Topic Review: Accuracy in Comic Book Movies

By: Christopher Johnson

(This articles contains spoilers for all the X-Men related movies and spoilers for what little we know about the Deadpool movie. All ideas and concepts belong to either FOX studios or Marvel comics)

Introduction

It seems every studio wants to jump onto the comic book bandwagon in some form of media. Movies and television series of comic book characters have become “the next big thing” and with all of them ,it is good to ask “How accurate are they” and “Does it even matter?”. Now if I kept this to be open to all forms of comic books then this would become very repetitive ,so I have narrowed this down to two main subject to talk about. FOX X-Men movies in general AND FOX’s upcoming movie “Deadpool”.

FOX’s X-Men History part 1

As of right now FOX has 6 X-Men movies released and 2 on the way (Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse). Without further ado let’s take a look at the past six and see how they fair on an accurate level. Starting off we have “X-Men” released in 2000, “X2” released in 2003 and “X3: The Last Stand” released in 2006. When it comes to these films, I have three problems with them from an accuracy standpoint. The first problem I have is how underused Cyclops was. In the comics he has always been the field leader of the X-Men but in the movies it is Wolverine. The second accuracy problem that I have is the choice of villains in the last two movies. The main villain for “X2” is the Wolverine villain known as Stryker. My problem is of all the really interesting X-Men villains, they choose one who has more of a connection to Wolverine which of course puts more of a focus on Wolverine and less on everyone else in a TEAM movie. Continuing on, the main villain for the third X-Men movie is a combination of Phoenix and Magneto. The problem is not only the reuse of Magneto but also the terrible story telling of Phoenix. Instead of Magneto I think it could have been interesting to see them use Mr. Sinister instead. He is a very menacing villain who has yet to have been exposed to the public eye. In the comics, Phoenix’s story is set in outer space and involves the Shi’ar (an alien race) but the movie skips over all of that and that is a major accuracy misstep. In my opinion, those are the three biggest accuracy missteps in the first three X-Men movies.

FOX’s X-Men History part 2

The most recent set of X-Men movies starts in 2012 will “X-Men: First Class” ,”X-Men: Days of Future Past” in 2014 and X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. In my opinion the first two here are superior to the original three but they are not without their inconsistencies because well…it’s FOX. The first problem is with the stories of these films compared to the comic versions. The comic book “First Class” is about the original X-Men (Iceman, Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Angel) while this version features a mostly different cast the story itself was a unique take on the creation of the X-Men while its successor (Days of Future Past) features a story that takes the comic book version and bends it around the universe they created without disrupting the true nature of the story. So…how is this a problem? Well, in terms of storytelling they did a really good job but in terms of accuracy “First Class” falls short by pretty decent margin. Another problem I have once again stems to the lineup they choose. In terms of accuracy using Alex Summers(Havok) is sortof strange because in the comics he is the younger brother of Cyclops and you can see he is an older brother by how he leads the X-Men which is something that is lacking in the new movies. Now, of course these are not the only inconsistencies as nothing can be completely accurate but these are just what I wanted to mention.

FOX’s DEADPOOL Future

Now in all this talk about accuracy, I have to praise Fox for (what we know) of the Deadpool movie. Looking at the cast we have some characters very important to the Deadpool mythos like “Copycat” and “Wiesel” then we have Colossus(Who is a well known hero) but we also have a character known as “Negated the teenage warhead”. She is a very minor character from the comics who seems to have a large role in the movie. As a comic book fan, it excites me to see minor characters used in a way to be pushed into the spotlight and become known. The second way this Deadpool movie is looking to be accurate is the “R” rating. At the announcement of this movie I was afraid Deadpool would be dumbed down and just be extremely annoying and not completely insane like in the comics but with the “R” rating, I believe we will see an accurate Deadpool.

Conclusion- Does Accuracy Matter?

Over the last couple years my thoughts on comic book accuracy has changed. I use to think it mattered, I use to think comic book movies NEED to portray the comics 100% but now my opinions have changed. In my opinion the stories do not need to directly reflect the comics and can even be completely different stories as long as the characters resemble their comic counterparts in personality and appearance (race is only mandatory for certain characters). In my opinion, accuracy really only matters when it concerns the characters and not the stories. If you disagree with this then I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. If you liked what you read then feel free to “like” Comic Conversations on Facebook.

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One Response to Topic Review: Accuracy in Comic Book Movies

  1. Glenn says:

    I just wonder what marvel studios would have done differently to Xmen. They did changes to every marvel character that they made a movie about.

    Like

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