As a child I used to love to watch Gerry Anderson’s SuperMarination shows. I loved them all from Super car with Zoonie, Fireball XL5 with Robbie the Robot, Stingray with Marina, Thunderbirds with Brains and also Joe 90 and his Glasses (I even owned a pair just like his). There were so many of them. That was my first love but certainly not my biggest love.
I later discovered Batman. There used to be a series on in the 60’s (very cheesy now when I look back) but nothing would tear me away from the TV when that was on. Even to the great upset of my sisters. Our parents wanted to go out for a ride in the car one Sunday evening and stop off at the pub for a drink. This wasn’t something we did regularly and was a real treat to be able to sit in the car with a bottle of Vimto and a packet of crisps. This Sunday Batman was on and I refused to leave the house and kicked up a fuss about it. This made me very unpopular with my sisters and I only hope they have forgiven me. Some years later I discovered Superman, I didn’t understand anything about being in the DC camp and when I had the money I would cycle to the nearest town to get my Superman comic fix. I actually became an expert on the life and times of Superman and Batman. If any questions came up about origins, story lines I was there with the answer. In fact I became quite an expert on many of the super hero’s of the day and even now I can be quite critical if either Marvel Studios or DC make a mistake in the characterisation of one of their super hero’s.
I am now in a quandary because super hero’s have gone from the page on to the big and little screen and I feel that my passion for Batman and all things DC have diminished and my love for all things Marvel is increased, and why is that? It is because I believe that Marvel do the live action stuff better than DC. I recently saw the film Batman VS Superman and I have to be honest and say that it lived up to my expectations. What was I expecting? Not much at all but being a fan of the comics and graphic novels I had to go and see it. I just felt that Batman was just so out of character as a gun-totting vigilante shooting any bad guy that came into view. My Batman would never have done that. He would have found a way of disarming the bad guy/girl and taking them out with something from his utility belt. I also felt (in my opinion) that Superman was just a shell of the one I have read on the page.
I have also watched all the films from the Marvel studios and I have to say that they do it so much better. The characters are so much more believable; the story lines could almost be out of a comic or a graphic novel. The individual stories are superb; I have enjoyed all three of the Iron Man films, the two Thor films and the two Captain America films. Hey I even enjoyed the two Hulk films too, though I understand a lot of people didn’t. Have you seen the X-Men film? Brilliant I enjoyed the way that Patrick Stewart played Professor Xavier I could not fault it. Seeing the reboot recently with James McAvoy playing the part of the young Xavier was enjoyable too. I am looking forward to seeing the next X-Men instalment “X-men Apocalypse” I will probably have a view on that too when I see it that I would like to share.
Saying all that I have one or two ‘But’s’ with Marvel studios. One is when are you going to get it right with the Fantastic Four? The three films have been abysmal. The last Fantastic Four films were all wrong. We know that they got their powers by being exposed to cosmic rays; it was nothing to do with dimensional travel! Where did that idea come from? Please don’t say you want to make scientifically accurate as it is fantasy and in fantasy cosmic rays can do that. My second ‘But’ is when are you going to get it right with Spiderman, I don’t know if it was the dialogue, the acting or the just the film but I could not get into it at all. The Spiderman I remember from the comic was witty, cool but was a real hero and not an angst-ridden teenager.
Saying all that this is my conclusion and you may choose to disagree (you are allowed!). DC does the best comics and graphic novels and Marvel do the best films. I just want to say a few words about DC efforts on the small screen. I am talking about the Arrow (Green Arrow), The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. I am really enjoying the Arrow and Flash, I was doubtful originally of the Flash but I feel that it has come into it’s own. Long may they both run? I have serious doubts about the Legends of Tomorrow, I don’t find Rip Hunter very convincing, played by Arthur Darvill, Rory from Doctor Who, and that may be my problem. I keep expecting him to call out for Amy or go off searching for her. He played Rory wonderfully and I cannot imagine anyone else playing that part but Rip Hunter was a rebellious, witty person but The Legends of Tomorrow Rip Hunter in the TV series is grumpy, shouty and full of anxiety and dread.
I almost forgot to say how much I am enjoying the series on Sky 1 Marvel The Agents of SHIELD, it goes from strength to strength and what I really like is how it ties in beautifully with the Marvel movies.
As my final word I want to say thank you to both Marvel and DC for making my childhood a happy one and thank you for all the anticipation and excitement I received from your comics.