The big brass at Marvel advised a director on Secret Invasion to steer clear of the comics

Originally published at: The big brass at Marvel advised a director on Secret Invasion to steer clear of the comics | Boing Boing

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I suppose I need to state my possibly hot take that a lot of the original comic book writing simply wasn’t that good.

I’m not referring to the Secret Invasion/Wars stuff - but the genre as a whole.

I stumbled into this realization reading some of the OG classics to my kids. A lot of the content and art style just doesn’t age well.

My kids (who should have been prime candidates for liking this) felt today’s manga was superior in every way. I had the same impression.

Maybe it’s similar to watching old SNL skits you loved as a kid - what you once thought hilarious is now mostly cringe.


Sturgeon’s Law applies to everything.


It depends what we are talking about. And as a medium, meh writing can be balanced out with great art and/or the characters involved.

Yes, there was a lot of content that was basically monster/bad guy of the week (which A LOT of manga is also). But there are a lot of arcs that were quite good on their own and could just use some polish.

But like the Green Lantern movie was not good, and I personally think adapting Emerald Dawn would have been a much better story.

I mean, you can also say that a lot of movie writing is simply not that good either. And meh writing can be balanced out with good visuals.


Additionally, especially if you’re reading a spy story, suspense and surprise are two of the big rewards within the story. It would be counterproductive to have their fan base of marvel comic book readers bored while watching if they knew pretty much what’s going to happen next. A lot of comic books is getting characters that we know well in new situations. Putting characters in exactly the same situation with exactly the same plot events sounds incredibly boring.


The MCU has been a lot more respectful of source material than any other studio adapting comic books, but they’ve never been married to the source material. Sometimes changing things works out (the Guardians of the Galaxy films are way better than the original Guardians of the Galaxy comics were) and sometimes it doesn’t (see Thor: Love and Thunder…actually don’t see it, it’s awful). As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s really all about the story. If you tell a good story, people will watch the movie. If you don’t, they won’t. Well…they might come out in droves on opening weekend based on marketing, but they won’t keep coming, a la The Flash. If the source material is good, and it makes sense to stick to it, do that. If the source material is bad, but the characters are interesting, then make changes.


i wonder if this is the reason i’m not a major hollywood director. :thinking: because even if i hadn’t been planning on reading the comics, this would make me excuse myself to get more coffee, then hightail to the comic store before anyone noticed i was gone

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I will probably defend that change to my dying day. In a stand-alone movie, why would you waste time trying to explain why Peter Parker can invent something like this, how he can afford the materials for it, and add to the level of disbelief an audience needs to suspend when you can instead just… have the spider that granted him every other power also give him that one? Saves tons of screen-time that could instead be advancing the plot. The MCU didn’t have to worry about it because years of MCU have made that sort of thing feel acceptable, but for the very first live-action Spider-Man film? Not worth it.


It makes sense - reading the comics would be counter-productive in this case. Not only do many (most) of the characters involved in these big Marvel “event” comics not even exist in the MCU, the ones that do have different histories and relationships to each other, and the Skrull are pretty different in the comics in general. This was necessarily going to be radical departure from the comics, even leaving aside the practical issues raised by doing it without an “Avengers”-level budget.

I do notice that it’s gotten a lot better in recent years - unevenly. Some of it is a lot better. The comic industry pulled in critically-regarded authors to write comics (and they successfully made the leap in media), and the bar has been raised for comic book art, I suspect because of the internet. (In particular I suspect the role of web comics in building skills and allowing people to experiment with styles - and then prove the popularity of those styles - has been a game-changer.)


The Green Lantern movie was fine. It had the misfortune to come out at about the same time as the first Thor movie, which it resembled in a lot of ways (it’s basically the same parallel story structure with a big OTT space opera plot crossing over with a small town under siege plot) and with a perfectly decent central actor and supporting cast.
I’m not saying it was great; I’m kind of happy there wasn’t a sequel. But it was in no way terrible - as a GL fan, I liked a lot of what we tend to call ‘easter egg’ stuff, but they mishandled the exposition horribly (I wonder if that was a late edit thing?) which is what Marvel’s “Phase One” understood well and helped them to cement a reputation in a way that DC has consistently failed to do.

I dunno, as a GL fan, I was pretty disappointed. The story was serviceable at best, but pretty forgettable. I love Ryan Reynolds, but he wasn’t a good Hal Jordan, IMO. The suits looked bad. The CGI wasn’t great and suffered from the tendency DC films have for being dark. Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur was cool, as was seeing much of the Corp. I give it a C a best.


… depending how old we are, that could be any era


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