Update: This article was originally published on 7.29.2015 following the internet backlash of the first screenshots provided of Apocalypse in the new X-Men: Apocalypse: i.e. the Ivan Ooze conundrum. After the internet promptly did a 180 following the trailer for the film, we thought we’d take a look back at the initial controversy.
By W.T. Bane
In our modern era of filmmaking, (i.e. ever since the internet boom and our subsequent massive increase in exposure to the filmmaking process and the absolute destruction of movie magic by our own predispositioned opinion of a film prior to seeing the final product) fans review every single piece of a film whether it be a set pic, a costume, or just someone talking about a film. Fans today want to know almost every detail of a film before it comes out, and not only that, but it must meet their demanding approval! If it doesn’t … well, they will still see said film, therefore voting in approval for it by proxy, but they will most certainly lash out verbally along the way. Not like they’ve ever been wrong about a film, or a franchise before its release. Not ever…. Not once…
Let’s look at this most recent example of fan outrage.
Have you seen this?!?! Have you seen the new pictures of Apocalypse released by Fox in Entertainment Weekly? He doesn’t look like the Apocalypse from the comics. He looks like Ivan Ooze from Power Rangers! WHY IS HE PURPLE?!?!?! Fox is trying to ruin the franchise I’ve loved ever since a child. They’re trying to rape my childhood. Is George Lucas in on this? There’s no way it can be good!!!! Its going to suck!
Calm open minded fan:
Hey there. Calm down now. Actually if you look at the cover picture of Entertainment Weekly, you can see that he is quite blue, fitting his traditional color scheme.
Did you see that pic?
And did you notice the fire in the background in the first picture?
Well thats probably why he’s purple in that one picture from the middle of the magazine, but his normal blue on the COVER OF THE MAGAZINE. You know, the main one they want you to see and visualize as their interpretation of the character while you’re basing your opinions on false information.
Yeah, well fine. But he still doesn’t look like Apocalypse from the comics.
True. But don’t you think that Bryan Singer may have altered his appearance for a reason? Quite possibly, the director has a certain vision for this interpretation of the character that fits his storyline. Most notably, that this interpretation obviously draws heavily from the Egyptian aesthetic. You remember that Apocalypse was born in Egypt and named En Sabah Nur, meaning the first one? (The first mutant). And only later once he encountered a ship from the Celestials was he granted that armor that he is well known for, but since the Celestials fall under the legal playground of the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe, as evidenced by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the director Bryan Singer is possibly forsaking their presence in this film’s interpretation of the character and is highlighting the Egyptian background of the character instead?
Yeah but still. They’re ruining him! It’s just like…
Just like what? Like Quicksilver in Days of Future Past?
Do you mean, this situation is just like the time the internet freaked out when Empire released this picture of Quicksilver?
The whole internet flipped out over this one picture and said that Fox was ruining him too because he didn’t look like his comic character. Then later after Days of Future Past came out and everyone saw it and him, who was the universally renowned favorite character of the movie? Who was the one that everyone loved the most? Who was the character that as soon as the movie was over, was the one that everyone wanted to see return in the the sequel? Oh, and who showed up in Avengers, but no one cared because they loved this version so much more, the same character they hated on for over a year because it was different than the comic?
Who was it?
You know what else this situation was like? Almost every time an X-men movie has come out. Almost every time, the internet flips their wigs and judges the film and their idea of what its quality will be based off of minimal information. In 2000, everyone asked where were the yellow costumes. Singer put them in black leather and it a was a GOOD CALL.
It was a good call because of the nature of the times that they were being produced. The last major comic book movie that people knew was actually based off of a comic (sorry Blade) was Batman and Robin, and it was terrible. It was so overtly silly that people were not able to take the idea of comic book movies seriously and they needed something to be presented seriously. So SInger put the X-Men in black leather so people would take them at least more seriously than if Wolverine were wearing yellow spandex. People didn’t like it at first, but once they saw the film, they got used to it and even liked it. People took to it so well that they changed the looks of the characters in the books in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men to more closely resemble the films
Then years later, when First Class came out the internet freaked out again when they saw the yellow and blue costumes.
The yellow and blue costumes were much closer to the costumes the character wore in the comics in the 1960’s and the team uniform from the late 1980’s. They were also more like the costumes that “fans” were supposedly clamoring for in the original films. Yet still they said the movie would suck. They said it would be terrible. There’s no way it could be good.
Except it was good. It was excellent. And then the internet was wrong again with Quicksilver.
Even when everyone was so excited that X-Men 3 was going to be so amazing because it was going to be based off of the Phoenix saga they were wrong.
So please, tell me why this movie is going to be so bad because Apocalypse looks the way that he does. Why is this film destined for failure based on this one picture?
Because it’s not like the comics!
Not like the comics huh? Which comics? Comic books are a dynamically changing medium that have to change for the characters that have been around for generations to maintain your interests. Let’s just look at X-Men shall we? The team roster itself is maybe the most diverse and constantly changing in the history of comics. Only the Avengers come close. The very members roster of the team itself is so constantly changing to provide the reader with new different interesting situations, relationships and team chemistry.
Even the events people so cling onto as pivotal moments change over time. In the Phoenix Saga, Jean Grey goes insane, kills billions and then kills herself to prevent herself from committing more atrocities. Only years later, someone else decided to bring her back and say that a cosmic entity, the Phoenix Force in a human shell that appeared as Jean Grey committed these sins and she was innocent all along. One decade Professor X can walk and then next he can’t, only for him to get the use of his legs back. Magneto started out as a villain, became the leader of the X-men, went back to being a villain and then a hero again.
There are even multiple versions of each hero throughout the multiverse. Which Wolverine is the movie Wolverine not like? The Chris Claremont era of Japan? The Ultimate Wolverine that was sent to kill Professor X? The Clint Eastwood inspired Old Man Logan? The one-handed version from Age of Apocalypse? Patch? Or the main universe Wolverine who underwent the probably the greatest change in character over time from abrasive lone wolf hunter to leader of the mutant race and headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters.
Saying you don’t like something “because it’s not like the comic” as a general excuse is a legless argument for pseudo-intellectuals who want to feel superior than those creating the product because they “got it wrong” while these purists lazily sit on their couch judging the creators not measuring up to their standards. If you don’t like something thats fine as long as you can argue that point. But saying something is bad because it is does not fit your exact static interpretation of a dynamically changing medium or character is lazy at best and shows your lack of understanding of the medium itself.
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