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Monday, July 22, 2013 

Superman and Avengers movie sequels look like they're adapted from new and weak comic stories

Certainly the Avengers sequel. At the SDCC, director Zack Snyder made the announcement that Batman was going to appear in the sequel they have planned for Man of Steel, in a battle against Superman:
At the panel a logo for the movie was revealed that combines Superman's "S" shield (yes, we know it's not an "S") with the Bat-symbol, which notably looked different than the one in Christopher Nolan's trilogy. They also used a quote from Frank Miller's groundbreaking graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns" where Batman and Superman engage in a fight to the finish. In it, Batman says, "I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you." Apparently, the new movie won't be a straight adaptation of that comic book but will use elements of the Batman/Superman rivalry from the text. In addition to Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane will return, but Batman has yet to be cast.
Miller's miniseries from 1986 was well regarded at the time, but as I'm sure some will argue, ruined much of comicdom after many writers either went out of their way to duplicate and draw ideas from it, or the editors mandated they take a dark route with whatever they were writing in books other than Batman where it didn't fit the tone. Regardless, after all the recent examples of heroes fighting each other more than the villains, the idea that 2 famous heroes will be clawing at each other's throats doesn't sound very appetizing.

Then, there's the Avengers sequel that was announced, and it's clearer where this one may have been drawn from:
The other comic book movie news of note: The next installment of the Avengers franchise, set to bow in 2015, will be called Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Ultron is a robot created by scientist Henry Pym, also known as Ant Man, which possesses an artificial intelligence beyond the scope of his creator.
In another situation, I might've found this enthusiastic news. But the subtitle they're using comes from the very awful crossover Brian Bendis brewed with other Marvel staff like Axel Alonso that's been crowding up nearly every series they're publishing to date at the moment, and if people familiar with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes through only the movie knew just how terrible and money-wasting these crossovers are, I don't think they'd be very impressed. Granted, of course it may be adapted in name only from the crossover, but for somebody with experience, it can still have a very embarrassing feeling.

I get the vibe that some, if not all, of the comics published today are being written to serve as storyboards the moviemakers can use to craft their adaptations. Which is ridiculous, since there's plenty of older, better stuff that can serve as basic inspirations and the screenwriters then have the challenge of updating and fitting those ideas into something modern audiences would like. When recent publications are only published for the sake of providing filmmakers with source material, as though the older archives don't offer anything already, they cheapen the newer material more than it already is while at the same time sending the message they don't consider the older stories worthwhile. And, it also sends the impression that comics aren't being written for the masses, unlike the movies, which usually are. That's another mistake made by the comics publishers, and doesn't guarantee sales for the stories written to serve as a wellspring for the movies.

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I reviewed that one back. Great minds think alike I guess! Good movie, uneven, but good.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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