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Saturday, October 29, 2022 

When comic adaptations to film become preachy

A writer at Northwest Asian Weekly considers comic movies like Black Adam to be dismayingly preachy, and wishes that would stop:
When does justice become revenge? If someone kills your family, and you go after them, is that justice or revenge? Also, do you put them in prison or go for the whole “eye for an eye” thing and kill them?

The latter is what Black Adam prefers and boy, can he not stop getting roasted for it? “Black Adam,” the latest installment on the DC side of comic-books-turned-movies, has too much moralizing, too many characters, and too much damn interrupting rock music.

I really hate how both DC and Marvel continually preach morals to us that they pass off as universal. As if a whole country such as, oh I don’t know, America is 100% down with them. For Marvel it’s invariably, “I must save X person instead of the entire world,” while for DC it is, “Heroes do not kill.”

Everybody knows Black Adam’s iconic answer: “Well I do.”

I’m all for individuals having their own beliefs. I’m tired of being preached to. We all love an antihero like Black Adam, yet why do these mythical moralistic heroes still bombard us? Also, how about just showing us instead of telling us? The constant nagging dialogue, especially from Hawkman to Black Adam about how he needs to tow the line is just annoying and overdone.
And even at DC, the whole notion a superhero literally shouldn't kill is going a bit far. The real question should be whether a superhero should kill in self-defense, or to save an innocent life in immediate danger. In any event, let's not forget, as I'd discussed earlier, that the whole Black Adam movie is sadly the product of leftist mindsets. The writer also wonders if the metaphors include the following:
I always wonder in these types of preachy movies if you’re being given analogies for real life. Are the imperialists the United States? When Black Adam says, “We weren’t just free, we were great,” is he suddenly Donald Trump? It’s hard to ignore that.
While that sounds like quite an eyebrow raiser, and could certainly be troubling depending what the screenwriters' intentions were, let's not forget that, if the movie's a metaphor for opposition to the war in Iraq, it's hard to ascertain if Black Adam's really a metaphor for Trump, though if BA's meant to be viewed as a villain, it wouldn't be shocking if, based on BA's willingness to slaughter lives, the character here serves as a Trump metaphor, or even an allegory for conservatives. At the end, it's asked:
Why set him up as a hero only to knock him down? Because I do think the audience sees him as a hero and not even an antihero. In this day and age, anything else is just outdated. The world is gray and we should have established this by now.
What a good question. And based on this, who knows, maybe BA was meant to represent an anti-Trump metaphor. But there's a point here - the filmmakers likely want the audience to view BA as a hero entirely, far more so than the Incredible Hulk, who was more of an anti-hero when Stan Lee first created him in the Silver Age, and even more so than the Punisher and Wolverine, who can be considered the same. If BA is meant to be considered a hero, that could be in synch with any leftist politics the film contains (which is why it's chilling if any audience members do view BA as heroic). And that would be irony for you, I guess.

And while we're continuing discussion of this very unnecessary movie, USA Today gave away what became of Dr. Fate, and I see no reason why to withhold the information:
Welp, it was all great until Dr. Fate died in valiant battle at the end of "Black Adam." It was a noble demise at the hands of supervillain Sabbac that spared the Justice Society. "I forsake my life for the life of my colleagues," Brosnan says.

True, but still a seemingly shocking superhero one-and-done.

Brosnan even ribbed his friend, producer Beau Flynn, about Dr. Fate's destiny while filming in Atlanta.

"I told him thank you for the opportunity, but then you kill my character off," Brosnan says. "Just as I begin my odyssey in the world of DC Comics, he dies." [...]

The magic gold helmet which bestows Dr. Fate's powers lives on even as Kent Nelson died. Hawkman uses these powers in battle. "The helmet chooses who it lets touch. And at the end of the movie, the helmet chooses Hawkman," Collet-Serra says.

This points to a possible new Dr. Fate, should there be future Justice Society installments.
Why do I get the feeling that, if they go that direction, should there be a sequel, they'll do a variation on the resurrection of Hector Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl's son, in the overrated 1999-2006 JSA series, who then became a new Dr. Fate himself for at least a few years? That whole premise was not handled well at all, and certainly not when Lyta Hall, after being revived from a magical coma induced by the book's take on Mordru, was later obliterated again, along with Hector himself, by putting them into the dreamscape land where her son in the Sandman series lived. No thanks to Geoff Johns, who may have become sole writer at the time.

The film took in $67 million on its first week, which is far from a big haul for a movie whose main cost was $200 million, but could've cost at least double for marketing and promotion when you factor in those parts. If the movie doesn't do well beyond that, I couldn't care less. The way these movie adaptations are being handled has become truly farcical, and as mentioned earlier, preachy to boot.

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About me

  • 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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