The Ninjabot

Have Comic Book Movies Jumped the Shark?

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 11:01 am by Jeff Mueller

With more and more comic book based movies coming out on a regular basis, the impending question is when will they, as a genre, jump the shark (if this term confuzzles you I really don’t know what to do with you)? Or worse, are we nearing a point where the shark just latches on and starts NomNomNom’ing away at our beloved characters while they try to make the transition to the big screen?

Holy Ridiculousness Batman!

We have had a serious run of spectacular comic-to-movie adaptations, but there have also been quite a few horrendous ones (I am looking directly at you “Green Lantern”, “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Elektra”), along with quite a few completely forgettable ones in the mix too. As much as I hate to be *that guy*, inferring that because this previously unpopular genre has successfully crossed over into the mainstream that it somehow diminishes their worth (I feel the urge to punch every music geek in the uterus when they decry bands they used to love for “selling out” and “going mainstream”), I think we can all agree that once Hollywood thinks they can milk cash out of something they will squeeze it to death with uncaring and unapologetic hands.

There was a time when I made a point to patronize every comic book movie that came down the pike, whether I read the source material or not, in an attempt to do my part to help bolster public opinion of an art-form I had always had to argue the legitimacy of. That was back when there were only a handful though. After getting burned a couple of times, “Catwoman” hit the theaters, and when the trailers looked laughable at best, I decided I couldn’t just blindly go to movies simply because they were ‘comic book’ movies any longer. It was at this point I had to consciously turn my back on my culture, and start becoming a little more discriminatory with my time and money. Now I still will see a majority of the ones that come out, but there are definitely ones I will wait to hit cable, forgoing the big screen experience. It still feels as though more then 70% are worthwhile, so we are still getting a passing grade, but I am not feeling optimistic. I am not expecting everything to be “Dark Knight” or “Scott Pilgrim” caliber, because not everything can be that dead on point; but I think it is reasonable to want passable movies that are true to their comicbook roots. Unfortunately, I see a downturn coming. I liken it to the 90s sitcom landscape, where once the networks saw the success of “Seinfeld,” they gave any standup who got the slightest giggle their own TV Show, no matter how craptastic it was. I hope this is not the case, that we will see more high caliber adaptations, but I just can’t curb the cynical side of my geek brain. What do you think? Have we reached the point where every crappy script for every C list superhero will make it to the big screen? Let us know your thoughts!

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos