Though Hollywood has a reputation of taking good stories and perverting them to the point that they are barely recognizable, there are a few graphic novel movies that are as good as the comics from which they are cultivated. When you ignore such travesties as “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” “Ghost Rider,” “Daredevil” and “Elektra,” finding quality adaptations of some of the more popular titles is not too hard. Filmmakers such as Zak Snyder and Robert Rodriguez proved that the transition from paper to screen can be done almost flawlessly with the release of Frank Miller’s “Sin City” in 2005 and “300” in 2006. So, until “The Avengers” arrives in theaters in 2012 or Hollywood gets their act together and begins work on “Y: The Last Man,” enjoy these excellent films based on graphic novels.
The Crow,” a story of a young man named Eric who, along with his fiancée, is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs. A year later, Eric is mystically raised from the dead by a crow and is guided by the bird to exact revenge on the thugs who killed him. Based on the 1989 graphic novel written and illustrated by James O’Barr, “The Crow” would prove to be actor Brandon Lee’s final film, as he was accidently killed by a dummy bullet that had become lodged in a prop gun. Lee, the son of the late martial arts actor Bruce Lee, delivered a performance that was altogether masterful and haunting, and coupled with his tragic death, helped to make the film one of the better graphic novel adaptations to date.
Christian symbolism and anarchist emblems throughout. The costume for V is also quite striking, contrasting a white Guy Fawkes mask against a completely black ensemble. Balancing an intricate, emotionally charged storyline with phenomenal action sequences, “V for Vendetta” succeeds where an earlier Moore adaption, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” failed miserably.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010) Based on a collection of graphic novels created by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” stars Michael Cera, best known for his work in “Arrested Development,” “Superbad” and “Youth in Revolt,” as the title character who falls for a hipster delivery girl named Ramona Flowers. Before Scott can date Ramona, he must first battle and defeat her seven evil exes. The battles are not easy, as each ex has a special power or ability that, when coupled with the wrath of their jealousy, test the very limits of Scott’s skills. With each victory, Scott gains coins and lives and moves ever closer to winning the heart of Ramona. Directed by Edgar Wright of “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead” fame, the film successfully brings the dazzling, over-the-top visuals of the graphic novels to life. The seven evil exes are portrayed by some of Hollywood’s brightest up and coming talents, including Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four and “Captain America: The First Avenger”), Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”), Mae Whitman (“Parenthood” and “Arrested Development”) and Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore” and “Bored to Death”).