With the trailers for Supergirl (and, for those of a less-than-honest bent, the entire pilot episode) officially in the wild, it’s clear to see that they’ve done a good job translating Kara Zor-El to the small screen.  The question of how to make comic art work in real life has been an issue nearly as long as there have been comics, with the 40’s Batman serial giving us a Dark Knight whose cowl horns looked like bananas, and even the 1990s’s Flash that Stephen and I enjoyed back in the day surfers from a serious case of F.R.M.  (Foam Rubber Musculature; a common malady among superheroes on television.)  Adam West’s Batman remains iconic in part, I think, because it WASN’T trying so hard to replicate the comic books, while the Christopher Reeve Superman of 1977 was so faithful that is became the new standard for the character, which leads us to today’s F.R.M. query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still thinks that the work involved in the practical effects of the 90s movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was top-notch and MUCH preferable to Bay’s hulking CG monsters, asking: What comic book character has looked the best in their transition to live action?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I think the current incarnation of The Flash looks excellent. It has the feel of the comic character without looking like cheesy spandex nor trying too hard to look “realistic”. I think they found a nice balance.

    I am also still a fan of the older 90’s TMNT live action look (as well as the first and third films). It was certainly a bit on the cartoony side, but it worked for me. Granted, I do have a preference for that sort of work over CGI. Nothing against CGI itself in general, but puppets and animatronics and the like feel more “real” to me than even some of the best CGI in certain instances. That isn’t to say there can’t be equally good CGI characters, like Rocket and Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, just that in certain cases older tech works better.

    As for out-of-costume, I think the current Daredevil series got just the right actors for Matt and Foggy. While a good chunk of their appeal is how well they act together, I had absolutely zero trouble figuring out who they were based on their appearance. Same with Constantine, I think they found a good actor to pull off the look of the character.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    There are several I like: Patrick Stewart as older Professor X is spot on, Hugh Jackman is good Wolverine (although, I still think hes too tall) and most of the Marvel movie characters have been well cast, as are current Flash and Green Arrow. Everything considered, Christopher Reeve has to be the best, he essentially became the look of Superman for decades.

    Honorary mention to Lou Ferrigno, who pulled off Hulk without any special effects or puffy suits.

    • I still remember how excited I was the Stewart was cast as Prof. X since he was the fan favorite for the role for years. While I may not have enjoyed the X-films after the first one as much, it still made me giddy that he was in the role.

      I also thought the Kelsey Grammer version of Beast was excellent. I wish they had kept a look like that rather than the one they used in “First Class”.

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