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Is it OK to change the source material and Characters in Animated shows?

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by ChessKing, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. ChessKing

    ChessKing Active Member

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    Is it OK to change the source material in animated shows??
    Examples:
    In the 90s Spider-Man series when they introduced Electro instead of Max Dillon like the comics he was Rheinholt Schmidt son of the Red Skull and Step Brother to The Chameleon.

    In the 1967 Spider-Man Animated series George Stacy was renamed Ned Stacy and Unlike his comic book counterpart, he is the Uncle of Mary Jane Watson and there was no mention of Gwen at all.

    In The Spectacular Spider-Man series Tombstone was never the Bigman it was Fredrick Foswell in the comics even though Fredrick still appeared in the animated series as a Daily Bugle reporter, Other changes to the animated series are Black Cats father was not Uncle Ben's killer in the comics, Kraven never become a Human-Cat Hybrid in the comics, Silver Sable was not Silvermane's daughter in the comics she had no connection to him, I think there are others but not sure what they are.

    So when is it OK to change the source material and when is it not and do people get upset when something is changed??
     
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    #1 ChessKing, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  2. RoryWilliams

    RoryWilliams Well-Known Member

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    I cannot think of a single Marvel or DC adaptation that changed nothing, save perhaps for the old Marvel Super Heroes show from the 60's. If you're the kind of person offended by changes on principal, adaptations probably aren't for you. Even the ones held up as the all-time greats like X-Men: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League still made changes quite often.

    What it comes down to is the personal investment from the audience (IE, if I'm someone who doesn't really care about Character X in the comics or isn't all that familiar with the source material, I'm not gonna mind them totally being overhauled for the movies or TV shows) and whether or not changes actually make the product better. Some changes work wonderfully. Batman TAS completely redid Mr. Freeze's origin and ended up creating one of the most beautiful and tragic supervillain stories in TV history. Then sometimes you end up with stuff like Spider-Man riding a SHIELD motorcycle.

    It also needs to be taken into account that the vast majority of the audience does not read comics, so changes don't usually affect them anyway. For instance, the stupid controversy over Idris Elba playing Heimdall in the Thor movies. Some fans complained on the internet about it but shockingly, it did nothing in real life to derail the success of those films, because most people don't know or care about Heimdall in the comics.
     
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    #2 RoryWilliams, Nov 16, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  3. Dustellar

    Dustellar Active Member

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    I don't like changes for synergy... but I'm fine with changes that come from the creativity of the writer, no forced things!
     
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  4. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    I think it honestly depends.

    Personally, I prefer that adaptions stay as true to the source material as possible, but I also understand that some concessions need to be made when it comes to adapting a work for a larger audience and for the sake of a different medium.

    If certain changes are made that add to the character or property involved, either by giving them more depth or making them feel more cohesive to the work they're in, then I think they can work. Those kinds of changes are usually born from a place of creativity and looking at the core of the character and trying to expand on it in interesting, and sometimes sensible, ways.

    But I think if you change something enough to where it doesn't even resemble itself or you lose the core of that character/property in the process, you've probably gone too far.

    Some changes work better then others and some are better received compared to others, so I think it's best that we look at changes to the source material in adaptions on a case-by-case basis.
     
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  5. Medinnus

    Medinnus Moderator
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    There are some things, which if consistent with the original source material, would make for an inferior presentation, or be confusing for younger fans (at whom the series are theoretically aimed) - Making Baron Zemo pere and fils one character is a decent example. If the original spirit is kept, and the change reduces confusion it is not only permissible, but a duty.
     
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  6. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    I guess it varies from person to person but I'm usually fine with changes within superhero cartoons. Changes to character's races, connections between characters, merging two or more characters into one, etc. Mister Freeze as previously mentioned is one of the few characters where completely changing his back-story worked out for the better. Sometimes the changes can be a little too weird and take some while to get used to, but to be honest I haven't really come across anything that terrible either.

    I find it pretty interesting how writers manage to come up with some new approaches or re-invent some characters who have rich decades long histories in the comics. Granted not all the stuff they came up with over the years have been that well-received. But if it stays somewhat true to the character and manages to attract new fans, I think it's great.

    If they're trying to do an adaptation of a certain story, I would expect it to be as faithful as possible but I can understand if they made some changes to make it more concise or coherent (if it's connected to a bunch of other stories that haven't been adapted before, some stuff needs to be modified). I like the way some shows take elements from different eras or story-lines from the comics and combine them to create something mostly new. So I think it's fine if the shows make some changes to keep things fresh or less confusing than in the comics.
     
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  7. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    With all the ret-cons and other unnecessary alterations to the canon in the last couple of decades, both in print and elsewhere, it's easy for older fans to be confused, then angry. What today's creators are attempting to do is simplify the history of iconic characters like, for example, Spider-Man or the Hulk, while updating their origin stories for modern audiences. Hollywood producers don't understand that they have to actually sell their product to not just the kiddo's, but older generations who've been fans since they were kiddo's. We as older consumers are always ignored.
     
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  8. Scrappy-Fan92

    Scrappy-Fan92 Well-Known Member

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    ^Are older consumers really ignored? When it comes to adaptations, the most nostalgic elements are often given priority. Hence why most of the comic-book movies tend to focus on the old enemies (which is why I probably can't name more than two Spider-Man foes who debuted in the last 17 years).
     
  9. Medinnus

    Medinnus Moderator
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    Actually, they stay with the "tried and true" villains not so much for older-fan nostalgia, but because of the abysmal track record of "new" in terms of historical comic sales. As comics have gotten more and more expensive, new heroes, new villains, new titles have an uphill battle to find an audience - when comics cost 50 cents, its easier to speculate on a new title, as the cost of entry is so trivial.

    Or to put it another way - at a cost of four dollars, and content that takes, say, fifteen minutes to read, its a rather expensive form of entertainment. Half the cost of a novel, which will provide you with hours, not minutes, of entertainment. A third the cost of a movie in the theatre, which will give you 90 minutes of entertainment.

    Villains, like any other character-based source of revenue, are brands. brands require exposure to develop affinity, Affinity drive sales. Sales drives revenue, and revenue determines what animated series are kept and which ones find an early grave.
     
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  10. RoryWilliams

    RoryWilliams Well-Known Member

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    That concept holds true in comics but is increasingly less relevant with regards to movies and TV shows, since at this point Marvel has exhausted its back bench of "A-list" characters. We're at a point where every time a character makes their movie or TV debut, they are for all intents and purposes, a new character as far as the vast majority of the audience is concerned.

    Obviously, the best example are the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man (where the entire marketing hook was "You know the Avengers, now here are some guys you've never heard of") but it pretty much holds true for much of Marvel's upcoming productions. The thing is Marvel is good enough at making and marketing a movie that the lack of familiarity isn't an issue for most people.

    And of course, either way you're seeing more and more "newer" elements from the comics making their way into the adapted works anyway, which goes back to a point I'd made a while back about fidelity to the comics being a somewhat misleading argument to begin with. When you have decades worth of comics to draw from, you're often going to end up with a mish-mash that mixes and matches bits and pieces from various eras.
     
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    #10 RoryWilliams, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  11. Scrappy-Fan92

    Scrappy-Fan92 Well-Known Member

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    As it should be. I wish more non-comic franchises would do sensible blends of past and present.
     
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