For someone weaned on four-color action rags, the steady stream of Hollywood comic book adaptations is an affirmation that my childhood wasn’t completely
Floating up the stream this May is the awaited sequel to Iron Man,Iron Man 2. As a full-fledged comic dork, I’m dying to see the evolution of Jon Favreau’s vision, as well as watch Robert Downey Jr.’s further exploration of the Tony Stark character.
Looking beyond Iron Man’s return, I get goofy with anticipation when I think of Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming adaptation of Thor and its Lord of the Rings-like potential. Same goes for the guaranteed epic, cosmic,grandeur of Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern.
As Iron Man and Batman Begins have shown, when comic movies are done right, with thoughtful reverence for the source material, the results aren’t just great comic book movies–they’re just great movies. Period.
Now that Captain America is ramping up
, and with it, “The Avengers” franchise, I can’t help but think of some of the comic book movies I would make
had the means. None of these five offer the obvious commercial appeal of a clawed, feral mutant or shadowy vigilante dressed like a bat, but I’d sure pay to see them…
1. THE NEW GODS
This Jack “King”Kirby creation has long been loved by comic creators, but never fully embraced by the comic-buying public (with the exception of main baddie Darkseid).
The finer points: Good vs. evil on metaphysical and intergalactic scales. Children traded to save the universe, raised in worlds completely opposite from those they came from. Indelible caricatures of malevolence, from Desaad, the torturer (get it?), to Granny Goodness,the Bea Arthur-esque trainer of mindless soldiers.
Made into a series of movies, the New Gods could be as dramatic and resonant as the Star Wars saga. I’d pay extra to see a Boom Tube in3-D.
2. BAT LASH
I’m thrilled that DC’s Western anti-hero Jonah Hex will be getting his turn on the silver screen this year (with 10″-waisted Megan Fox in tow). The problem with ol’ Hex, though, is that he’s a one-note character who happens to have a disastrously scarred face.
Ignoring Hex, the best of DC’s 19th century character is Bat Lash, a drinking, gambling, womanizing cad with the disposition and polish of an Ivy League grad. Nothing says screen appeal like”roguish charm.”
Though he shuns violence, Bat Lash has no problem whipping out his
iron and laying down frontier justice when the situation demands it.
That sounded vulgar, but it wasn’t meant to be.
The Demon tells the story of Jason Blood, a man bound since the days of Arthurian legend to a yellow-skinned demon from hell (Etrigan).
How cool is the Demon (another Kirby creation)? Etrigan’s on a first-name basis with Merlin and has defeated legendary sorceress Morgaine Le Fay. A movie adaptation would offer magic, Jekyll and Hyde transformations, goth chicks, the eternal conflict between heaven and hell, and an insane amount of violence. Smells like a hit. Or is that brimstone?
I gave up trying to follow the continuity of the hyper-convoluted X-Men titles years ago. Years? Make that
ago–it was after Dazzler first appeared and Kitty Pryde joined. It’s been a while.
The best use of mutants in a Marvel book comes courtesy of master scribe Peter David, from his most recent run on X-Factor. Since 2007,X-Factor has been steeped in atmosphere and noir; its characters balancing the stories’ situations with dark humor and distinctly-articulated personalities.
X-Factor Investigations is the detective agency run by the emotionally complicated and morally ambiguous character Jamie Madrox,the Multiple Man (who had a minor role in X-Men 3). The most memorable moment from David’s X-Factor run would be an absolute show-stopper on film. I won’t spoil it here, but read this
if you’re curious.
Hollywood loves making post-apocalyptic movies. Consider zombie movies, I Am Legend, the Road, or 2012.
Killraven takes its cue from one of the greatest end-of-the-world stories ever written, War of the Worlds.
Intended by writer Roy Thomas as a sequel to the legendary H.G.Wells tome, Killraven’s story tells of a resourceful warrior leading the resistance efforts against the conquering Martian army (who officially moved in after the second invasion in…2001).