Do Movies Influence Comics?
For years, it's been somewhat obvious that comics are influenced by films more so than films are influenced by comics. This assumption rings especially true with Marvel comics. It's no coincidence, people, that whenever The Avengers was slated to release in 2012, that all of Marvel's comics seem to begin to revolve around Avengers in some form or fashion.
I've made this claim before, and I've been told that I was wrong, and what's even funnier is that it happened on this very site. But, alas, the proof is in the pudding or rather the words of one of Marvel's Publishers, Dan Buckley, when he said:
"So to say that both mediums have influence on each other, yes, " says Buckley. "They will creatively bleed into each other; people are going to steal good ideas from each other. That’s always going to happen."
Okay, so maybe it was always "unintentional" or "coincidental", but it's hard for me to beieve that someone wasn't nudged to write something a certain way to appease both fans of the comics and of the movies; or perhaps to bring people who have seen the movies to the comics and thus find some familiarity in them based on what they may have seen on screen.
A Not-So-Subtle Move, Marvel
Because of Marvel Studios, the fame of Avengers has been ever growing as their books branch out and even bleed into other books as well. Nick Fury has been racially-altered to be more identifiable to the Samuel L. Jackson depiction (yes I know this originally happened in the comics and yes I know that the 616 Black Fury is the 616 White Fury's son, but it's still a little more than coincidence). Guardians of the Galaxy seems to be sky-rocketing in the comics as their books continue to expand as well. More recently, Scott Lang (the character Paul Rudd will be portraying later this year) is Ant-Man instead of Hank Pym. These are just a few of the examples of how the popularity of Marvel Studios' films have reshaped the comic book world.
It's not just the influence of the movies produced by Marvel Studios either. There are some serious allegations that Marvel Comics are making some changes based on the characters they don't own the film rights to.
Here's some examples for you:
- X-Men is owned by FOX Studios
Just so happens that Wolverine, the largest, most identifiable X-Men both to comic book fans and general audiences at the movies, has passed away in the 616 Universe. Sure they keep milking the name of Wolverine by having books show the repercussions of such a dramatic event. But did they kill Wolverine off as an attempt to hurt FOX's X-Men lineup?
Deadpool, the beloved Merc with a Mouth, has had a huge cult following for several years now. He's had video games and all sorts of merchandise put out to large retailers for all to buy. For a long time there was nothing in regards to the character from Marvel, they were continuing to put out Deadpool variants for all their other comics which showcased him essentially "photo-bombing" other comic covers. But now that the film's release date has been confirmed and everything, what happens? Marvel announces his death in issue #250.
With all these popular X-Men getting the death sentence in comic books, I wonder how long we have till Gambit gets the boot.
Then there's the fact that Scarlet Witch discovers that Magneto isn't really her father in Avengers & X-Men; Axis #7, and seeing as how they are using Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it makes sense that they'd want to differentiate her from her mutant origin so as to build her up as something else entirely in the MCU.
- Fantastic Four is owned by FOX Studios
Now, there's the strange case of the Fantastic Four. The four-man (three-man, one-woman) team is getting the reboot treatment this year from the mind of the director who brought you Chronicle (a movie I still have yet to see).
There's been lots of fuss around this team and their reboot over the last year, some are outraged by the sheer thought of it, some are angry about the casting choices, and some just want the characters back with Marvel Studios. But one thing is for sure, Marvel definitely has an opinion on it the whole thing as well, whether they say so or not.
Example #1: The Fantastic Four comics are no more after this year supposedly.
Example #2: There was the not-so-subtle move for the cast members of the Fantastic Four reboot to be blown up in the comics. If you look at the characters drawn here, you will see that they definitely hold some of the likenesses of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. Their dialogue also suggests they're actors, further solidifying the fact that they are supposed to be the comic book counterparts to these real life actors.
Marvel can say whatever they want about any of these developments but I ain't buying any of it; they definitely have an agenda against FOX when it comes to X-Men and Fantastic Four.
- Spider-Man with Sony?
I get a headache just trying to figure out what Marvel and Sony are doing in regards to Spider-Man. One day I hear that Spider-Man will be in the Infinity War movies and the next day I hear that Sony is going to go ahead and keep trucking through the franchise.
Who knows, maybe everything being up in the air for the movie rights is why Spider-Man has more or less remained untouched in the comics.
Marvel Begins Aligning Comics and Movies
It's no secret that Marvel is going to reboot their entire universe and merging them with the alternate universes. This will all start through a story-arc called Secret Wars and from the sounds of things, it'll be a lot like DC's Flashpoint which led off to the New 52. The reboot will then be under the banner All-New Marvel.
This is supposedly considered a "soft-reboot" as some of the characters will have the same history while others will probably get a fresh start.
I would bet money, that the end result of everything that Secret Wars brings forth, is a game-plan that resembles what Marvel Studios has planned. I think it's a way to get the two different mediums to align up. I'm sure we'll see more movie-inspired designs and developments in the comics after all this is over.
I don't know what this means for characters like X-Men and the Fantastic Four in the comic book world, it would obviously be a stupid move to wipe them from existence, so I know that won't happen. But with Marvel apparently "bullying" FOX for the rights to two of their most beloved properties, we'll all just have to wait and see just how things turn out when this whole Secret Wars thing is done.
But I am actually alright with the comics being influenced by the movies, just so long as it doesn't hurt the story of the comics. I would prefer writers and artists to have their creative freedoms though, but Marvel's a business and like all businesses, they want to make money.
I am excited about the Marvel reboot though. I was a fan of the DC New 52 reboot and it provided a great jumping on point for me to start collecting comics taking place in the DCU, maybe this move on Marvel's side will encourage me to buy more Marvel books.
Anyways, do you think that the movies and comics are bleeding together more and more? Share your thoughts on the matter down in the comments and don't forget to vote in the poll!