Is Warner Bros. Embarrassed by Superhero Tropes?

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by ABH1979, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Anonymous Bucket Head Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=41367

    Personally, I think there is a little bit of embarrassment there, at least on the TV end, but I think it's primarily that TV's lower budgets make it difficult to fully embrace the comic book.

    I mean, Look at how crappy those JSA costumes were on Smallville, and that Wonder Woman costume looked incredibly cheap too (both the promo shot and the one they wound up filming).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I don't see Nolan's Batman suit or even the Man of Steel suit as deviating all that far from the source material -- certainly no more than the Marvel costumes. So, I'm not seeing the movie comparisons, but the TV versions, yeah, there seems to be some shame (or something else) there.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    A show about Kal-El/Clark Kent had to be named "Smallville," Green Arrow has to be "Arrow," and the new Wonder Woman show might be named "Amazon," -- it's like they want to use the characters, but not really.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. StarYoshi14

    StarYoshi14 Well-Known Member

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    The lack of costumes on 'realistic' superheroes nowadays is getting incredibly disappointing. Twenty bucks Ollie doesn't even get called Green Arrow in the pilot for the new show. And I'd be really surprised if, after his depiction in the movie, Hawkeye will ever wear the purple costume again.
     
  3. Ravenxl7

    Ravenxl7 W.A.F.F.L.E.O.

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    I don't really think it's embarrassment. It's more like they're struggling to find a balance between the source material, and the realism they so desire to bring to these modern adaptations. Problem is, there's certain aspects to the plethora of comic book characters that, no matter how hard you try, can't really be made "realistic".

    I've always been more of a DC fan, so this is hard to admit, but Marvel has really found a good way to go about these things. Make what you can realistic and then embrace what you can't as plausible due to the fictional setting of the story. Essentially, just run with it.
     
  4. bcm77

    bcm77 Well-Known Member

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    I think the words "reality" or "realism" have no place in comic book movies.

    They're supposed to be a form of escapism so all this grounded in reality BS does is make what should be fun and imaginative looking characters and environments appear drab & dull.

    Marvel have found a formula and DC are being left in their dust, it'll take more than another dreary Nolan movie to come close to catching them.
     
  5. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I think it's less embarassment, and more a recognition of what has and hasn't worked in the past, and what they feel will best fit what they want to accomplish with the show. Unfortunately, television is a different medium from comics, and what works in one will not necessarily translate to the other stylistically, story-wise, or in the contemporary cultural context.
     
  6. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    I think it's trial and error largely based on who the producers/Powers that be are at the time of any particular show/movie's creation. Trying to find some "pattern" in the attitudes of faceless Hollywood execs is pretty pointless.
     
  7. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Anonymous Bucket Head Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think that's definitely part of it -- along with their (half)desire to bring properties to the small screen, that probably shouldn't be there.

    There are plenty of DC properties, that are already sans-tights/capes, could better work on the small screen, instead of trying to bring one of their higher caliber characters to TV, only to remove/alter the costume and change the name.

    For example, with Vampires being as popular as they (still) are, WB/DC could either adapt "I, Vampire" or "Looker" for the small screen. Being relatively unknown, they'd have the same benefit Blade had during his first movie -- a vampire character that most people had no idea was a Marvel character, and therefore, wasn't really expected to be "super-hero-y."
     
  8. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Many of the "non-cape" comics, as good as they are (there's a ton of vertigo series I would LOVE to see get a television treatment), simply don't have the household name-recognizability that the cape-and-cowl crowd does, and I imagine that's something WB is really hoping to bank on with these shows.

    I would say that Marvel has been more willing to take chances with it's minor characters in regards to films and television, historically, than DC has. Other than Swamp Thing and Jonah Hex.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  9. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    I think it's more of the producers not understanding their own properties and Hollywood's director's need to put their stamp on the character and reinvent the wheel.
    What Marvel has done is go back to basics and add in some modern elements from their current series that work.

    DC needs to stop avoiding things, I saw the Arrow TV series, and it's a step in the right direction, but despite what some people are posting about, in that series case there is some basis for the no super heroes thing. The comic was basically written that way in the 80's. Ollie stopped wearing his mask and Hal would only show up sans costume.

    But with a series like Wonder Woman, it needs paradise island, it needs Steve Trevor crashing on it, and she needs superpowers, it's core to her story. You can't really go the Smallville route with Wonder woman as she never had a typical american teenager life, Wonder Girl maybe but not Wonder Woman. They need to look at what worked for the Lynda Carter Tv series plot wise rather than avoiding it. That means tights and heroics. The secret identity can go either way as different continuities don't always use it.

    But if they want to go with the urban not really super hero type, their best bet is the Question, all he has is a, mask, no costume and it could work well for TV.

    Batman,Nightwing,The Flash,Starman, Catwoman(if they went with the Brubaker version)and even the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle would all work pretty well.

    Booster Gold was greenlit for a pilot for SyFY but I don't know what came of it.
     
