Be warned: I am about to voice an opinion that is extremely unpopular among geek-circles worldwide. I am an enemy of the prevalent idea that comic books and comic book movies should stick to the canon of the title. The canon, in my opinion, is nothing more than an excuse to prevent new writers from taking old properties and forming with them new and exciting ideas. Sure, taking a character like Wolverine and giving him flying abilities might be a bit over-the-top, but rebooting a franchise like Spider-Man and using a different back-story to make a new point is the best thing people can do for these properties.
Certain comic book personalities have been around for decades. Their stories are well-known to fans of the books and the movies frequently reuse the old ideas in order to appease their market. When something goes a little outside that boundary, such as a movie like X-Men: First Class or Nolan’s Batman franchise, nerds everywhere are filled with rage that such changes could be made to classic stories. “That’s not the character!” they scream loudly. The problem with that reasoning it, everyone has a different idea of what a character is supposed to be.
One of the things I enjoy about going to see a movie is that there is a new story being told. As I mentioned, the old books explain one version of a character. New visions should be expressed feely, without fear of retribution. Let the comic books stick to their own canon, but don’t hem movies or television projects in, especially considering they’re rebooted every five or six years. If we want to see the same movie over and over just to keep continuity, we’re going to get real bored, real quick.
With so many great writers out there, many of them fans of the original stories, there’s no reason to limit them. Appreciate the creativity they bring to the old, dusty franchises. How often do old books retrace the same characters doing basically the same thing? There are only so many tales to tell and if you don’t have the heart to kill off your money-makers then at least let them transform.
Every individual attempt to tell a story should be appreciated as its own thing. If it doesn’t follow canon, there’s no need to rage. Popularity of certain characters has made companies like DC and Marvel unwilling to part with them and seemingly unable to come up with new ideas. Someone has to take the plunge and move beyond the stale arcs and recurring themes. Our times are changing and so are the things we care about. Sometimes, only a new version of an old personality has any hope of telling the tales that are important to us.