by Michael Sangiacomo
CLEVELAND – So, anybody see any good movies lately?
Isn’t it amazing that Hollywood is finally realizing the secret to making a blockbuster movie based on a comic series is – READ THE COMIC?
As if more proof was needed, Avengers: Endgame earned $1.48 billion worldwide in its first week since release, pushing it beyond Black Panther’s $1.3 billion take and Avengers: Age of Ultron’s $1.40 billion grosses.
And Endgame is just getting started. It will easily pass the $2 billion mark, probably this weekend.
The lesson here is simple: create movies that are at least inspired by the comics and hire people who’ve actually read comics. Filmmaker Kevin Smith talks about how producer Jon Peters was actually insulted at the idea that he should have read Superman comics. Peters said he never read a single issue, and he was somehow proud of that.
His idea for a Superman movie was more like the Batman television series of 1966. Ugh.
Even more recently, at the Wizard World Cleveland panel, most of the cast of Smallville had some discouraging words. The whole panel, including Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, said they never read Superman comics. The woman who played Supergirl on Smallville (Laura Vandervoort) was so ignorant of the mythos that she said she “never heard of the character and thought she was Superboy’s sister.” The series was good, sometimes great, but don’t you think if you’re playing Superboy you might, I don’t know, read the source material at some point?
Watching Avengers: Endgame I felt like the Russo brothers were comic fans, which they are, and it showed in the film. I don’t get that feeling from the DC/Warner Brothers films, most did not break the billion dollar threshold. Aquaman and Wonder Woman, which had a comic book feel to them, finished with an impressive $1.1 billion and $821 million respectively, but that was after months and months. Justice League and the latest Batman movie did much worse.
There’s a moral there somewhere.
MORE MARVEL ON TELEVISION
If you want more live action Avengers-related entertainment, Disney announced that Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) will have a series on the new Disney streaming service, as will Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
The first will be called WandaVision (really stupid name) and, according to an interview with Olsen in Variety, will be set in the 1950s.
Jeremy Renner will be featured in a Hawkeye series. Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will star in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
SPEAKING OF BATMAN AND SUPERMAN
DC just announced the return of the World’s Finest team in an ongoing monthly comic series starting in August, called “Batman/Superman.”
The series will be written by Joshua Williamson and drawn by David Marquez. The first storyline has the superfriends hunting down six people who have been infected with the “Batman Who Laughs” Joker virus.
Don’t forget to visit your local comic shop on Free Comic Book Day and, please, read what you take home.
Michael Sangiacomo wrote a nationally syndicated comic review column for the Plain Dealer newspaper from 1992 until his retirement in April. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Comics Are Go will open for Free Comic Book Day at 11 AM on Saturday, May 4th. To find a participating comic store near you, please go to: