Comic books, graphic novels, comic movies, comic cartoons – all these words we know, yet at the same time we don’t know as much as we think. The origin of comic books is simply the Sunday funnies, simple comic strips in the newspaper. To look forward, we must look back. Today we see “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Spiderman 3.” Yet it amazes the comic book world how little the people watching these know about the comics they originated in.
Wolverine, a popular X-Men character, is thought by the viewers to be a Canadian born mutant who is “possibly” older than Xavier (The X-Men leader). It is unknown to at least 60% of the audience that in the X-Men universe Wolverine served in the Civil War of 1861.His age is unknown even to the most geeky comic lover, so it should be no surprise that most movie go-ers can’t begin to fathom how old and experience this singular character is.
Fox decided to remedy this issue by working with the Marvel Movie industry to make “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which comes out in 2009, detailing Wolverines history, explaining what the non-comic lover did not get in the other X-Men movies. “Magneto” is similar, in the aspect of driving into the back-story and history of the infamous villain of the X-Men world.
The back and forth between the timeless and plots in the movies wouldn’t really be an issue if the comic book readers were the only ones watching the movies. Yet, that would itself be a problem. Many Daredevil fans found numerous flaws in the story line of the movie, which could only be caught by true fans. In my opinion Marvel Inc. has their hands tied, trying to appeal to all audiences, geek and newbie alike.
Filmmakers must know their audience. The spectrum of the comic movie audiences is so large that the producers and writers of the movies have to cover more ground than an original movie would. People tend to leave the movies feeling “gypped” for one reason or another; for the comic lovers, the lack of new material and focus to detail; for new-comers, the confusion they may face by never having picked up that particular comic book.
Thus, we look ahead. Movies to be released go further back than forward in comic history. Another remake of “Hulk” comes out this spring with more back history on the character than in previous movies. The problem is that true fans in fact dread more comic movies, claiming the injustice to the comic the movies do. Hopefully, if we look back, we can see forward, knowing the past we will understand that character or comic future. The mistakes of the past are being rectified by helping the audience understand the developing story. And we may just see a Marvel movie do true justice to its Comic.