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From Comics to Film: What's an Acceptable Change?

There's almost always going to be changes from the source material to the big screen, but what can we overlook and what sets us off?

*Contains Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and The Wolverine spoilers*

We're lucky enough to live in an era where a surprising amount of comic book movies are quite awesome. It wasn't too long ago where a vast majority of superhero films were mediocre at best, but as more and more properties are brought to the masses, more and more drastic alterations are made to the characters and storylines we hold close to our hearts. This should of course come as no surprise since a majority of these films are merely inspired by the source material and not a direct adaptation. There's no denying we comic fans tend to be a rather passionate group of individuals, but what changes can we roll with and which make us want to throw popcorn at the big screen?

This was good. The rest? Not so much.

Let's dive right into the big one: Deadpool. The immensely popular character was brought to theaters back in 2009, except it turned out to be nothing like anyone could have expected. Yes, all seemed fine and dandy when Ryan Reynold's was blocking bullets as Wade Wilson, but then the film took a drastic turn from the road we all thought we were traveling. Sure, Wade undergoes an experiment to become Deadpool just like in the comics, but in the source material, they merely gave him an accelerated healing factor. However, in the film, they added crazy long Adamantium blades on his wrists (ones which would make it impossible for him to bend his arms if they're sheathed, but I digress), teleportation (which he did via a device in the comics, by the way, so we can live with that one) and, get this, optic blasts.

The thought of having Deadpool in a film was thrilling. He's a character we love and having him brought in opens the door to using him more in the future. But this character simply wasn't Deadpool and the end result was an over the top individual created just for a boss battle which honestly wasn't even that great. This isn't us being shallow over changes. No, Cyclops' optic blast generating heat is a small change we're totally capable of being cool with. But this Weapon XI character was no longer Deadpool in the least. To make matters worse, he was being remotely controlled, too.

So that makes us wonder, what's the point of including a popular character (with future potential) if the end result is no longer the character at all? And now if they did want to use him down the road, they'd have to essentially ignore this film or find a way to write their way out of it. Then what's the point of doing that in the first place? He was clearly built-up for a final fight, but in doing so, it ruined the character's future and didn't even deliver that grand of a scene. To us, a change like that just seems unnecessary. Yes, the idea of Weapon XI is cool, but why not apply it to a new character in the film instead of wasting Deadpool's first feature film appearance?

Whoa, they made a Transformers/Wolverine crossover? They didn't? Oh...

A more recent example is Harada in The Wolverine. As many of you know, Kenuichio Harada is the Silver Samurai in the comics -- a fantastic Wolverine villain and sometimes even his ally. However, in The Wolverine, he's changed to a character who focuses on archery, mostly works for Viper, and then, to add insult to injury, gets impaled by mega adamantium Silver Samurai. We can't help but wonder... why not just give this archer a totally different name? We understand throwing references around to get fans excited, but if it's going to totally go against who the character is and bring nothing of value to the greater picture, why bother?

You either smiled or raged, yes?

It goes without saying those are two big changes that we had trouble swallowing, but by far the most polarizing thing this year (at least with Marvel films) has to be Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Disputably one of Iron Man's most well-known villains and a character hinted at since the first movie with Tony Stark, we were all blindsided when Ben Kingsley's character turned out to be a total hoax. The man we all believed to be a fearsome terrorist was in a fact an actor and a total joke being manipulated by the true Mandarin, Aldrich Killian (a character who died super early in the Extremis arc).

The key difference here is unlike with Deadpool and Harada, we actually enjoyed this twist. Don't get us wrong -- we're not oblivious to the fact it was totally disrespectful to the character and shattered any potential of us ever seeing a true Mandarin vs. Iron Man encounter. It's because of this we understand why many of you are on the other side of the fence with this one, too. Not everyone laughed along and for many, this was the point that ruined the movie for them.

Why were we okay with it? To us, it was a hilarious, brilliant, and well-executed twist (yes, we're aware we lost many of you with that one). The pros it brought to the table outweighed the cons and we had a good laugh. It was a major twist in the plot that none of us saw coming, where-as Deadpool and Harada simply felt like wasted characters which brought nothing redeemable enough to counter the huge changes. When it comes to drastically altering a character's role or powers, we think it's only acceptable if it serves a much greater purpose (aka not just a mediocre fight scene). Otherwise, it's a totally wasted opportunity.

That said, it's worth noting the outcry over this scene wasn't massive. Yeah, it seems like a big deal here on the site because it's a subject we're all very passionate about, but the general audience mostly soaked it up. The film made a massive profit and has a mostly positive rating from both critics and audiences. Now, that's not saying you're wrong and you should feel bad if you think otherwise (you have every right to loathe the twist if you want to, after all), but it's worth noting that this is a change that Marvel Studios clearly sees as acceptable now that all of the figures and ratings are in. Regarding their less popular properties, we won't be surprised if we're hit with a few more drastic switch-ups down the road.

