Crossovers are happening a lot lately. I don’t mean comics crossing over to the big and small screen, I mean universes from the big and small screen crossing over into comics.
The first time I ever noticed it happening was with Angelica Jones, aka Firestar. She was one of the stars of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, along with Spidey and Iceman. She proved popular on television, so they gave her a limited series of her own, and then we basically didn’t hear from her for years until the New Warriors.
The next major character to make the jump was Harley Quinn. She was on Batman: The Animated Series, and she took that show by storm. It was natural for her to make the leap to comics.
But those were characters. They weren’t whole universes. That didn’t happen (that I know of) until Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air, but continued her adventures in the Dark Horse series. Dollhouse also made the jump for a little while, and then Smallville. We also have Batman ’66, and now we have X-Men ’92.
We’ve gone from characters here and there to entire universes finding homes in comics.
To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about that.
I love the fact that we’ve had great success in live action. Technology has finally caught up to our imaginations, and we can do things that just weren’t possible when we were kids. (Remember the Spider-Man live-action show? It was great for what it was at the time, but it was also very, very terrible.) We’re now reaping the benefits that the Blade movie gave us, showing what can be done with a comic concept when taken seriously. (How many of you saw the Man-Thing movie? How many of you even knew there was a Man-Thing movie? Exactly.)
There is a (small) hue and cry for Hollywood to do something original. Most of the blockbuster movies are either remakes, adapted from other media, or are sequels. I don’t want to see an original take on Dracula. I don’t want to see a remake of The Wolf Man. Why can’t we leave the Universal Monsters alone? Give us something new.
And now, comics seem to be going the same way.
What is the use in adapting a cartoon into a comic book, wholesale? I don’t understand it. (What would be hilarious? Making a movie based on a comic that’s based on a cartoon.)
I want originality in my comics. I understand that tv and movies are adaptations of what has gone on in the comics. Comics, though, should maintain the originality that they already have. I don’t think that’s asking for too much.