When a comic book is brought to life, fans are hopeful to see major moments replicated. Some movies and even TV shows are able to do that. Batman V Superman mixes elements of The Dark Knight Returns and Superman stories. Captain America Civil War had such fan favorite moments as Hawkeye firing Ant-Man on an arrow. Even Arrow has Green Arrow using his famed “boxing glove arrow” in one episode. The creators love the source material and do their best to make these moments work. With so many more movies and shows coming, fans can look forward to seeing more of these moments on screen.
However, sometimes, a great moment can be missed despite all the fans want. Sometimes, they can decide it doesn’t fit the story or not the budget. Other times, it’s something that can come off a bit silly even if fans love it. Another issue is rights and such as so far Fantastic Four is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and thus Doctor Doom can’t be used by them. Even some independent comics can miss major moments but in other cases, there’s a chance we can see them. Fans can hope for these moments, complain when they don’t come but look forward to them all the same. Here are 8 major moments from comics fans were denied on screen but 7 that can still happen and why comic book movies mean so much.
15 DENIED: The Squid
It’s one of the most debated parts of one of the most debated comic book movies ever. Watchmen remains a beloved masterpiece that changed the game forever. The 2009 film replicated much of the look but criticized for missing its power. Yet some do defend it for doing a better job than most hoped bringing it to life. The ending is what gets controversy. In both versions, hero Ozymandias decides to bring world peace via the “greatest practical joke” in history In the comic, he gets a bunch of scientists, special effects guys and artists together to craft an engineered monstrous squid creature with a psychic’s brain. After blowing up the yacht they are all on, Adrian plans to teleport the squid into New York, causing an explosion that will kill millions and fill survivors with visions of a strange hostile world. Convinced that this is an attack from another dimension, the world leaders will work together.
This leads to the shocking twist of Adrian revealing that he’s already done all this. The plan ends up working with shots of the squid amid a ruined Manhattan surrounded by corpses. The movie changes this to Adrian framing Dr. Manhattan destroying cities in a rampage and some say it’s better as the squid can come off crazy. But it’s part of the iconic storyline and many fans say it would have sold the horror far better to fit the storyline.
14 CAN STILL GET: One Punch
After years as the biggest super-team around, Justice League International took a different approach. Mostly made up of lower-ranked heroes, this version had the JLI basically turn into a sitcom where the heroes were known for cracking jokes and getting into wild antics. Batman took a leadership role to at least get them on their feet but clashed constantly with Green Lantern Guy Gardner. A thick-headed goof, the arrogant Gardner boasted he could lead the team far better despite the disasters he caused. It all came down to what the cover called “the fight of the century” as Guy finally had enough, challenged Batman to a fight, charged in…
And Batman decked him with a single blow. “One punch!” Blue Beetle laughed hysterically as everyone was happy at the sight. It’s become a fun running gag over the years with Gardner grousing about it being a “lucky shot.” It’s unlikely Guy shows up in the DCCU but it would be fun to copy it with someone else, a loudmouth shut up by the Dark Knight and remind you why, on this team of super-powered beings, Batman’s the one who gets final say.
13 DENIED: The Celebrities In Kingsman
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a major hit with its wild action and nutty plotline and about to spawn a sequel. However, the original comic was even wilder thanks to a fun subplot. As in the movie, the bad guy is a geeky fellow convinced the best way to save humanity is to “cull” the human race to about a billion people via a signal causing people to go on murderous rampages. The comic version is more a nerdy white guy than Samuel L. Jackson's character and is really a geek at heart. As such, he wants to save stars from his favorite movies and TV shows, keeping them safe in his mountain headquarters from the Apocalypse. The opening has, instead of just a scientist played by Mark Hamill, Mark Hamill himself who talks about how sad it is when his kidnappers literally call “Episode I the Kennedy assassination of our generation.”