Equally polarizing was Superman crossing the line with General Zod in Man of Steel. Again, this is a case where being on either side of the fence is understandable to us and rightfully so. Heck, even here at Comic Vine we disagree on this one a whole lot. Compelling arguments can be made for why it makes sense given the circumstances, and equally compelling arguments can be made for why the scene didn't have to happen at all in the first place. However, unlike with Iron Man 3, the unexpected bleak turn of events left critics more divided and it's sure to be one of the most discussed moments in the current comic book movie era.

Played Kingpin like a true boss.

Another heavily discussed change is skin color. Just like everything else, this is a case-by-case basis. First and foremost, changes should never be made just for the sake of diversity -- that's just insulting and pandering. Instead, they should be made because the actor/actress is perfect for the role and an organic fit. Take Kingpin, for example. Obviously a white character yet portrayed by the very missed Michael Clarke Duncan. His skin may not be the same color as the character from the source material, but everything else was flawless and he was easily one of the best parts of the entire film. Because of that, the color of his skin is totally irrelevant to us. Kingpin isn't Kingpin because he's white. He's who he is because of his stature and personality, and Duncan was clearly the best man for the job. We feel this mentality should always apply when it comes to potentially changing the color of a character's skin. It should only be done if the person is indeed the best option for the role and if the character is not specifically defined by that aspect.

At the end of the day, we understand there will always be changes from the panels to the movies, but if they're not done well and/or have a positive impact on the narrative, then what's the point? In attempting to please the comic community by throwing certain elements and names our way, they're only doing the polar opposite when it's poorly executed (e.g., Deadpool & Silver Samurai). What do you think, Viners? What changes are you alright with and what makes you want to flip a table? Give the comments section below a polite piece of your mind.

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Edited by dbatdog

my thinking is if you don't like the changes, don't watch the movies and stick with the comics.

Edited by Ninjablade09

While on the other hand, IM3 did a terrible job and got everyone to believe that we were going to see the awesome Mandarin with the powerful rings.

Exactly! That's what angered me the most. I believe you can change what you want, as long as the character is the character. Deadpool wasn't, Mandarin wasn't. Kingpin was. Bane was. Hell even the whole thing with Tony creating Ultron doesn't bother me because it's been done, and well it makes sense(though it dose make me think the Ant man movie is completely pointless.)

I think as long as you stay true to the character's core than changes are fine. In Nolan's Batman series Batman isn't the super genius detective but for the most part he's still batman. Still as dark and gritty as ever. In Man of Steel Superman is still Superman. Even if his origin is tweaked a bit and even if he did have to kill Zod (keyword being HAVE to). The super shout he gave after the fact tells us this isn't a character who is ok with or enjoys killing and while there was a huge amount of collateral damage in both Smallville and Metropolis that was the first time that Clark's ever really been able to use his powers to their full potential AND was trying to stop a massive alien invasion, not just Zod. As for Deadpool I agree that they should have just given him another character name all together because the character we saw at the end simply wasn't him. (And I don't even like Deadpool). Idc abt skin color but I do think there are times where the image we have of a character should match their counter parts. (I.e. Spiderman) Then there are times where changing race could and does work (I.e. Kingpin). I actually could see a really cool actor one day being so perfect that we get a black Bruce Wayne (even if I'm not too sure on how I feel about a black Batman) and I think that's where the issue is. No one cared that Spider-man was black because Marvel didn't make Peter black. They created a whole new character instead. Same applies to Green Lantern. We have Hal (White), John, (Black) and Kyle (who I'm not 100% sure on so won't offend anyone by getting his race wrong) and even Kai-Ro in the future. On that note there's also the future version of The Flash (Danica) who is both black AND a woman which I think is awesome.

Agreed. Though on a the subject on a black Batman, while I would have a slight problem with it, if the character is Bruce, I feel when it comes down to it all, Bruce is more associated as a white person. Now if it were a new character, I think the only thing holding it back would be the costume. If you do something that looks like the current Batwing or the Batman Beyond suit, it could work, but the normal cape and cowl I feel would look weird.

Posted by sagejonathan

How could you say the Mandarin twist was good?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The one laugh I got from it wasn't worth it!

Posted by tupiaz

Mandarin was sacrificed as a character for a plot twist that seem so weird and stupid. Aldrich Killian is suddenly the main enemy what makes it all more idiotic is that why have a scapegoat when you in the boss fight and the finale go out and say hey it was me. That he used the phrase "I'm Mandarin" seemed even more stupid. About problem I had with the skin color and Duncan is that it seems like that most criminals that are high profile and dose the criminal acts that he does (which a few since others do them for him) seems in general to be done by whiles not blacks and therefore break some of my Suspension of disbelief . Whoever that is a minor problem Duncan did make a great King Pin and easily the best actor in the movie.

Any change that works is fine. Comic book movies are ADAPTIONS. The directors are there to craft their own story based on the character, not to be slaves to the source material. I don't endorse dumb with characters that strip them of who they are, but still, directors should be able to make their own unique stories based on comic book properties.

Yes based on the characters not changing them.

Posted by RedLantern23

@tupiaz: So wait....a crime boss being black not white broke your suspension of disbelief...while watching a movie about a blind acrobat superhero with radar sense?

