Following a string of successful blockbusters that includes “Captain America,” “The Avengers,” and “Ironman,” the film production company Marvel Studios has announced that it will soon branch out into the world of comic books.
“It might seem surprising that we’d want to translate our CGI-heavy action movies into a paper medium, but comic books are actually ideal for Marvel’s cast of costumed superheroes,” said Stan Lee, many of whose characters have made their way onto the big screen. “If you think about it, stories about a man in a spider costume who flies through cityscapes, or a guy who grows into a violent green beast whenever he gets angry, are perfect for being told through a series of illustrated panels.”
“And considering the months of storyboarding we do before production, I don’t know why we didn’t think of it before,” he added. “The only trick will be to find top-tier artists to really bring to life the superheroes from Marvel’s cinematic universe.”
A few critics, however, warn that the company’s entrance into the staid realm of graphic novels is bound to end in failure.
“If you want Thor, you want to see him played by a celebrated actor, kicking ass in 3D on a giant screen with THX high-fidelity surround sound and a non-stop, heart-pounding musical score,” said Bradley Macnobbin, a self-described “Marvel movie geek” who collects the studio’s first-edition Blu-ray disks.
The history of the medium offers evidence that Macnobbin may be right. Comic books grew in popularity in the U.S. during the 1930s and have retained a loyal following since then, but as with the strips “Peanuts” and “Garfield,” they have traditionally put the emphasis on terse dialogue and the occasional thought bubble to advance plots and create tension.