Superhero movies are better when they actually talk to the comics


In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3film about talking raccoon fighting cape-swishing villain, the most comic book-y thing about it might actually be the quick introduction of Adam Warlock. This may sound strange to those who only know superheroes from cinema. Marvel movies do this kind of thing all the time, after all – Monica Rambeau / Spectrum a supporting character in wandavisionbut she will get in top billing Miracle, Dane Whitman / The Black Knight a minor player in eternalbut sure to have a bigger role whenever ever blade happens in the end,

But Gunn’s take on the ol’ Marvel T-Up is uniquely clever and insightful. G3 found omits almost all fictional-factual details of marvel comics character of adam in favor of establishing the emotional hook that has endeared him to readers: he is a man of indescribable strength who figures out where his own choices fit into the stark responsibility of his fate. It’s a smart choice, and the right choice, and Gunn made it a testament to his genuine care for the source material – and more relevantly, to his understanding that the comic book superhero universe is a conversation.

In found itGunn talks with Gamora avengers: endgamerusso brothers, and Adam Warlock Gunn talks about whichever future MCU filmmaker chooses to tell Adam’s story. But what’s really remarkable about the Guardians of the Galaxy movies is how they’re the biggest interactions the MCU has ever had with Marvel Comics.

And when the movies and comics take in actual dialogue, we get good stuff.

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Origins

did you know when james gunn and nicole perlman wrote the screenplay together Guardians of the GalaxyThey were actually the only other creative team to work with the concept?

several of Pot The MCU’s version of Guardians went back decades. Groot himself, created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers, technically predates the Fantastic Four, albeit almost unrecognizably. The idea of ​​a team called the “Guardians of the Galaxy” originated in 1968 from an idea by Roy Thomas, which was taken in a completely different direction by Stan Lee, writer Arnold Drake and artist Gene Colan, and also bear little resemblance to the parents we know today,

the comic that placed Guardians of the Galaxy in contemporary Marvel Comics continuity rather than the distant future, the comic about Peter Quill founding the Guardians, the comic that created Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, and Gamora (not to mention Mantis, Adam Karna) Warlock, and Cosmo the Talking Russian Space Dog) are mainstays of the team, hit the shelves in 2008. Co-written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Guardians of the Galaxy (featuring multiple artists) “Guardians of the Galaxy” was only the second comic series that Marvel ever published.

Image: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Peletier/Marvel Comics

It ran for an additional 24 issues – a moderate, but not overwhelming, success – with few follow-ups in 2010. Thanos Imperative miniseries, written by Abnett and Lanning and featuring The Guardian. It was a popular new title from a well-matched creative team; Not the Marvel Comics pillar that indelibly inscribed the home built by Spider-Man and the X-Men.

last issue of Thanos Imperative Hits shelves in November 2010. In July 2010, Kevin Feige spoke vaguely about a Guardians of the Galaxy film. two years later he revealed Guardians of the Galaxy was in production with the Abnett/Lanning team and Marvel Studios’ first character lineup and concept art on the look. Six months after Fully Responsible, in early 2013, Marvel Comics debuted the first new Guardians of the Galaxy book in five years.

From the pen of Marvel’s superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis, it featured Starlord (no hyphen in the comics), a team composed of Gamora, Rocket, Groot, Drax and face-of-the-MCU Iron Man, and the first issue. 29 with satta-bazaar-friendly edition covers. no less than five have been new Guardians of the Galaxy #1 since then, from four creative teams.

Comics Have Always Talked To The Movies, But The Movies Don’t Always Talk Back

Nebula emerges from behind a curtain in her new form: cyborg arms and eyes, tight crop tank, gloves, boots, and a very strange kind of just-underwear-type short shorts-type skin in Silver Surfer #73. Tight Clothes (1992).

There is only one explanation for this outfit, and it is “a religious objection to the pants”.
Image: Ron Merz, Ron Lim/Marvel Comics

Do you know that there is a clear moment immediately after the release Guardians of the Galaxy Heading to theaters, when does the Marvel Comics version of Nebula start to look exactly like the movie? this is not a Huge change, sure, but for a character who appeared about two stories later his great specialty in infinite sagaThe flip from “bald woman with a cyborg eye who doesn’t believe in pants” to following the MCU design as a reference point is pretty obvious.

