Git Off My Lawn: Cinematic Comic Capers
Back in my day, which was before Al Gore invented the internet, and possibly before Al Gore’s mommy invented Al Gore, comic books were fun-filled, light-hearted, simple creatures, with the titular hero fighting the Villain of the Month in brightly drawn panels and onomatopoeic sound effects and…
…uh, moving on.
It seems like every comic book is getting a movie tie-in lately, from big names like Batman and Iron Man to more independent fare like Wanted and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Jonah Hex, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Avengers, and many more have graced or will grace the big screen, and no doubt there will be sequels and spinoffs and sequels of spinoffs galore. Hey, did I mention David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD? No? Probably for the better, really.
So the big question is, what other comics could contend for space in our theatres today? Let’s imagine the horror together:
#4: Archie and Friends. The kids at Riverdale have been there for something going on 378 years now, enjoying their high school shenanigans with big smiles and wacky hijinks. Their squeaky-clean brand of fun in the sun has somehow withstood the test of time, despite the fact that they are mind-numbingly boring, even to jaded old coots like me.
It’s about time they stepped out of their G-rated shoes and hit the big screen like the randy offspring of 90210 and Melrose Place. This series has centuries of sexual tension going for it, with the Archie-Betty-Veronica triangle just the tip of the iceberg. Fast Times at Riverdale High will, alas, meet up with a copyright infringement lawsuit, but it would still be awesome. Especially if Rupert Grint plays Archie. Really, everything’s better with a British accent. Once that’s done, we can get James Cameron to direct, and then put the high school on a boat, and give everyone blue skin, and Architartanic will make a bajillion dollars. I can already taste the moolah.
Note to self: use the word “Architartanic” more. I don’t know what it means, but it sounds awesome.
#3: Aquaman. Ruler of Atlantis, sovereign of the ocean blue, and fish whisperer. He gets a bad rap; he’s bullet-resistant, can function under the full pressure of the deepest oceans, can swim faster than any creature or vessel, and has incredible strength. But people simply call him “the guy who talks to fish.” Give him some depth! (sorry; that horrendous pun was my bad. Just keep reading.) Here’s a guy who has all the potential in the world for a topical and eco-friendly movie. Watch this:
Aquaman cleans up the Gulf oil spill! Behold as he commands his cephalopod armies to smite BP’s pollution-happy executives! Weep as he listens to a dying crab’s final wish! Cameo by Captain Planet! Watch for the scene in the background where a Klingon warbird is stealing whales! It’s topical! And in his spare time he hangs around the Pacific Northwest saving sea lions from local hooligans. Or saves dolphins from tuna nets. Note that he did not save Steve Irwin from sting rays. That’s because he doesn’t roll with uppity dirty polluting humans.
Not feeling too environmentally conscious? No problem! Take an awesome underwater movie, like The Abyss. Add one (1) Aquaman. Sit back and watch the King of Atlantis beat the crap out of a pornstachioed Michael Biehn. Revel in how much more awesome things suddenly got.
Aquaman also teaches us an important lesson: a beard, long blond hair, and a hook hand really go a long way in making someone cooler. If you look like this:
…consider growing out your hair and losing the left hand.
#2: Milk and Cheese. You’re probably saying “What?” right now, which makes sense because not too many people know of Evan Dorkin’s comic genius and/or insanity. Imagine a carton of milk. Imagine a wedge of cheese. Anthropomorphize them with limbs and faces. Now imagine them going forth and visiting massive amounts of violence and destruction upon everyone and everything they see, while spouting one-liners and social commentary of questionable quality. It’s like Tom and Jerry (the old ones where they routinely beat the holy hell out of each other, not that newfangled happy-go-lucky crap), raised to the umpteenth power, and with the blood spatter rivalled only by Ninja Assassin.
Milk and Cheese don’t even require silly things like “plot” and “story progression”. Start with Milk and Cheese. Add people. Commence 90 minutes of chaos and destruction. You’re probably thinking “Oh come on, no one’s going to fall for that.” Wrong answer! I’ve seen nearly every Schwarzeneggar, Seagal, Stallone, and Van Damme film ever made. I assure you, people will fall for it.
You’re probably still saying “What?” but think about it: if a wedge of cheese attacked you with a spiked club while screaming “DO IT TO THE CROWD!”, you’d be scared too. I envision Gary Oldman in the role of Cheese. Dude can scream.
#1: Sandman. Author Neil Gaiman is no stranger to comic-to-film conversion; the film Coraline came from one of his graphic novels and aptly demonstrated his brand of crazy imagination. Other films like Stardust and MirrorMask also feature Gaiman’s unique touch. But Sandman is his flagship and his masterpiece. Everyone who knows anything about comics and graphic novels knows about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. And there we face the great dilemma: how to properly treat such a revered work. Who could bring the character of Morpheus to life on screen? Who could wear that pallid complexion and unconventional hairdo with style and aplomb?
BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA okay I’m sorry. So very sorry.
Tune in next time when… oh I don’t know, that last picture just threw my thought process completely out the window. Now where did I put my gin and tonic?
In: Columns, Comics, Graphic Novels, Movies · Tagged with: adaptations, Aquaman, Archie, based on a comic book, Batman, Columns, Comics, Iron Man, Movies, opinions, twilight