Hot Take: I don't really care about "comic accuracy" in movies

Well it’s really self explanatory.
Do you care, and to what degree?


Only if the way the comics did it was better, just out of a don’t-fix-what-ain’t-broken kind of attitude.

As long as the adaptation has a good story, acting direction etc. I don’t really care. It does bother me when the companies change the way their comics are because of the movie. This is mostly a Marvel thing though, like what they did with Guardians of the Galaxy. Most of what DC changes are usually just temporary cosmetic things.

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Actually, I suppose sometimes I’m excited to see something from the comics on the big screen, and it isn’t there, so that can be frustrating as a comic fan, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate bad filmmaking, just bad fandom relations.

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I understand wanting to see something you read being played out on the big screen, that satisfaction is really great but I think it’s limiting in a sense because when comics introduce a new concept, unless it absolutely stinks, people don’t complain that it’s not accurate but rather welcome it, so why can’t movies do the same- tell new stories, as long as the core is there what does it really matter. An example I like is the court of owls. They just first appeared quite recently in Scott Snyder’s run and are quite liked by fans but what if a movie did this first people would complain that it’s not comic accurate and they should just have used one of the established rogues, but they would have missed out on great storytelling.


Sometimes changes made in the translation to movies makes sense either for a mass market audience or for time or budget constraints (Spider-Man’s organic webs). Other times the changes are arbitrary, damaging, and/or problematic (Batman straight-up MURDERING people). The former is just fine. The latter is unacceptable.


Also, when Harley Quinn was created for the animated show and she eventually bled into the comics and is a character with many fans. There’s not much complaint here, I suppose maybe because some fans grew up with her so that’s what they knew, however, if a movie had been the first to introduce her there would be complaints about how the joker runs solo and that the movie makers know nothing and should just follow the comics strictly.
I can see some of the arguments though, maybe because the comics worked they don’t want to risk failure so they should just copy that, but I say what’s anything without risk, those comics also took a risk and some stuck, others didn’t.
My main point, sorry for rambling, is that what’s “comic accurate” changes over time and quite frequently that limiting movies to this ruins the possibility for potentially great stories.

I prefer comic accurate videos. Similar to a book being adapted to a tv show or movie, that is how I see comic book adaptations. Now, there are some adaptations that are better than the source material- I think that BvS is better than both Death of Superman and Dark Knight Returns. But, then you have shows like Wonder Woman (1975) that have a pilot episode, which was almost identical to her first two appearances.
Ultimately, like with novels, it depends on the author. Someone takes a J.R.R. Tolkien book and introduces a dwarf/elf romance for the movie, it won’t end well. But, if the media is like a song (I.e Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) where the original artist is amazed by the adaptation, then I have no qualms with it.

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@Batwing I agree, not murdering is a core aspect of batman’s mythos and that shouldn’t be changed. Contradictory changes to characters morals should not be done but if they must you have to tell a really good story to establish this reason and be clear that this is not typically the character. I feel that’s what was failed to do in terms of batman murdering


@ab I can understand that position, I do think that that’s an example of my hit or miss point. People might prefer comic accuracy so they feel assured of what’s coming but as you mentioned sometimes the movie can exceed the source material and ultimately be the better story, like your personal example

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Note: I do still believe that comic properties can be directly adapted, just not that it’s a must for all movies

I do, but only in certain ways. It’s no fun to know everything that’s going to happen in a movie because you’ve read the comic. In that way, it’s very important to introduce enough fresh new elements to keep things exciting for old fans. I also think it’s important to have variances in characters and settings, that way there’s lots of interpretations that are socially relevant to their time and audience. That being said, I do still think it has to make sense in one way or another. It needs to be true to the heart of the character.

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I think it’s boring for a show or movie to be 100% accurate on the comic, even if it’s based on a specific story or series.

I see adaptations as a new perspective, as long as the characters’ integrity are intact, I’m okay with writers and directors taking different approaches.


@Gibby I agree

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“I don’t really care about “comic accuracy” in movies”


When people say they want an adaptation to be “comics accurate”, what they actually want is a TRANSLATION.

Adaptations are going to - and should - change things, because that’s what the term means.

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Just tell me a good story

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For me it depends. I’m fine with adaptations making massive changes to what was in the source material. I would even go so far as to say changes are necessary to create a adaptation. For me it gets bad when:

1.)It tries to change/add stuff and the changes/additions end up making it worse instead of benefiting the adaptation

2.)It reaches the point where it’s not even the same characters. When they are completely new and entirely different from the source material, what’s the point of using their name. If you want to make a new character, make a new character. Don’t try to make a new character and give them the same name as a recognizable character. That defeats the purpose of using that character in your story. If you didn’t want to use that character and wanted to use a different character, than make it a different character. But I only care about this in certain situations. It is possible to pull this off. I’ve enjoyed these types of characters before. But, in my opinion, it is very easy to do it wrong.


My beliefs on how adaptions should be done can be summarized like this:

Adaptations should keep the spirit of the source material, not the letter.

Basically, change anything and everything so long as that soul is not lost.


And I should say, I actually generally dislike seeing comic storylines adapted directly. If I want to see that story, I can just read the book. An actual new sequence of events is more interesting. Think about the best episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. With the possible exception of Two-Face’s origin, all of the best, most interesting, and most memorable episodes are original stories. Even so, it’s still fairly comic accurate for the time in terms of the characters, who they are, how they act, and where they come from. So, I think that’s how you do it. You take recognizable characters and such, and then do something creative with them. Nobody needs another origin story or a carbon copy of something someone else already wrote.


I think, like HQ, has Court of Owls been done in a movie, especially as a second or third in a sequel, I think it has the potential to have been taken into canon.

HQ was suppose to be a one and done character, but, there was something special about the idea and fans wanted more.

Adaptations are exactly that adaptable. You do the research, go over the source material multiple times, than you set it aside a write the screenplay.

Some take issue with Batgirl/Batman “rooftop” scene in Killing Joke. It wasn’t part of source material, however, there have been times when Babs has an unrequited thing for Batman. I actually thought it was a good touch. It’s makes Bat’s emotional arc and desire for revenge that bit more compelling.

What has been Batman’s issue about romantic entanglements? That it would get that person hurt or killed. By the time he gets to Jim G. He is out for revenge. It’s Gordon who makes the point of “doing it by the book”. There is that moment (and it’s just a moment) of Bat’s getting a grip on himself and realizing, “yes, I can’t cross that line.” It’s the only time I’ve ever felt that moment for the Bat. It starts as a story about trying to break Jim Gordon, but, it becomes a story where Jim Gordon saves Batman. That was something unexpected, it gave Batman a fuller arc.