Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 is the Year of Comic Book Movie Reboots

2012 is a year full of reboots.

Sorry. I am not referring to the awesome animated CGI-animated TV series, ReBoot, that aired from (1994 - 2002). If you are not familiar with the series, it is available on Netflix. Check it out.

I am talking about the next best thing. Comic book movies.

The Amazing Spiderman; Source: EW

First, The Amazing Spiderman comes to theaters July 3.Then, The Dark Knight Rises makes its way to theaters on July 20. Finally, Dredd, a reboot of Judge Dredd (1995), hits theaters on Sept. 21.

Spiderman embracing a fan as Captain America signs autographs; Wikimedia Commons by US Defense Dept. 

Have you ever looked forward to a reboot?

What a valid question! To which I have you an answer.

But first let’s examine what reboots rarely do. From what we’ve seen, reboots often offer a new vision for a franchise, and rightfully so. After all, why would a reboot take the same path, and the same vein for the story? Well, for one thing, continuity is uber important for a franchise - especially a superhero franchise - unless the first movie(s) were flops.

The Incredible Hulk comic book cover, Wikimedia Commons by Manuel Durand Uraco

Hulk (2003) and; The Incredible Hulk (2008) movies were a prime examples of this. While I didn’t think either movies were “flops” per say, they didn’t meet or exceed box office expectations.

But here’s why reboots are sometimes necessary. When one director/writer’s vision falls short, or gets something wrong, the only way to correct the flaw, is to reboot the franchise. In the comic book world, such a correction can be easily fixed with a retcon. A retcon is when a comic book writer must make a change to the history of a superhero, so that there isn’t an inconsistency in the hero’s past, based on a previous comic book.

Crave Online wrote about the five most shocking retcons in comic book history here.

But when a comic book movie franchise decides to change something in the story, that is inconsistent with the comic books, that essentially is where everything goes wrong. As one of my dear friends put it: Why change the story on superheroes when you have 50 years of storylines to build from?

Here are a few reasons why Hollywood makes changes:

  1. More appealing to worldwide markets (make up 70% of movie revenue)
  2. Old-fashioned ideas (that apparently don’t work in a Progressive America)
  3. The big wigs want a formula (A + B + C = blockbuster movie)
As a person that is not fond of reboots, I am actually looking forward to a reboot of Batman.

Batman Begins Batmobile; Wikimedia Commons by Alexander Horn 

Let me explain why:
As a person that grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series as well as a comic book fan, I personally don’t find Christian Bale to capture the essence of Batman. He doesn’t do it for me. I am a true Batman fan. Bruce Wayne looks nothing like Christian Bale, and certainly does not act like Christian Bale. Of course, that is my own opinion.

That being said, I am ready for the next Batman reboot.

Don’t worry, folks, it won’t be that far away.

If you are a fan of the Batman Trilogy, the Batman Begins Tumbler can be found here. It is a collection of moving .gif pictures from the Batman Trilogy with Christian Bale. Quite interesting for the Batman fan.

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