From TMNT to Spawn, Indie Comedy Movies Show the MCU Wouldn’t Work in the ’90s


Since 2008, comic book movies have been much more popular thanks to the efforts of Christopher Nolan. Batman movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but due to the sprawling and gargantuan success of the MCU, many wonder if that same lightning bolt might have struck twice had it happened in another decade like the 90s. superheroes have always been known for their extreme styles and storylines, with ultra-buff heroes taking on hard-to-decipher villains with big guns, but in terms of movies, the MCU could never have functioned like the highest and the lowest. the bottoms of indie comic book movies turned out. While movies like Blade and Batman broke the mold, indie comic book movies saturated the market, and all had lessons that would inform future successes.

Judge Dredd was propelled by a star and camping

Based on the British magazine 2000 AD, Judge Dredd was a classic indie comic book character who held the law above all else. He was a gruff hero who never deviated from his morals and became the perfect character to translate to film. Aesthetically, 1995 Judge Drdd was a near-perfect recreation of the character with Sylvester Stallone under the helmet. It also captured the camp and sci-fi tones of the book.

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However, the moment Dredd took off his helmet, a cardinal sin, it became clear that this film was fueled by star power. Although it still took a while, modern comic book movies aren’t afraid to keep their heroes masked, even in the finale, to honor the character.

The crow was a tragic story

While the movie lived in infamy like the picture, where Brandon Lee was tragically killed on set, The crow, as a film, was unique for motion pictures and comic books. Based on the graphic novel by James O’Barr, The crow was an unrelenting look at love, loss and revenge where a man, killed with his girlfriend, is raised from the dead a year later in revenge.

Thematically, the film was ahead of its time as the action took a step back to set the tone and focus on the larger themes surrounding death and love. In fact, it would be years before future comic book movies like The Batman would pay more attention to their message than the show because The crow did.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a surprise hit

Released at a time when the dark tones of the graphic novel had taken a break and the fun cartoon setting became the focus, 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a huge surprise. While the cartoon and the toys proved to be a runaway success and the comics made their mark in the industry, a film that mixed the two themes seemed like a tall order.

To make matters worse, Hollywood still wasn’t entirely sold on the idea, but eventually the film got the green light and was widely acclaimed, sparking a new film franchise. This level of persistence in a world going against it led to its success and would later do the same for the MCU.

The mask wasn’t comically accurate

In comics, The mask had nothing to do with what was shown in the Jim Carrey film. In fact, the green-faced, yellow-suited character was more of a villain than a hero, as anyone who wore it would let their inhibitions take over without regret. More often than not, this led to thieves and killers running rampant rather than heroes.

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However, in The mask, Carrey’s character had nothing to do with his comic counterpart. In reality, the mask instead brought a person’s inner fantasy to life, turning Stanley Ipkiss into a living cartoon who wanted to save the damsel. Deviating from the source made The mask a classic and has since been an important lesson still used in comic book movies today.

Spawn was style first

Spawn was a product of the ’90s through and through, and his sinister aura, flowing cape, guns and chains, and hellish origin have been a testament to that for years. That said, even though his origin was an easy translation to film, the 1997 film missed the mark in terms of fidelity and offered what looked like a rushed, campy take on the character.

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What he lacked in substance, Spawn the styling more than made up for it as the character never looked cooler and captured the essence of her presence. Since then, comic book movies have done the same in terms of visuals and ensured that the storytelling got as much attention as making the hero great.

The Rocketeer captured the wonder of being a hero

The Rocket was a high-flying adventure story based on the comic book character that captured an era not always explored in movies. Set in the late 1930s, the film centers on a young man who has found an experimental rocket pack. Using it for good and with a flashy and stylish helmet, The Rocket was an origin story where the journey was as fun as the destination. Filled with the urge to blaze a trail, the film captured the tone of the times and how exciting it could be to be a hero. Since then, few movies have done the same, but movies like Captain America: The First Avenger came close.

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