The Most Egregious Comic Book Adaptation Changes


By Brian Moylan, Staff

It’s impossible to leave one midnight screening of a superhero movie without hearing some costumed fan boy tsking, “”Well, that’s not how it was in the comic book!”” Sometimes that is a really annoying criticism. After all, we have to keep in mind that screenwriters have to re-imagine broad material for the big screen and take shortcuts to filter a lot of story into a less-than-two-hour movie. Still, there are some liberties that have been taken with our favorite caped crusaders over the years that are completely inexcusable. Here are nine cardinal sins filmmakers committed adapting comics into movies.

NEXT: He’s Not Dead Yet[PAGEBREAK] Cyclops Never Died: One of the major plot points of Brett Ratner’s rather disappointing X-Men: Last Stand was that the superhero team’s leader, Cyclops, gets killed by his girlfriend, the Dark Phoenix. Wrong! Anyone who reads the comic will tell you that Cyclops is still alive and well and running a colony of mutants that lives on a fallen asteroid floating in the Pacific Ocean. (No, for real.) Also, he is actually the one who killed the Dark Phoenix in the comic. Talk about a role reversal.

NEXT: He Shoots, Doesn’t Score[PAGEBREAK] Spider-Man Can’t Shoot Webs: Director Sam Raimi said that in his 2002 adaptation of Spider-Man he gave the character the ability to shoot webs out of his hands because it was easier than the real explanation. In the comic, Peter Parker is a science nerd who comes up with a formula for creating liquid webbing and shoots it out of bracelets that are around his wrist. Raimi said that the audience wouldn’t believe he had super powers and was smart enough to come up with this device. Really? If we’re going to buy that he scales buildings thanks to a radioactive spider, is there that much more we won’t believe? Apparently Mark Webb (ha!), the director of this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man, disagreed with Raimi, because his hero has the old-fashioned shooters.

NEXT: Who Closely Watches the Watchmen?[PAGEBREAK] Where the Heck Is the Squid?: Among comic book fanatics, there is no more sacred text than Alan Moore’s Watchmen, so naturally there was a huge kerfuffle when Zack Snyder changed the ending for his movie version. Moore has Ozymandias unleashe a nasty squid creature on New York City, so that the world will have to unite to defeat the monster. In the movie, there is no squid. Ozymandias gets Dr. Manhattan to create nuclear explosions in a number of metropolitan areas, hopefully also causing the world to reunite. What, does Snyder have a problem with calamari?

NEXT: A Hairy Situation[PAGEBREAK] Lex Luthor Has Hair: Sure, getting Gene Hackman to play the bad guy in Superman was a brilliant idea, but letting him do so with a full head of hair was a big mistake. Everyone knows that Luthor has a much hair as Captain America’s chest. (That is to say, absolutely none at all.) What, Hackman, are you too vain?

NEXT: He’s Dead to Us[PAGEBREAK] What Did They Do to Deadpool?: Anyone who had read an X-Men comic will tell you that Wade Wilson, the super-powered killer otherwise known as Deadpool, is the “”merc with the mouth.”” His character never shuts up. He also has a healing factor and no other power except his disgusting skin, which is why he covers his entire body in Spandex. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they got the entire character, played by Ryan Reynolds, wrong. Suddenly he had all these extra super powers, retractable blades built into his arms (how does he bend his elbows?), a shirtless costume, and (most disturbingly) no tongue. No wonder Reynolds dropped out of a proposed Deadpool movie to play the Green Lantern instead.

NEXT: Holy Exposure, Batman![PAGEBREAK] Seriously, Joel Schumacher, WTF: There are nipples on the Bat Suit. I repeat, there are nipples on the Bat Suit!

NEXT: Baby Momma Drama[PAGEBREAK] The Kid Is Not His Son: Superman was doing his best Billie Jean impersonation in Superman Returns because, as far as we know, Superman has never had an super spawn. In the movie, when Superman returns (duh) from a self-imposed exile in the stars, he learns that Lois Lane had his baby, a kid named Jason. Superman is no one’s baby daddy. Well, unless you count Superboy and no one really does, because he is lame.

NEXT: Hulk, Smashed[PAGEBREAK] Hulk Has Daddy Issues: Director Ang Lee tried to get all deep with the superhero in Hulk, giving Bruce Banner a backstory that includes a father with a genetic mutation who eventually becomes a character similar to the comics’ Absorbing Man. While the character may have a pulpy precedent, he certainly wasn’t Bruce’s father. In the Hulk comic, Bruce’s father Brian is also an abusive villain, but one with no super power other than an above-average intellect. It’s funny that when Lee tried to make the movie more intellectual, he ended up making it more muddled.

NEXT: First Class, Last Place[PAGEBREAK] Just About Everything in X-Men First Class: Don’t get me wrong, X-Men: First Class was a very good and very enjoyable super hero movie. One of my favorites, in fact. However, everything about it is completely opposite from the comic book, except for the initial friendship between Professor X and Magneto before they became rivals. Actually, most of the characters in the movie were introduced in more recent years than in the past when the action takes place. And Moira MacTaggert wasn’t a CIA agent, but a scientist who was also Prof. X’s lover. That’s just one of many quibbles the die-hards will have. Still, I can’t wait for the sequel.


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