05/30/2014
Seems like a sweeping statement to me...I think it depends on the character. Some characters should be treated in a gritty, dark, and adult manner, like Batman..who "technically" isn't a superhero. Others are more comedic and lighthearted like Spiderman and Iron Man. Just depends.
Seems like a sweeping statement to me...I think it depends on the character. Some characters should be treated in a gritty, dark, and adult manner, like Batman..who "technically" isn't a superhero. Others are more comedic and lighthearted like Spiderman and Iron Man. Just depends.
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4:35PM on 05/30/2014
I really hope they don't go all light hearted and comedic with the DC films because the comics are darker and more adult. DC works that way. while Marvel comics are lighter and more comedic and their films work that way. You can't do a DC film the way a Marvel film is because the characters are different. The only DC character who you CAN do light hearted and funny is Flash.
I really hope they don't go all light hearted and comedic with the DC films because the comics are darker and more adult. DC works that way. while Marvel comics are lighter and more comedic and their films work that way. You can't do a DC film the way a Marvel film is because the characters are different. The only DC character who you CAN do light hearted and funny is Flash.
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5:19PM on 05/30/2014
It's funny because this used to be the complete opposite. Back in the day, DC was the "silly light one" and Marvel was the "realistic tortured one." They've done a complete 180 in the past ten years or so.
It's funny because this used to be the complete opposite. Back in the day, DC was the "silly light one" and Marvel was the "realistic tortured one." They've done a complete 180 in the past ten years or so.
8:58PM on 05/30/2014
More like 20 years...lol But yes they have.
More like 20 years...lol But yes they have.
7:15AM on 06/02/2014
For DC, you can go even further in time with the first Crisis reboot.
But, for Marvel they weren't darker, but more (I hate that word) grounded, with the action taking place in real cities, and the heroes were flawed (unlike DC at the time).
For DC, you can go even further in time with the first Crisis reboot.
But, for Marvel they weren't darker, but more (I hate that word) grounded, with the action taking place in real cities, and the heroes were flawed (unlike DC at the time).
4:24PM on 05/30/2014

Waid's completely right.

Look, I'm as big of a Nolan Bat-trilogy fan as you'll find around here, and I personally believe that the dark and gritty tone worked perfectly in that particular case. People understate the more light-hearted moments and the genuine emotion and comedy in those movies, but for the most part, it was dark. WB/DC saw that, and decided to apply that to ALL their characters. IMO, Man of Steel is the biggest culprit. Dark and gritty works for Batman...but for the beacon of hope for all of humanity?
Look, I'm as big of a Nolan Bat-trilogy fan as you'll find around here, and I personally believe that the dark and gritty tone worked perfectly in that particular case. People understate the more light-hearted moments and the genuine emotion and comedy in those movies, but for the most part, it was dark. WB/DC saw that, and decided to apply that to ALL their characters. IMO, Man of Steel is the biggest culprit. Dark and gritty works for Batman...but for the beacon of hope for all of humanity? The Superman who's supposed to be the best that we aspire to be? Superman (and to a lesser extent, Spider-Man) is the one superhero that doesn't work as the "tortured soul" and the "woe is me" self-pitying whiner. But as Waid said, studios stick with what works and I fully expect Batman V Superman to be the most joyless, depressing, emotionally exhausting chapter of their universe so far.

Compare that to Marvel, who's most gritty movie yet (The Winter Soldier) also featured the completely hammy, comic-booky element of Zola as a cyborg AI. It's the balance that matters. Marvel's figured that out, WB/DC has yet to. Simple as that.
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4:05PM on 05/30/2014
Days of future past nailed it. In my opinion, best film of the summer...so far.
Days of future past nailed it. In my opinion, best film of the summer...so far.
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4:04PM on 05/30/2014
I get what Mark Waid is saying and I agree. Alex Maidy is wrong about Spidey though, that series has not been distinctly darker than the comic. You may not enjoy the flick, that's for you to decide, but the comic has a very similar tone.
I get what Mark Waid is saying and I agree. Alex Maidy is wrong about Spidey though, that series has not been distinctly darker than the comic. You may not enjoy the flick, that's for you to decide, but the comic has a very similar tone.
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3:32PM on 05/30/2014