The finale has hero Iggy, realizing he can’t trust any higher-ups, get his fellow recruits to storm the enemy base. They free the various celebrities leading to a bit where Pierce Brosnan takes a gun and remarks “I used to be James Bond, mate.” You also see what is obviously Patrick Stewart holding off guys himself. It was probably too much for the movie but still fun to imagine how these guys are just as big heroes in real life as on screen.
12 CAN STILL GET: Sinestro’s Might
Even a bad movie can have a shining bit to it. Many complain about 2011’s Green Lantern for a poor story and a badly cast Ryan Reynolds. But most agree Mark Strong was a great choice for Sinestro who starts off as Hal Jordan’s teacher. As all fans of the comic know, Sinestro’s obsession with order leads him to become dictator of his home planet. He’s kicked out of the Corps and forges his own yellow power ring to battle them. The movie does show Sinestro becoming disillusioned with the Guardians and the post-credits scene slips on the yellow ring to promise a sequel that never came. But among the future projects for the DCCU is Green Lantern Corps and it might be nice to put this moment in. You can sell Sinestro already a renegade and then build up to the big moment as he creates his own Sinestro Corps, thousands of beings with yellow power rings to instill fear. If they can get Strong to reprise his role, it might be even better to redeem the original movie and assert Sinestro as a major bad guy.
11 DENIED: Where’s My Money, Honey?
Among the many issues with no Doctor Doom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this may be low on the list. But it’s still something wonderful. In an early story, Luke Cage is hired by Doctor Doom to hunt down some renegade robots disguised as black men. Luke does only to find Doom has skipped town without paying the bill. So Cage does the only logical thing: He borrows a ship from the Fantastic Four, flies to Latveria, brawls past hundreds of guards and confronts Doom with the immortal line “Where’s my money, honey?” That’s right, Cage flew across the world and put the beat-down on the biggest baddie in the Marvel Universe…all for $200.
Again, it’s doubtful that even if Disney/Marvel got the rights to FF, we’d get this. That’s added by how they seem to prefer keeping the Netflix shows separate from the movies. But it’s something to dream and would be fun as hell to see on screen.
10 CAN STILL GET: Joker vs Robin
When Jason Todd was introduced as the second Robin in the 1980s, he was pretty much just a copy of Dick Grayson. The writers deepened him with more of an attitude which rubbed fans the wrong way and made him look like a jerk. In a storyline, Jason travels to the Middle East searching for his birth mother at the same time the Joker is on the run there. Jason soon runs afoul of the Joker who proceeds to brutally beat him to near-death. He then ties up Jason’s mom and leaves them both with a bomb, the place exploding just as Batman arrives. DC then set up a 1-800 number so fans could vote whether Jason lived or died. They voted “die” and so the Joker ended up killing Robin.
True, Jason turned up alive later (long story) but it’s still a key part of the mythos. The idea of the DCCU using this seems likely. In Batman v Superman, Batman is shown looking at what appears to be a Robin suit covered in paint of “the joke’s on you!” In Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn is cited as “an accomplice to Robin’s murder.” A theory is the Joker was Robin and turned evil but if they keep to this story, one of the more brutal moments in DC history can be seen in a new way.
9 DENIED: Galactus Walks
There is a lot to complain about regarding the Fantastic Four movies. There’s how they “grounded” the cosmic team, Jessica Alba poorly cast as the Invisible Woman and of course the utterly horrible treatment of Doctor Doom. But for Rise of the Silver Surfer, they managed to massively screw up Galactus. The Devourer of Worlds is a massive threat, stunning ever since Jack Kirby first drew him. The idea of a man who feasts on worlds is amazing and his look has made him an iconic foe. John Byrne had the idea that he’s more a cosmic force and every race seems him differently. In his Marvels series, Alex Ross painted him as if truly alien, the sight of a hundred foot man in the streets of New York signifying his terrifying presence. And what did the movies give us? A cheesy CGI cloud. There are so many reasons to wish for a reboot of FF in the MCU and tops among them is the idea that they can give this powerful being justice to truly rock comic book fans’ worlds.