Posted by xrs10

The thing I don't get is why marvel felt they couldn't have the mandarin as an actual character with the rings, I mean it would have been an amazing twist to have kingsley have an after credits sequence where it shows he is the mandarin, and then have him as the big bad in the next avengers. I dont get why they refused to make the mandarin real when they are going to put scarlet witch who has reality warping powers and quicksilver in the next avengers. its all whack.

As for the wolverine I think silver samurai worked for me because it didnt feel like it was such a diversion for me, yes I know it was from the comics but in relation to the film I think that is what adapting it looks like when done well. I dont have an issue with this as much as mandarin because I think that there was literally no point in the mandarin being there. he was a political figure that quite frankly could have been any old random, I am sorry but they pulled that stunt to get more laughs for tony stark.

Posted by tupiaz

@tupiaz: So wait....a crime boss being black not white broke your suspension of disbelief...while watching a movie about a blind acrobat superhero with radar sense?

The thing is that King Pin is very much a white crime boss or the image he has is so. It is in the same why that it would break my suspense of disbelief that a white person would be a leader of a black street gang. Criminals often but not exclusively stick to their own colors. I would feel it was weird it there was a black guy in a 1%'er MC if the club was primaily having white people. You don't see these kind of things (or very really) and they are therefore unlikely as a social interactions. DD being DD is accepting different kind or physical rules. The story is still to show the same social interaction as in our world therefore to different forms of suspense to disbelief.

Posted by MrMazz

@sagejonathan: but the twist was part of a greater commentary on the media circus around the film itself and the role the media plays in the world of them and our own.

Edited by RedLantern23

@tupiaz: Its not like the Kingpin was shown talking and scheming with the Italian Mob or the Yakuza or something like that. They made him seem more like a White Collar Criminal more than your typical ethnic crime family. I didnt find any part of the casting as unbelievable.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

The Mandarin in IM3 didn't bother me, I don't know why. Yes it was drastically different than the comics, and yes it made his character kind of a joke to the general public, but the twist to it didn't seem to bother me. perhaps because it was done creatively and almost satirically to itself.

Deadpool, however, was something totally different. Let me start by saying I am in no way a Deadpool fan. His character and exploits have just never really interested me. But to completely overwork his character was ridiculous. I was cool with Reynolds as Wade, I thought it was a damn good casting job. But what they turned him into, they should have just made up a name and created a whole new character. That would not have bothered me, and I doubt it would have bothered anyone else. Yes, of course we'd want to see a known Wolverine nemesis on the big screen; that's why comic fan go to comic movies. But Weapon XI was so drastically different from anything Deadpool was they should have just called him Weapon XI.

I am all for movie adaptions. I happen to think they did a good job with Nolan's Bat-trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man, and the Iron Man trilogy. You need to adapt these characters for the big screen. They have decades and decades of stories and character development, to fit it into one, two, or three movies requires some alteration and artistic license. But creating a completely different character, then giving him the name of an existing comic character, makes no sense to me.

I haven't seen Man of Steel, The Wolverine, or Daredevil, so I can't comment on those. Although, Michael Clarke Duncan looks boss as hell as Kingpin, so that closes that debate.

Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

Ahhh the eternal debate, what is acceptable change when translating comics to Hollywood feature films. The truth of the matter is it depends just how deep your fandom runs and if you are willing to be open minded to said changes. Let us be honest, such changes are made because the executives, directors, screenwriters and producers in the interest of targeting the largest audience possible, not simply catering the movie to a target viewership. So of course there will be differences in movies as compared to depictions in print, but that could also be said of books in general in some cases. The real question then shouldn't be so much what is acceptable but rather what is acceptable to the viewer themselves like you said. For me, I can handle some things sure (i.e. Supes kinda overstepping the line in MoS or the huge android Silver Samurai in The Wolverine), and other things I nitpick (African-American Kingpin in Daredevil for example). And then there are those things I consider to be a complete travesty (::coughs:: Weapon XI ::coughs:: ). At the end of the day I feel it sometimes makes for a good movie, other times not so much. Preferably I'd love an exact translate of comics onto the big screen but just like I said before, these movies aren't made just FOR me. Fanboyism is fine, but open-mindedness must also fit into the equation.

Posted by Trodorne

@thenameiswayne said:

What I find annoying is how everyone seems to gloss over the fact that Deadpool was meant to become like the original character in the near future. In a post credit scene, Deadpool regains his ability to speak and breaks the 4th wall with the audience. His origin has always changed, all this is showing is how he turned into Deadpool. After the first decapitation he could have lost some of his powers that was not needed. I feel like people want things spoonfed to them at times, and don't want to embrace an alternate version or see the potential in things, especially with these films.

Excellent point.

People fail to understand, or don't want to understand, that movies are different iterations. They are not going to be exactly like the comics and they shouldn't have to be, when a director or writers has to do exactly what is in the comics that restricts them right off the bat....If DC would have restricted Nolan by saying "look, the Joker has to be just like the comics" you would have never had a cinematic master stroke like Ledgers Joker.

Both pretty much make the point I have.

