The Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds managed to impress more than moviegoers this year. The character’s creator, Rob Liefeld, compared it positively to a couple of other superhero films which he felt went beyond their comic book counterparts.
There is no denying that Deadpool made a massive impact on the superhero movie genre, letting Hollywood know that it was possible to make an R-rated film about a comic book character and make it successful not only with the critics but at the box office. To be fair, Blade and Watchmen were also R-rated superhero successes, but Deadpool was the first one to impress nearly everyone.
Watchmen was a critical cutting board, only scoring slightly above average on Metacritic.
The first film Rob Liefeld compared the Deadpool movie to was Superman: The Movie. He says it’s the first film ever to make positive improvements over the comic book original.
“Krypton never looked like that. In 1978, Superman had already been around 40 years. Krypton never looked like a crystalline structure, and he certainly didn’t rocket to Earth in a crystalline chandelier-type ship. Everyone in Krypton was portrayed to look like they came out of a Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon movie in the comic books and now they look like these regal, silver robes and Marlon Brando. That’s not a Jor-El you’d ever seen prior to 1978’s Superman.”
“Gene Hackman’s portrayal of Luthor was completely opposite the Luther they sold you in comics, toys, and cartoons. Lex Luthor was in a skintight purple and green latex outfit, with a jetpack. He flew around as a kind of cliched villain, that was in actual hand to hand physical combat with Superman.”
Rob Liefeld never even mentioned the Zack Snyder reboot which launched into yet another critical cutting board version of the Justice League.
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The Deadpool movie was also the equivalent of Iron Man; Marvel’s very first entry into the MCU, and it was the smash hit which made superhero movies relevant again. Much of Iron Man‘s success had to do with the casting of a nearly real-life Tony Stark in Robert Downey, Jr.; a man whose previous drinking and philandering problems gave the character a level of humanity and humor that made many instantly love him.
“I would say the second movie that was an enhanced versus, far superior, that you could not pull anything out of the comics was Iron Man 2008. That is not a story you can pick up in a comic book. Him overseeing selling arms, attacked in his limo, again, he was in the Vietnam War. They changed settings and changed approach and it certainly didn’t have Pepper Potts at the level that she was it. It was a fantastic [re-imagining].”
Unlike the other two Liefeld mentioned, director Tim Miller had made the Deadpool movie true to the comics. Of course, Weasel and Blind Al had been slightly changed, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead was a much bigger part of the story than she ever was in the comics. The Deadpool movie changed a few things about the mythos and according to Liefeld, that was part of what made it a hit.
Many comic book purists would argue that changing characters for the big screen always ruins them. They are the same ones who had a problem with the way Apocalypse looks in the latest X-Men, even though the movie made him look more Egyptian in costume. Bryan Singer’s costume choice mirrors those of actual Pharaohs, which makes sense since Apocalypse had once ruled Egypt as a deity.
Do you agree with Rob Liefeld that the Deadpool movie pushes the envelope the same way Superman and Iron Man did?
[Feature image via 20th Century Fox]