It's Time to Stop Demanding Accuracy In Comic Book Movies

It happens every time a new comic book movie comes out.  Whether it’s the complaining that Marvel’s Civil War won’t look anything like the comics or that they appear to have changed Harley Quinn’s origin story in Suicide Squad, diehard fans get downright furious when something isn’t translated 1:1 from the source material to the big screen.

I’m going to not-so-humbly suggest that these people forget where their entertainment comes from.


Every major comic book hero and villain out there has been re-imagined a dozen times or more.  Every character has more retcons than a hotly debated Wikipedia article.  And comics are better for it.   The things that worked in the 1950s would never work now, and the characters that were relatable in the 1970s would feel confused and out of touch today, if not for liberal retcons.



In the comic book world, if there aren't at least half a dozen alternate versions of you, you're pretty much a nobody.

The comic book industry stays relevant by re-inventing itself every few years, and by understanding that what worked on TV for Adam West and Burt Ward wasn’t going to make a compelling Batman animated series.   By understanding that the large rogue’s gallery that worked for the Spider Man in the comics doesn’t work on the big screen.

(Okay, maybe they haven’t learned that lesson, but they should.  I’m looking at you, Spider Man 3 and Amazing Spider Man 2.)

So why are we expecting accuracy when it comes to moving our comic book favorites to the big screen?  Why do we want it even a little?  Do we *really* want to see David Tennant in full purple makeup or CGI for an entire season of Jessica Jones?



So that's what happens if you spend too long in the tub with a LUSH Bath Bomb. 

We’re not going to get an “accurate” backstory for Harley Quinn.  Or Deadshot.  Or Doctor Strange.  Or Black Panther.  Or Wonder Woman.  And all those characters will be better on the big screen because of it.

I say, the less time writers and directors try to make things match the comic books, the better.  Make characters compelling, make stories entertaining, and make your set design and special effects look amazing.  If there’s anything of the source material left over when you’re done, neat.  If not, I’ll “settle” for a compelling, entertaining, amazing movie.