8 CAN STILL GET: Spidey Buried
Many consider this the best thing Steve Ditko ever drew. In a classic two-part Spider-Man storyline, Aunt May is ill and needs a special serum to save her. Peter Parker goes to find it only to run into goons working for the mysterious Master Planner. The Planner turns out to be Spidey’s arch-enemy Doctor Octopus who buries Spidey under a few tons of metal debris. In a sequence spanning ten pages over the two issues, Peter tries to get out of the debris, at first failing but then remembering Aunt May and Uncle Ben and how he has to do them proud. Summoning all his strength, Peter finally manages to toss off the debris and stand tall to get at Octopus. It’s one of the signature moments for the character and it would be great if the upcoming new movies from Marvel find a way to bring it to life and remind you how Spider-Man never gives up despite the odds.
7 DENIED: Magneto Rips Apocalypse A New One
X-Men Apocalypse was a bit of a letdown to many fans. The villain is one of the most powerful and intimidating X-Men enemies but Oscar Isaac’s performance wasn’t up to hopes and turned many off. It’s also a shame as fans hoped that when Magneto turned on Apocalypse in the movie, he’d replicate this great moment. In the 1995 “Age of Apocalypse” epic, Charles Xavier is killed years before he forms the X-Men. This creates a new timeline where Apocalypse conquers America and humans are hunted down. Meanwhile, Magneto is a noble man leading the X-Men to stop his regime.
It comes down to an epic battle with Apocalypse seemingly beating Magneto down and ranting on how he’s the stronger. He demands to know why Magneto’s not talking back and the man replies he’s too busy concentrating. Summoning his power, Magneto grabs Apocalypse by the chest and proceeds to literally rip the man in two. Even Apocalypse can’t survive that, gasping before expiring. This would have been a far better fate for him in the movie and probably made fans happier with that final product.
6 CAN STILL GET: Cap vs Thanos
If there’s one moment fans want to see in Infinity War, it’s this. The movie promises to follow the plotline of the 1991 Infinity Gauntlet epic as the evil Thanos gets hold of the title device. It gives him the power of a god as he causes half the population of the universe to vanish with a literal snap of his fingers. More destruction follows as the remaining heroes of Earth stage a huge assault on Thanos. However, the man easily takes them down, massacring several without even breaking a sweat. Thor is turned to glass, Wolverine has his skeleton turned to rubber, Vision ripped apart and more. Finally, it comes down to Captain America. He knows he has no chance in hell but marches right up to the mad Titan, jaw set to declare “As long as one man stands against you, Thanos, you’ll never be able to claim victory.” It’s one of the most defining moments of Cap’s entire legacy and if there’s one scene the upcoming epic movie needs to have, this should be tops on the list.
5 DENIED: The Contest
After so many poor tries, many are overjoyed to see Warner Bros and DC finally make it work with Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot was wonderfully cast in the role and brought the heroine to life massively. It’s hard to find much to argue with some purist may be upset in how it ignores one of the key parts of Diana’s origins. In the movie, Diana simply goes ahead to take her armor, weapons and sword from the Amazons before going on her own to try and stop Ares. In the various comics, the common thing has been how the Amazons had a vision from the Gods that they had to choose a champion to stop a great evil. Thus, a grand contest is held to choose the best. George Perez had the fun idea of all the Amazons masked so they wouldn’t hold back against a friend. Regardless, it all ends with Diana entering the contest in secret, winning and becoming Wonder Woman.
While the movie pushes Diana’s actions as assertive, seeing the contest on screen might have been nice. It would have given more push for the Amazons in their skills and shown how great Diana is to triumph over them. Again, you can’t complain about the movie itself but would have been a nice tribute to the original creators to replicate this event.
