Like many of you, I saw Black Panther; and like all of you, I loved it.
It just felt so great to see such an awesome character finally getting his due on the big screen. It should be noted, however, that not all comic book adaptations are created equal. For every adaptation that captures the magic of its source material, there's another one that completely misses the mark. Such failures are especially painful when they try (and fail) to portray some of the source material's greatest moments. That is why we are going to look at five iconic comic book moments that were ruined by movies:
5. Knightfall (The Dark Knight Rises)
Yes, I know I'm committing a sin by going against the mighty Christopher Nolan, but this needs to be said. The popular Batman villain Bane made his debut in the infamous Knightfall storyline. In this story, Bane articulates a master plan that pushes Batman to his physical limits, ending with Bane breaking Batman's back. Dark Knight Rises tries to adapt this iconic moment, but comes up short for a few reasons:
1. The Batman in this movie hasn't been active years, making Bane's victory less impressive than it should be.
2. The moment where Bane breaks Batman's back is a bit too tame. I know that some would say having the moment be more like the original would be too much for children, but this particular series never came across as kid friendly.
Needless to say, this movie merely adopted the disappointment, whilst we were born in it, molded by it.
4. Dark Phoenix (X-Men: Last Stand)
A storyline so nice, Fox just may f*** it up twice. The upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix looks set to tackle the iconic storyline; in which the compassionate champion of mutant peace Jean Grey is possessed by a destructive entity from space. If the first portrayal of this classic story in X-Men: Last Stand is any indication, we may end up with a real stinker. This version immediately jumps the shark by making the Phoenix a suppressed alternate personality, and makes the deadly mistake of making her a mere lackey to Magneto. Famke Jassen's portrayal of Jean Grey was never that interesting (as what happens when you give all the attention to Wolverine), but this movie makes it even worse by making her just stare angrily at things.
Lord knows this franchise is in desperate need of the MCU touch.
3. Demon in a Bottle (Iron Man 2)
I know that its a cliche to bash Iron Man 2, as it is considered the closest thing (along with Thor: The Dark World) to a bad MCU movie. But this butchering one of the Armored Avenger's classic arcs is especially egregious. The Demon in a Bottle succeed in giving Tony Stark a sense of relatability and vulnerability, at time where comic books were still struggling to do either. Iron Man 2 addresses this storyline, but mostly in comedic effect (because alcoholism is hilarious, apparently).
That is what happens when you spend more time setting up future movies than making the one at hand the best it can be.
2. The Symbiote Saga (Spider-Man 3)
Ok, let's try to be fair here.
Sam Raimi has gone on record that he was forced by the studio to include the symbiote black costume and Venom. Plus, this obviously was mean to be comedic, and it admittedly works in that department. Even if you hate this movie, you can't but chuckle at a dork like Tobey Maguire acting like the biggest ass.
This would be all fair and good, if didn't completely go against what the original story was. In the original story, the symbiote corrupts Peter Parker, turning him into a more angry, violent person; as opposed to the movie, where he becomes the infamous "Emo Peter". We should've been disturbed at Spider-Man slowly turning into a monster, not laughing at his awful haircut.
And don't get me started on that jazz dance scene.
1. The Death of Superman (Batman v. Superman)
The divisive Batman v. Superman tries and fails to adapt some of the two title characters greatest stories. However, the most embarrassing failure comes in the form of the portrayal of the infamous Death of Superman storyline. This portrayal of one of the comic book industry's most controversial moments falls flat for two specific reasons:
1. The film tries to be a lot of things, including a retelling of Dark Knight Returns, a setup for both the Suicide Squad and Justice League movies, and an introduction to Wonder Woman. Thus, Superman's death feels more like a side detail than an important event.
2. Superman's death comes way too early to have the necessary emotional impact. If this moment were to occur after this movie, three solo Superman movies, and two Justice League movies, it would've had a bigger impact. But, since this version of Superman was only around for two (underwhelming) movies, the audience was not given enough time to care about him.
If you want to see an example of this kind of thing done right, look towards the next two Avengers movies. If/when an important character dies, you are going to feel it hard because you've been given several movies to get to know them. Unfortunately, its unlikely that the DCEU will learn this lesson.