Unlike many of my MD and LoOG brethren, I am not one for comics. I just never really got into them as a kid, as I generally struggle with such forms of fantasy fiction. I’ve enjoyed some of the “grittier” super hero reboots lately, particularly (or perhaps exclusively) those of Iron Man and Batman. I attribute my enjoyment of them to the fact that they do not seem particularly comic book-y… they are based in relatively realistic settings and do not rely on magic or voodoo or anything supernatural. They’re also just genuinely good action movies, regardless of where they derive their stories from.
I also caught the first three X-Men movies plus the Wolverine prequel. I thought the former were sort of hit-or-miss while the latter was pure crap, frustrating because I always appreciated Wolverine’s bad assery.
Tonight, I finally caught “X-Men: First Class”… and let me say… holy crap was it a good movie! While it obviously was a comic book movie, it didn’t feel like a comic book movie. It required a relatively minor suspension of belief… simply accept that individual humans have mutated to develop special powers. But there was a well-developed story arc, character development, and special effects were used to enhance the story, not tell it or make up for its absence. They actually addressed potential plots holes (“Why is Mystique the same age as everyone in the 60’s but half their age in contemporary times?”) even if it was a bit deus ex machine-y (“Oh… her cells age at half the rate of other folks…”) and any parts that did feel a bit dumb were largely because they were the comic book-y parts that seemed out of place (to me) in a movie that I stopped thinking of as a comic book movie because it was so much more than that. Most of the performances were excellent, a nod to some really fantastic casting.
So, my questions are these… Do real comic book fans feel the same way? Or does the treatment it received that made me enjoy it make it less palatable to you folks? And if y’all did enjoy it, why can’t we make all comic book movies like this? And how much of the reason that we don’t because of Michael Bay?