4 CAN STILL GET: A Man Without Hope
“Born Again” is generally considered the greatest Daredevil story of all time, a genius work by Frank Miller. It begins with the Kingpin discovering Matt Murdock’s secret identity and deciding to ruin him. In just a few weeks, Matt is disbarred, disgraced, bankrupt and homeless. Driven to the edge, he attacks the Kingpin who easily beats him to a pulp. He then has Murdock dumped in a cab that’s pushed into the water. But when it’s found, Murdock is gone. As he works out, the Kingpin realizes he’s made a mistake. Because by taking away everything Murdock had, he’s turned him into a man with nothing to lose, not even hope. “And I have shown him…That a man without hope…is a man without fear.”
Right now, on Netflix, Daredevil is about to take part in the upcoming Defenders series. But adapting “Born Again” would be a natural for the show to give it more heat. And the idea of Vincent D'onofrio intoning that amazing line as the Kingpin would make this the best moment of the series.
3 DENIED: Words With Ultron
Age of Ultron was well accepted as a great blockbuster but some fans were feeling let down. For one thing, in the comics, Ultron is much more a horrifying force, lacking James Spader’s snide voice to be cold and methodical and ruthless in his attempts to destroy humanity. The highlight was the 1999 “Ultron Unlimited” storyline. In his more horrific move, Ultron invades the European nation of Slorernia and methodically exterminates the entire population. He then reanimates the bodies into cyborgs to attack the invading U.N. troops while holding Vision, Scarlett Witch and others hostage.
This leads to wild battles as Ultron unleashes hundreds of copies of himself to take the Avengers on. It builds to what many consider the greatest Avengers moment ever as the wall to Ultron’s lair explodes inward. Standing together are a battered, torn but still defiant Avengers team. In the center is Thor, glaring out, his hammer crackling as he growls “Ultron. We would have words with thee.” In the movies, Thor doesn’t have the same type of speaking but it’s still annoying that Ultron on the big screen couldn’t somehow copy this beloved scene.
2 CAN STILL GET: Skurge’s Last Laugh
Most Thor fans consider Walter Simonson’s run as writer/artist to be the high point of the character. It was fantastic and detailed with epic moments abounding. One was when Thor led Asgardian warriors into the domain of Hela to rescue the souls of humans. With demons hording in on them as they tried to run, long-time Thor enemy Skurge the Executioner declared he would stay behind to cover their escape. As the demons charge, Skurge smiles and laughs as he opens up at them with some automatic weapons. They keep coming but he doesn’t let any pass this bridge, shooting, smashing and crushing them with a grin. As they swarm him, narration notes how newcomers to the land of the dead ask who is this soul even Hela bows her head to. “He stood alone at Gjallerbru. And that answer is enough.”
In the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Karl Urban has been cast as Skurge and looks good in the role. One image from the trailer shows him firing off a pair of rifles as the story involves Hela (Cate Blanchett) bringing about the end of Asgard. Thus, fans are naturally hopefully to see one of comics’ greatest last stands brought to beautiful life.
1 DENIED: Wolverine Alone
After 17 years and nine movies, Hugh Jackman finally hung up the claws with this year’s Logan. It thus ends a fantastic run as Wolverine, an amazing achievement for any actor, especially today. It made Jackman a star and launched his career as he’s so identified with the role, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing it. Yet in all that time, he never got to play out what many consider the Wolverine scene. Back in 1980, Wolverine was just a side character as the X-Men were involved in investigating the sinister Hellfire Club. They clashed with the Club, a pack of mutants with Harry Leland using his powers to increase Wolverine’s weight. It sent Logan smashing through several floors and into the sewers where a flash flood washed him away.
Above, the Club celebrated their victory and that by the time they were done, the rest of the X-Men would wish they’d joined Logan. But in the final page, a gloved hand slowly emerged to grab a pipe. In a gorgeous John Byrne-drawn panel, Wolverine spins around to glare out at the reader and intone “Okay, suckers…you’ve taken yer best shot. Now it’s my turn!” One can imagine Jackman growling it out and a damn shame the X-Men films could never deliver it.