I agree with Cattlebattle;

Movies are an entirely seperate genre, its there to entertain a movie going audience, not the comic audience. Which is why, I go into the theatre and I have to seperate myself from the continuity of comics and treat it as its own. Let the people in the theatres have their bizzare plot hole filled continuity. No one goes to the theatres to think, they go there to be entertained by famous actors/actresses, and watching fast vehicles, fight scenes, flag waving, sex, jokes, and explosions.

Which is why to me, books will always come first over movies. table top rpg games come second or really close first.

Edited by DCVibe

This topic is one I have been waiting for. I break this down simply into the debate of what is an adaptation. To me, an adaptation is adapting an original story through a different direction. What people want from movies that are adaptation of comics, books, tales, biographies, etc. are what should be labelled Translations because it is translating one media into another media. Those adaptations that do almost direct copies 300, Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns animated, fall into the translation category. There will never be a direct adaptation because everyone has their own reason for interest or interpretation. Te best way to explain it is when we comic fans imagine how cool it would be for our favorite (or even non-favorite) characters to do or go through something fun, exciting and or challenging. While translation is what we want for the most iconic moments in comic book history, we will most likely continue to get adaptations because it is something that introduces the characters in a new way for both comic fans and general audiences much to our dismay when characters/moments are changed drastically.

Edited by Barkley

@manchine:

superman killed zod in superman 2

Edited by spardo89

Not to be that guy, but comic fans need to get over the fact that they do not own the comic characters. Yes, you've invested time and emotion in these characters but the companies have a right to do with them what they want. It's called creative interpretation. If people wanted the comic version, they'd read the comic. That's why comic movies were in purgatory for so many years, because generally speaking, audiences didn't care for that comic element. But when directors started toning down some of the more fantastic elements and grounding them a bit in reality, then audiences started appearing, hence more comic book movies. So it comes with the territory. You can either have a movie that deviates from the comic that gets made, or you can keep your comics, but you can't have it both ways.

And not to play the race card, but there are some people on this site with some serious latent racism. "Oh race doesn't matter if it's a minor character, but it's a totally different story if you had an Asian Superman or black Batman". How?!! So you can believe that an alien infant from another world safely lands on earth, is blessed with the powers of a god and seeks to better the population rather than oppress it, so long as the alien's home world consists of Caucasian beings? But if that planet's inhabitants appeared Asian, all of a sudden it's too far out there? Or perhaps only white children who witness their parents murdered in front of them are capable of transforming that rage into the personification of vengeance. Give me a break. Saying "It's ok to change minor character races but none of the A-listers" is very, very racist. That's like saying "I'm not homophobic but I'm not comfortable at a party if I'm the only heterosexual there". The only difference it makes changing a character's skin color is the way you feel about/relate to that character.

Posted by Pokeysteve

I've noticed the closer characters are to their comic selves, the better received they are.

  • Spider-Man (Tobey) and Wolverine who had only minor changes which most accepted.
  • Characters like the Fantastic Four which were portrayed decently but suffered from a bad script (I actually liked the first one but Alba was iffy as Sue).
  • The flip side of that is a great movie but poor characterization like Nolan's Batman (the first two anyways).
  • Then you have Daredevil, Elektra, *gulp* Catwoman and Ghost Rider where it seems like they just cast whomever and did whatever.
Posted by chrisj_1

@ekrolo: Gotta disagree with the yellow suit thing. Wolverine in this live-action fan-film has his yellow suit and he looks badass. Bet most people would agree:

Coming from a casual fan I disagree but that's just me I'm sure most would be questioning it but then again Captain America looked kind of derpy in Avengers and nobody cared.

Posted by Mangakid1995

@skulexander: meh, the costumes looked good but you gotta think about it from the perspective of a none comic reader they have grown attached to Hugh Jackman in the role to the point where most people wouldn't accept anyone else in the role so it makes no logical sense to cover up his face. Also were talking about the Fox Cinematic universe where none of the X-Men run around in they're classic yellow spandex, at this point it just wouldn't feel right. However if the rights went back to Marvel I have no doubt we would finally see the yellow spandex and the pointy mask realized on the big screen.

Posted by chrisj_1

What I find annoying is how everyone seems to gloss over the fact that Deadpool was meant to become like the original character in the near future. In a post credit scene, Deadpool regains his ability to speak and breaks the 4rth wall with the audience. His origin has always changed, all this is showing is how he turned into Deadpool. After the first decapitation he could have lost some of his powers that was not needed. I feel like people want things spoonfed to them at times, and don't want to embrace an alternate version or see the potential in things, especially with these films.

Yes, but he didn't become that character within the confines of the movie itself. If a movie is going to spotlight a character it's not going to hold hope for a sequel to do what they want to do with him. Either way you're just assuming that he becomes the character we know. It's not that we need to be spoon fed they really didn't give us anything to work with besides that and we shouldn't need to resort to our own personal retcons to explain a movie, it needs to work everything out within the movie itself (BTW yes I am aware of intentional ambiguity). I doubt that's what they were going for dude, sorry.

Posted by RavenVice01

I have no problem with the skin color or gender change for characters when it works. For Kingpin, it made sense to have a Marcus Wallace character as the Kingpin of Crime. Its a big guy who had to get tough in Hell's Kitchen. However, there has been a recent development where Michael B Jordan is going to be play Johnny Storm in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. I'm sorry that does not work for me. Johnny's background and character is like a surfer who becomes a hero and learns responsibility. That's all.

As for the so called Mandarin twist, I mean what are we M. Night Shyamalan. If they weren't going to do Mandarin's origin properly then they should have gone with a different villain. I mean the movie version of Alrich Killian is similar to that of Firebrand (a lesser known villain who could use some recognition with a movie revamp). Personally, I think Ben Kingsley would have been better off playing the Vulture in the upcoming Spider-Man film. As for Deadpool and Silver Samurai, Viners would be in the right to say those changes were unnecessary. Directors and writers of these comic book movies should add onto the stories that already exist, not make dramatic changes.

Posted by M3th

Everything is subjective but nothing is acceptable. There is no occasion where a change in the source material was totally accepted. There's always a fair number of people that are pissed. I think if people viewed movies as an alternate Universe and let things go, then the movie experience would be better.

Posted by mkukie68

I think James Bond as a blonde is really weird. Daniel Craig pulls it off with his acting tho

Posted by Dober_Man

I'm fine with those changes as long as it isn't too extreme. Deadpool in X-Men: Origins was stretching it way too much. But comic films to me have been like a form of alternate universe, a kind of "What if..." so I'm cool with ideas like Ironman being behind Ultron instead of Hank Pym, Silver Samurai being a mech instead of a actual samurai...

Edited by MatteoPG

I actually thought that the Mandarin twist was what made the movie tolerable. Before that he was such a bad clichè. No terrorist would speak that way, he was to propaganda-ish... on the western world side! Seriously, he was a bad joke.

And what people don't get, I think, is that the message was that Kinglsey wasn't the Mandarin. Even though they changed his power set, Killian was the actual Mandarin: guy driving the whole conspiration by getting inside the system with superior technology. He looked more like the Mandarin we saw lately in the comics.
He actually says "I'm the Mandarin" at a certain point. I see no problem with that. They only changed his skin color and his powers, but otherwise they would have had to explain his 10 magic bullshit rings (that I didn't really like in the comics) and that would have dragged the movie off track.

The fact that they named him Killian was just for throwing us comic book readers off his scent.
And nobody dare that that is unacceptable because everybody thought that it was "genius" in the dark knight with Talia.

Posted by tupiaz

@tupiaz: Its not like the Kingpin was shown talking and scheming with the Italian Mob or the Yakuza or something like that. They made him seem more like a White Collar Criminal more than your typical ethnic crime family. I didnt find any part of the casting as unbelievable.

The problem is and that is the point that criminals rarely mix when it comes to colors. The style and the whole white color crime syndicate King Pin has is a lot more white culture. Oh and Kingpin has been scheming with the Italian mob on several occasions.

@matteopg said:

I actually thought that the Mandarin twist was what made the movie tolerable. Before that he was such a bad clichè. No terrorist would speak that way, he was to propaganda-ish... on the western world side! Seriously, he was a bad joke.

And what people don't get, I think, is that the message was that Kinglsey wasn't the Mandarin. Even though they changed his power set, Killian was the actual Mandarin: guy driving the whole conspiration by getting inside the system with superior technology. He looked more like the Mandarin we saw lately in the comics.

He actually says "I'm the Mandarin" at a certain point. I see no problem with that. They only changed his skin color and his powers, but otherwise they would have had to explain his 10 magic bullshit rings (that I didn't really like in the comics) and that would have dragged the movie off track.

The fact that they named him Killian was just for throwing us comic book readers off his scent.

And nobody dare that that is unacceptable because everybody thought that it was "genius" in the dark knight with Talia.

Killian was Kllian from Extremis had the same power. Also seems like you don't like or have read many Iron Man comics. This was clearly not a movie for the Iron Man fans but the fans of the movie franchise not the comics. In the comics Iron Man has a very close (but hatred) relationship with magic which mandarin is a big part of.

Posted by JoaoFontes

Deadpool? sucked...

Mandarin? nheeeeeee....

Silver Samurai? could do worse...

Superman killing Zod... well he does kill him in the comics, and he doesn't deal well with that... and in the movie he´s inexperienced and he´s trying hard to save people so it was the best he could do, and that scream and anger he shows exactly what Superman is... he didn't do it just because it was easy or it was what he wanted.... he did it because there was no chance of stopping Zod. What i didn't like it was how Johnathan Kent died... it was stupid.... fortunately it was the only stupid thing they did.Even the fact of Lois finding out who he is its acceptable because.... well those glasses don't hide t much of his face.

Batman ... He doesn't give up being Batman... he would never do it...

now... about color... dudes... in main character its stupid... not because of race... but history... i mean... if you want a black Human torch just create a new Hero... don't go changing the character... its like turning Black Panther into a white dude... well for that we have Ka-zar... and Tarzan... it would be the same if Magneto instead of Jew was a Mormon... got it???

Of there has to be changes... but with logic. i get that in every hero movie nowadays the hero reveals himself to the sweet lady.... its ok. its kind of what we all want... so... change all you want... just dont screw it!!!

Posted by MuyJingo

I think most of the Batman changes are unacceptable.

