That's one of the reasons I have such deep respect for Calvin & Hobbes. That strip was often more topical and hard-edged than the editorials in the same newspaper, and he got his point across in a few panels and speech balloons. He focused more on human nature than the specific issue at hand, and as a result you can apply the strips he wrote during, say, an election season directly to the current debates and they work just as well. While rereading them, a lot of the strips feel like he had to have done them last week, not two decades ago.
<TANGENT="I'm so tired I fucking wrote this shit and realized later that it only barely makes sense. Left in for the lulz">
With comicbook movies, I think a lot of the problem stems from the fact that the comics themselves are often very poorly written. People who like comics would probably balk at the suggestion that "The dark knight returns" is actually a really poorly told story, but it really kinda is. Comic writers tend to be ham-fisted in the way they apply their messages, but I think that has a lot to do with the history and the desire that people have to recreate the things they loved from their own childhood. A lot of the modern writers are feeding off of the sort of comics they read when they were kids. 60's and 70's and 80's comics, for the most part. Many modern comics are kinda returning to that oddly dark 1980's - early 90's style of comics. Granted, I've not picked up an issue of anything in a few years now, so maybe things are changing.
But you know when Marvel starts up a new arm of the company dedicated to 'darker' themes, and the first word in the first book published under that new arm is "Fuck", you know that comics in general are heading into darkland. Superhero comics, at any rate. Modern comic stories focus more on the fucked up psychology of their characters than heroics. Or their fucked up "Jersey Shore" style relationships with other characters. There was a fucking incest subplot going on in one of the X- books for a while.
So when you try to make a movie out of this shit, there's two realities you have to face. 1) the people who read modern comics are going to want to see dark, gritty characters with scarred psyches battle their inner demons and 2) people who don't read comics expect to see something like the old Superman and the old Spiderman. Neither of the two audiences is really expecting to see much social commentary going on, aside from things like "Nazi's are bad" or "Discrimination is bad". You definitely can put heavy social commentary into a comicbook movie (V for vendetta, Watchmen, Superman 4) (no wait, forget Superman 4...), but it's most likely going to hurt the movie's acceptance level because of the whole "This should be escapist entertainment, not a real movie lolwtf" reaction.
I mean, this movie had like one ... poorly executed comment on the sort of big brother tracking shit that wireless devices and phones allow the government to do, and took a kinda oddly neutral stance about the idea, and people bitched about it in just about every review I read. I can't even tell what side of the issue the movie was on. Maybe that's why they're bitching? It doesn't clearly define it's stance on it? I dunno...
Point is, putting commentary into a comicbook movie is probably only going to piss people off, and that's going to defeat your commentary. It probably has a lot to do with the much younger and, let's face it, less... intellectual folks that are running out to buy tickets to see Green Lantern and Ghost Rider 2. I'm not saying they're dumb, but they say it themselves thusly: "Just turn your brain off and have fun"
Those people are going to have a strong negative reaction to social commentary... in pretty much anything...
Last edited by Squiggly_P (2012-02-28 04:50:56)