5 Comic Characters That Need to Be CGI (Mania.com)

By:Chad Derdowksi
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Around the Mania office, the names Stan Winston and Ray Harryhausen are spoken in hushed whispers and reverent tones. But as much as we love their work in stop motion, makeup and practical effects, no one wants to see Batman or Spider-Man take on a stop-motion monster in 2009 and there are some tricks that foam rubber just can’t touch. These days, computer generated imagery is more often used to make the unreal real and oftentimes it looks a whole lot better. With that in mind, here is a short list of comic book characters we’d like to see created through the magic of computers.

5. The Lizard

After being teased through three movies, we want to see Dr. Curt Connors’ cold blooded alter ego grace the silver screen in the next installment of Spider-Man. Steve Ditko might’ve drawn the Lizard looking like a dude in a rubber suit, but we prefer the hunched over, snarling depiction of modern artists, and a guy in a suit just isn’t gonna cut the mustard. This is Spider-Man 4 we’re talking about, not Godzilla, and the last thing we want to see is a rehash of those lizard men Flash Gordon encountered while imprisoned on Mongo.
Let’s face it, there’s only one way to do a six-foot-tall reptile in a lab coat justice, and that’s fully rendered CGI. Lizard men are one thing, but a lab coat? There’s no way practical effects can make that look realistic!


4. Gorilla Grodd

What are you gonna do, cast a real gorilla? Let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of them who can talk, let alone act with any degree of believability. For some reason, acting is generally frowned upon by the majority of jungle-dwelling beasts and the few that have made it big prefer to work in smaller productions. You’re more likely to see an acting ape in an off-Broadway production of King Lear than in a big budget summer blockbuster.
But if we ever see a Flash movie or if the JLA ever assembles on the big screen, they’re going to need a villain. Who better to fill that role than a gigantic ape with a genius level intellect?


Say what you will about Loki, Dr. Doom, the Red Skull or Kang–there’s only one villain worthy of taking on the Avengers when their movie finally hits theaters in 2012 and that is the Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing! 
One of Stan & Jack’s finest (and by “finest” we mean most ridiculous) creations, MODOK is pretty much just a really enormous head that requires a hover chair in order to move around. Who’s got a head that big? Kanye West, maybe, but he’s probably too busy and rumor has it he’ll be playing Ego, the Living Planet in the Nova film–so unless Quentin Tarantino would be willing to step in front of the cameras again, CGI is the only route for this guy.

2. The Thing

Michael Chiklis’ performance as Ben Grimm and his granite-skinned alter ego the Thing was one of the few saving graces in the lackluster Fantastic Four films. The costume he picked up at the local Halloween USA store and wore throughout both movies, on the other hand, was not. The suit looked like garbage and didn’t exactly allow for a lot of movement. For God’s sake, he couldn’t even move his pinky fingers! We wanna see the Thing running around throwing cars and smashing bad guys, not slowly plodding like a giant Muppet made of Corn Pops.
Twentieth Century Fox has already announced that a Fantastic Four reboot is in the works. Let’s hope that this time they take a cue from the Incredible Hulk and go the CGI-route with Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew. Hey, the Abomination might’ve looked like he was composed of dung, but technically speaking, he looked pretty damn good and that fight scene with the Hulk was awesome. The Thing just looked like crap. Let’s see some computer magic in the reboot, huh?


1. Swamp Thing

Len Wein turned in a script way back in 2003 and as recently as August, producer Joel Silver expressed a desire to see the film made in 3D. All we know is that there are few properties more deserving of a big budget revamping than Swamp Thing.
Wes Craven’s 1982 take on the muck-encrusted mockery of man will forever hold a special place in our hearts (possibly more for Adrienne Barbeau’s assets than for the film’s actual quality) but ol’ Swampy looks like he’s made of paper mache. The 1989 sequel and subsequent television series stepped it up a notch or two and Swamp Thing actually looked kinda sweet. He still looked like foam rubber and latex, but as long as he stood behind a fern and the lighting was just right, it was a pretty cool effect.
But we don’t want a Swamp Thing who glares at you menacingly from behind the bushes like some sort of slimy peeping Tom. We want a monster that can regrow its limbs, alter his size and control plant life. We wanna see Alan Moore-influenced stories with psychedelic freakouts and transcendental mind trips brought on by potatoes grown on the protagonist’s back. We want a plant elemental who communes with the Green and uses decomposing birds as nutrients. 
In short, we don’t want to see a paper mache Swamp Thing ever again.
And that’s that. Five comic book characters that deserve more than foam rubber, latex or stop motion. It’s 2009 and as they say on the Six Million Dollar Man: “We have the technology.”