Removing the detective aspect of the character, making him retire for 8 years because he didn't get to be with his fling....very much against the core of the character.

It works as an elseworlds tale, that's it.

Posted by spardo89

@tupiaz: Did you perform a study on the history of organized crime and criminal enterprises in America? Or is your wealth of knowledge on the racial interactions of criminals from real world experience? Please don't tell me you've reached your conclusions purely from shows like the Sopranos. And that you would say King Pin is more a white color criminal, OMG, join the KKK already. Or better yet, join a company's HR department so you can keep all the qualified but weird looking people out. You're the type of individual who will adamantly deny being a racist but still qualify everything by race. "I'm not racist, but seeing a bunch of black guys walking together makes me nervous". It's sad when fans of fantasy (comics) are so myopic and close minded.

Posted by spardo89

@joaofontes: Don't change main character's race because of history? I'd agree with you if race was essential to their history. Black Panther doesn't have to be black, you could just as easily have the same mythos if Wakanda was deep in central Asia as opposed to Africa. Luke Cage doesn't have to be black because white men and brown men get thrown into prison too. So what is about these characters that make their races inexplicably tied to their experience? With the exception of Magneto's Jewish history (with WWII), I'm not sure where race is a deal breaker. Do you think Spiderman is white because only white kids are into science, take pics and are socially awkward? If so, check out Instagram and Tumblr. Or maybe Johnny Storm can't be black because the character's laid back, care free, womanizing attitude only is historically and exclusively connected to the white experience.

Iron Man's history is not tied to a specific war but rather a war. His story/character would be the same if he was held captive during Vietnam war, in USSR during Cold war, Middle East today, maybe North Korean by next iteration. These characters evolve with times. Since Tony Stark/Bruce Wayne are billionaire playboys who answer to no one, in 5-10 years time when homosexuality has become more widely accepted and these guys are up for the next movie, expect to see a bisexual Tony Stark/Bruce Wayne. And will bisexuality be a deviation from the character? Not in the least. It will be the realization of the character. If either of those guys lived in the future, they'd sleep with every alien they came across, so why on earth would they only sleep with attractive women.

Posted by luisaraujo

x-men has been completely screwed, ive yet to talk to a person that dislikes first class like I did.. rearranging the ages and characters..for what..?

Posted by tupiaz

@spardo89 said:

@tupiaz: Did you perform a study on the history of organized crime and criminal enterprises in America? Or is your wealth of knowledge on the racial interactions of criminals from real world experience? Please don't tell me you've reached your conclusions purely from shows like the Sopranos. And that you would say King Pin is more a white color criminal, OMG, join the KKK already. Or better yet, join a company's HR department so you can keep all the qualified but weird looking people out. You're the type of individual who will adamantly deny being a racist but still qualify everything by race. "I'm not racist, but seeing a bunch of black guys walking together makes me nervous". It's sad when fans of fantasy (comics) are so myopic and close minded.

I have based my opinion on several documentaries about organised crime and prison.

Also please keep assumption about how I see people. Those a based n speculation What I have said is that crime syndicate typical has a racial/color distinction. People do tend to stick to their own especially when there is a lot of fear and mistrust (which there are in crime syndicates). I haven't said anything about how I watch people and I don't have fear towards a black group or arabic people (since we got a lot more of them in Europe). A judge people by their actions not there skin colour.

Posted by JoaoFontes

@spardo89: If Tchala was Asian he wouldn't be Tchala. Because Tchala is African. the Wakanda is an African Nation (in comics, obviously). So putting him Asian wouldn't have logic... unless it was another hero. Luke Cage grew up in Harlem, and so did Sam Wilson aka Falcon, and its because Luke was black that he was arrested. The Falcon protected the Harlem because of the injustices against the black people. So in my opinion... yeah... color matters... not race.... because as far as i know we are all of the same race... In they´re case if they were white they would have different lives. So they wouldn't be the heroes they are

c´Mon dude... its basic psychology... we are what we are due to our experiences... and like it or not... being black, white, Indian, Asian matters. so yeah... it can be a deal breaker for some characters.

More... just because i don't think its right to Peter Parker turns out black or bisexual, that doesn't turn me into a racist or homophobic. Simply makes me one of those who thinks that the original its good so it doesnt have to change.

Posted by mettlekm

To me, Mandarin was a dated character. Haven't enjoyed reading anything with him in decades. Not once have I said, "Oh crap! It's the Mandarin!" like you would at times with Ultron or Joker. So tinker with him all you want.

Deadpool, yeah there was that afterscene, but still bad first appearance for a valuable character.

Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four. He might be one of top 3 villains of all time. Made him look like a hack.

I don't mind the attempts at changing the character but only if the character needs changing. Tweaks are ok. Back in the day of the Adam West Batman show, that catwoman was nothing like who was in the comics. They put her in leather/spandex and made her what she is today. So yeah, a lot of good can come out of a new direction.

Edited by aaunderoath

As far as story and costume goes I'm all for it. The movies are a separate universe and things SHOULD be different. However don't Deadpool the character like X-Men Origins did, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to change a character's powers or personality that drastically

Posted by Loki9876

first I was pissed at the twist in Iron Man 3 and I was thinking about it for half of the movie but now I'm cooled down and I understand and I tealize it was a good movie and I should accept the twist (but in my heart I'm still hoping for the real mandarin.)

Posted by jnw93

Michael Clarke Duncan fitted the role very well.

I liked the Wolverine Origins movie but no Deadpool, he was a let down.

I just hope the cast for Guardians of the Galaxy are good.

Edited by CaseyJustice

Great article, Gregg!

I'm consistently surprised by the problems with the Mandarin's turn in IM3. Really, I guess I'm surprised that the character has that many devoted fans!

Personally, I've never read any version of the character that wasn't a racial pastiche or an overly convoluted attempt at making him interesting, so I suppose my perspective is skewed. Honestly, though, I think that it would've been a bit out of sorts with the tone of the IM films to have a guy with 10 magic, alien rings trying to take over the world. The twist worked fantastically, avoiding making him just another mustache-twirling villain with a silly affectation.

IM3 has its' share of problems (I'm looking at you, last 5 minutes of the movie), but the Mandarin was one of the high points.

Posted by vPuik

I was fine with Silver Samurai since I'm not familiar enough with the original character. I had no idea the dude with the bow was the same character.

The Mandarin did make me mad the first time I watched it, but I watched it again and realized the character fit the story really well I was fine with it. I would have loved to see some magic, but IM franchise is not ready for it yet. It is all about people abusing technology. Maybe later.

Deadpool was in excusable, Kingpin was awesome, Peter Parker telling Gwen Stacy he is Spider-Man on the first date was weird, X-Men movies were all pretty lame (except First Class). Etc.

I'm getting used to it. :)

Edited by Manchine

@barkley said:

@manchine:

superman killed zod in superman 2

Actually NO. All it did was show them sliding down the wall. ALSO In the Richard Donner cut, it was shown that Superman went backwards in time again to prevent General Zod and his followers from escaping from the Phantom Zone.

Posted by sasquatch888

x-men has been completely screwed, ive yet to talk to a person that dislikes first class like I did.. rearranging the ages and characters..for what..?

yeah but first class was the best movie so far ...i wish they would have started the franchise with first class but with the original x-men ....also it bothers me that white queen was younger in wolverine origins than she was in first class ...that was never explained? and why did they kill Sebastian Shaw , he had potential as a character....for the future of the franchise...i loved sabertooth in wolverine origins also though i hated the movie ...i hated the way they did the blob

Posted by Vance Astro

@thenameiswayne said:

What I find annoying is how everyone seems to gloss over the fact that Deadpool was meant to become like the original character in the near future. In a post credit scene, Deadpool regains his ability to speak and breaks the 4rth wall with the audience. His origin has always changed, all this is showing is how he turned into Deadpool. After the first decapitation he could have lost some of his powers that was not needed. I feel like people want things spoonfed to them at times, and don't want to embrace an alternate version or see the potential in things, especially with these films.

The problem with that is he should have just become that in the film. Nobody want's to see Deadpool projecting optic blasts and teleporting like Nightcrawler. I don't have a problem embracing alternate versions of characters I have a problem accepting ridiculous or pointless changes.

@ips said:

the problem with many of the changes is that they're not necessary.

This.

I've never had much of an emotional attachment to the Mandarin, which is probably why I thought the IM3 twist was so damn hilarious. The guy at the LCS grew up reading stories with the Mandarin, so he friggin' hated it.

BTW, is it confirmed yet if that black dude from Chronicle is gonna play Johnny Storm in the F4 reboot, or is that still a rumor? I remember that ruffling a few feathers a few weeks ago.

The problem with what happened to the Mandarin is that Iron Man's films never had a really good villain. Whiplash was the best they could do. Had they used the actual Mandarin, the LAST Iron Man film would have been alot better. Nobody cares about some clown who works for A.I.M exploiting the Extremis Virus. As someone who pretty much started like Iron Man BECAUSE of that arc, I can't give the film a pass for dropping the ball like that. It was a good film, don't get me wrong but I think what was done with the Mandarin was a massive failure. I feel like villains have been done poorly in pretty much every Marvel film and that takes away from the hero.

I actually like the changes they made to Mandarin in IM3. I get he's powerful and feared in the comics, but people complain because he didn't have his ten rings and yet, if we really thought about it, would an army of Iron Men fighting one guy with ten magical rings really be as epic? Not only that, would people really take him seriously?

Actually that's technically what happened. By the time Iron Man came to his final fight with Killen, all his back up had been destroyed and he was by himself. If you think that it wouldn't have worked if he wasn't fighting a "team" of characters, the Mandarin has his own minions (Mandarin's avatars) that could have been brought into the film so he's not fighting Iron Man & all of those armors alone.

Moderator
Edited by The Mast

I loved Michael Clarke Duncan, but can we just accept he was awful as the Kingpin? Nothing to do with his skintone, everything to do with the way he was portrayed.

You're allowed to say a black actor playing a white character was shitty, so long as it's not for stupid reasons like race. He was an awful Kingpin. You read any definitive Kingpin story and tell me he pulled it off, I'm calling treachery.

