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Friday, June 21, 2013 

Does Hollywood think comics are too silly?

A writer for Renew America says Tinseltown doesn't really like comics and the superhero genre at all because of what they once represented:
I don't care how many films about costumed heroes Hollywood regurgitates, the truth of the matter is Hollywood hates comic book superheroes and they have nothing but contempt for those of us who love them. Hollywood thinks comic book characters are silly. This is true because most people think they are silly, this is a fact those of us who don't think they are silly have learned to live with.

Most people don't read comic books, never have, never will. Most people look at Superman and ask, "Why can't everyone see that Superman is just Clark Kent without the glasses?" So when a person who doesn't really like Superman makes a Superman move, he makes sure to show that in the "real world" Lois Lane would have no problem discovering Superman's identity, getting the full story on her own with very little effort.

This may in fact be more realistic, but it sure isn't any fun, that is unless your name happens to be Diogenes. I never picked up a superhero comic book expecting to find anything remotely related to the real world – that's rather the point of superheroes. This should be OK, but it isn't.

Hollywood reinforces the notion with every superhero film they make, that superheroes are intrinsically silly, so we will change them so they can be more readily accessible for a wider audience. I have no problem with this attitude, I would just prefer you apply it to your own creations.
What I do know is that some of the people working in the comics field today come from the world of movies, and brought with them some very bad baggage. It could be obsessions with excessive violence, and overt leftist politics, among other problems. And the guy's got a point: either at one time, Hollywood might make the adaptations look goofy, or, if they make them more serious, they still manage to convey an impression they thought the source material wasn't so great to begin with, completely disregarding that some of the best comics of yesteryear are those with a sense of humor, slapstick included.

Tinseltown also can't appreciate optimism:
...what guides the disdain for comic book superheroes in film and even in the contemporary comics themselves – is the concept of hope they represent. No character embodies hope and wholesome American idealism more than Superman so they had to darken him up.
More specifically, the hope and optimism that writers, artists and editors from better days were good at conveying. Why, the best of the past stories from Marvel are the ones that, even if they involve sad and dark moments, still give optimism plenty of room, and that includes their sense of humor too.
Liberalism makes much ado about "hope"; they just can't stand it in the framework of hope attached to a set morality. They particularly abhor the idea of hope tied to faith or patriotism – So Superman can no longer represent "Truth, Justice and the American Way," but rather a nebulous ill defined hope unattached to any real philosophy...a sort of hope...ishness. Hollywood likes the idea of hope, just don't tell them what hope is.
Whatever kind of hope they go by, it's soulless profiteering, I'd guess, without offering a truly inspiring production to justify the existence of some of these adaptations. As Man of Steel director Zack Snyder already told, the moviemakers look set to abandon any positive steps they took when the sequel is ready for filming, and it likely won't make any difference by then whether a Democrat is in the lead either.

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When you are fifteen, the most important thing in the world is to look cool and sophisticated. And, at that age, decadence and cynicism seem sophisticated, while idealism and morality seem quaint. And, most people in Hollywood (and most comic book writers) are, emotionally and intellectually, about fifteen years old.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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