There’s no two ways about it, superhero movies are big money. And why wouldn’t they be? Think about it. They take pre-existing characters, already storyboarded, toss in a plot that has lots of explosions, add a few big-name actors, and there you go.
People will pay their hard-earned money for this experience, regardless of quality. People demand higher standards from a McDonald’s value menu item than they do from these pictures.
Comic book movies are no new thing. Superman and Batman movies have been around for decades. But in the last fifteen years there’s been an enormous boom. Since 2001, there have been a total of 38 Spider-Man movies, 19 Iron Man movies, a dozen Thors, and so many Avengers it’s unbearable. Two, I guess. How ever many, it’s too much.
One of the more interesting effects of this phenomenon is that films based on lesser known comics are appearing that probably wouldn’t have been given the chance to make the big screen otherwise. Adaptations of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, and garnered glowing reviews.
With this trend in mind, I have a few suggestions for some relatively obscure comic book characters that deserve to make that leap to the movie theatre. So, if you’re a big time movie producer looking for the next big hit, bear these in mind. And if you’re not, well, read them anyway I guess.
Unlike Spider-Man, who was a human bitten by a radioactive spider, Wasp-Man was a regular working-class wasp who got bitten by a radioactive human. Now he uses his super powers to fight people trying to do evil gardening, and swoops into the jam and mimosas of villains at brunch telling inane stories from their weekend so loud the entire patio has to hear them.
Corn Man traverses the prairies of the Midwestern United States, appearing wherever someone isn’t eating enough corn. There’s a lot of potential for stories here, because, really, do any of us eat enough corn? In one memorable plotline that would be perfect for the silver screen, Corn Man faces his most dangerous arch-nemesis, a guy who’s making a burrito and inexplicably isn’t going to put corn in it.
Wandering the breadth of the land, Clipper Girl uses her powers to clip the toenails of lazy men who neglect to do so, ensuring that their casual girlfriends’ legs won’t get scratched or cut in bed. She also devotes much of her time trying to figure out why her superhero name is “Girl,” when she’s 27 years old.
The Bechdel Test
The Bechdel Test has a pretty unique set of abilities, and maybe couldn’t support a movie on her own, but would make a great sidekick. Her main power is to appear in other superhero movies for a scene or two and talk to the one female character about something other than a man.
From his bachelor apartment of solitude, Single Guy fights vigilantly to assert that he’s single by choice, he could be in a relationship if he wanted to, he’s just taking time to really know himself, and besides, he just hasn’t met the right woman yet, oh, and also he’s totally not gay. It’s 2015, if he were gay he’d just be gay, he’s not trying to hide anything, he swears.
The Mopper pretty much just mops. He’s not really a janitor, because janitors do more than just mop, plus they get paid. He’s more of a deranged ex-university professor who cracked under the pressure of work and his wife leaving him, and now he just mops, and the guys down at the local hardware store feel pity for him, so they let him mop up at the store because he’s not doing anyone any harm. Until one day when he stabs a bunch of people in the neck with an awl. No one really saw it coming, but a lot of people, when they’re gathered at the Tim Horton’s by the highway, say they knew something like that was bound to happen. He hung himself in prison five days in. Classic supervillain.
The Guacamole Kid
Wherever a restaurant is charging extra for guacamole, The Guacamole Kid is there to help you out. He can’t really do anything about the extra charge, it’s restaurant policy, but he’ll totally spot you that fifty cents. If he’s got it on him.
Photo by stu_spivack via Flickr