Due to an email snafu on my part, author Matthew Warne Selznick didn’t receive his invitation to this week’s superhero themed Mind Meld post on time. So we’re making it up to him by giving him his own post! As a reminder, the quest is:
Hughes (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink) had written comic books instead of teen movies in the 1980s. The book was the first novel with a simultaneous initial release in paperback, e-book, and free podcast editions in 2005. Selznick is a podcasting and new media pioneer as well as an advocate for open media and the DIY ethic.
As a fan of the amazing Spider-Man since the early seventies, I have to give very high marks to the first two Spider-Man movies. Every film adaptation has to take liberties with the source material, but it’s obvious that Sam Raimi has a special love and respect for the mythos, and that shines through. The first Spider-Man film gets special props for not doing what the second one did: soften the villain with a moment of redemption. Physically, Alfred Molina was the perfect Doc Ock… but Willem Defoe was Norman Osborn through and through.
I don’t want to overlook Spider-Man III, either. Arguably the weakest of the series so far (please no Emo Parker ever, ever again) it nevertheless had perfect casting with Thomas Haden Church as the Sandman.
Not to focus too much on villains, but let’s face it – in every super-hero movie, the villains are almost always a bigger draw than the hero.
Never much of an Iron Man fan, I found the movie to be almost perfect in every way, save the Obadiah Stane plot and that character’s rather, um, “comic book” motivation. Casting, pacing, and visuals were spot-on, though, and if this is any indication of how The Avengers Initiative is going to look in a few years, well, reserve my ticket.
As far as television, many people point quickly to Heroes, which I find boring and predictable. Television has a hard time with super-heroes, having much better luck with cartoons. The Batman animated series was a whole lot of fun and very nice to look at. The original X-Men cartoon was entertaining, especially when they would
adapt classic Claremont plots. I can’t really point to a favorite when it comes to television… but my memory keeps coming back to The Man From Atlantis like a candy bar from childhood. The memory is undoubtedly a lot better tasting than the experience of actually
consuming one today.
Honorable mention: The episode of NUMB3RS starring Will Wheaton as a crass comics collector and Christopher Lloyd as a Jack Kirby / Will Eisner pastiche. Fanboy fun for all!
[Note, bandwidth intensive section after the jump! – Ed.]
And since Mr. Selznick mentioned it, I bring you, the pilot episode for The Man From Atlantis!