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Into and Across the Spiderverse - How to make a good comic book movie

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, July 1, 2023

It goes without saying that the newly released movie, Across the Spiderverse, is one of the most popular superhero movies. The creators took one of the most divisive iterations of Spiderman, Miles Morales, and made him into a now beloved version of the titular character. They expand the Spider-lore through the framework of deconstruction. Miles himself has proven to be the perfect vehicle to explore and challenge what makes Spiderman, well, Spiderman.

But beyond the meta commentary around comic cannon, fan reception and multiverse theory, from a technical standpoint, the Spiderverse movies are, at their heart, comic books.

The language of comics is found throughout the entirety of the two movies. Comic paneling is used not just as a nod to the story's origins, but as visual language; denoting a sense of divide between the characters. Hand drawn art is overlaid over the top of 3D, finally bridging the two mediums in such a rich fashion.

They embrace the stylistic approach to each character and their subsequent universes as well. In Across the Spiderverse, Gwen, a Spider-person herself, is awash in watercolour effects when in her universe, the background bleeding into shifting colours, amplifying intense emotional moments.

Every shot looks like a painting.

Comic sound effects and elements are also incorporated for comedic and dramatic emphasis. It adds impact to action sense and punctuates moments of levity. They’re almost “blink and you miss it” elements, though their impact is no less effective.

Throughout the films there are other comic inspired aspects such as ben-day dots, action lines, different textures and styles. For instance, a break-out character of the film Across the Spiderverse, Hobie Brown, was animated using multiple different frame rates in order to give his character a sense of movement, even when he was still.

If you’re a comic fan, these movies are an absolute delight. I have been obsessed with them! Every time I watch them, I remember why I love this medium.

What do you consider to be the best comic book movie adaptation? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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davidxolukoga at 5:31AM, July 3, 2023

Yoooo Jason I feel you for real. They milked the cash cow so much blood’s started to come out

InkyMoondrop at 10:32AM, July 1, 2023

And at the very same time, poorly written characters and scripts get a lot of hate as well if their sole purpose is to dress up already popular characters to look more PC and appeal to certain audiences. Which is why you should maybe make an exception with these, Jason. Except from a minority of radical DC fanboys, there's a heavy consensus that these are original, refreshing and well-written installations. One could compare them to Rogue One in SW, which also featured a female lead, yet unlike the sequels, managed to deliver all the right stuff. But obviously, here the animation also makes you fall in love with it, since it's a living-breathing part of the world, not just a stunt to make you forget and forgive mediocrities.

Jason Moon at 8:58AM, July 1, 2023

All the versions and iterations of Spiderman have burnt me out on the character. I'm no longer interested in seeing any spiderman material even though he was my favorite super hero as a kid. Many characters have been ruined or I lost interest in their stories because they splurged so much nonsense or versions that it becomes silly or just non redundant. Ever since Disney bought Marvel I think it has progressively become worse. The same thing happened when Disney bought Power Rangers for a few years and had no idea what they were doing and eventually sold it back to the original owner when ratings bombed. It's like material is being made to please a certain embodiment of people in an ever sensitive over emotional society.

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