When you look at the live action comic book adaptations, there’s a whole lot of darkness out there. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing; in fact sometimes the darkness works better within the context of the adaptation than a more lighthearted approach ever could.
One of the darkest superhero adaptations of recent years, the Netflix released Daredevil, does have moments of levity and fun within most episodes of the show, some moments where I genuinely laughed, and they juxtapose brilliantly against the
feeling of encroaching darkness of such a grim and gritty show. I have no complaints about that, in fact not only do I think it’s the best comic book TV adaptation out there (closely followed by the equally as dark The Walking Dead), I also think Daredevil also stands above most comic book movies released in terms of quality. For Daredevil, indeed The Walking Dead as well, the darkness works, and it works very well.
But as good as Daredevil is, sometimes I just want a comic book, or superhero, show that’s fun.
The CW’s Flash is scratching the itch somewhat, and it’s a series that I eagerly anticipate every week – even if I haven’t seen the season finale yet – primarily because it is to an extent a very lighthearted show. Regardless of the tone of the show the writing is fantastic, and I find it to be one of the most entertaining superhero shows on TV today, and it’s good enough to draw non-comic fans in as well.
With both the small and silver screen edging toward darker adaptations of superhero, and comic book, adaptations I feel that there’s something missing from the over all landscape of the comic book movie world. Did Superman save the day in Man of Steel? Of course; he’s Superman. But the movie was a lot darker than some would have expected – both in tone and in the actual filters placed over the movie.
If superheroes can give us hope and inspire us, then do we need to see their worlds crumble to nothing every time we see a superhero movie, or is there a chance we may be be able to see a more uplifting superhero movie?
I’m not saying the Punisher needs to be running around giving chocolates and roses to bad guys, (although that would be hilarious) where a grim movie should be made, then it shouldn’t be anything else. But if a movie or TV show can be fun and lighthearted, why go hunting for a dark tone? Sometimes having a lighthearted experience isn’t a bad thing.
The world can be a dark place, but not all superhero adaptations have to be.