I've said before we're in an era where everything gets remade or rebooted or relaunched. At this point it's practically unavoidable, especially when it comes to adapting stories or trying to cash in on nostalgia. Sometimes it works (Doctor Who, Spider-Man: Homecoming), other times we wonder why they went that way for their project when the original was just fine. This leads to many new takes on previous works as having to be “different” which is pretty much code for “dark and gritty” tone. That's not to say some things work well with that tone, but other times one has to look at something and ask whether or not it needs to be like that, or if it's just trying too hard to be edgy.
The Dark Knight came
out in 2008, people praised it for being realistic and gritty, making
the audience feel like Gotham City could be a real place with a
way-too-high crime rate. However, this caused Hollywood to think that
the reason it was successful was because it was darker than previous
Batman movies (sadly, everybody forgets Batman Begins,
the one The Dark Knight
is a sequel to), so studios looked at what they had and tried to go
darker with it. The 2010 remake of Nightmare on Elm Street
changed Freddy Krueger's origin and design just to make it more
“real” and “grim” when the original film did that just fine
because of how Wes Craven handled the story, and MTV launched their
adaptation of the 1985 comedy Teen Wolf,
as a serious character drama – and while the latter received good
reviews and lasted several seasons, its tone was so far off from the
source material that one could easily see them as two different
projects altogether. On the opposing side is Sherlock,
which took classic Sherlock Holmes stories and re-imagined them in
the modern era, sometimes making them more grounded in reality, and
thus a more gritty style. That works because the stories themselves
allow for it, unlike taking comedy films and trying to turn them into
a serious matter.
media also got this treatment, some for the better, others for the
worst. Logan was in
production long before Deadpool,
and was designed as a grim and violent portrayal of Wolverine, while
at the same time being a story about mortality, and is widely
considered one of the best films in the X-Men series,
if not the genre as a whole. Two years prior to this, the same studio
that released Logan
came out with what is usually considered one of the worst superhero
films, Fantastic Four,
or Fant4stic if you
want to avoid confusion with the 2005-2007 series (and yes, you do).
Fant4stic is a darker
interpretation of the Fantastic Four mythos, which is exactly what a
Fantastic Four movie should not be. It's as if they had a tone they
wanted first, then demanded a script fit the tone by any means
necessary. And yeah, sometimes a tone is something to aim for – if
you're doing an MCU film, there's a specific tone and style for the
franchise, but at the same time, you can't go in saying it's going to
be grim, dark, and gritty because you can. The DCEU has this issue,
with projects like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
being a very grounded film that takes itself just a bit too
seriously, whereas Suicide Squad
didn't take itself seriously enough. Warner Brothers got involved in
the final cut of Justice League,
demanding it be made more light-hearted, despite contrasting hard
with the previous films. A Batman film should be darker than a
Superman one, but making the Superman one tonally closer to the
former causes a split between the filmmakers and the established
character – I personally enjoyed Man of Steel,
but I can understand why some didn't.
a popular show is Riverdale,
an adaptation of the Archie
comics. The comics are pretty family friendly, light in tone, you can
just pick one up and read it without needing a ton of backstory. But
the show is a murder mystery, darker and much more grim than the
source material. Supergirl
is on the same network and is a lighter show, why not give the
audience one like that? It would make the series stand out from other
comic book shows. Even the rebooted comic series is more serious than
it has to be, it's Archie not
The Breakfast Club. However,
Netflix is doing a reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch,
and that's going to be more into the occult and horror aspects of the
modern reboot comics, which works because that's something that
naturally calls for a darker take. Stranger Things
is a dark murder mystery about kids but it's not like it's based on
something known for being all-ages and comedic. Riverdale
is so disconnected from the comics that it's practically a different
franchise altogether. In the age of grim comic book shows, especially
on the CW (their DC shows for the most part get as dark as network TV
allows), perhaps we needed a more light comedy based on the series.
It would stand out and make it different than shows like Stranger
Things and Arrow.
get me wrong – I do enjoy a good dark story from time to time. But
I don't think we need to see the gritty version of Powerpuff Girls.
Some things just work better playing it light and fun than grim and
edgy. And there is a happy medium between those two. The DC Animated
Universe was overall targeted to an older audience, but wasn't too
much for a kid to handle. Or even the MCU franchises can go from
something relatively safe like Spider-Man: Homecoming to
a very serious spy thriller like Captain America: The
Winter Soldier. Tones are
important to the way one tells the story they want to tell, but
getting the right tone is more important than aiming for a preset.
Dark has a place, light has a place. What productions need to do is
find that middle ground so they can go either way depending on how
the audience reacts. That way, we don't end up seeing the Adult Swim
reboot of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
Actually, nevermind, that would be awesome. Instead, don't go into making a Hulk movie super-grim and dark for no reason, just make the right movie for the right tone.
Being a college student can be very overwhelming with studying, going to class, and taking exams. But sometimes it’s good to take a minute for yourself and put your mind towards something else other than your textbooks. Some students create art or maybe watch a few episodes of "Black Mirror" on Netflix.
But one of my favorite ways to destress is reading webtoons or webcomics. Webtoons are basically comic books or manga that are originally created for the online community. Specifically, I’m talking about an app called “Webtoon” created by LINE, a South Korean company. Not all of the creators on this app are well-known or distinguished artists. The app actually encourages amateur artists to submit their work and possibly get recognition.
Last year, “Webtoon” even had a booth in New York Comic Con and invited some of the artists to be a part of the convention.
After classes or whenever I have free time, I like to pull out my phone, go to the app and see if any of my favorite comics were updated or discover something new depending on my mood that day. So here are the top five webcomics I enjoy.
1. My Giant Nerd Boyfriend
It's an adorable yet hilarious slice of life comic about the writer's day to day life with her extremely tall and nerdy boyfriend. It's nice to see how the couple's major height difference affects their life but at the same time relatable to those who can understand being in a relationship.
It's a storyline that brings up the themes of hierarchy and societal standards through a world where humans are gifted with powers, but some aren't as lucky to receive these gifts (also known as "handicapped") and must go through life while others use their abilities to maintain control.
Even if you never heard of this comic, you have definitely seen panels of it scrolling through Facebook or from that one friend who tags you in all of the funny memes. This comic is completely random with no storyline but the artist dives into topics like being an artist, depression, or anxiety and finds ways to make it funny.
4. Assassin Roommate
What would you do if you discovered that you moved in with a top secret agent? This comic is full of action but tells the story of the romantic relationship between an assassin and their roommate.
5. My Boo
This comic will pull directly at your heartstrings as you explore the world of a woman who can see ghosts and tries everything in her power to avoid them. But she soon discovers that she might have to confront her gift after meeting a handsome ghost who refuses to move on.