Opinion: Don’t be ashamed to love Comics

You would imagine, what with the surge of popularity that comic book films are enjoying on the big screen these days, that those who enjoy reading the materials they are adapted from would be proud to be comic geeks (and let me make it clear that the term ‘geek’ is not offensive, and us now embraced by the community as ‘our term’).  After all, has it not become true that the biggest ‘jock’ event (to use some US terminology) of the year, the Superbowl, now sees as much excitement around it due to the showcasing of the latest comic book movies trailers as it does from the sport itself?  So why are some folk still ashamed to admit to having a cupboard full of long – boxes stuffed with poly-bagged comics?dc-comics-universe

I’ve generally encountered two types of folk who fit into this denier category.  There are those who deny any involvement at all, and those who try to add some prestige to the hobby. By this I mean they say things like, “No, I don’t read comics. I read graphic novels!” To me, these folk are worse than the straight out deniers. They want to be accepted as part of the comic community, but also position themselves above all ‘that childish nonsense’ to the outside world. “Oh, the next Avengers film is based upon the Age of Ultron graphic novel!” No it isn’t. Heck, it isn’t even adapted from the comic book event of the same name (they just used the name because it is cool). I genuinely don’t understand those who refuse to accept that their precious graphic novel collection is just a bunch of comics collected into 4 to 8 issue volumes. By reading ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt’ graphic novel format doesn’t make your enjoyment of the story any more prestigious than my reading it when it spun over the three Spidey titles at the time (Web of, Amazing, and Peter Parker the Spectacular). It is the same story, same art, and same experience.

As for the total deniers, now is the time to step out and let people know your love for comics. You will find that you suddenly become a popular person when a new film throws out a tease at the end credits. Your font of knowledge will make you like a deity to those baffled by terms such as cosmic cube, or negative zone. Embrace who you are, the days of mockery are long gone.


Not Quite Fantastic (but definitely not terrible)

So, the first trailer for Josh Trank’s reboot of Fantastic Four has arrived, and before I go further let me first express my admiration for the secrecy around this film.  There’s been very little in the way of shots and teases from the set, which means that this first trailer is actually the first real taste we get of the film (in addition there wasn’t a tease trailer for the tease trailer, which is quite refreshing these days).  Here’s the trailer for you to enjoy…

As quite a big fan of the comics, having been my first foray into Marvel tales when I was 8 years old, and still being a regular joy of mine to read, you could argue that I am a bit of a fanboy.  So, when others who dismiss the trailer as rubbish (some quite seemingly without actually watching it) decide to say that fans like me will all hate it, I wonder where they get that idea from.  My first impression was quite positive.  My second viewing was even better as I took time to absorb the small details such as the joyous wonder on Reed’s face as he enters the military science lab.  If I have one gripe so far it is that there is no sense of fun in this first trailer.  Some people have decided that this means the whole film will be dark and depressing, but that’s not the case.  Josh Trank has commented in interviews that things such as the family dynamic of the team is what he loves about the characters, and if we look at his breakthrough film, Chronicle, that was somewhat dark but did have great lighter moments.

On the subject of Chronicle (great film by the way), remember last year when a quote from someone was taken out of context and suddenly all the so called experts on comic book movies were reporting that FF would be a ‘found footage’ movie?  Now, I always say that too many sites churn out this nonsense for click-bait, and out of fear of being the last to report something.  Personally I prefer to await confirmation before breaking ‘news’ to the world.  Hence I don’t race to post 14 articles per day (heck, 14 per quarter would be a lot for me), and why I ignore most sites that spout random nonsense (hey, Latino Review, how did Ben Affleck being dropped from playing Batman turn out for you after your exclusive reveal last year?)  As the trailer shows, found footage it certainly isn’t. Still, haters are going to hate, and some folk will stretch for any excuse to dump on the film.  I’ve seen people moaning that the title being Fant4stic has ruined it.  Yeah, because Marvel would never do that themselves, would they?  image Others still harp on about the changes to characters (Johnny is black) or story, and like to say Marvel would do it better.  What? Change the characters and story better?  Or do you casually forget them plethora of liberties Marvel themselves have taken with their characters when putting them on film?  Don’t believe me?  Go check out the comic book origins of all the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, then get back to me for your next homework assignment.  This is why Marvel have a ‘multiverse’ to explain different versions of their characters.  Heck, the FF have travelled and visited versions of themselves that include a black Reed, zombies, or an all female team.  Not forgetting a little comic called Ultimate Fantastic Four which had a young team working in a military science lab…kind of like…oh, yeah.

So, stop stubbornly wanting to hate the film just because you want it to revert back to Marvel.  Heck, I’d love for the characters to mix it up with the Avengers too, but why should that stop me from looking forward to seeing a representation of my favourite super family on the big screen?  After all, Fox seem to be getting the X Men films right (at last), so why not let them play with other Marvel characters a bit more?