The latest “Worlds in Panels” posted yesterday. I consider the different articulations of time and space in comics and film with the SHIELD helicarrier as a case in point.
On the page, as opposed to on a 30-by-70 foot movie screen, the helicarrier as spectacle is more an idea than an experience. More significant is what the helicarrier signifies in terms of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s power and purpose. Jack Kirby’s concept is a useful signifier for an agency charged with planetary surveillance and protection, and that symbolic function is more important within a comics narrative than is its role as a technological wonder.
The question of adapting comics to film is a recurring topic for me in the column. So, for additional reading:
- “How intricate can Marvels’ storyworld become on film?”, 6 July 2011.
- “‘Scott Pilgrim’ and what movies mean to comics“, 30 August 2012.
- “Freeze frame: how best to capture film in a comic book?”, 8 June 2010 (this piece looks at the question from the other side of the adaptation).
- “Comic re-imagining“, 18 September 2009.
- “Convergence culture: the many faces of Hellboy“, 15 January 2009.