Strip Talk #13: Let’s talk a minute about comic book movie reboots

Lyndsey Hicks, editor in chief

I am by no means someone who doesn’t love movies. I do, especially those of the comic book variety. I just have this thing where I can’t stand seeing a story done a million times with different people and different takes on the subject.

Let’s start with exhibit A, “Spider-Man.” Now, I sat through “Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Spider-Man 3” because I can look at Tobey Maguire all day long and twice on Sunday. He was perfect as Peter Parker, though the abomination that was “Spider-Man 3” is a whole other topic. But did Spider-Man really need to be remade? No, it didn’t, and I’ll tell you why: The movies were fine the way they were. We didn’t need a fourth movie, and we certainly didn’t need a new franchise because someone at Sony couldn’t come up off some money for Maguire and Sam Raimi.

In exhibit B, I’m looking directly at you, Mr. Frank Castle. Seriously, there have been more Punisher reboots than there have been actual people who saw the Punisher movies combined. The crazy thing is, I loved Punisher: War Zone and I thought Ray Stevenson did an excellent job in the lead role. But I’m of the mind that if Marvel had actually bothered to cast him the first time around or waited to do that Punisher film, there wouldn’t have been three attempts. Let’s face it, the Punisher isn’t that hard to do. You get someone to be sufficiently tortured because of the loss of his family and you make it work well. Mark Harmon manages to accomplish this every week as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs on “NCIS,” so I’m not understanding how this can’t be made to work in a motion picture of this caliber.

In exhibit C, the X-Men find themselves raising their hands to answer the question of which group of people need not apply for more reboots. Like “Spider-Man,” I’ve seen all of the films in question except for “X-Men: First Class,” and I’m not exactly dying to see it. Why should I? What was the point of redoing “X-Men”? And, who thought it was cute to replace Patrick Stewart? Whoever made that call should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t care how good folks supposedly were in First Class; do not take away my beloved Patrick Stewart. I will not go see your movie.

In the final exhibit, we have Superman. Now, why someone thought ruining the Man of Steel’s legacy as singlehandedly wrought by Christopher Reeve with his bare hands molded from clay of the earth was a good idea, I’ll never know. But ruining Superman’s legacy as wrought by Christopher Reeve with his bare hands was a bad idea, a really bad idea. I have nothing against Brandon Routh who tried and miserably failed to fill Reeve’s shoes, but there will never, ever be another Superman as long as I live and breathe other than the late Mr. Reeve. And I will go on the record now: I realize that Henry Cavill’s fine self has been tapped to play Clark Kent in yet another reboot, but he will fail and fail completely to this child of the ’80s.

My major problem with all of these reboots ― and I’m blaming Marvel for this because they seem to be the worst at this ― is that if it doesn’t work, I have to ask why the companies don’t realize it just isn’t going to work. Rhetorically speaking, if it doesn’t work, why keep banging your head against the proverbial wall trying to force it? It doesn’t make sense to keep trying to find that “right fit” because you’re never going to find it for some projects. In some of these cases, the right fit was found and then torn up because of money, which is usually the root cause of the problem. Because believe me, none of these reboots would have happened without an unlimited supply of money.

Folks, if you’re on your third reboot, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for that source of comic book gold. Obviously, the ink isn’t subjective to the Midas Touch.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at editor@gaminginsurrection.com

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