I guess a lot of people missed the Marvel logo at the start of this movie, as it never fails to surprise me just how many still don’t realise it’s a comic book movie.
Blade came on out in the summer of ’98 and was pretty successful, it had a budget of $45 million and ended its run with a profit of $70 million.
New line took a huge gamble here, it came out a year after a run of unsuccessful and critically panned comic book movies; Spawn, Steel, Batman and Robin. Warner Bros had also just cancelled Superman Lives.
The success of this opened the doors for the first X-men movie, which in turn opened the doors for Spider-Man.
Yep, this one even surprised me. I had no idea Stephen Frears (director of The Queen) had made a comic book movie.
Tamara Drewe is a comic strip based on Thomas Hardy’s ‘far from the madding Cow’, that ran in The Guardian.
A history of violence
A History of Violence is the most recent on my list. It’s a gripping thriller that tells the tale of a small-town man whose violent past suddenly catches up with him, when he stops a robbery at his store.
The film differs from the comic in many ways. It’s more of straightforward crime story in the books, with much of the series dedicated to showing us the character’s backstory.
The film plays with ambiguity a lot more and leaves the wider spectrum to the viewers imagination.
Men in black
Before it was a successful Sony franchise, Men in black was a Marvel comic book series. Like the film, the comic follows a top-secret organisation who defend the Earth.
Unlike the film the MIB don’t just defend the world from alien threats. They also defend it from the supernatural, Demons, Werewolves, Vampires etc. It also has a much darker tone.
We still follow agents Jay and Kay, but agent Jay is a blonde white guy and the MIB aren’t quite the heroes the film portrays.
Most remember this as one of Jim Carrey’s break-out 1994 movies. But its origin is also rooted in comic form.
Both the film and the comic have the same basic idea; a man discovers a magical mask that transforms him into an unstoppable force.
In the film, the mask just amplifies your inner personality, if you’re a hopeless romantic, you become what Jim Carrey’s character did.
However, In the series of comics by Dark Horse, the mask turns the wearer into a violent vigilante who dispenses cruel justice. In fact, New Line very nearly made it as horror, before opting to make it a comedy.
This gave Jim Carrey a hat-trick of successful comedies in 1994.
Road to Perdition
Published by DC Comics’ Paradox Press, ‘Road to Perdition’ tells the tale of the O’Sullivan family. We follow them, and their dealings with criminal underworld from the 1930’s-19’70s. The movie is set in the 30’s and is based on the first graphic novel, even though the film feels like “Oscar Bait” it’s surprisingly faithful to its source.