Capes, capers, and catalysts! This morning, we're talking about superheroes and comics.
You've worked on various comics that have been turned into movies. Do you have any favorite superhero movies? Any personal favorites, or ones that got it right? What about those who got it wrong?
The best ones are easy -- Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2, Batman Begins, and Hellboy, if you're talking comic book characters in general rather than straight on superheroes. I haven't seen the Thomas Jane version of the Punisher. As for older movies, I think the original Superman is far better than the Bryan Singer version, mainly because of the performances. Brandon Routh is just the wrong guy, and the whole thing played too flat and boring. There's a moment in one of the crappy Matrix films (as opposed to the amazing original) where Keanu is flying, and THAT felt much more like Superman than Superman Returns did. I also liked the original, Tim Burton-directed Batman film quite a bit.
The worst? It would be easy to say the Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four, or the Albert Pyun-directed Captain America, or some similar piece of crap, but those films are actually really fun to watch because they're so awful. For me, the worst superhero film of all time is X-Men 3, because X-Men 2 was just so amazing, and then the third one is just sloppy and awful and impossible to follow. It's a mess. The people responsible for that should be ashamed of themselves for squandering what they'd built. Hopefully the new X-Men Origins films will redeem the franchise. I've talked to David Goyer about his plans for X-Men Origins: Magneto, and if he gets to do things his way, I think it will be excellent.
I can't wait for The Dark Knight, but even more so, I'm really looking forward to The Avengers and the Captain America movie. I'm praying the Captain America film is a World War II movie. That's the way to go.
Similarly, do you find it easy or difficult to write stories and comics related to existing properties, such as X-Men? Are some companies or creators strict about adhering to certain guidelines and storylines?
I don't really write superhero comics anymore, but not because I don't love them. I had some wonderful experiences, and I had some terrible experiences, but yes, across the board, the companies with their own universes are careful about what you do with their characters. I'd be the same way if the characters were mine. Sometimes that benefits a company -- the way it's benefiting Marvel right now -- and sometimes, as is the case with DC Comics at present, it can have the opposite effect. But those fates swing back and forth. It's cyclical. In a year or two, the opposite will be true.
Make sure to come back to Bildungsroman next Monday for another installment of our serial interview!