I don't want things exactly like the comics, but Marvel Studios have hit an amazing balance. They focus more on making CHARACTERS true to the comics, NOT the stories. Comic fans will leave a movie happy, usually, if their favs are portrayed well and less if the story is rigidly fixed to the comics.

Also, that's a lot harder when you've got a continuous series running for decades. I am more of a stickler for source adherance when it comes to novels or minis, like Watchmen (Which I wasn't happy with).

Posted by AlKusanagi

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Mandarin twist. We could easily have the Mandarin from the comics in a future film but, honestly, even most comic fans don't care/know about him. Would he even make it on a top 50 list of iconic comic villains?

In IM3, "The Mandarin" was a boogeyman used by Killian. It would take no effort to explain that the name existed before as this kind of urban legend/ghost story among the underworld and he just appropriated the name for the mystique that comes with it. Then, in IM4 or whatever, we could have the REAL Mandarin come out of the shadows and be all "Yeah, I let that chump play his game and use my name because it amused me, but now I'm here to show you the real deal!"

Posted by Fresh Prince

I think that all changes should be considered acceptable. I mean, they're merely adaptations and are based on a totally different universe. Not like this is 616 we're talking about so nothing is really "changing". They're there and whether we agree or not, it's a totally different universe.

Do I feel like some of these adaptations were merely a waste of time? Of course and most comic book fans will agree. The thing is, there are more movie fans than there are comic book fans and some of these changes didn't even affect these people much.

The Mandarin twist? Most people I know enjoy it and found it very amusing and fun. Plus the movie get excellent ratings and earned a ton of money when it was all said and done.

Changing up Harada? Silver Samurai is hardly known to the people watching the movie, more so his real name. Although it really made so much more sense to just give him a different name so that nobody really gets affected by it.

Deadpool was probably the worst change of all because not only did they drastically change the character, the movie stunk and he wasn't even that appealing or cool. Plus it really didn't make any sense at all.

Like it was stated earlier, they could have easily just renamed certain characters to make sure no one gets too affected but we gotta accept it guys. Only the die hard comic book fans will end up getting outraged but the fact is, there's a larger target audience than just us and some times all these changes end up paying off in the end.

Posted by ThomasElliot

Truth be told, this is a hard question to answer.. because on one hand I want to hate on the Xmen movies, yet I'm ok with Burton's Batman and the Dark Knight trilogy and all the Marvel/Disney movies.

But then, I think the Walking Dead TV show pales in comparison to the Walking Dead comic book. In regards to Walking Dead, I've actually been talked 'down to' by my friends who explained 'its like an alternate version, blah blah blah'. I was so insulted. I'm the guy who actually enjoys Wolverine Origins despite its awful bits. I'm the guy who likes Kick-Ass the movie better than Kick-Ass the comic... and my own friends think I don't 'get it' with Walking Dead? I sometimes wish I never read WD at all, so I wouldn't find the show so lackluster.

So I don't know the answer here. Why am I ok with Bane in the Dark Knight Rises, but absolutely HATE that Punisher takes place in freaking TAMPA, FL? Why am I ok with the modified ending of Watchmen, but can't stand that Carl didn't shoot non-zombie Shane?

Somewhere in all this is a venn diagram with 'Viewer Acceptance' in one circle and 'Story Execution' in the other. There's needs to be a health combination of both in order to hit that sweet spot where the 2 circles overlap.

Edited by MaccyD

@thomaselliot: In that case it's the writer that probably affects your opinion of which is better. Robert Kirkman might be a better writer than the screenwriter of the show for example (Walking Dead).

Edited by MaccyD

For IM3 I was expecting an interesting villain for Iron man finally.

Instead I got another angry guy in a suit with some bit of tech, like the other iron man films...

Posted by RedLantern23

@tupiaz: Normally they dont. But he is the Kingpin. He runs all the crime in the city regardless of color. So in this case yes all of the races are working together. Who says the person in charge has to be white?

Posted by tupiaz

@tupiaz: Normally they dont. But he is the Kingpin. He runs all the crime in the city regardless of color. So in this case yes all of the races are working together. Who says the person in charge has to be white?

Isn't the only guy being seen working for Kingpin that is Black Turk? Don't remember others. Yes Kingpin is the head of all crimes doesn't mean he control every street colour. They simply play some money and then they are left alone. He is not the boss of every criminal gang in New York he is simply just at the top.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

Fun fact: Kingpin originally was going to be black in the comics, but Marvel's editor thought it was racist to have a black villain. (Which is a pretty stupid thing to think)

Getting to the main point here, I think there's a middle ground where things can be altered without being changed too much. For example, I think the main reason Spider-Man's reboot was better than the first 3 movies was because they stuck closer to the source material.

There are cases like Deadpool and Mandarin that just go way too far.

There's already enough smug jackasses out there who think they know everything about the franchise just because they've seen the movies.

Joss Whedon just doesn't get this. Even more then Micheal "Adult Alien Ninja Turtles" Bay. "We're not making the comics." Bull$#*%! Then what the hell are you making a movie from? Scratch that conveniently vaguely resembles the source?

My point is, respect the source material, but don't nail yourself down to it.

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