The GeeksverseMommy, That’s Not Thor!

Mommy, That’s Not Thor!
Published on Friday, January 7, 2011 by

Something that all of us comic fans have had to suffer through is seeing our favorite characters translated to the big (or small) screen and not be accurate. Now this isn’t going to be about why the changes are made. Level headed people can agree that some changes do need to occur to make the property appeal to a wider audience. Whether those changes are good or not is in the eye of the beholder.

No, this is about something that’s been happening in recent years and stands to open even more. And that is that we are no longer going to be alone when we say “that’s not my XXX” (where XXX is the property being translated).

Why aren’t we alone anymore? It’s because more and more properties are showing up on the small screen and then being made into movies. What does this mean? It means that there are going to be fans that have never ever cracked open a comic book. I know, that’s a sin, but it’s still true.

I bet there are kids that get up every Sunday morning to watch Avengers: Earth’s Mightest Heroes and have never picked up a single copy of any of the many Avengers titles out there. They know Thor, Wasp, Hawkeye, etc.. from the cartoon only.

So not only do the creators of the movie versions have to “answer” to the comic book fans, they now have to answer to the cartoon fans. And those cartoons are barely different to significantly different from the comic books.

This new battle, our version vs. their version, was pretty evident in the comments on a couple of boards after the premiere of the Green Lantern trailer. There were some comments wondering why they made Green Lantern a white guy when he’s always been a black guy.

I’ll let that one sink in for a bit.

Us long time comic bookers know that Green Lantern was originally Hal Jordan, a white guy, then got replaced by John Stewart, a black guy. The movie is about Hal Jordan. But it’s evident that there is a sizable portion of Green Lantern fans that only know John Stewart as the Green Lantern.

Which isn’t that surprising if you look at how Green Lantern appeared in other media. In the Justice League cartoon? It was John Stewart. He was a main character in the show and that was alot of people’s first exposure to Green Lantern. So is it really that surprising that some people don’t know Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and the “why did they make him white” comment makes sense?

What all this means is that us comic fans aren’t alone anymore. With more and more properties becoming movies and more and more of those same properties appearing on tv in the form of cartoons, we’re going to have a large number of fans of said properties that only know them from the cartoons.

So how much will this start impacting the stories of the movies? They already differ from the source material, comic books, will they start leaning towards the cartoons since those might have a wider audience? Or will there be two lines of enraged fans upset with the changes to their very properties?

Is this necessarily a bad thing?

No, not really. Us comic booker have tended to be introverted and not wanting to let others into our corner of geekdom, but now it seems like others will be entering our world, just by different doors.

But what when the changes flow back towards the comic? What happens when the other medias start affecting the comic books?

It has been happening and will continue to happen.

G.I. Joe has been the most obvious changes. When IDW first announced they had acquired the liscense, the first lineup of the characters included Duke, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Ripcord and Heavy Duty. Ripcord and Heavy Duty? Those weren’t major/popular characters in the comics and the Ripcord being used was a black guy. Like in the movie. Yes, the movie started impacting the comic book.

Early pictures from Captain America: The First Avenger showed a new WWII Captain America outfit. Recent solicitations for upcoming Captain America books showed Cap in a retconned uniform more similar to that of the movie.

Young Justice the cartoon was going to introduce a new Aqualad. It didn’t take long for that character to show up in the comic book universe. How soon before we see Artemis?

I think Green Lantern fans should be excited that they were able to get Hal Jordan instead of John Stewart.

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