Marvel’s recent endeavours in the movie department are about as subtle as the Hulk and Logan stuck in a small Chinese tea shop. But these narratives are formed from existing novelisations of the heroes and heroines that grace the panels and splashes of the comic. But is the influence of one on the other reversing polarities?
This has obviously been done to retrofit the comic narrative in Marvel’s Studios upcoming film roster, namely The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. We can appreciate to some degree the changing of say Nick Fury’s Visage to be in line with a more “Samuel L. Jackson” version, but changing cemented narratives may not sit well with fans.
Marvel Comics’ Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort had this to say in part about the change:
UNCANNY AVENGERS in January is where that story will unfold. Everything beyond the little bits that were in AXIS #7 is people getting wound up and conjecturing. Story’s not done yet. Heck, it hasn’t even really started.
There is also the issues with the film rights of many of the Marvel Characters. We all know about Sony having dibs on Spiderman in film, then there is Fox having dibs on many of the X-Men. So if the rights to these superheroes can not be made available for a Marvel-led film. will they be X’d or omitted from any present comic narratives that don’t line up with Marvel Studios’ efforts?
Writer Matt Fraction has also complained whilst writing for Thor; Marvel held a strict set of guidelines over his head as to make the narrative be inline with Thor the movie.
One can’t help but think that this level of retrofitting and retconning to play to Marvel Studios film projects is putting the proverbial cart before the horse. And the adverse effects of this have already begun to surface, with the likes of many Marvel Heroine titles being marched to the gallows. Not to say comic narratives don’t have the most colourful, vibrant strands of ideas that are fluid in many cases. This allows for the many creative narratives to shine through re: re-imaginings of origins, character motivations, mise en scéne etc. But if such explorations are going to be made… do it for the right reasons: fantastical narratives. Not to fit the latest, short-lived Marvel Studio’s PR campaign.