Reinterpretations of Characters/Stories

Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
I wasn't really sure what forum this should be in, but this seems okay.

Reading through the Dreamcasting threads and seeing everyone's interpretations of stories and characters made me think about just when a reinterpretation has gone too far and ceases to even remotely be recognizable as what it should be.

Not to pick on Proj, but two examples from him really stood out to me, so I'll use them.

First, a dark, Gothic Wizard of Oz. Gothic retellings of children's stories are so overused now they really turn me off. They all seem cool at first, but eventually they just get boring and less interesting than the original. I totally get it, though. It's a good story that you know so well maybe a new twist will make it fresh again. But Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz, these aren't horror stories. They have some dark elements, particularly the books, but it totally misses the point to pervert them into straight up horror.

Second, he wanted to make Penguin a European crime boss and not a crook with a bird fetish. Well, what makes him Penguin then? The Batman villains, particularly Joker, are a prime example of this kind of thing. Everyone keeps adding more and more pathos to them and reinventing them, which always means making them darker and more scary, until they bear no resemblence to who they're supposed to be. I've said before I hate crazy mass murdering Joker. Sometimes a character really needs a twist, an extra something to make them viable. But I think it's going too far when you have to change the very nature of that character to make him that way. Just make a new character. You practically are anyway, with all the work you put into changing the old one.
 

Gideon Stargrave

Well-Known Member
I see where you're coming from; when writing an established character, you're always walking a line between adding depth and changing the core of the character. But it depends on the situation, as some characters are so bad that they need to be reinvented.
 
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Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
But Mass Murdering Joker is something he's always had at his core. He was a killer in his first appearance, it was later that they reinvented him to be a harmless clown.

Besides, the scary clown is something most people find frightening so why not have Joker go over that line into totally frightful every now and then?

Gothic Wizard of Oz, that's terrible. Sorry whoever disagrees.

So...what else are we talking about here?

Reinterpretations in comics have to happen, these characters will likely outlive us all. They will go through vast changes to keep up with the time and stay popular, it's part of comics.

Reinterpretations of novels and movies, is a bit tricker.
 

Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
Joker can kill, but it shouldn't be the sole purpose of his existence. He should kill in the act of committing a crime, he shouldn't kill just to kill people, which is basically all he is now. A guy who loves killing.

Oddly, Archie characters have never changed and they're still chugging alone quite nicely.
 

Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Frankly, I find Batman and all his characters to be quite stale right now.

Besides in Batman Begins.
 

jeremiahvedder

Well-Known Member
Reinterpretations great, because sometimes the reinterpretations are better than the original (see also: Ultimate Spider-Man). Not only that, but it allows fans and creative teams alike the ability to play in a sandbox without worrying about (say, in Batman's case) 60 years worth of continuity (and continuity reboots). And they're fun. I wouldn't trade my WHAT IFs, ELSEWORLDS, MUTANT X, or EXILES for anything.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Second, he wanted to make Penguin a European crime boss and not a crook with a bird fetish. Well, what makes him Penguin then?
People call him "The Penguin" because he has a penguin-like appearance. It's not uncommon for mobster to have strange nicknames. That mafia guy they just convicted here in Chicago was called "The Clown".
I've been working on and off on trying to make Tony Stark into Alfred Nobel. Seriously.
I've always thought Stark could work as a more Howard Hughes like character.
 

Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
People call him "The Penguin" because he has a penguin-like appearance. It's not uncommon for mobster to have strange nicknames. That mafia guy they just convicted here in Chicago was called "The Clown".

Sure, and that could be a character called the Penguin.

But it wouldn't be THE Penguin character from Batman at all.
 

Planet-man

Well-Known Member
Moons said:
People call him "The Penguin" because he has a penguin-like appearance.

Zach Braff is....the Penguin
1804158084.jpg


I think I see Joe's point...
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Gothic Wizard of Oz, that's terrible. Sorry whoever disagrees.


