Top 5 Most Interesting Comics Turned Into Movies Turned Into Comics
My comic book collection is… unconventional.
I love comic books and the superheroes and I have a sizable amount of knowledge about a lot of them despite only owning and reading a rather small amount growing up; thank you internet and before that those ultimate guide books. However, as I’ve grown up I’ve had the funds to build my own comic book collection and have done so. So what does this have to do with a film website? Well it just so happens I am completely fascinated by comic books that are turned into movies and then turned back into comics. Not just any, but specifically the ones where they drew them back in the style of the original comics. For instance I almost put the Batman movie adaptation comics on here, but decided not to as it being drawn very close to the actor’s likeness made it not fit in with the rest of these despite how badass the Michael Keaton version of Batman looks in comic form. So let’s get this started before I get off topic again.
5.) Judge Dredd (The Official Movie Adaptation)
Let me just say that this is a movie I actually kinda love, it was one of the first R rated films I was allowed to watch so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. That being said I’m well-aware this is not a great adaptation of the character and the newer film “Dredd” is far superior in practically every way. Hell the movie even adds in characters that are from completely other comics (though still owned by 2000AD Comics) like the ABC Warrior Robots. Rob Schneider in what is still probably his best roles, which is kinda sad (you need look no farther than his other roles for proof). Still it’s a film I enjoy because of its cheesiness. It’s said that the director of the film was actually a big fan of the comics, but his script was radically changed by Sylvester Stallone who of course had the full support of the studio behind him. It’s also a good segue to the main issue fans have with the film the fact you see Judge Joesph Dredd’s real face. In the comic whenever he did take the mask off it was always obscured so you never saw his face. It was done by the creators as a statement about Dredd and what he represents, his actual identity as a person does not matter, he’s just a faceless drone of the police force. Still no major studio is going to pay all the money to get Stallone and NOT show his face so off it goes. Now here’s what’s interesting the comic is drawn by Carlos Ezquerra who is one of the co-creators of Judge Dredd. While the costumes follow the movie’s style everything else (especially the faces) are very 2000AD Comics looking. Aside from the costume itself looking like the movie, Judge Dredd looks like how he does in the comics. So when he takes off the helmet in the story we get to see what is the closest official face of Judge Dredd cause I’ll tell ya, it don’t look like no Stallone despite being an adaptation of the film.
4.) Captain America: The Movie
We have those movies we hear about as young kids that we immediately want to see, but are too young and thus spend years obsessing over until we see it later in life. For me personally those would be “Jurassic Park” and “Robocop” and in both of those cases they were well worth the wait. However, there were some others for me that weren’t. One was “Street Fighter: The Movie” and the other was “Captain America” from 1990. He is one of my favorite superheroes ever and the idea that made of movie was like the greatest news ever. Then I was finally old enough to rent it and I think I actually fell asleep the first time I tried watching it. After Cap gets frozen it is incredibly boring. It’s quite clear that the filmmakers didn’t have the budget needed. However, the best thing I can say for this comic is that it ALMOST makes the story more interesting. Being a comic drawn in the traditional style not trying to follow the film closely, the action scenes are way more exciting. Also, one of the advantages of comics is that you the reader create some of the pacing so you can make the boring 2nd and most of the 3rd act go by much faster. It fixes some problems like how Matt Salinger (yes the son of THAT J.D. Salinger) was in clearly in Captain America level shape during the beginning before the super soldier serum so they have to add some sort of leg injury to make it a believable difference, while he still has a bum leg in the comic he’s also drawn smaller to add to the contrast. However, since it’s following the movie fairly faithfully it repeats that film’s sins such as COVERING UP RED SKULL’S RED SKULL! Also, making him an Italian fascist. I couldn’t imagine getting a character so wrong when I first saw this (the Fantastic Four movies hadn’t come out yet). Now I could maybe forgive it if during the final fight Red Skull fake skin got peeled off so we could see the classic confrontation look correct. However, the change I can never understand is not making Red Skull a Nazi. I mean it takes place in World War II, there are Nazis and Nazi symbols all over the beginning but actually making the main villain one would be too much?! One great thing about this comic is that it’s written by Stan “the man” Lee himself. And while there aren’t as many captions as his normal comics we still get some of those great Stan Lee-isms at certain parts which as far as I’m concerned is always welcomed.
3.)Masters of the Universe: The Motion Picture
“Masters of the Universe” is not a good movie by any definition. However, for me it’s a film like “Super Mario Bros.” where I did genuinely love it as a kid and I can enjoy it on that level if I keep in mind memories of watching it as a kid spread out on the mini trampoline we had in the family room with my corresponding toys around me to be able to act out the film as it played. It’s also one that every time I watch it now it feels like I’m watching a special edition version because I grew up watching the TV cut we had recorded which was edited like there was no tomorrow. So some may call this cheating as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a toy line and TV show first, right? Well yes it was a toy line first, but with those toys were packaged mini-comics to tell the story. Mind you the TV show wildly changed the story from those, but for that reason I am going to count this. Anyway so doing a film about He-Man in the late 80s with a company like Cannon films seems like it would be amazingly difficult to do given the visuals and scope so what did they do? Have He-Man and the rest transported to our world so you only need the actors in their costumes and only see Eternia a few minutes… yay? So like these others we have the comic makers using the original designs over the films.
However, Skeletor is given a darker design for his face which is appropriate as the film’s version is way darker than what most kids were used to. I actually didn’t grow up seeing any of the cartoon, it was just this version and the old golden book videos so when I did eventually see the classic cartoon I was amazed how silly they made old bonehead in that. However, Frank Langella (who is quoted as saying it’s one of his favorite roles) turns in a fantastic performance, he is giving it his all like he’s playing Shakespeare and that scene where he kills one of his henchmen when they fail him is way too good for its own film. And painfully that whole scene is cut out leading to some interesting continuity issues in this comic. Also, since it’s a comic it obviously can’t have Bill Conti’s great score that may sound awfully close to John Williams’ “Superman: The Movie” music but is still awesome. The only character from the toys that is significantly changed is Beast Man. He’s the one they decided to draw in the style of the film though keep the original toy’s color scheme. They also sort of cartoonify the henchmen created for the film like Karg whose hair looks even more 80’s than in the actual film and Blade who has yellow skin like he’s from “The Simpsons”. Also a funny thing of note, Detective Lubic (played by the Principle from “Back to the Future”) looks like Lex Luthor since again they’re not trying to get the likenesses down at all. This is also the comic that cuts the most out which is understandable as these are all (except for one) one issue adaptations. It adds a few moments and simplifies other like Skeletor never changes into the golden “God” form like in the film. But again if you’re like me and you just want to see the story of the film told with the look of the toys then this is for you.