Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Defense Of Crappy Super-Hero Movies?

In the letter column of Tarzan #219 (1973), a fan writes in praising DC's Tarzan series, especially as compared to the "corn and cliche in so many bad movies."

The response?

Obviously, such reasoning can easily be applied to super-heroes and there movies, right? Doesn't even a bad super-hero movie "show that people care" and "bring one more version of the character into existence?" Does even the crappiest super-hero movie ensure that "people who've had nothing to do with character...[will] eventually read the book?"

Of course, we can question the "show that people care"--after all, movies, especially those based on popular characters, are made to make money. That's not just an indictment of modern movies, because even in the "corn and cliche" days, the studios expected to make money off of Tarzan movies, and (mostly) had no deep artistic aspirations.

Yet, if there were no fans of the character, and no potential audience, they likely wouldn't have made the I guess that, indirectly, the making of a film shows that someone at least believes "that people care."

As to whether it "logically follows" that even bad movies will bring in new readers...I don't know, really. Did Reb Brown attract new fans to Captain America comics? Did the Green Lantern movie result in a substantial boost in readers? Did anyone who survived Elektra go on to pick up some comics? Sure it's possible...and that would be a "beautiful thing."

So, are even craptacular super-hero movies a good thing? Thoughts?


ShadowWing Tronix said...

That's actually hard for me to say. If someone likes it, even in a "so bad it's good" way then it has some merit. Would a good movie be better? Of course. Going by your Captain America example, do you think the 90's movie led anyone to read Cap's comic? I kind of doubt it but it's possible and of the three I'd watch the Reb Brown TV series before touching the 90's movie.

Maybe a bad movie that still entertains and leads people to read the comic is a good thing, but a GOOD movie or TV show that leads someone to read the comic is always better.

Michael May said...

I used to feel an obligation to support even crap movies out of loyalty to Team Superheroes or Team Comics or something, but I'm over that. I appreciate the sentiment that it shows someone cares, but that in itself isn't all that helpful. Crap movies make crap ambassadors for comics.

SallyP said...

I don't know. A craptacular movie can be good fun with the right company. And a lot of snark.

Mr. Whiskas said...

Well, I thought Elektra was ok so maybe I'm unqualified to comment...but I think whatever logic is in that claim has to be counterbalanced with the other side: consider every person who may form (or have confirmed) a bad opinion of a character based on a bad movie and who never gives that character a chance in another medium. Bad movies likely create more of these than they do people who find their way to better depictions...

Eric Wolfe Hanson said...

The 90s X-Men cartoon was an abomination, especially compared to the Batman Animated Series running on the same channel at he same time. As was the even more terrible Spider-Man cartoon from the same time and channel. But both of those terrible cartoons were watched and surely had to equal asses in seats in the movies that came out half a decade or so later.