In 2005 we reached 11 comicbook-based films, this time, even though five of them were about superheroes, only three of those five originated in comics (two from Marvel Elektra, and Fantastic Four, and one from DC, Batman Begins), the fourth (Sky High) was an original superhero film as was The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D. Of the remaining three Constantine, A History of Violence, and Sin City were non-costumed superhero in nature, and again, of those three, the first two were both published by DC with the third from Dark Horse. While many overlooked Constantine we believed it to be an amazing work that proved non-superhero comics could work as movies. In the case of A History of Violence quite a few people who saw that powerful work had no idea that it was also based on a comicbook. Then there’s Sin City that — quite literally — revolutionized the way films are made. Director Robert Rodriguez used no sets, no props, and no location shots, choosing to digitally paint the entirety of the film (save for the actors themselves) onscreen.
The three other films were all based on Indie titles, two of them are sequels (one from Dark Horse: Son of the Mask and the other (The Crow: Wicked Prayer from Caliber Comics) and the final one a true indie from Los Comex.
Once again, the criteria that we are using throughout this series on comicbook movies, is films that either started off in comics, are clearly influenced by comicbooks and/or comicbook superheroes, or have an appreciable amount of their history connected to comicbooks. Films that we are not discussing include anything that appeared on TV (live action — eliminating the very well-made, but made-for-TV Painkiller Jane — or animated), theatrically-released films that were strictly animated, or films that may have had been adapted in comics, but were best known from another medium (i.e.; Star Trek, Star Wars), nor are we considering films that were released direct to video or DVD (eliminating Man-Thing).
Other articles in this series can be found at the links below:
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.