When going about a cinematic comic book adaptation, there are essentially two courses of action a team can take. On one hand, you can work to humanize certain elements, making the overall film more accessible to our own world. When you look at a movie like Iron Man, Tony Stark is a mere mortal who just happens to be one of the most talented inventors around, and you can actually believe his hero character could exist in everyday life. Marvel has been doing this to most of their heroes, and it’s been working rather well for the studio. Do you need any more examples than dollar signs and critical ravings?
The other option a filmmaker has is keeping 100% faithful to the tone of a comic and attempting to recreate a comic book feel completely on screen. This, of course, presents certain problems concerning technical prowess, budget, and many other factors that aren’t exactly possible to replicate in a live-action format. How do you create a superhero like The Incredible Hulk on screen without the proper capabilities? We all saw how Roger Corman’s version of The Thing looked – sometimes a faithful adaptation just isn’t in the cards.
With that said, there have been some comic book movies over the years that were somehow able to magically translate their source material directly into a functioning film – despite being well-received or globally hated. Whether a story failed, actors bombed, or everything came together swimmingly, I’ve put together a list of comic book movies that still feel like comic books, knowing Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is on the horizon. A movie doesn’t have to be black and white to feel like a comic though, and that’s what becomes most impressive about the following adaptations.
Again, in no way do I think these movies are the BEST comic book adaptations of all time, but only the the most representative of a comic book atmosphere.