Guns Guardians isn’t the only place you can find this phenomenon in modern superhero blockbusters (though nothing on the scale of Guardians, the singular comic book transformation of one of Marvel’s forever franchises). Ryan Coogler black Panther Borrowed significant visual elements from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfries. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet — and in the wake of the film, Coates makes his much-needed rediscovery of Killmonger, Nakia, and M’Baku and creates recognizable (and terrifying) Marvel Comics counterparts for them. Meanwhile, Valkyrie, simply named Valkyrie, is finding her place in the Thor mythos, and Marvel’s Shang-Chi is diligently working on a new kind of Ten Rings in the Marvel Comics universe.

Nebula, holding two swords and looking very much like the Karen Gillan version in Marvel Team-Up #1 (2015).

Nebula’s first post-Guardians of the Galaxy-Film appearance in Marvel Comics.
Image: Brian Bendis, Art Adams/Marvel Comics

Comics have always pulled the best of the main story for their adaptations, whether from other media or simply a non-canon comics story. Always. Superman’s power of flight, perhaps the most fundamental and iconic shorthand for the superhero genre, was actually invented for the second episode of his 1940 radio serial, two years after his first comic appearance.

But even though comics love an idea that isn’t broken, when superhero characters swiftly pivot to reflect a modern film adaptation, eye rolls often follow. These days, it can be hard to do that kind of work without breaking immersion. Small cosmetic changes are the easiest, like the sleek look of the Batmobile giving way to chunky Nolan-era tumblers. But outside of the scenes, the film incarnations of the characters are often so far removed from their counterparts that the change to align with them is palpable in timing and inspiration.

Never say never in the endless timeline of a superhero universe, but one of the reasons Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker didn’t get anything more serious than a cameo or wink in a Batman comic is because the character wasn’t really designed to fit many. With an extensive superhero universe powered by creators. Many superhero movies don’t interact well with each other, much less with the comics.

of 2014 Guardians of the GalaxyOn the other hand, was essentially an adaptation based on a single comic book rather than the summation of decades of storytelling. It’s not an improvement, or an attempt to “fix” the comic book dysfunction of the characters. It’s a simple retrofit of Abnett and Lanning’s very contemporary Guardians team in conversation with the MCU, stripping away the character’s fictional-factual details in favor of a compelling and familiar emotional core enveloped in Gunn’s personal style and humor. Contrasted with logistics.

Did you know that Drax in Marvel Comics is a human saxophone player Name Arthur Douglas who were on a family car trip where they happened to see a UFO and that UFO happened to be driven off by Thanos, who killed them all and then a cosmic friend drex’s soul captured and reembodied him in a hooked foreign body For on purpose kill thanos, now you do! but you didn’t need to do, and Gunn groped him.

Misfits, spaceships, strange monsters, and cosmic megaliths. Abnett and Lanning founded the Guardians, but Gunn’s mentors made them stick around, first out of pure commercial impulse, and then since 2014 by the same mechanism by which all interconnected superhero universes operate: just more stories. recite which rhymes with the previous one.

Gunn has so many projects grappling with dark or leaky inversions of the superhero formula that it can obscure the truth. When he sits down to tell the tale of a superhero-asshole in a superhero-ace universe, his work – all three Guardians flicks, peace maker session 1, suicide squad – would make great (if sometimes only adult) continuity comics. It’s not just because Gunn likes comics; there are Very From filmmakers who love comics. But there are very few whose work is actually familiar with what’s happening in the comics. Today,

Gunn doesn’t just love “comics”. He loves Specific comics, in any form What Their Lineup Will Tell You For DC Films’ New Slate, and looking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, I had a very specific comic book idea. As the film’s climax outlined the primary emotional shades of Gunn’s version of these characters, and then its final scenes teleported them into a wide and wild universe of unknown tales, I thought to myself: He’s doing this just like the end of a long-running comic series.

It takes someone who not only loves superhero comics, but loves how they talk to each other, to understand that this isn’t just a creative act — it’s also a custody. . Part of the mandate is to maintain the concept you’re working with (note: maintenance includes both restoration And renovation), not only for the audience but for the artists who will come after you.

in the finale of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn does the narrative equivalent of wiping down the counters and putting all the chairs on the table. it’s respectful, it’s professional, it’s Polite, It shows not only a love for the genre, but a love for Formwhich is a conversation.

Like a seasoned backpacker in a Pennsylvania campsite, James Gunn found Guardians to be the better of him for filmmakers and comics creators alike – just like the best comics creators do.

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