[dropcap size=small]S[/dropcap]ince the original X-Men feature film was released in 2000, Marvel has drawn criticism from readers that their comics are heavily influenced by their big screen adaptations. Case in point: the 2001 New X-Men run from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely drew inspiration from the film by having the mutants wear leather costumes.
More recently in the Avengers & X-Men: AXIS storyline, it was revealed that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are not in fact Magneto’s children, even though he was the twins’ father in all other iterations of the characters since the 1960’s. This significant change in the characters’ lineage led many readers to believe that Marvel was doing so as a means of synergy between the comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe since there can be no mention of Magneto or the X-Men in Avengers: Age of Ultron due to Twentieth Century Fox’s ownership of those rights.
Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley sat down with ICv2.com and dismissed this assumption, stating “I think people like to jump to conclusions,” but he did point out that the films are bound to have at least some sort of influence on writers and artists. Buckley used the connection between the first X-Men film and the subsequent comics to illustrate his point perfectly:
“We all remember picking up our X-Men books in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The Professor would go in to put Cerebro on and he’d wear a helmet in a room, and whatever room that was and whatever it looked like was up to the artist du jour. But that room now, after the X-Men movie when he rolled into that big open area with the metallic globe that he is sitting inside of with the ramp, and then he puts the helmet on, you go into a Marvel comic now and that’s what that room looks like. The movie defined the mass market perception of what Cerebro looks like. The comics guys are looking at it and thinking, ‘That’s pretty cool, I think I’ll do that!’”
Buckley continued by making clear Marvel’s stance on its cinematic and comic storytelling:
“So, to say that one medium does not influence the other a great deal would be lying. So there’s no way that these movies, which are seen by millions of people, are not influencing what we’re doing in the books, but we’re not looking to align continuity between the two storytelling worlds because, frankly, that would be a venture into madness.”
Now there have been specific MCU tie-in comics dating back to the release of Iron Man 2, so Marvel has made it clear when a run of comics is meant to complement films in its Cinematic Universe as well as its TV shows. The main characters of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now have their own comic series, simply titled S.H.I.E.L.D., and Buckley used this as an example of two different mediums shaping each other:
“One is not overriding the other, that would be way too hard. But they do influence each other, and that’s a lot of fun.”
Do you think the Marvel Cinematic Universe is influencing its comics too much and vice versa? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!