Fabulous Five Friday: Comic Book Adaptations
I’m sticking with a movie theme for some reason this month. These aren’t necessarily the absolute Top Five adaptations, but they are five that I’ve enjoyed immensely and I think do great service to their source material.
The Netflix take on the MCU: Jessica Jones and Daredevil (2015-ongoing)
I’m putting these both together to 1) make room for another title I really want to include, and 2) because they’re successful for similar reasons. “Dark and gritty” is quickly getting worn out in the world of comic book adaptations, but these titles get it right. Both titles give us imperfect, complicated heroes and two of the most terrifying villains on screen to date. They’re similar in that they’re both different kinds of crime shows, and yet different enough that one doesn’t feel like a rip-off of the other.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I mentioned the dark and gritty problem above, and this is one adaptation that completely bypasses it for humor and even goofiness without sacrificing character or emotion. The characters and the story are just so much fun, and yet there are moments that made me tear up. Bonus points for making Guardians a top-tier franchise after playing on the B-lists for so long.
Another one that is just plain fun. Dirty, filthy, meta fun. Ryan Reynolds was born to be the merc with the mouth and I’m so glad he fought for as long and hard as he did to get it made. There have been a lot of arguments as to whether it was really “necessary” to go R-rated; I think it’s a refreshing way to expand comic adaptations out of the paint-by-numbers PG-13 place they’ve ended up lately.
The Dark Knight (2008)
You can’t talk about recent adaptations without talking about Dark Knight, and specifically Heath Ledger’s Joker. I have watched this film probably a dozen times and he blows me away. Every. Single. Time. It’s the rare sequel film that “overstuffs” with two villain plotlines and does it well, surpassing the first film by leaps and bounds.
The non-superhero black sheep of the list. The original graphic novel memoir by Marjane Satrapi is translated almost exactly to the screen—the animation mimics the art, and very little gets cut or moved around. It’s an absolutely beautiful book that makes for an excellent film.
Any good ones I missed?