So when Rob Bricken, formerly of Topless Robot then regular contributor to io9, asked a poignant question… “Why Are Superhero Movies So Much Better Than Superhero Comics?” Some may argue this. I won’t but some might. There are those who think that they are inferior because the stories that the movies convey are just bastardised storylines from older comics. Yes, they are bastardised and for a great reason.
Sure WE know what happened in the preceding stories that somehow fits into the storyline but the general public doesn’t.
Mini Series (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Secret Wars), One Shots/Micro Series (Elseworlds, What-Ifs, Company Cross-Overs, Raphael, Etc) and cohesive story arcs (Fall of the Mutants, Hush, Etc) make the best comic book stories. Even though the loudest people to decry these storylines would be the fans who loved them the most. Coming from the 70’s I will take what I can get and enjoy it.
Comic book series that are older than ten years, let alone fifty or seventy years, have more baggage than your average family. They are like hyper compressed soap operas. Different writers, editors, and artists all have their own take on which direction the title will take. One can only put up with so many alien invasions or deaths and their subsequent returns. One of the most interested Uncanny X-Men issues dealt with the team having a dinner together. Yes, a dinner. It was cool because it was different. Was it original? No. Seinfeld had already had an episode centered around waiting for a meal at a Chinese restaurant by that point and it was sort of the same idea. If you still read comics on a regular basis you need to suspend your sense of “I’ve seen this before” and just keep reading until their is an interesting plot twist.
Movies boil that baggage off and create a stand-alone story that is enjoyable (depending on who you ask) by fans and people who never cracked a comic book open as an adult.
Are there exceptions to Robert’s statement? Sure. I am sure you can list ten movies off of the top of your head that you consider to be the low point of storytelling and far inferior to comic stories.