I’m a fan of superhero movies and I like seeing all the big budget effects and the millions of dollars put into them, but it can be difficult to tell a good story in two hours or so. Especially when you’re trying to retell stories from the comic books. This is why in my opinion, the superhero genre is best suited for television.
With the TV shows, we get to spend more time with the main character and supporting cast. With the average comic book show being 24 episodes a season and an hour in length, it adds up to a lot of time spent on character development and storytelling. That’s about 12 movies at 2 hours a piece to take up the same amount of time. With this extra time in the TV shows, we find you normally get more attached to the characters and more invested in the development of them moving forward within each story plot line.
Another thing the TV shows allow is the ability to really develop the stories the creators want to tell. As I said previously, this is an added bonus if you’re trying to pull story lines from the comics. It even gives the creators some room to add their own ideas onto those original stories. The creators are better able to flesh out each story without having to gauze over certain plot holes like they do in the movies. All in all, it’s just a better system for storytelling.
Along with all that, you’re able to tell multiple stories throughout the seasons, tell vastly different kinds of stories, and work on specific ideas or moments within certain episodes. For a couple of episodes the creators can focus on real action packed sequences dealing with who will win between the heroes and villains. But then you can also have episodes that solely focus on character development, their relationships, and the ways to make the viewers care about them. Having the ability to tell these different kinds of stories keeps everything fresh and new in terms of storytelling. That’s just not something that can be done nearly as well in the movie format.
The only real drawback to the TV show format is not having nearly the same budget the movies have. With that being said, you still have shows like The Flash that somehow make a CW show look pretty good. There are times when stuff just doesn’t look right, but on the whole, they usually knock it out of the park—at least with the budget they have to work with. Ideally, we’ll one day get superhero shows that have a Game of Thrones’ budget for each episode. That would be the best-case scenario, especially if they got onto Showtime or HBO—depending on the source material they’re pulling from, of course.
So, there you have it. Those are my reasons for why I believe adapting comic book stories is best left for the TV format rather than movies. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Do you agree or disagree?
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