Thursday, May 23, 2024

Comic Book Shows vs. Comic Book Films.

August 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Comics, News

( When it comes to comics and the screen, I’ve always been a fan of television adaptation over film. Some might say “What?! TV over film?!” Yes, TV over film. While movies allow for these amazing visuals and makes for an awesome blockbuster experience, sometimes the story suffers.

Looking at superhero films, comics have stories that stretch several issues. Characters crossover into other comics. There are these big seasonal story arcs where that particular universe of characters experience changes to their relationships and make them question why they’re still fighting the good fight.

Roll That Beautiful Storyline Footage

You don’t get that robustness in film, there just isn’t the time when people show up for the big fight and to see how the superheroes will squad up after what happened last time. You have a two to maybe two and a half hours to depict what needs to depicted and put a button on it. Three to four hours on DVD as a director’s cut, of course.

With television, you have the time to showcase all of this but the visuals take the hit. A studio isn’t going to put movie-level money into special effects for TV. As a result, studios make up for it with these storylines that can run half the season or the whole season.

That’s twelve to over twenty episodes to do a story. One example I always use is Marvel’s Civil War storyline from 2006-2007. It was winding and touched all the main titles and a few titles within the Marvel 616 universe that tend not to mingle with the major titles. It was basically knocked out in one film before Thanos showed up for Infinity War.

Several Marvel shows with the Civil War playing out over the season would’ve been incredible. It would’ve allowed for all that deliciously deep storytelling. Of course, that would depend on Marvel actually including TV in the MCU and not just telling us where they fall in the timeline of events.

DC pulled off good crossover events on TV with its main CW shows. Sure they’re not included in the same cinematic universe as the films but the storytelling was great.

What About That Character Development and Inclusion?!

The things that fans say they would love to see in the film storyline-wise? The relationships between two characters and how an event either strengthens it or tests it?

How about the characters who have a slim chance of appearing contingency? “If Grifter appears in the next Justice League? Son. Son.” We can’t forget those who want X-group of heroes to appear in a film. “I noticed Gen13 wasn’t in the new X-film, WTF?!”

Some characters just aren’t going to appear for sometime even if the demand is great. They have to be in the cards. That’s why the TV adaptations are so great. A whole TV show could be based around groups and characters not featured in the large budget productions.

The Risk Factor: Get It Done In One Film or Across A Season

When it comes film, you have that one shot to be a success to warrant a sequel. A studio might commit to doing sequels or more films simply because it holds the rights but sometimes that doesn’t it (see Fantastic Four from 2015 for that rare case). It’s one shot to get it done in two or more hours. Either the story has to hit it out of the park or people must really want to see these characters–which is usually the case. An Iron Man film’s story could look unappealing from press and the trailer but people will still flock to see Tony Stark cause a problem he has to fix.

A comic book television show has the episodes to rebound from a bad or slow first couple of episodes. It can round out to be a decent enough season that you’ll give season two a shot as was the case with the first season of Arrow.

I’ve just always enjoyed my heroes and villains on TV. I like the opportunity to see them again and to see them develop every season and not have to wait two years and hope development takes place in two hours. The important thing for everyone is that we enjoy what we go to see in theaters or what he chill on the sofa to watch.

How about you? Which do you prefer: television or film?

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.


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  1. […] that season than a 90 minute or two-hour film every two years or so. Then again, I tend to pick television over films 80-percent of the time when it comes to […]

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