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Friday, January 05, 2024 

What if it's mainstream comic movies that're doomed?

A writer at National Review asks whether movies based on comics are on the verge of collapse:
One of the big stories in movies last year was the struggles of Marvel Studios. The failure of The Marvels laid bare the many challenges of its once-dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe, as did the firing of actor Jonathan Majors, who was to play the main antagonist of its next set of movies.

But Marvel’s main rival, DC, also struggled in 2024. Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, sequels to popular films, both collapsed relative to their predecessors. They were the last two entries in DC’s initial botched effort to create its own cinematic universe, which has now gone out with a whimper.

The question now is whether 2023 proves to be a turning point for this genre’s popularity or merely an aberration. It wasn’t impossible for comic-book movies to succeed last year. The animated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse dramatically improved upon its predecessor’s success. And James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 did about as well as the first two. But the presumption of success for such movies seems to have been lost.
Something I realized isn't clear in these items is that these are movies adapted from the Big Two's creations. There have been movies in the past based on independent creations, but that's hardly been a focus of the news in the past decade, unless it's something like Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead. And maybe it's time to consider, if major comics movies really matter, that the time's come to look again at what the independent scene has to offer. But while the adventure genre is a great choice, it shouldn't be superhero material. That's been run into the ground by now. There is a wellspring for films based on indie creations. Let's just hope that any filmmakers who take advantage of it don't turn solely to items that were written with Hollywood prospects in mind.

And maybe, as noted before, it's time to consider continuing adaptations of comics stories in animation, rather than live action. And even there, it's advisable to be wary of wokeness, which the NR writer fails to mention played a part in the downfall of Big Two movies. Forcing PC upon these products has proven less and less acceptable to the audience over the past few years, and failure to address it honestly won't improve an already dire situation. Oh, and by the way, do these news columnists even care about the horrible mess the Big Two's comics degenerated into since the early 2000s? Why must only the movies matter?

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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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