IMO what makesCaptain America TWS Marvel's best movie yet

It's that it was dark , no non-sense kiddie BS plot like the Avengers and prior Marvel movies. I like comic book movies to be dark.
It's that it was dark , no non-sense kiddie BS plot like the Avengers and prior Marvel movies. I like comic book movies to be dark.
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3:10PM on 05/30/2014
I can understand and appreciate the whole "grounded within reality" but there comes a point where too much grounding just turns the movie the wrong way. Now, I liked "man of steel" and I get that these super powered aliens are capable of mass destruction, but the movie really did not need that.
As a fan of the first two Raimi Spiderman movies, not third, watching them now, could have been less cheesy, but the heart is in the right place. Avengers had destruction too but I thought the balance
I can understand and appreciate the whole "grounded within reality" but there comes a point where too much grounding just turns the movie the wrong way. Now, I liked "man of steel" and I get that these super powered aliens are capable of mass destruction, but the movie really did not need that.
As a fan of the first two Raimi Spiderman movies, not third, watching them now, could have been less cheesy, but the heart is in the right place. Avengers had destruction too but I thought the balance worked. Man Of Steel might as well had been the new Godzilla. Maybe it is more realistic, but sometimes too much is too much.
Raimi's Peter Parker showed how life dumps on him and his struggles but it still kept the heart it needed to remind us that this is a superhero movie and not 8 years locked in Wayne Manor. Sorry Nolan, but Batman was Batman for maybe 2 years, does a cameo, books the next flight out of Gotham with his new hot girlfriend while Gotham deals with the nuclear fallout over the bay. What a hero (sarcasm)
That said I do enjoy the trilogy but I also think the series is over-rated. My opinion though.
So yeah, little less dark but also not campy is the balance these movies need
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3:01PM on 05/30/2014
I don't really consider Green Lantern a dark comic book superhero film. Infact, it was quite the opposite. It was more family friendly then anything. More in tone with the Fantastic Four films, which I thought was fine.

I don't mind if comic book films are serious, but not all of them need to be dark and gritty.
I don't really consider Green Lantern a dark comic book superhero film. Infact, it was quite the opposite. It was more family friendly then anything. More in tone with the Fantastic Four films, which I thought was fine.

I don't mind if comic book films are serious, but not all of them need to be dark and gritty.
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3:26PM on 05/30/2014
I think that's what he was saying (about Green lantern), he's saying it wasn't dark and bombed so WB 's thinking is that they all (superheroes) need to be dark and brooding. That works for Blade, Batman, Punisher etc... but Man of Steel, FF, etc. not so much
I think that's what he was saying (about Green lantern), he's saying it wasn't dark and bombed so WB 's thinking is that they all (superheroes) need to be dark and brooding. That works for Blade, Batman, Punisher etc... but Man of Steel, FF, etc. not so much
10:11PM on 05/30/2014
But Green Lantern isn't a dark superhero who broods. Sure, he has his own personal demons like any superhero and/or villain does, but they shouldn't try to make Green Lantern turn into Nolan's Batman films.

Green Lantern had a great, light hearted tone. It's just the story that flawed the film.
But Green Lantern isn't a dark superhero who broods. Sure, he has his own personal demons like any superhero and/or villain does, but they shouldn't try to make Green Lantern turn into Nolan's Batman films.

Green Lantern had a great, light hearted tone. It's just the story that flawed the film.
1:18AM on 05/31/2014
... And Blake Lively doing an impression of a man, and Ryan Reynolds doing an impression of Ryan Reynolds, and every human character being terrible and miscast, and a cgi costume for no reason, and thinking thousands in comic sales would translate into millions of ticket sales, and it goes on and on...
... And Blake Lively doing an impression of a man, and Ryan Reynolds doing an impression of Ryan Reynolds, and every human character being terrible and miscast, and a cgi costume for no reason, and thinking thousands in comic sales would translate into millions of ticket sales, and it goes on and on...
2:55PM on 05/30/2014
It makes sense this is his opinion. He wrote Flash during the Wally West years. That's Wally West in a nutshell. He's pretty much the only reason why Wally vs Barry is an argument among fans (Wally FTW)
It makes sense this is his opinion. He wrote Flash during the Wally West years. That's Wally West in a nutshell. He's pretty much the only reason why Wally vs Barry is an argument among fans (Wally FTW)
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