Four comic books that should NEVER be made into a movie

Written by: James Giles


James Giles looks at the comics and characters that need to keep the hell away from multiplexes.

A few months ago I was bemoaning Hollywood’s approach to superhero movies, and the fact that they don’t seem to believe moviegoers are interested in comic book films with both balls and brains.

To that end, I suggested four superhero comics that I believed, done well, could revitalise the genre and take it in new interesting directions. Although I narrowed my list down to four, I could have easily come up with five times as many, so rife is the world of comics with mature, intelligent stories that could make the big leap to the silver screen.

But for all the great potential material, there are certain characters and stories that are suited solely to the comic book form. Should these characters or stories ever make it to production, they would likely (for a variety of reasons) do serious damage to the credibility of the genre.

So with that in mind, here is my list of 4 comic books that I desperately hope never get the cinematic treatment:

 

Aquaman/Namor the Submariner

Aquaman stinks of fish

Aquaman

 Who or what is that?

Lumped together here as they are DC (Aquaman) and Marvel (Namor) versions of by-and-large the same character; both are sub-aquatic supermen who possess super-strength, durability and the ability to breathe underwater. Namor also possesses the ability to fly (via tiny wings on his feet – seriously) and an almost permanently pissed-off disposition, while Aquaman can telepathically communicate with fish.

Yeah…

Why it should never be made

Aquaman in particular has been thoroughly ridiculed by comic book fans for years, to the point of complete debasement; any regular Family Guy viewers will know the sort of pot-shots taken at his expense. If comic books fans stand no chance of taking it seriously, how do you expect the rest of the audience to?

And Namor should never be made cause he is just an even more boring version of Aquaman; he has no decent, workable villains and the world doesn’t really need another pouting, broody hero. Sure, there is the green/eco slant you could take with the story, but if you wanted to explore that then Swamp Thing, or heck even Captain Planet, would be better candidates.

 

Squirrel Girl

Marvel character Squirrel Girl 

Who or what is that?

The most inexplicably popular D-list hero in the entire Marvel canon, Squirrel Girl an annoyingly chipper mutant with a selection of stupid squirrel-themed powers and abilities, including a 3ft prehensile tail, super tough buck teeth, superhuman agility and strength, and of course the ability to communicate with and command squirrels. Some of which have names such as Monkey Joe, Tippy Toe, Mr Freckle, Slippy Pete and Nutso.

*Sighs*

Also, she has (somehow) managed to defeat in battle some of the most double-hard bastards in the Marvel Universe, including Deadpool, Wolverine and even Dr Doom. With the powers described above. Go figure.

Why it should never be made

Umm, sorry, were you looking for more of an explanation than the above description of her powers and personality, and that picture of her costume? Ok, well the best reason would be that she exists as a meta-character, a humorous nod to the heroes of comic book’s Silver Age, when everyone had a nonsensical power and a silly costume to boot, and had crazy adventures and defeats over bad guys that were an affront to logic. But unless you are a comic book geek and understands what she represents (which a vast majority of the casual audience are not), then she is just a girl with the powers of a squirrel.

Would she make a nice Saturday morning cartoon series for kids, aimed more at young girls? Yes, yes. But a blockbuster superhero movie? No, no, please God NO!

 

Justice League of America

Justice League of America

 Who or what is that?

DC Comics’ prominent all-star superhero team (read: their version of Marvel’s Avengers), consisting regularly of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. A whole shit-ton of other characters have appeared in various versions of the line-up over the years too, most are nondescript and few could be picked out of a line-up by the general public. They have a tendency to get together when there is some villainous threat to the DC Universe they cant take down individually; these bad guys range from the good (Prometheus, essentially an evil version of Batman, who once took down the entire team single-handed), the bad (Dr Light, a serial rapist with the ability to manipulate light) and the properly weird (Starro the Conqueror, a parasitic hive-mind giant alien star-fish thing).

Why it should never be made

Coming off the back of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Green Lantern and soon Man of Steel, none of which even vaguely seem to exist in the same version of the world, it would be pretty hard for people to accept them alongside each other in one coherent movie. Unlike the recent Marvel Films, which cleverly used the Nick Fury character to tie things together (except the licences Marvel doesn’t hold, like Spider-Man), the DC ones have nothing in common. In all likelihood, they would like to release standalone flicks for the other characters first too, but alongside the three mentioned above, only Wonder Woman is really in the public consciousness.

Attempting to introduce completely new versions of them all in one film would be a folly as well, especially if no actors from the previous films returned. Of all the things on this list, this is the only one I’d like to see be made well and succeed, but I don’t see how it could be pulled off; the tone of the comic version is something that simply can’t be recreated on screen.

 

Any Marvel or DC crossover event ever

 Iron Man vs Captain America

Who or what is that?

A crossover event is a comic book story where characters from one publisher that share a single continuity or ‘universe’ come together in shameless attempt at a short spike in sales. In DC’s case, it is also often used a reset button when the writers have lost track of the continuity again and need to reorganise. Marvel pioneered the form way back in 1984 with Secret Wars, in which the highest-selling superheroes and villains of the time (Spidey, some X-Men, some Avengers) got a mini-series where they fought cosmic enemy The Beyonder, for uninteresting reasons. Nevertheless, it sold in huge numbers, and both companies began thinking of any old excuse for massive multi-title crossovers.

Why it should never be made

For largely the same reasons as the JLA movies; there would be far too many characters to follow and you’d end up not particularly interested in anyone. Plus the storytelling is always awful in crossovers, revolving around silly (Fear Itself) or ill-thought-out (Civil War) concepts. Designed for comic book fans in particular, they normally require an encyclopaedic knowledge of the continuity that would alienate the casual moviegoer. Thankfully the fact that many different superhero licences are owed by different studios means that this is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.




Author: James Giles

Writer, confessed geek and general pop culture enthusiast, with a particular love for films, video games and wrestling; regular blogger for nostalgia-fuelled wrestling blog Ring The Damn Bell. Feeling pleasantly more mellow with age.

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