Actually, the original Wizard of Oz story was "gothic". Frank Baum wrote the original story in 1899 (published 1900). This falls well within the Victorian Era. which is what the Gothic and Lolita groups pattern themselves after (not the Visigoth or Ostrigoth after which they're named). Baum himself called his story dark and "Grimm-like". I know most of you kids grew up with the MGM and Disney renditions of classical stories, but the truth of the matter is, most of them were dark, disturbing and "goth" long before people like myself and American McGee came along.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
And I didn't necessarily mean "gothic" - I was using it as a way to describe a darker version, without any singing, cheesy puns etc.

I like reinventing characters. It's a way to remove the stupid.
 

TwilightEL

Well-Known Member
Actually, the original Wizard of Oz story was "gothic". Frank Baum wrote the original story in 1899 (published 1900). This falls well within the Victorian Era. which is what the Gothic and Lolita groups pattern themselves after (not the Visigoth or Ostrigoth after which they're named). Baum himself called his story dark and "Grimm-like". I know most of you kids grew up with the MGM and Disney renditions of classical stories, but the truth of the matter is, most of them were dark, disturbing and "goth" long before people like myself and American McGee came along.

I found the Hungry Tiger particularly disturbing. And I liked the original solutions for the heart, brain and courage so much better.
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
I found the Hungry Tiger particularly disturbing. And I liked the original solutions for the heart, brain and courage so much better.

When i read it as a little girl, the Hungry Tiger, and the Hammerheads scared the crap out of me.
 

Lynx

Well-Known Member
I disagree on both points.

I really don't need to explain the first point as I'm pretty much in full agreement with Skotti and Proj on the Oz subject. I think there's a place for the full-on gothic rendition (Ala American McGee), the musical rendition of the movie and the original book.

As for the Penguin. . .so long as he LOOKS like the Penguin and is a crime boss, he's easily recognizable. The bird fetish adds too much camp to the character. Sure, it worked way back when, but I don't think it works now. Same with the Joker. I do agree that he should be committing crimes other than just murder, but he should find murder humorous. He should be a mass murder. It makes him more than just a crook with a gimmick.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
"American McGee's Alice" the video (and so to be movie staring Sarah Michelle Gellar) was a cool way to do a Gothic/dark version of Alice in Wonderland. It's all about her basically been grown up since her first visit and mentally unbalanced because of it and her returning to wonderland.


I use this an example as I think sometimes things like that can work.


However I agree that it mostly doesn't , I've mentioned it before but Batman is an example of when it doesn't work for me. He originally was supposed to be "The world's greatest detective" Now days nearly every new batman comic i read they lost the "detective" element to make him just a dark vigilantly.


See what I'm saying is i'm kinda of the fence on this one as sometimes it's good sometimes it's bad


Good(a few I like)
TMNT the new cartoon
The Joker (even if he was the one you hated)
Ultimate Goblin
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Bad (a few I hate)
The new Venom
Unmasking Spider-man
Peter Jackon's Kong
Han solo not shooting first


Edit : was posted as I was typing

I really don't need to explain the first point as I'm pretty much in full agreement with Skotti and Proj on the Oz subject. I think there's a place for the full-on gothic rendition (Ala American McGee), the musical rendition of the movie and the original book.

Someone else mentioned American McGee's Alice! Wasn't sure if anyone else had played it or heard of it
 
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Lynx

Well-Known Member
Someone else mentioned American McGee's Alice! Wasn't sure if anyone else had played it or heard of it

There was suppose to be a follow up to American McGee's Alice called, aptly enough, American McGee's Oz. It looked pretty good, but it was canned. :(
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
As for the Penguin. . .so long as he LOOKS like the Penguin and is a crime boss, he's easily recognizable. The bird fetish adds too much camp to the character. Sure, it worked way back when, but I don't think it works now.

I wouldn't mind in Batman Begins if he owned a Penguin, not in a fetish thing but more of a, I'm that rich, thing
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
There was suppose to be a follow up to American McGee's Alice called, aptly enough, American McGee's Oz. It looked pretty good, but it was canned. :(

He's working on a game series called Grimm, it's exclusive to Gametap.com

I'm happy that they added Mac support, I signed up just for access to old skool games.
 

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