All my young adult life I had wanted to see an X-Men movie. The closest thing I had to a live action X-Men was Misfits of Science which lasted for one season. There was also Manamal and Automan (which I loved even though it was a blatant rip from Tron and badly written) both lasted one season as well. The Six Million dollar man was cool. The greatest American Hero rocked a jewfro which bothered me (I could never take any superhero with an afro seriously…except for Luke Cage! Sweet Christmas!).
More recent memory brings knowledge of how the genre works for the mass audience giving us heavy character development to help us along with our suspension of disbelief. Smallville is a great example of how this has worked, but I also feel it longevity is partially attributed to the lack of costumes in it. Which brings me to my point.
Live action costume superheroes play off of the adult imagination. They tap into adolescent memories of something they have already read and visualized as a kid. That’s why it’s easier for us to accept a Batman live action movie or series as opposed to something like Night Man or The Cape. Heroes was successful because there were no costumes or capes. So the masses ate it up. I have yet to Watch ABC’s No Ordinary Family. After seeing an old episode of Seinfeld with Michael Chiklis in it, then thinking about his role as Detective Vic Mackey in the Shield; I don’t think I could watch it seriously. I also can’t stop comparing it to the Incredibles.
Hollywood, leave the capes and masks for the properties that already have established pop culture relevance. Don’t get greedy and try to create your own, your only going to break even at best. Unless your Will Smith (I still don’t get the appeal, he’ll always be the Fresh Prince to me).
Here’s a list of shows. What sticks with you, how do the icons affect how you feel about the shows?
Batman and Robin (1966-1968)
The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982)
Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976-1977)
Wonder Woman (1975-1979)
The Amazing Spiderman (1977-1979)
The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983)
Generation X (1996)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997)
Night Man (1997-1999)
Black Scorpion (2001)
Mutant X (2001)
Birds of Prey (2002-2003)
The Flash (1990-1991)
The Tick (2001-2002)
No Ordinary Family (2010-Present)
The Cape (2011-)
And I think we can all agree the following clip should be burned for the sake of preserving any dignity in comics.