  10. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Anonymous Bucket Head Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'd agree, but then there really isn't any "household name-recognizability" with "Smallville," "Arrow," and "Amazon." It's like they want to use their "A+" properties but then they give them the "C-" treatment.

    See, Swamp Thing is a good example of the types of things they should continue to adapt for the small screen. Say what you want, but with two movies, a TV series, an Animated Series, and a Toy Line; Swamp Thing had some crazy staying power.

    A Jonah Hex TV series could have been great, under the right circumstances.

    It will be interesting to see how well Arrow does -- they may be shying away from saying "Green," but yeah, at least he has a suit, and shoots arrows at bad guys.

    Yeah, to do Wonder Woman right, they need to incorporate what works in the comics (new and old), and not try to sweep all of that under the rug. If they're serious, they need to spend the money and do it right. Otherwise, just wait on her big-screen debut (in either JL or her own movie).

    I was actually going to mention the Question -- they have various versions to choose from, but the biggest problem for that character would be people thinking he's a copy of Watchmen's Rorschach, instead of the inspiration.

    Hmm, a Catwoman series could really work.
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I know, it's a weird system they seem to use, Birds of Prey (on Fox? Or WB? I can't remember) was another example of "famous" characters being distanced from themselves. I think the idea is that you can make the show however you want, and then market the hell out of it's connections to famous comics before airing or in other advertising/promotion.

    I agree that there's a lot of ideas that would seem to lend themselves more to television in the DC stable (I mean, let's face it, Swamp Thing did great, but I wonder how many people honestly saw that coming), A Jonah Hex show could end up as something like Brisco County Jr. meets Supernatural (though the well has likely been poisoned by the recent movie), and I would do TERRIBLE things, I would commit ATROCITIES for a golden/silver age series featuring the Question, using a film noir setting and featuring the DC stable of unpowered/pulp characters, with maybe a supernatural or metahuman character every once in a while used with suitable gravitas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  12. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Judge Dredd would also make a good TV show.
     
  13. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I could see that, though I think I'd prefer to see it animated than live action, but it could work. Giving it time to focus on the individual cases and build up the world and the characters over time in the background might allow it to bring out a lot of what the comic has done best.
     
  14. Switch625

    Switch625 "Up, up, and away!"

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    Aside from Nolan, who gave us a very real world and limited-in-scope Batman trilogy, they just don't have access to the talent necessary to provide a good script for anything. Green Lantern could have been amazing if they'd just stayed away from the more abstract concepts like fear and willpower. It should have been like Training Day meets Star Wars. The same goes for Superman Returns. All the pieces were there but the script/story was horrible.

    Their animated efforts are so successful because they have top talent behind the scenes in every aspect of production. Their live action counterparts should follow suit.
     
  15. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    Agreed that they just really need talented people on board and not people who only just want money.
     
  16. Spin-Out

    Spin-Out "It's just... Asinine."

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    God, that picture just reminds me how little I care about Man of Steel.

    Trying to make Superman gritty and "realistic" is just missing the point of his character, and I doubt the writers will be able to make Supes as likeable as his original comics version since they're gonna be too high on grittiness.
     
  17. TylerMirage

    TylerMirage I vawnt my berdt.

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    If I may focus solely on the 'title of the series'-issue here, I don't think it's embarrassment so much as them merely wanting to do something different. "Smallville", "Arrow" and "Amazon" are great show titles that evoke a certain set of images for those who are familiar with what the show will be about, and is ambiguous enough to get new viewers interested. Why would they call it "Superman: The Live-Action Television Show" or "Clark Kent: The Untold Story" when they could simply call it "Smallville"? It'd be like naming a Transformers television series or live-action reboot "MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE" or "ROBOTS IN DISGUISE". It's enough for fans to know what the show is about, and also draws in a new audience who may be wondering what the show is about.
     
  18. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Yes but on the smallville show you never really saw him in costume even on the final eps, arrow at least has a get up, but what many are fearing is they are avoid the super hero aspects of the super hero show. At least for the main character as every one else but the main character seem to get put into costumes in the later seasons.
     
  19. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    I think it has less to do with embarrassment and more to do with targeting a mainstream audience and trying to feel out what level of nerdiness they will put up with.

    Taking Smallville as an example, it was a popular teen drama with some super-hero trappings. But I think the show actually became weaker the more they moved away from that and the more traditional super-hero elements they tried to bring in.



    And some things just work better in comics. Each medium has its own strengths. Something that plays cool in one medium can look freaking stupid in another.
     
  20. Switch625

    Switch625 "Up, up, and away!"

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    That was the thing I was most worried about when Nolan came on board as producer. WB sees success with The Dark Knight Trilogy and they think the only way to have similar success is by copying that formula and applying it to their other characters. The failure of Green Lantern only re-emphasized that point in their minds. The entire concept of Batman can work in a real world setting, but every ounce of Superman's concept is science fiction. Plus Superman isn't, you know, grim and gritty.
     

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