Category Archives: Comics

Comics to Screen: Ant-Man

The latest in the occasional series in which Matthew Turner traces the journeys of Marvel superheroes from four-colour panel to shiny DCP.

antman comic - lang

Spoilers for Ant-Man, after the jump, obvs. Come back after you’ve seen the film.

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Comics to Screen: X-Men Days of Future Past

Once again, Matthew Turner takes a detailed look at the work put in to translating comic books into comic book movies. Today’s subject is X-Men: Days of Future Past. Warning: This post contains spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past and is intended to be read after you have seen the film.

Uh... spoilers, I guess?
Uh… spoilers, I guess?

Continue reading Comics to Screen: X-Men Days of Future Past

Man of Steel

Indy Datta only saw the new Superman film last night, so this review will be small, and we can’t promise it will be perfectly formed.

man-of-steel-sequence

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is, in almost every way, the epitome of the contemporary fantasy comic-book blockbuster, assembled with enormous skill and craft – but also witless, repetitive, thoughtlessly cacophonous, artlessly pretentious. There’s an hour of throat clearing exposition before anything of any interest happens. The plot, on pretty much every conceivable level, makes no sense. Film and director seem needlessly cowed by the source material (the crazy Snyder grandiosity of 300 and Sucker Punch is entirely absent, and yeah, I miss it), yet also simultaneously Nolanishly embarrassed by its inherent silliness (the one time a character says the word “Superman”, it’s an inadvertently delivered punchline). Henry Cavill, in the lead, is given little scope to be anything more than a sixpack on a stick.

Not unusually for superhero movies, it’s down to the villain to save the day.

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Comics to screen: Marvel Avengers Assemble

by Matthew Turner

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Marvel Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers, if you live anywhere other than Britain) and is intended to be read after you’ve seen the film.

With the recent release (and what already looks like phenomenal box office success) of Marvel’s The Avengers, it seems only fitting to mark the occasion with a final Comics To Screen post. This will examine how writer-director Joss Whedon, closely supervised by Marvel Studios, has blended the now established movie universe (referred to, annoyingly but conveniently, as the Marvel movie-verse) with the classic comics themselves. Arguably, with the enormous success of the  three key movie franchises (Iron Man, Thor and Captain America), it’s no longer really that important to cater to old-school comics fans, but it’s nonetheless interesting to look at just how much of early Avengers history survives into the new movie and to see which elements have been drawn from elsewhere.

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Comics to Screen: A Look at Captain America – The First Avenger

by Matthew Turner

Our reviewer denies being paid by Marvel

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Captain America: The First Avenger and is intended to be read after you’ve seen the film.

Having written comics-to-screen pieces for this blog on both Thor and X-Men: First Class, it seemed only fair to give Captain America the same treatment. I talked at length in the Thor piece about the challenges faced by filmmakers in transferring a lesser-known superhero to the big screen for the first time and, in my opinion, Captain America director Joe Johnston (who made The Rocketeer, which is very close to my heart) has done the best possible job, both in terms of introducing the character to a new audience and in giving pre-existing fans everything they could possibly want from a Captain America movie. Continue reading Comics to Screen: A Look at Captain America – The First Avenger

Comics to Screen – a look at X-Men: First Class

by Matthew Turner

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for X-Men: First Class and is intended to be read after you’ve seen the film.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this blog about the juggling act faced by film-makers when making superhero movies, namely, playing to their built-in audience on the one hand (by referencing the comics, lifting famous plots, making in-jokes and so on) and making the film broadly accessible to newcomers on the other. This article is intended as a follow-up to that piece, exploring how the same ideas apply to X-Men: First Class but also looking at the various ways in which the film both sticks to and differs from the comics. It’s also intended to serve as a handy bluffer’s guide to the various characters in the film.

Continue reading Comics to Screen – a look at X-Men: First Class