6 Movie Superheroes I Like Better Than Their Comic Versions
I love comic books. I love superhero movies. These things are known and they shouldn’t be very surprising, considering how long I’ve been churning away at this comic book blog with little to no return! Where’s my fame, huh? Why is nobody nominating me for a Bloggie award?
Ahem, anyway, the idea popped into my head the other day that there are a couple of characters where I prefer the movie version to the comic book version.
Seems like a pretty simple idea. I’m a big comic book geek who loves some of the most obscure characters. It’s a little embarrassing when somebody who knows I loves comics asks who my favorite superhero is, and I have to honestly reply “Multiple Man”, and then explain who that even is. Thankfully, we’ve got great superhero movies now, and I can name some of these popular movie versions!
6. The Guardians of the Galaxy
I don’t know what it is, but I can’t stand the comic book versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy. And I’m specifically talking about the comic version of the characters that were revamped in recent years to be identical to the movie versions. I loved the Guardians circa Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest. I was there at the beginning, when Star-Lord was dusted out of the mothballs and rejiggered into Nova’s right hand man during Annihilation. Then he was boosted to leading man status in the sequel, when he put together a ragtag band of mercenaries that included the likes of likewise obscure cosmic characters Groot and Rocket Raccoon. That was a great team!
Then Marvel changed the comic versions to be like the movie versions, which makes sense. But there’s always been something about the writing that never clicked with me. Even when known funny writers like Brian Michael Bendis was writing the comic Guardians, it just never felt the same. The attempts to mimic the humor and heart of the movies always felt cringe-worthy bad to me, and I have read very few Guardians comics since the revamp.
5. War Machine
A lot of Avengers could be on this list, because I was never an Avengers fan growing up and don’t particularly care about the likes of Captain America, Thor or Iron Man. But honestly, I care as little about their movie versions as I do their comic versions. My interest is about equal, so they’re not on this list. But I think I like War Machine a bit more in the movies, especially his role in Infinity War. For once, he was allowed to exist outside of Tony Stark’s shadow. Those scenes in Avengers HQ, where he talks back to Gen. Ross and then greets Cap and the others as equals, it really adds some dimension to James Rhodes in the movies. Whereas I still don’t care about comic book Rhodey.
I don’t care for comic book Deadpool. He’s had some good runs, and he’s usually pretty fun. But I’ve never been a fan, and a lot of times, he can get pretty grating — especially the past decade or so of All Deadpool, All The Time. He’s in everything, has relationships with everyone; there’s no getting around the guy. Now that the Fantastic Four is back, how long until he’s a member of the Fantastic Four? Has he dated She-Hulk yet? Deadpool is ever present, and it’s worn thin what little interest I have in Deadpool to begin with. Whereas movie Deadpool remains hilarious. At only two awesome movies, he hasn’t worn out his welcome. And the movies were able to start with a blank slate, so they could give Wade Wilson some much needed character depth, both in terms of motivation, but also things like romance and concern for others. Comic book Deadpool is so far off the deep end that there’s no way characters like Vanessa or Russell could ever have much of an impact.
So yeah, I’m saying it: movie Deadpool is currently better than comic book Deadpool.
3. The Joker
I have never cared about comic book Joker. He means nothing to me. I know a lot of people love him and see him and Batman as two sides of the same coin, but it’s not that way for me at all. I legitimately dislike the idea that Batman owes anything to the Joker, or that Batman wouldn’t exist or be who he is without the Joker. As far as I’m concerned, the Joker is just another one of Batman’s villains, who is labeled as more important just because. However, Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight is a revelation. I don’t have to tell you that, you all know. But that’s my favorite incarnation of the Joker. I’d never seen the character like that before and haven’t seen it matched since. Hands down, as far as I’m concerned, Ledger’s Joker is the best, most interesting take on the character.
Way back when I was listing my hopes and fears for Avengers: Infinity War, my #1 entry was that we’d see Thanos’ devotion to Lady Death. I thought that would be a really cool backstory for the Mad Titan in Infinity War. How wrong I was. What a fool, that younger version of me. Thanos’ backstory in the actual movie, that he wants to save the universe by cutting the population in half, was so much more wonderfully amazing and relatable! Thanos is so damn cool in Infinity War, whereas I’ve never liked him in the comics. I’ve only ever thought of him as an evil foil for the Silver Surfer, and I never liked his ‘I’m just better than you’ arrogance in the comics. Or that he’s evil for evil’s sake, that’s just boring. And I’ve never really cared about his thing with Lady Death. I have no idea what I was thinking with that previous List. Maybe I was afraid Marvel wouldn’t give him a good, relatable backstory? Why didn’t I have faith that Marvel Studios would totally kill it with Thanos? That they had the character well in hand, and that everybody would be completely on board with the guy!
Since he became the major villain in Infinity War, Thanos has been showing up more and more in the comics. And each appearance pales in comparison with the Thanos we got in the movies. His Evil for Evil’s Sake schtick just doesn’t work for me. Give me Big Daddy Meaningful Thanos!
1. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man is my favorite hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I liked Paul Rudd already, and I think he makes for a great ‘average guy’ superhero, and that works even better alongside the gods and super soldiers of the Avengers. And I’ve never particularly cared too much about any of the comic book Ant-Men. I’ve never been interested in Hank Pym, so that’s out. I only started caring about Scott Lang when he got that bitchin’ costume change in the early 2000s. I’ve enjoyed Scott’s post-movie comic revival a lot, but I still think movie Scott is more entertaining and a better character than comic book Scott. And Eric O’Grady is a solid character, but he’s long dead. Paul Rudd as the Avengers’ ‘everyman’ reserve member is my cup of tea.
Same with Hope Van Dyne as the Wasp. Just like I’ve never cared about Hank Pym, I’ve never cared about Janet Van Dyne in the comics. I don’t have anything against either of them, they were just never characters that interested me. I was a Spider-Man and X-Men fan as a kid, never an Avengers fan. So Hope kicking butt as the Wasp is way more interesting to me, and I hope she gets her due in Avengers 4 next year.