3 Superhero Characters that the Film Improved

January 12, 2013 6:14 pm

Before I begin, this article is purely subjective. I understand that the characters I use as examples have a wide fan base, but this is purely a personal stance. The point I am trying to convey is that the films have saved Marvel by bringing it into the cinema and accessible for the new generation. The following characters I was sceptical about, until they hit the big screen. And then I came to realise the potential of these characters. If you feel like I’ve left one, leave a comment below.

3 – THOR, THOR

Thor-Avengers

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

In the Comics: I personally never liked Thor as a hero. I felt that he was Marvel’s version to Superman. DC Comics had an unstoppable alien, so Marvel felt like they needed one too. They made him a God and stuck him in the Avengers team. From the little I saw of him in the comics, he swooped down when the heroes were fighting giant space monsters and took them out with ease. Which created the question: why don’t the Avengers take a sabbatical and just let Thor deal with the crime in America?

In the Film: Thor became ‘real’. The film showed us that Thor wasn’t the perfect God swooping in to save the day, but he was flawed, arguably more so than a lot of the other superheroes. He is wrapped in family conflict, has no understanding of Earth and is left to balance a kingdom on top of this. That, and humour. I’ve gone from avoiding the character to genuinely feeling excited about what Thor 2 has in store for us in 2013.

2 – GREEN GOBLIN, SPIDERMAN

green goblin

The Green Goblin

In the Comics: When Spiderman was adapted to film, Sam Raimi’s initial problem was which villain to use. The Spiderman comics are flawed in the sense that a lot of the villains wouldn’t work on film. Scorpion and Rhino are nothing more than muscular men in ridiculous outfits and Vulture is not much more than an old man with wings. The most ridiculous of them all was Spidey’s arch nemesis, Green Goblin. I never really understood the character, probably because when I jumped onto the Spiderman bandwagon, the writers had given up using him and were focusing more on Venom and Doc Ock. Even when I did stumble across the odd Green Goblin storyline, he felt like a knock-off version of the Joker. I couldn’t see how Sam Raimi could effectively use him in the film.

In the Film: Sam Raimi did and made it seem like the easiest thing in the world. Partly this was due to making his costume an armoured suit, fitting well with the glider (the one thing that even I admitted was a cool part of his character). Although some fans hated this, I felt that it made his character a worthy opponent of Spiderman. Secondly, Willem Defoe delivered an amazing performance as Norman Osborne, verging on a crazed animal. I am hoping that if the new reboot of Spiderman decide to use the Green Goblin, they manage to keep him relevant as well.

1 – CATWOMAN, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

catwoman

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

In the Comics: This is where I shall probably lose most readers but, I do not like Catwoman. Mainly it’s Batman’s reaction to her. I like Batman to have a black and white view on crime: he is justice in the extreme. But when Catwoman arrives, he often lets her get away with her crimes, because she gives him a bit of information or takes out some thugs that were there, because of her anyway. Fine, if she is just a cat burglar, that storyline works. But Batman gets all soppy around her and I don’t like it.

In the Film: Truthfully I do not like Anne Hathaway too much either, but here, my opinion was reversed entirely. For starters, Christopher Nolan’s Catwoman wasn’t a kleptomaniac, she was stealing, because the corrupt nature of Gotham had left her no other choice. She is a creature struggling to survive and manages to get out of situations with relative ease. Her character was easy to connect to and I think this is why I liked her: I understood her. I was absolutely behind her character.

This is why I love superhero films. They show me sides to the comic books that I never noticed before and win new fans over. Sadly, the films do not get all of the characters right, like…

…but that’s a story for another article.

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  • Michelle Pfieffer ringing any bells? I’ll give you Thor and Green Goblin but Catwoman had been done masterfully well before Anne Hathaway got ahold of her. I’m surprised you didn’t pick Hellboy, I thought he was brought to life on the big screen in a brilliant way.

    • Tom Hibbert

      I agree Pfieffer made a good Catwoman, but since the last cinematic outing of this character was Halle Berry in the dreadful ‘Catwoman’, I think we can consider Hathaway a fresh start. I would also argue she is the best cinematic Catwoman to date, as she really embodied the comic book character.

      I don’t, however, agree with her place on this list. Batman as a black and white character can get a little boring, the shades of grey introduced by Catwoman liven him up. I think she is great in the comic books (as is Thor), but that’s the beauty of opinions, everyone is different – it would be no fun otherwise.

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